What's The Difference: Whole Wheat, Whole Grain, And Multigrain Bread
These are not the same kinds of bread.
ILLUSTRATOR Roselle Miranda
When it comes to bread,Â there's so much more than yourÂ usual pandesal and white bread loaves. For those who love bread, they know that there is also theÂ whole wheatÂ bread which is commonly distinguished by its light brownÂ or tan color versus the pure white bread of the commonÂ sandwichÂ slice.Â
However, a quick visitÂ to the "Bread" section of your local supermarket can reveal a startlingÂ range of different kinds of bread, a few of whichÂ with terms that seem like the same thing.Â
Guess what? "Whole wheat bread" is not the same as whole grain bread. "Whole grain bread" is not the same as "multigrain bread" either.Â
If none of these are the same kinds of bread, what are they?Â Here's what you should know:Â
1 "Whole wheat" can be whole grain but only contains whole wheat kernels.Â Â
Is that confusing? Wheat is the kind of grain that wheat flourÂ is made from. In the caseÂ of whole wheat bread, it uses whole wheat flour which is made of the finely groundÂ upÂ wheat kernel or the wheat seed to make the flour. These are the parts of the whole wheat kernel:
- â€˘ The bran is the protective outer shell orÂ skin that protects the germ and the endosperm. This is what is also known as wheat bran.Â
- â€˘ The germ or wheat germ is the part of theÂ kernel that becomes the sprout and then the adult plant whenÂ planted.Â
- â€˘ The endospermÂ makes up the biggest part of the seed.Â
IfÂ you're having a hard time visualizing what the kernel looks like using these terms, thinkÂ of it like an egg: the bran is the shell, the germ is theÂ yolk, and the endosperm is the egg white.
In white bread or bread that uses white flour,Â only the endosperm is used in making the flour. In whole wheat flour, the entire kernel includes the brown-colored bran which is why it's a little tan in color. All this means is that bread made with whole wheat flour is more nutritious since the bran and the germ are included in the flour. This also makes whole wheat flourÂ spoil faster than white flour since the fat in the germ (aka the yolk of the wheat kernel) spoilsÂ more readily.Â
2 "Whole grain" contains the "whole wheat" kernelÂ but it can be made with another kind of grain.Â Â
Whole grain bread can sound equally confusing but it's more basic. It may not be wheat. It's similar to whole wheat bread in the sense that it uses the whole grain when the flour is made, but what makes it different is that it can be made from wheat or it can be made from something else. In fact, wheat may or may not be the only kind of grain thatÂ the bread contains.Â
If you have ever eaten rye bread, you are probablyÂ eating whole grain bread. That's because rye is a different kind of grain. Oats are another kind of grain that can be used to make whole grain bread. This is where gluten-free flour comes in sinceÂ gluten is found in wheat but not in oats.Â
3 "Multigrain" can contain two, three, or more kinds of different grains.Â
Did you know there are many kinds of grains that can be made into flour? This isÂ where "multigrain" comes in. You can have bread made from two, three, or even more different kinds of grains.Â The flour can be a combination of different flours made from different grains to create a unique flavor and texture that you can only get fromÂ mixing different grains together.Â
The "multigrain" tag is like an umbrella term for different kinds of grains, which include these:Â
- â€˘ barley
- â€˘ buckwheat
- â€˘ corn
- â€˘ millet
- â€˘ oats
- â€˘ quinoa
- â€˘ rice
- â€˘ rye
- â€˘ sorghum (also called milo)
Any of these grains can be made into flour and can be included in your multigrain bread. These grains are commonly used as a topping of your multigrain bread so you know what you're eating.Â
Whether you're a fan of whole wheat or prefer a different kind of grain for your bread,Â you know you're eatingÂ aÂ delicious kind of bread.Â
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.