Talking about the “right” bread is always a tricky issue as so many factors need to be taken into account, to properly assess the health quality of a product. In fact, there are many people, to a great degree myself included, who have a hard time seeing bread as an optimally healthy food source. The good news is that today more breads have come into the natural food market that are of very high qualities, and as people become more health conscious they are also greatly reducing their reliance on bread.
To date I have found a handful of breads that are if we can say, “the best of the worst”, where they are conscious of using only natural, whole food ingredients, mostly organic, with no additives or refined sugars, oils, etc. In this review I will share with you about one such type that I feel quite comfortable recommending to people who would like to have a bread product in their diet. This being Dimpflmeier’s Organic Yeast-Free Rye Bread.
Dimpflmeier is a company that was started by Alfons Dimpflmeier, who was trained as a master baker in Munich, Germany and brought his skill of authentic rye bread baking to Canada in 1957. From the beginning, century old recipes have been used to bake the breads in authentic stone ovens to create rye breads of superb quality and flavor. The company info shares that “baking true rye bread is a delicate and lengthy process that demands the finest natural ingredients and painstaking preparation.” The company is located in the Toronto area of Ontario, Canada, and this is where all of the breads are freshly baked, however their breads are available in all parts of North America.
Aside from specializing in quality rye breads, what else makes Dimpflmeier different is their commitment to using only 100% spring water from a local spring. This ensures that the bread contains water rich in natural minerals, while not containing what much of today’s drinking water has, namely chlorine, fluoride and various chemicals.
Dimpflmeier Bakery has many, many kinds and varieties of breads, to suit almost everyone’s specific likes. In fact, they specialize in pastries and other baked goods as well. However, as great as their overall dedication is to providing quality bread products, it is an example of a company where not all the products are of equal health value and I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it is a truly health oriented company. As with many other companies, I have found that it is not about trusting the whole company, but about trusting perhaps one or several of their products. And that is exactly the case with Dimpflmeier.
While they have some great breads which I will share about in this review, they have many more breads that use non-whole flours, sugar, dairy, and other ingredients which are not optimally healthy. This is why I find it a bit misleading for the consumer to hear things like “Dimpflmeier has always used only the finest ingredients in all of their rye breads and baked goods” or describing their breads as healthy choices. As always, it all depends on what one considers “finest” and “healthy” to mean. Therefore, always reading the ingredients of your food products is a must if you are to make an optimally healthy choice.
Out of the dozens of breads that this company has, I have found 5 that can qualify as truly healthy choices, worthy of consideration for optimally healthy consumers. Aside from one of the five, the rest are part of their Organic Yeast-Free Rye Bread line. The fifth being an Organic Spelt with Wild Rice variety, that is also yeast-free.
Here are the 5 bread varieties that can be considered healthy choices from this company:
Organic Rye with Flaxseeds
Ingredients: Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Organic Flaxseeds, Salt.
Organic Rye with Sunflower Seeds
Ingredients: Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Organic Sunflower Seeds, Salt.
Organic Rye with Whole Grain
Ingredients: Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Organic Rye Kernels, Salt.
Organic Rye Unsalted
Ingredients: Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Organic Rye Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture).
Organic Spelt with Wild Rice
Ingredients: Stone Ground Organic Whole Spelt Flour, Natural Spring Water, Sour Dough (Stone Ground Organic Whole Spelt Flour, Natural Spring Water, Bacterial Culture), Organic Wild Rice, Salt.
To date, I have had the pleasure of trying 3 of them: the spelt one, the sunflower one and the one with added whole grains. For the most part, I enjoyed each one equally and found them to have a pleasant mild “grain” flavor.
In terms of ingredients, as you can read above, they are clear and simple, using whole, natural food ingredients. A nice benefit of these breads is that they are naturally fermented, being made of sourdough. This is beneficial for us as fermentation of the sourdough changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread when it comes to digestion and not spiking blood sugars as much.
If you noticed in the ingredients above, the rye flour is not specified as to whether it is whole or not. I contacted the company about this to clarify, and here was their answer:
The Rye Flour we are using in all our organic breads is a Certified Organic Whole Grain Rye Flour (certified by Global Organic Alliance). The rye kernels are grown without the use of chemicals or fertilizers. Milling is done in one step, with nothing added or taken away.
This was definitely great news to hear.
The breads listed above, do not include any added yeast, sugars, gluten, oils, colors, flavors, preservatives, or additives of any kind. Being free of animal products (dairy and eggs), they are also an excellent choice of bread for vegans. Being made with rye, they are naturally not gluten-free, but they are wheat-free. The only thing I can think of to pick on when it comes to these breads, is that they are made with flour, as opposed to “whole grains”, specifically ones which are sprouted for improved digestion and nutrition.
In terms of nutritional value, the breads offer a good balance of carbohydrates, fats and protein. They offer about 3g of protein per slice, and have no saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol or sugar. Their downside here is that they contain too much sodium. As per our general rule of thumb, a processed food item should contain no more milligrams of sodium then the number of calories – 1 to 1 ratio or less. In this case the sodium is about double the calories – about 200mg of sodium per 100 calories – accounting for what can be considered a high sodium food, specifically if one’s diet is largely composed of other processed foods. If your diet is mainly based on whole, natural foods, this will most likely not be a big deal. However, if you are already suffering from high blood pressure, eating a diet based on packaged, processed foods, or wish to decrease your risk of hypertension, the company has the unsalted version, whose sodium profile is outstanding coming in at only 5mg!
Finally, as with any other high-heat treated product, we have to remember that we are not consuming a living food item, with all of its naturally occurring vitamins, enzymes and any other heat-sensitive nutrients. Again, this is not a big deal when we eat a largely raw diet, but does take a toll on our system if most of the food we eat daily is cooked, baked, grilled, fried, etc. Detailed nutritional information for each bread can be found here.
In terms of texture and usability, these breads are very thin and dense, with a good degree of moistness. They would be considered a “harder” type of bread, not having any “fluffy” or “spongy” properties. I personally like that about them, though I know that other people who gave me feedback about them, specifically those used to fluffy commercial breads, did not enjoy them like I did. Another thing to note about them is that these would probably not be the ideal breads to make sandwiches with – depending what you put inside. Due to their thin and more crumbly nature, then can break more easily. I personally enjoyed cutting a slice in half, or smaller pieces and using them to dip in hummus, or with some almond butter spread on top.
In terms of price, the breads are fairly priced in my opinion and worth their value. They cost around $3-$4 per 1 pound package. Again remembering that when it comes to breads, we want quality over quantity.
So while these are not always my first choice of breads, they do have many excellent qualities that can qualify them as good healthy choices if one is interested in having some bread in their life. We just have to remember to read all ingredients of our bread products always, as formulations can change. It is great to find a product we can trust, but again we have to be aware that one or several good products from a company, is no guarantee that other products it makes are equally healthy or valuable when it comes to optimal nutrition.
The breads come packaged in a double plastic bag – one seals the bread not allowing any air in, the other holds the complete product. Their size/weight is 454g or 1lb. Plastic bag packaging is recyclable in most municipalities.
Price (as of this posting)
- Around $3-$4 US/CAD per 454g/1lb loaf at selected grocery stores, or shipped to you (see availability below)
- Available at grocery stores across Canada and US
- Shipped directly to your door North America wide by Beckmann & Markner Inc.
- To find a store near you, check the store finder
- Excellent ingredients
- Organic ingredients
- Uses natural fermentation of sourdough
- Uses local spring water
- Good nutritional value
- Good taste
- Good texture
- Vegan & vegetarian friendly
- No added sugars
- No added oils
- No added colors or flavors
- No added gluten
- No added preservatives
- Good price
- Good availability
- Texture may not suit everyone’s preferences
- Not suitable for people with gluten intolerance (uses Rye)
- Not suitable for raw foodists (high heat processed)