The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Weight-Loss Bread Recipes

BigelowBaker's picture

Weight-Loss Bread Recipes

I have a problem: I need to lose approximately 100 pounds, but I also LOVE to bake bread...

Along with exercising more and counting calories, one of the things I'd like to do to facilitate this journey (and hopefully add some fun, too :) is come up with a few unique bread recipes that are:

1) Healthy
2) Interesting
3) Have some quality relevent to weight-loss/healthy living

Some things to get out of the way right off the bat:

  • I know home-made bread isn't necessarily UNhealthy -- I'm more interested in making my regular baking an active part of my weight-loss journey
  • I typically bake using wild-yeast, which I know adds some health benefits
  • Number 2 above is really important. For example, I know that a 100% whole wheat sourdough is healthy and the fiber is good for weight loss, but it is the definition of uninteresting (at least in my opinion)
  • I already have Peter Reinhart's Whole Wheat Bread book :)

So...does anyone out there have any suggestions for recipes and/or interesting ingredients to add? I'm in particular interested in the health/weight loss properties of  alternative flours, for example rye, teff, flax seed, etc.


BigelowBaker's picture

Ha! That's a clever idea :) I was actually hoping someone would get me an awesome bread knife for Xmas, but no such luck. It's definitely on my list, tho!

sgregory's picture

I lost over 85lbs and still bake and eat bread.  Home4ed is right, weigh everything!  Our perception of a serving is distorted!.

I wish you luck in your journey.  Everything is possible if you have strong commitment.  Don't forget to excersize as well.  Remember that a diet is for life.  What you (and I) were doing before was wrong.  Set up the good habits today and enjoy your bread (in moderation).

Mirko's picture

This recipe lean on Hamelmans recipe with some changes.

Beer Bread with Barley flour (2 loaves / 881g)




Bread flour...... 300g

Water............... 300g

Yeast................ 0.6g (Fresh yeast)

Total................ 601g



Final dough:

Bread flour.................... 500g

Whole-wheat flour........ 200g

Water............................. 40g

Beer............................... 340g

Salt................................ 20g

Yeast............................. 12g (Fresh yeast)

Barley flour................... 50g

Poolish.......................... 601g

Total............................. 1762g



Poolish: 12-16 hours at 70°F.


Mixing: 3min. first speed / 3min. second speed / DDT 75°F.


Bulk fermentation: 2 hours.


Folding: 1x after 1 hour.


Final fermentation: 60-75 min. at 75°F.


Baking: 460°F for 40min.

For yeast conversion use online converter:

Good luck and happy new year (2013)







Francine's picture

One thing to watch for is what you put on that bread.  One of thee favorite sandwiches of Weight Watchers like myself, are the Subway Veggie-Delight'Sanwiches on Italian Bread...  I add one piece of Provolone to up the protein. Use low-fat Honey Mustard [ & sugar-free if you can find it] Dressing instead of Mayonnaise...    Add Chia Seed to your diet to increase fiber & protein, and the Chia does help curb your appetite.   I throw Chia Seeds on my Salads too! Whenever I have left over salad the Chia Seeds  keep the salad greens from wilting too soon; providing there is no dressing on the leftover salad when you refrigerate it.   Good luck on your diet!  You are not alone!  I also make a lot of Rye Bread; Sourdough Rye has been noted for being more diabetic friendly than other breads.  Eric's "Favorite Rye" is really a terrific recipe!  Eric left  all  of us, with his excellent Rye Bread recipe, and directions for his famous bread; he will be sorely missed by all of us!  Just do  a search for Eric's Favorite Rye...



hanseata's picture

Every whole grain bread can be a "weight loss bread"! Your body metabolizes whole grains at a slower rate than more processed flour, so that you feel longer satiated - they don't cause a spike of insulin in your blood making you hungry soon after eating again.

As Francine said, it's more what you put on the bread that you have to watch. For me as a European it's often amazing how much ham, salami or other cold cuts Americans pile on their sandwiches, and I never put bacon on a sandwich before I came to the US.


Breadandwine's picture

Seriously! I bake a lot - I mean a lot! I teach breadmaking, so I'm always around bread.

Fasting 2 days a week, as I do, allows me to eat all the bread I want on the other 5 days - without putting on weight. In fact I've lost over 20lbs in the last 9 months using this strategy.

There was a Horizon programme on the BBC a few months ago, which explained the science behind this and also covered all the myriad health benefits which come with Intermittent Fasting (IF). The presenter, Dr Mike Mosley has a book coming out in the new year on the subject.

A good place to begin looking at the subject is here on this Mumsnet thread, where scores of people are happily losing weight following this WOE (way of eating). In the initial post are all the references you need to get you started.

Or you could have a look at my story (which I'm still working on) of fasting and weight loss:

Best wishes, Paul

Francine's picture


Congratulations on your weight loss; I'm doing a similar thing and so far I have lost about 15 lbs.   I'm doing the Joe Cross juice fast ; two days a week right now I only having  vegetable juices.  However, starting the first I want to start a really serious Juice Fast under medical supervision.  You are right the fasting helps a great deal...



BigelowBaker's picture

Thanks, everyone, for all your thoughts and advice. I've been doing some reading on the health benefits of different flours and ingregients, and I thought I'd share what I've found so far in case anyone else is interested:

So, I'm thinking my first experiment in making a bread specifically optimized for weight loss is to adapt Peter Reinhart's 45% Rye Hearth bread recipe in his Whole Wheat Bread Book, which is basically a loaf that's half rye, half whole wheat, and add flax seed and cocoa powder to it (and probably some more water, too). If it turns out to need a little more sweetness than the little bit of molasses the recipe calls for, maybe I'll add a mashed sweet potato...

What do you think?


dabrownman's picture

how important portion control is when it comes to weight loss as is exercise and, in my case, more meat and no bread since I am type 2 diabetic.  After walking 4 miles a day, eating way more (like 4 times more) veggies and fruit, no bread with chicken and fish for meat (no more than 5 oz)  I lost 60 pounds and can now eat bread again and just about anything else and do - in moderation.

A great way to portion control is to put the dinner plates away and use salad plates instead.  Never any desert or seconds till the pounds are long gone.   Then maintain and eat what you want, as long as you a have learned portion control and keep exercising.

I agree with Karin, any SD bread with 50% whole grains or more should fit your weight loss bill.

Good luck with your weight loss.  I know you can do it.  It feels so good and so worth it to be at the right weight,  healthy and in shape . Simply put, it is life changing - for the better and you can bake bread and eat it! 

MangoChutney's picture

It's a lot of trouble to set up at first, but what I did was put together a spreadsheet of the ingredients that we use to cook with relevant values for all the nutrient classes for which there are medical recommendations (such as sodium, types of fats, fiber, etc) as well as caloric content. Then I entered my recipes, for entrees as well as for baked goods, and summarized my diet for a month. By linking pages together, I am able to adjust a recipe and see what it does to my diet. Then I can adjust something else to make up for that change. By using this I have been able to lose 20 pounds in the past year and also favorably impress my physician who was convinced that eating any bread at all is totally unhealthy.

The biggest changes I made to our fiber intake was substituting some oat fiber for part of the whole oats flour in our breakfast oatcakes, and using hulled barley in place of rice. Barley and oats are the two grains with the most soluble fiber.

The biggest change I made to our sodium and fat intake was removing the processed pork from our bean soup, replacing the savory flavor with miso paste, and ceasing to eat smoked provolone cheese on my bread. I eat two slices of my own bread every day, usually one with peanut butter and the other with hickory smoked sliced turkey breast.

I allow myself 1 oz of dark bittersweet chocolate every day, as well. I don't feel deprived of treats or of flavors, although advertisments of sizzling steaks or sunnyside-up eggs with bacon are a bit of a torment some evenings. The slice of bread with turkey, as an evening snack, helps some with those cravings. The major difference in how I feel is that I feel hunger before meals again, which I used to when I was younger but hadn't for the past decade or so. Leisure and prosperity can be killers.

My bread would probably bore you, being mostly whole wheat with some barley flour, but perhaps it could be made more exciting for you with the addition of spices. Spices are the saving of many boring foods, such as brocolli in my case. There are many examples on this forum of spices added to breads. One combination that I liked when I tried it was orange & turmeric.

The caloric content of my diet is such that in another year I should be close to my target weight. Last time I achieved that weight I starved myself to get there in six months instead of in two years, and the weight didn't stay off. This time it should, because I am not starving now and nothing really will change between now and then except that I am getting lighter.

Breadandwine's picture

Hi BigB

Taking on board your three requirements, I reckon the following would fit the bill:

It's healthy, it's interesting, and, since it's calorie counted, it's relevant to weight-loss! 

Bloody tasty, too!

Cheers, Paul