Spelt, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and teff are ancient grains that are making a comeback in the bread business – particularly in the United States.
“Ancient grains are popular now because consumers perceive them as healthier and more natural than standard wheat,” says Dr. Sven Schönenberg, Technical Service Manager Food & Baking at Novozymes.
Most commercial white bread is made from heavily-refined and processed wheat that has been repeatedly modified over the centuries.
Ancient grains are seen as healthier and more natural, probably because they are less likely to be eaten in processed form. Many consumers see them as providing more vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein than the standard white loaf.
That said, ancient grains can be challenging for bakers. Without special enzymes, these grains produce lower volumes and dense bread. Ancient grain bread also tends to get stale and hard faster than commercial white bread.