Bread Beckers

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305 Bell Park Dr Woodstock, GA 30188

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My Oil of Choice for Baking and Cooking – Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I am often asked what type of fats and oils I use for my baking and cooking. So today I thought I would share with you the oil I have chosen to use.

For most of my bread baking, that is yeast breads, muffins, pancakes, coffee cakes and other quick breads I use Extra Virgin Olive oil. When I first began making all of my bread from freshly milled flour way back in 1991, I used the popular vegetable oils sold in the store. I didn’t know better.

But my continued research about the processing done to most of our food, led me to discover that these highly processed oils were not at all healthy.

My studies led me to Olive oil – after all it does seem to be the oil of choice in the Bible. Olive trees grow throughout the Mediterranean region and olive oil is of course the primary source of fat in the Mediterranean diet, which is considered to be one of the heart healthiest diets in the world.

But not all olive oil is the same. There are many levels of processing done to olive oil which greatly alter both its flavor and nutritional benefits. Real extra virgin olive oil is the least processed of all, which is why it is my oil of choice in my baking and cooking.

Olive Oil % Acidity – What It Means

To earn the label of Extra Virgin olive oil, the oil must be cold pressed from the olives, using no chemical solvents. But more specifically, one of the main parameters to classify the quality and labeling of olive oil is a % acidity. To gain a labeling of Extra Virgin Olive the oil must have an acidity of 0.8% or less.

If you are like me, you might be wondering what exactly this acidity means. Some consumers confuse a lower acidity with intensity of flavor of the olive oil but that is not completely accurate. Neither is this acidity a measure of the acid level of the olive oil – in other words this is not a pH measurement

Acidity in olive oil refers not so much to the taste, but rather to the presence (or lack thereof) of free fatty acids in the oil. The percent acidity is more of an indication of how much or how little oxidation has taken place in the oil prior to and during the pressing of the oil.

In my Sue’s Healthy Minutes podcast episode, The Facts About Fats, I give a brief discussion of the chemical structure of fats and oils. I explain how the carbon/hydrogen chains of fatty acids are joined by weak chemical bonds, which allow the oil to be saturated or unsaturated in varying degrees.

Olive oil is made up mostly of monounsaturated fats and more specifically fat compounds known as triacylglycerols. Chemically speaking these are molecules made up of three fatty acids linked to a glycerol molecule. These compounds are naturally formed within the olive itself as the fruit develops.

The % acidity in olive oil is the result of the degree of the breakdown of these triacylglycerols and a measurement of the free fatty acids now present in the oil.

Now I realize that all of this scientific information may seem dry and boring to you but hang with me while I explain further, as this is really important information for you, the consumer, to know what to look for in olive oil and why.  

This link between the glycerol and the three fatty acid chains is weak. This weak link can easily be broken if the olive fruit is damaged during harvest, or by poor storage practices. Long delays between harvesting and extraction, as well as careless extraction methods can all lead to the break-down of the triacylglycerols in the oil leading to a higher % acidity in the oil.

The free fatty acid level in the olive oil is thus a direct measure of the quality of the oil, and reflects the care taken right from the blossoming of the olives, to its extraction and the eventual sale and consumption of the oil.

This % Acidity then measures how much of these free fatty acids are in the olive oil; therefore the % acidity is a general indicator of the quality of virgin olive oils. Therefore, the lower the percent acidity of a virgin olive oil, the better. And as stated earlier, to be classified as an Extra Virgin Olive Oil the oil must have an acidity of 0.8% or less.

Oils labeled only as virgin olive oil can have an acidity level as high as 2%. All olive oils with an acidity over 2% are classified as oil for refining purposes only and are considered not fit for human consumption.

So now you may be asking – how do I know the quality of olive oil I am buying? Unfortunately, the olive oil industry, like other food industries, lacks integrity.

Studies and testing on Extra Virgin olive oil sold here in the USA found that about 73% of the most popular brands of olive oil sold in the US, had been adulterated by lesser quality oils and did not pass the scientific testing for Extra Virgin Olive Oil despite what their labels declared.

Many years ago, we were actually using an olive oil that was labeled First Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil. After learning of the common disreputable practices in the industry, we had the oil tested – only to discover that it contained only a fraction of actual OLIVE OIL! This is indeed concerning.

So, what are we the consumer to do? The answer is to only buy olive oil from a reputable source that you trust. And also, to look for an oil that is bottled in the country of origin.

At Bread Beckers we have chosen a reputable supplier of Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil from the Isle of Crete.

Olives and olive oil are inseparable from the culture and cuisine of Greece. Greeks consume more olive oil per person than anyone else in the world. So, it is no wonder, that in an average year, the small country of Greece produces the third largest amount of olive oil in the world. Olive oil has played a major role in Greek history, culture and cuisine for centuries and remains a key element in their famously healthy Greek Mediterranean diet. 

The olives for most Greek olive oil are grown on small family-owned farms. This small-scale production enables the farms to give the attention to detail necessary to achieve the highest quality extra virgin olive oil. So, no wonder Bread Beckers chose Greece as our source.

We sell 3 brands of bulk Extra Virgin olive oil here at Bread Beckers in either 3 and 5 L tins or a 5 L box all to protect from exposure to light.

Agrelia is our most popular brand. The acidity often varies with the olive harvest but is tested and guaranteed to be 0.8% or less.

It is sold in 2 sizes – a 3 L and 5 L can.

Item #09918 – 3L

Item #09919 – 5L

Our Cretan O2 brand comes in 3 L and 5 L black tins and has an acidity level of 0.2% or less indicating an exquisite quality extra virgin oil

Item # 09916 – 3L

Item # 09917 – 5L

Our Peza brand of Extra Virgin Olive oil comes in a 5 L box with a plastic insert and a spout for dispensing – this oil has an acidity level of 0.5% or less.

Item # 05876

We also carry a line of specialty infused Extra Virgin Olive oils by Olivelle.

Olivelle also uses only the highest quality Extra Virgin Olive oils. All of their oils are sourced from single estate olive oil farms with an acidity between 0.2 or 0.3%. All of the Olivelle infused oils are 100% vegan using only essential oils or natural flavors to infuse their oils. If you haven’t tried these amazing oils, you are missing out.

They will truly brighten the flavor of any favorite dish or baked good, whether savory or sweet.

You can check out all of these oils on our website . Or better yet – come into the store for a tasting. You will be glad you did.

I find it interesting that years ago when I was unknowingly using an adulterated olive oil in my baking – I found that it often lent a bitter taste to some of my baked goods – especially muffins and coffee cake. I thought it was normal for olive oil.

Today – I realize that this off flavor is definitely not normal and was only because the oil was very poor quality and not Extra Virgin Olive oil at all.

I use our Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil or the Olivelle infused olive oils in most all of my baking and the flavor is absolutely delicious with no bitter taste at all. 

I encourage you to try some of our Extra Virgin Olive Oils – I know you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was with their incredible flavor.

For even more information about fats and olive oils and so much more check out Sue’s Healthy Minutes Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

Healthy Eating Simplified

In the realm of eating I see two extremes happening in America. On the one hand, meal time has been reduced to a drive through window or something from a box, that’s “ready in minutes”. Families just “don’t have time to cook anymore” On the other hand, healthy eating has become way too complicated, with many varying opinions on what is healthy and what is not.

In fact, have you ever thought about feeding your family more nutritious foods, but just did not know where to begin? Perhaps you have even bought one or two of the many books on the subject of healthy eating, only to find yourself more confused than enlightened. Well, do not feel alone. Twenty five percent of Americans say they are confused about what is healthy and what is not.

Many of us have found that as we search for answers we often find that even the “experts” do not agree on the subject of healthy eating. Raw food diet, low “carb” diet, fruit and vegetable juice diet, coupled with lists of “can’t haves”, leaves us asking the questions, “Does healthy eating really have to be this complicated?” “Does it have to be that different from what my family likes?” Or “Is there really anything wrong with good old meatloaf and mashed potatoes”?

The answer to these questions is, absolutely not! With just a few simple steps you can put meal time back in its proper perspective and serve healthy foods that you family will not only eat, but enjoy!

One basic principle, however, must prevail over our endeavors to change our eating habits. We must return to a diet consisting of “real” food. By “real” food, I mean food that is created by God to nourish our bodies and that is eaten in a form as close to the way God created it as possible. For example, eat an apple instead of an apple flavored fruit bar or a highly processed package of apple sauce. Eat real meats, real vegetables and real fruit. Choose real eggs and real butter. You do not have to become a vegetarian or change to a raw foods diet or become a meat eater for that matter. Just make real food choices from the many wonderful options that God has given us, that best suits your family’s likes and meets your body’s needs. The exciting part is you can begin today and even shop in the regular grocery store. Shop the perimeter of the store to find the real food. The important thing to remember is to just “GET REAL”.

With this basic principle in mind, there are a few specific steps you can make that will bring drastic and noticeable improvements to the health of your family.

Step 1: Eat Real Bread – Buy a Grain Mill -There is one exception to finding real food in the grocery store and that is BREAD! Of all the foods God has given us, bread, or food made from grain, is the most altered by man. The grocery shelves are filled with denatured, processed grain products. Real bread, however, is bread made from freshly milled whole grains. Without making your own bread and grain foods it will be difficult to obtain real bread or the remarkable health benefits it will bring.

For our ancestors of 100 years ago, whole grains and real bread were the staples of their diet. They did not suffer the cancer, heart disease, or diabetes as we do today. In fact, in 1900 America was the healthiest of 93 countries surveyed. By 1920 it had dropped to 2nd and thereafter America’s health continued to rapidly decline. Today, America is the world leader in chronic sickness and disease as well as obesity. What happened to cause such drastic changes in America’s health?

Prior to the 1900’s most bread baked in this country was done so at home. Grain was milled at the local miller or homes had mills of their own so that flour could be milled as needed and used before it spoiled. The bran and germ portions of the whole grain contain many vital nutrients to good health that oxidize quickly once the flour is milled and the germ portion contains oils that go rancid as well. In the late 1800’s steel rolling mills were invented that sifted the bran and germ portions away, leaving white flour that would not spoil. Thinking this a wonderful discovery, steel rolling mills soon replaced the local millers and by 1910 white flour and white bread became food for the common man.

Three diseases became epidemic immediately and health officials traced the problem to the new white flour that had taken over the market. They urged the millers to put the bran and germ portions back into the flour but the millers refused, choosing instead to enrich the white flour. For the 25-30 nutrients lost by removing the bran and germ, only 4 were replaced. Unfortunately, the synthetic vitamins and minerals used to “enrich” or “fortify” foods are often forms that our bodies cannot readily absorb.

This is a significant turning point in America’s health history. You see, white flour and white bread have always been around, however, its consumption was reserved for the wealthy or royalty. Royalty could afford servants, who would sift out the bran and germ portion to make white flour “dainties and delicacies” as mentioned in Proverbs 23:3. Proverbs 23:1-2 warns us that this is deceitful food and that we should even “put a knife to our throats lest we be given to gluttony”.

The invention of the steel rolling mills made white flour available to the common people, rich and poor alike. By 1920, bread and bread products had drastically changed and America’s health has been declining ever since. Today, most of what we eat has been so altered by processing and preserving it can hardly be called bread at all.

America is now the fattest nation in the world, evidence that we are truly “given to gluttony”. We are now the world leader in heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Asthma has increased by 200% in the past 10 years and the number of children with type II diabetes (previously called “adult onset”) is alarming. Americans, old and young alike, are dependent on antihistamines and allergy relief medications and constipation is no longer an old person’s problem.

Recent government studies state that whole grains reduce the risk of these now common health issues, yet God knew all along. In Deuteronomy 24:6 God instructed the Israelites in wise business practices. It was customary to take a pledge from someone when making a loan. God declared, however, that “no man shall take a mill or upper millstone in pledge, for he would be taking a life in pledge” (emphasis mine). God knew the importance of bread for maintaining life and health, therefore the capacity to mill grain was equated with the very life of a person.

Since 1992 I have been teaching on the health benefits of grinding your own grains to make your own breads. We have heard literally thousands of testimonies of improved health from this one dietary change alone. In all my years of study of healthy eating and trying many different ways to improve my health and the health of my family, I have never seen one change bring such immediate and noticeable results as when we began milling our grain and making bread. The best part is the bread tastes good and will have your family begging for more!

How important is this first step to improving your family’s health? IT IS YOUR LIFE!

Though this first step may seem hard, it is definitely worth it. The immediate improvements in health will not only encourage you to go on in your journey, but will also you give you the energy you need to move forward. If you never make any other changes in your family’s diet than real bread, you will still experience many health improvements. But, there are a few more simple steps you can make that will bring even more positive results.

Step 2: Drink More Water – Most of us have become very concerned about the food we eat, but neglect the importance of what we drink. A person can fast from food for as long as 40 days and not die, yet a fast from water for longer than 3 days results in death.

Water makes up 65-75% of the human body and is essential for life and the proper functioning of the body. Most of us, however, do not clearly understand its life-giving role, nor do we drink enough.

Valuable nutrients, as well as oxygen, are continually brought into our cells by water, while it also carries waste products away from our cells. This process of transporting and eliminating is essential for the health and function of every cell in our bodies. Necessary nutrients vary from cell type to cell type but the transport vehicle remains the same – WATER.

Since water is instrumental in flushing toxins and waste from the body, if the body does not receive enough water these toxins build up and hinder the proper function of the cell. Both our digestive and eliminative processes are adversely affected by the build-up of toxins. Sugar and chemical laden beverages, such as teas, coffee, soft drinks, and fruit juice drinks (even the 100% juice drinks) do not have this cleansing potential. Since we would certainly not consider cleansing the outside of our bodies with one of these beverages, why do we think they can replace pure clean water for cleansing the inside of our bodies?

Step 2 then in our quest for better health involves replacing the sugar filled beverages we consume with water. A great place to start is first thing in the morning. Begin each day with an 8 ounce glass of water, before anything else goes in your mouth. I call this “priming the pump”. Morning is your body’s main cleansing time. Drinking a glass of water will get things moving. I have noticed also that drinking water first thing in the morning enables me to distinguish between thirst and hunger. It will actually help you to want more water throughout the day.

Step 3: Friendly Bacteria – The more I study the human body the more I am amazed at the importance of replenishing the good bacteria that lives in our colon. These “good guys” play a vital role in our immune function. This “friendly flora” suppresses the growth of pathogenic bacteria and yeast. America is one of the few countries that does not have a cultured or fermented food as part of its daily diet. By cultured food I mean yogurt and kefir, both fermented dairy products, or a fermented vegetable such as sauerkraut. Yogurt and kefir are the easiest foods to incorporate into a healthy eating program, but they of course need to be “real” – containing at least 5 different live active bacteria and not heavily sweetened, flavored, or colored. A good plain yogurt or kefir can easily be blended into a fresh fruit smoothie or sweetened with honey and frozen fruit and eaten like ice cream. I enjoy eating yogurt with my granola instead of milk, or at breakfast I often serve yogurt and fruit as a side dish. Try to consume at least a ½ cup every day.

If dairy allergies are a problem I would supplement with a good “probiotic” which can be purchased at any health food store.

Step 4: Fresh Fruits and Vegetables – Making a conscientious effort to eat more fruits and vegetables will do a lot to improve your bowel health as well as supply your body with many of the vitamins and minerals so important to good health. Begin to replace sugary snacks with a piece of fresh fruit. I have noticed that hungry people, especially children, will eat the most convenient thing. Make fruit more convenient than chips and crackers. Try to have a fresh vegetable, cooked or raw, at least once a day.

Step 5: Get Rid of the Junk – At some point we have to make the decision to get rid of the junk in our lives. I am not a purest by any stretch of the imagination, but my little junky splurges are rare these days. I found that by eating real food, especially real bread, my craving for sweets and junk food have greatly diminished. Begin to read labels. Make wiser choices, choosing real food over processed foods. Again make real foods more available than less healthy ones. A great question to ask yourself before partaking of these little “dainties and delicacies” is “Will this food add to my health or take it away?”

Step 6: Exercise – You may be wondering what exercise has to do with healthy eating, but physical activity is critically important to the function of both our lymph and elimination system. So our health is not only about what we eat, but also about what we do!

God created our bodies to work. Unfortunately we find ourselves in an era that does not typically require much physical labor in the work force. Most of us now have to “work” at exercising. Regular exercise does not have to be complicated, just regular. A nice long walk can do wonders for your physical health. Find and activity you enjoy and “JUST DO IT”!!

Step 7: Rest – “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done; and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. And God blessed the seventh day, set it apart as His own, and hallowed it because on it God rested from all His work which He had created and done.” (Genesis 2:2-3)

We should not get legalistic here, but we must find time to rest, each day, as well as weekly. Plan your days and weeks so you can look on your accomplishments as God did and say “It is good” – then sit down, relax or better still – turn out the lights (and computer) and go to bed!!!

Will changing the way you eat, or live, reverse or prevent life threatening diseases? Maybe – Maybe not, but everyone should experience improved health when we begin to give our bodies what they need. This is not rocket science. God lovingly caused the earth to produce food that would perfectly nourish the bodies He created. Man can’t improve on God. It’s that SIMPLE!

Ezekiel Mix Spreadsheet

Bread Beckers Item #DescriptionQty based on 1 bucket of beans
08050Hard Red Wheat14.0 Buckets
07090Spelt8.0 Buckets
02720Kidney Beans1.1
03030Pinto Beans1.0
02590Great Northern Beans1.0
05871Extra Virgin Olive Oil 3L79ea – 3L Tins
09618Bakers Grade Honey 1Gal42 gals
00041Yeast 1LB package30 packages
06993Redmond Salt – 10LB pail2 pails

This will make 504 recipes of Ezekiel Bread based on the recipe in the Bread Beckers Recipe collection. One recipe calls for a fasting of one 8 oz piece of bread/day – therefore is calculated to feed 1 person for 8 days on that portion.

This is enough ingredients to make Ezekiel Bread for 14 people for 1 year based on eating an 8 oz portion/person/day

These number represent using a bucket of the smallest ingredient – the beans – as the base and calculating how much other ingredients will be needed/bucket of beans to make into Ezekiel Bread only.

Since you will probably not make it all into Ezekiel Bread you could cut the honey and oil and some of the grain amounts in half to bring the price down.

This spread sheet was developed to give someone a basic idea of how much grains and beans and other ingredients to purchase for the Ezekiel Bread based off a 6 gal bucket of the smallest quantity ingredient (the beans).

As you can see this is a lot of food and could easily feed a large household for a year.
Quantities could of course be reduced for 1-2 months of storage.

We like this variety of grains and beans for storage as it gives such a good cross section and versatility of food that can be prepared besides just the Ezekiel Bread. Add some stores of brown rice, corn, oats and perhaps black eye peas and you have a fairly complete storage of good food.

Be Prepared – Food Storage Quantities

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of all recommended storage items but focuses on food, water and food preparation needs, especially those provided by Bread Beckers.

Water – 1 gal/person/per day
To sustain life for 1 person for 1 year

Grain – 400 lbs
• 300 lbs – mostly wheat, spelt and kamut
• 100 lbs – mixture – corn, oats, millet, sorghum, popcorn, etc

Beans/Legumes/Brown Rice – 60 lbs
• kidney beans, pinto beans, great northern, baby lima, lentils, black-eye peas, soy beans, mung beans,
• sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, etc
• brown rice, brown rice and brown rice blends, and oats have about 1 year shelf life – mylar packaging with O2 absorbers of smaller quantities is recommended for longer storage
• Beans will continue to dry so older beans will require a longer soak or might be best used to mill into flour. Also rotate out storage of beans.

Ezekiel Mixture of Grains and Beans (see spread sheet)

Ezekiel Mix- A combination of beans and grains that form a complete protein. Grains provide the lacking amino acids in beans, while beans provide those lacking in grains. The perfect combination, which may explain why so many cultures around the world eat beans with rice or some other form of grain.

The Ezekiel mixture comes from Ezekiel 4:9 where God instructs Ezekiel to combine wheat, spelt, barley, millet, lentils and beans. A recipe for this bread is in the Bread Beckers Recipe Collection. The flour from this combination can also be used to make muffins, pancakes, cookies and brownies. The Ezekiel mixture combination can also be used whole and boiled with broth and added vegetables to make a delicious stew.

The Ezekiel mixture of grains and beans gives a good base for any food storage pantry, providing not only the wheat and other nutritious grains as the base but also lentils and beans that can all be prepared in a variety of ways.
Add some other favorite grains and beans, such as corn and/or popcorn, oats, rice and/or black eyed peas and you have a great variety for food storage.

Sprouting seeds
• Most of the above grains and beans should sprout except for oats and brown rice
• Additional sprouting seeds might be alfalfa, clover, broccoli, radish

Sweeteners – 60 lbs – Stores indefinitely
• Honey, molasses, evaporated cane juice

Powdered Milk – 16 lbs
Additional soy beans or sweet brown rice can be stored for making your own non-dairy milks

Fats and Oils – 2-6 gallons – these should be rotated out and replace as storage is used
• Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil in tins or bottles
• Coconut oil – jars or 1 gallon pails

Salt – 8-10 lbs – We use Redmond
• Redmond natural mined mineral salt – stored in plastic food grade buckets

Baking Powder – 5 lbs
• Has about a 2 year shelf life

Yeast – approximately 1 lb for every 2 buckets of wheat

Baking soda – 5-10 lbs
Vinegar – 1-2 gallons

Seasonings and spices
Cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, ginger, vanilla extract

Dehydrated fruits and vegetables – a great way to store garden produce – easily stored with no electricity or large space requirements
• Apples, bananas, fruit leathers, spinach, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery

Bentonite clay – We use Redmond – No home should be without clay
• Unsurpassed versatility for first aid uses: bee stings, burns, rashes, poison ivy.
• May be mixed with water – drink for upset stomach, dysentery, detoxification

Electric grain mill – Wonder Mill/Nutrimill
• Non Electric Hand Mill – Wonder Junior Deluxe
• Food Dehydrator – Excalibur or Sedona
• Electric Mixer – Ankarsrum Original – by far the finest mixer on the market will last a lifetime – optional attachments for all kinds of food preparation
• Seed Sprouter – Sprout Garden, Fresh Life (electric)
• Manual wheat grass juicer –
• Soy Milk Maker – Soyabella – for rice milk, almond milk – for those needing dairy free
• Butane Burner Portable Cookstove by Jaccard
• Cameron Stovetop Smoker

• Fermentation Crock 5L and 10L – for making kraut/fermented vegetables
• Joyce Chen Spiralizer – for making raw “noodles” out of zucchini and other produce
• Floating Oil Candle Kit

COVID-19 Update at Bread Beckers for March 30, 2020

To all our customers:

As a food business we will remain open to serve you and our community. We will continue with our shortened business hours Monday-Saturday 10am-4pm. We will continue to take extra precautions to incorporate social distancing to everyone in our store as well as extra cleaning and sanitizing. We are here to serve you the best we can and will continue our curbside pick up for those who may be ill (ie: if you have ANY of the symptoms of a cold, flu or COVID-19) or exposed and cannot come inside our store.

At this time, all April classes at our store have been canceled.

Thanks for all you understanding, and support of our business!

The Bread Beckers Inc
Brad, Sue, and Jim