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Millet Bread

Including millet bread in breakfast is a sure way to provide healthy nutrients, like proteins, dietary fiber and iron. By trying the homemade millet bread recipe, you can adjust the bread ingredients to suit your health goals.
Millet is widely cultivated for the purpose of harvesting food grains and fodder for livestock. In the list of most important cereals in the world, they rank sixth, and serve as a staple food in many regions of the world. In fact, millet forms the major food crop in areas that are prone to prolonged drought spells. There are two ways of consuming millet, as whole grains and millet flour. Here, we shall focus on millet bread nutrition and making bread with millet.

Millet Bread Nutrition Facts

Nutrition wise, millet is a rich source of proteins, vitamin B, iron, calcium, potassium and other minerals. With protein content coming to about 11 percent of grain weight, its nutrition facts are nearly similar to wheat. However, unlike wheat, millet is free of gluten, thus making an important part of the gluten-free diet. Consuming millet will provide the health benefits of whole grains, while minimizing the risk for allergic responses. If you do not like the taste of steamed millet or cooked whole grains, try the soft variety prepared with millet flour.

In baking millet flour bread, most people prefer to add other types of flour for better texture and taste. The point is nutritional value of this bread will vary according to the bread ingredients used and serving amounts. On an average, serving one slice (36 g) of bread made from millet flour yields 110 calories, of which 27 calories are contributed by fats. The same serving amount provides 5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar and iron in large amounts. In short, the nutritional value of millet breads is highly impressive.

How to Make Millet Bread from Scratch

While this bread is available in nearly all baking centers, you can also try making homemade bread by using millet flour. Also, people who are sensitive to wheat and alike grains, or are diagnosed with celiac disease can make gluten-free millet bread. The baking method remains the same with other bread recipes. However, remember that this flour type is not suited for making raised bread. Instead, you can try flat bread recipes with millet flour. The following is a basic method to make millet bread.

Ingredients
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 2½ tablespoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoon cane sugar or honey
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • ½ cup fine cornmeal
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup millet
  • Parchment paper for lining loaf pan
Directions for Preparation

Preheat oven to 375° F, and line the loaf pan with parchment paper. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine together water, yeast and natural cane sugar (or yeast). Allow the mixture to set for 8-10 minutes, or until yeast is dissolved completely. By the meantime, sift and add the dry ingredients - millet flour, cornmeal, potato starch, baking soda and sea salt in a large saucepan. Take another mixing bowl and whisk together egg yolk, butter, buttermilk and yeast mixture. To the saucepan containing flour mixture, gently add wet concoction, while stirring continuously.

Work well to make a smooth dough with no lumps. But, do not overdo it, or else you will not get a fluffy bread. Make the dough into the shape of a loaf. Then, lightly brush the surface of the loaf with egg white. Sprinkle millet grains on top and sides of the bread loaf. Bake it in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until your bread is done. You can check for doneness by inserting a toothpick, if it comes out clean, your bread is baked well. Allow it to cool down in the cooling rack for 5-7 minutes, before slicing.

In a step towards healthy eating, dietitians suggest substituting white rice and its products with millet and millet flour. And to create variety, you can experiment with different recipes of millet bread with your favorite nuts or fruit extracts. What about making orange-flavored millet bread? If it sounds interesting, you can bake it with fresh orange juice and orange rinds. Accordingly, reduce the water quantity used in making bread dough, and follow the same baking directions.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Published: 1/31/2011
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