Bromate — heard of it?
Potassium bromate — or bromate — is a common flour additive that creates a stronger and springier dough.
Bromate can be found in store-bought flours, breads, and buns. When kept between the prescribed limits of 15 – 30 ppm, it is used up during the baking process, leaving no residue behind. However, if more than the prescribed amount is used or the bread doesn’t bake long enough or at a high enough temperature, a residual amount will remain.
And that’s a cause for concern. You see, bromate isn’t just an innocent oxidizing agent: it has actually been linked to cancer in lab studies of animals.
While bromate is outlawed in Europe, it isn’t here in the United States. The FDA hasn’t banned the use of bromate; instead, they simply encourage bakers to avoid using it.
How can you avoid bromate in your flour products?
Check the label.
Companies are required to list “bromated flour” in the ingredients list if they use it in their product. Be sure to check the label for your store-bought flours, breads, buns and more. If it says “bromated flour,” it’s best to seek another bread brand.
Brands like Bob’s Red Mill, Gold Medal, and King Arthur Baking do not use potassium bromate in their products. There may be other brands as well, but these are the three bread flours I have personally used.
Learn to bake your own bread.
I’ve been baking homemade sourdough bread for years. And I never use bromate.
Not only is homemade bread healthier for you, since it is free of chemical additives, it also tastes better. Anyone who has tasted a warm, fresh piece of bread knows that to be true!
Especially if you’ve tried my Aunt Susan’s bread.
My Aunt Susan — who taught me how to make sourdough bread — makes the best sourdough bread in the world and gives it to family and friends baked fresh from her kitchen. She always gave me a loaf when I visited for family holidays. I live a few hours away and didn’t get to sample it very often. And trust me, if you tried her sourdough bread, you’d want to be sampling it all the time.
When we started teaching classes at the farm in 2010, I asked her to teach a sourdough bread class for our customers. Naturally, her class was a big hit and we started having a sourdough class every year! I would learn something new with each class. That’s when I found out that bromated flour was a possible cancer-causing agent, so I started advising our classes to avoid using it.
Join me for a Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Rolls Class at Stoney Creek Farm.
If you’re local to the middle Tennessee area, I’m offering my popular Sourdough Bread & Cinnamon Rolls class right here at Stoney Creek Farm.
My Sourdough & Cinnamon Rolls Class is also offered online.
Not local to middle Tennessee? No problem!
You can learn to bake your own sourdough bread — right from the comfort of your own kitchen.
My Southern Sourdough & Cinnamon Rolls Online Course will teach you everything you need to know to make your own delicious bread: making the sourdough starter, mixing the dough, the rising process, and baking off the finished bread.
This is a skill that you can pass down to future generations!