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Baking Bread

April 08, 1997

Grain products form the base of the Food Guide Pyramid - six to 11 servings are recommended daily.

By TERI JOHNSON

Staff Writer

Three Washington County Hospital employees have become breadwinners of a different sort, thanks to a recent contest.

The hospital's nutrition services department sponsored an in-house bread-making competition during March, which was National Nutrition Month. Employees rose to the challenge by submitting 15 entries.

Bread was selected because grain products form the base of the Food Guide Pyramid, and six to 11 servings are recommended daily, says Peggy Kemp, the hospital's clinical nutrition manager.

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"Bread is a healthy snack," says Kemp, who coordinated the contest. "We encourage people to choose more foods from the bottom of the pyramid, where we need to get most of our calories."

No more than 30 percent of the bread's calories could come from fat. Entries could be baked in the oven or with a bread machine.

Breads were judged on texture, appearance, taste and percentage of calories from fat they contained. Each week a different variety was judged.

Security officer Daniel Garnand won the whole-grain category with Amaranth Bread and the fruit category with Strawberry Banana Bread.

"I was looking for something different and out of the way," says Garnand, 36, of Hagerstown.

Garnand used a bread machine to bake both types. He also entered two other recipes.

Garnand says he enjoys cooking, and he likes to experiment with baking different kinds of bread. His wife, Andrea Garnand, works in the hospital's radiation therapy department and prefers white bread, while their 7-year-old son, Mark, likes garlic bread and raisin bread.

Jayne Moyes, a utilization review specialist in medical information management, won the white bread division with Easter Paska.

Moyes, 26, says the recipe is an orthodox Easter bread, but it can be enjoyed any time of year.

"My mom and I make it, and it's a family tradition," she says.

The bread also can be baked with a cross on top instead of a braid, says Moyes, of Hagerstown. She says the flavorful bread can be served as a dessert.

Ginger Beattie's Zucchini Bread made her a winner in the vegetable category.

Beattie, a pediatric nurse, says the bread is popular with her co-workers.

The Hagerstown resident bakes the bread and freezes it when zucchini is in season.

Beattie, 48, says she began adapting recipes to make them more healthful after her husband, Mike, was hospitalized with a heart condition.

For their efforts, Garnand, Moyes and Beattie won certificates redeemable in the hospital cafeteria.

Reducing fat

You also can be a winner by cutting the fat in your diet.

If you're tired of snacking on pretzels and graham crackers, try a slice of bread instead.

The fat in many bread recipes can be reduced, Kemp says.

Most yeast breads are low in fat. Batter-type varieties often include margarine, butter or oil and require the most manipulation to reduce fat content, Kemp says.

She offers the following suggestions for cutting fat in a bread recipe:

Use skim milk instead of whole milk.

When you add skim milk, the mixture becomes more watery, so sprinkle in a little extra flour to make it less gummy. Apricots are a tasty way to absorb extra water.

Cranberries, dates and raisins add flavor and contrasting texture.

To keep the fat content at 30 percent or less, use one-third cup of oil or less.

Add applesauce or egg whites to replace the volume of oil or margarine.

Increase texture by including a little uncooked oats, crushed bran or whole grain cereal. Granola isn't a good choice, because it contains extra fat and sugar.

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