Is White Bread Bad for you?

According to Dinner Table Doctor, white bread is only for treat day! Unfortunately, I like to treat myself pretty often.

A real conversation at our family dinner table:

Mom, my lunch sandwich was soooo good today! I loved it! All my friends were like, “wow, you actually have white bread today!”

Meanwhile I’m across from her with a wide-eyed look of “please stop talking about this before your dad catches on…”

The Problem with White Bread

If you haven’t heard yet, white bread is not a good thing. Neither is white pasta. Apparently white carbs are made from refined grains, which means all the fiber and minerals – basically the stuff that’s actually good for you – is stripped away. This means your body turns it to sugar really fast, which in turn means you may as well eat a bowl of ice cream instead of that piece of pizza. Same difference as far as sugar goes. This is what Dinner Table Doctor tells me and this is the speech he launches into AGAIN while we are eating our whole wheat, high fiber pasta.

We very rarely have refined carbs in the house. This is really difficult for me because I grew up in an Italian-American family and we ate pasta at least twice a week. Honestly I could eat it every day if I wanted to, which I often did for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It was not whole grain pasta, either. AND we always had Italian bread along with our dinner because we needed to scoop up all that delicious tomato sauce from our plates.

When my husband and I first married, he also ate white carbs. It was not unusual for us to go to Cici’s all you can eat pizza buffet and, like my mom, I made pasta at least twice a week. He ate it with gusto! As we grew older and my husband found himself giving the diabetes/weight gain/ heart disease talk to patients his own age, he changed his eating habits. Since I do most of the cooking, I had to be on board with this new lifestyle. Naturally he explained it in great detail and reinforces that explanation whenever my resolve cracks a little and I sneak some pepperoni rolls or white hamburger buns in the house. I know it makes sense and I want to be healthy, but I often rationalize by saying to myself “you rarely eat ice cream and some people eat it twice a week at least. So have your pasta instead!”

Unfortunately as I age, my waistline doesn’t seem to distinguish between pasta OR ice cream – it equally expands with both. I know I should drastically limit all refined carbs, but it makes me a little sad when white bread is a treat to my kids!

DTD makes wonderful sourdough bread, but if you want to make some homemade white bread to treat yourself, which I know you do, here is an easy recipe my friend gave me and I make it often:

Easy Homemade White Bread


  • Preheat oven to 425
  • Add 2 T olive oil to a little more than a cup of super hot water
  • Add milk until you have about 2 cups total of warm liquid
  • In a separate large bowl, add 2.5 t of yeast
  • Pour the warm mixture over the yeast and let sit for about 10 minutes
  • Add 2 t salt to the mixture
  • Using a dough hook, add 5 cups of flour to the bowl and mix until it’s a ball of dough
  • Put the ball of dough in another bowl with about 1/2 T olive oil and roll it around, then cover it with a towel to let it rise (I put mine in the oven on the proof setting, but you could put it on a heating pad to speed up the process)
  • After around 45 minutes of rising, shape it back into a ball and place in a Dutch oven, with some parchment paper under it
  • Cut 3 slits in the top and cover
  • Cook in the oven for about a half an hour or until nicely browned

Enjoy this bread with a nice bowl of pasta and a good chianti!

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