The Benefits Of

Scroll down to view: Benefits of Rye; Benefits of Natural Leaven; Benefits of Organic; Benefits of Whole Grain Flour; Benefits of Spelt.

Red Rooster is Carbon Neutral

With our wood fired oven, using only waste wood and slabs from dead beetle trees, Red Rooster was already carbon neutral in operating the oven. Now we have purchased a CoolDrivePass which offsets the carbon emissions produced by transporting the bread. In short, the way this works is that the carbon emissions of our van was calculated for a one year period which determines the cost of a CoolDrivePass. The money paid for the CoolDrivePass is then used to support energy efficient projects or projects that offset carbon emissions. Our cost for this environment saving measure amounts to about 4 cents per loaf of bread. Anyone interested is welcome to drop by our booth at the Saturday Farmers’ Market for additional information. Detailed information can also be obtained at or at

Where to find Red Rooster Breads

Red Rooster EXCLUSIVELY supplies Ave Maria Health Food and Specialties, 1638 20th Avenue, PG and Mother Maria's Market, 115-4488 W Highway 16, PG. twice a week every Tuesday morning and Friday morning

We also take special orders. Minimum order is one dozen of one type of bread. Red Rooster breads freeze well due to the lack of bakers’ yeast. For orders, please call 250-560-5000 or by email:



Prof. Terry Graham studied four types of breads to determine which had the most positive health effects when it comes to carbohydrate metabolism, blood sugar and insulin levels.

“There’s an urban myth that if you want to lose weight, you shouldn’t eat bread,” said the human health and nutritional sciences professor. “But the truth is, bread is one of our biggest sources of grains and has a number of healthy benefits. With this study we wanted to find out which breads are better so that we can optimize the benefits by combining them into one type of bread.”

Using white*, whole wheat*, whole wheat with barley* and sourdough white breads, Graham and a team of researchers examined how subjects responded just hours after eating the bread for breakfast and again just hours after eating a standard lunch. The subjects, who were overweight and ranged between 50 and 60 years of age, showed the most positive body responses after eating sourdough white bread, and those positive responses remained even after eating a second meal that didn’t include bread.

“With the sourdough, the subjects’ blood sugar levels were lower for a similar rise in blood insulin,” said Graham, whose findings are to be published in the British Journal of Nutrition. “What was even more interesting was that this positive effect remained during their second meal and lasted even hours after. This shows that what you have for breakfast influences how your body will respond to lunch.” He said it’s likely that the fermentation of the sourdough changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.

And while sourdough came out on top, the whole wheat varieties* used in the study came out on bottom - even below white bread. The whole wheat breads* caused blood sugar levels to spike, and these high levels lasted well after lunch. Graham said the less positive blood responses sparked by the whole wheat* are likely due to the fact that the milling process involved in making the whole wheat bread used in the study is similar to that used for white bread. This is not the case with whole grain breads, he added.

“The parts of the grain like wheat germ and bran that have the health benefits are taken out to create white flour and then partially added back in to make whole wheat**. Based on the findings of this study, as well as a follow-up study using whole grain rather than whole wheat, we are learning that the best way to get these nutrients is through a whole grain bread, not whole wheat.”

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the results of this study have led Graham and a team of researchers to continue studying the healthy benefits of sourdough bread and whole grain. In collaboration with Scarborough bakery Stonemill Bakehouse, they have developed a whole grain sourdough bread and are currently testing the long-term health benefits of the bread on subjects. They are comparing the results to the subjects’ responses to a standard white bread.

Study undertaken by Prof. Terry Graham University of Guelph, Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences. 519-824-4120, Ext. 56168

* Standard, straight yeasted commercial breads (RRAB).

** Canadian labelling laws allow industry to label assembled flour (and the resulting product) as “whole wheat, or whole rye, etc.” although the nutritional germ has been removed to increase shelf-life. Only breads labelled “whole grain wheat or whole grain rye etc.” actually contain the valuable germ (RRAB).

The Red Rooster Artisan Bakery mills whole grains including the germ in their stone mill before baking.

The Benefits Of: Rye

Most rye breads on the market contain less than 50% rye, even less are made with natural leaven, and still less use organic ingredients. Red Rooster’s Chilako Rye bread is a true pumpernickel style rye bread made of 100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC WHOLE RYE; the Red Rooster Hearth Rye is made with 80% certified whole rye. Compared to wheat, rye flour is higher in bran and fibre, higher in minerals, has more soluble sugars, has a much lower gluten content, and has excellent keeping qualities. 100% organic Rye, made with natural leaven (sourdough starter instead of yeast), makes it possible for the body to absorb the minerals found in the bran (See also: Benefits of Natural Leaven). Rye is a good source of vitamin E, some B vitamins, as well as protein, calcium, iron, and potassium. Soluble fibre is prevalent in Rye and slows down the absorption of energy from the gut, which means there are no sudden insulin peaks, making it especially important for diabetics. We have found that most people suffering from mild coeliac disease tolerate 100% rye bread. People with sensitive stomachs, and people with digestive problems find whole rye breads light on the stomach and easy to digest. Whole rye is high on good, low fat complex (unrefined) carbohydrates which are made up of glucose and fibres which are broken down slowly by the body and provide a steady supply of energy. The U.S. Food and Drug administration approved the following health claim: “Diets rich in whole grain foods and other plant foods and low in total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol, may help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.”

The Benefits Of: Natural Leaven (Sourdough)

Today, most commercial sourdough breads are made with regular flour and chemical and natural additives to simulate the sourdough taste. Real sourdough - or natural leaven - is made from a sourdough “chef”, a piece of bio-active dough which is “fed” (or refreshed) regularly. It is the base of any true naturally leavened bread. With the chef, the baker makes the starter dough which is left to develop further before it is used to make the dough. It’s a lengthy process and, in industrial baking, commercially not viable. It is a process which is mostly used by traditional “Artisan Bakers” who value the baking of wholesome, nutritional bread. Baking bread with natural leaven is also the process with the most health benefits for the consumer. Most artisan bakers use whole grain flours containing valuable minerals in the bran. Bran also contains phytic acid, a substance that inhibits the minerals from being absorbed by the human body. The natural bacterial action in a natural leaven environment neutralizes the phytic acid and makes the minerals available to the body. Naturally leavened breads eliminate all phytic acid while in straight, yeasted, whole grain breads about 90% of the phytic acid remains and minerals are wasted. Whole grain breads made with natural leaven are more nutritious, are high in fibres, and are high in complex carbohydrates which are broken down slowly by the body and provide a steady supply of energy. Breads made with natural leaven have better keeping qualities and freeze better than straight yeasted breads.

The Benefits Of: Organic

At the Red Rooster Artisan Bakery we purchase only the very best grains and flours. Whenever possible we purchase certified organic ingredients and although this means less profit it is our belief that organic farming is not only better for the health of the consumer but has a wide ranging positive effect on soil, water, and air. Since the 1940s the mineral levels in produce, meat and dairy have declined substantially in conventional foods. Combine this with pre-ripened picking, longer storage, and more processing of crops, and it’s not surprising that we may be getting fewer nutrients in our food than we were 60 years ago. Most pesticide-residue safety levels are set for individual pesticides, but many samples of fresh produce carry multiple pesticide residues. Rules often do not take into account the “cocktail effect” of combinations of pesticides in and on foods. Controlled animal feeding trials found significant improvements in the health of animals given organic feed. Similar tests with humans are problematic, though evidence is emerging here too. An early observational study revealed that boarding-school students eating predominantly organically for three years experienced a “very marked decline” in colds and influenza, excellent health generally, a greater resilience to fractures and sprains, and improved dental health. Organic foods are a simple way to reduce an individual’s toxin burden of pesticides and food additives, increase their nutrient intake, and perhaps alter their consumption patterns away from less healthy choices. Of maybe even greater importance however, is the massive amount of herbicides and pesticides that are not added to the environment, that do not add to the salination of precious topsoil, that do not contaminate the air we breathe and the water we drink. What’s more, organic farming supports the delicate balance of life itself - from a rich micro-organism to insects and birds, organic farming is pro nature while industrial farming combats nature. Organic food isn’t a luxury. It’s how food’s supposed to be.

The Benefits Of: Whole Grain Flour

Looking at North American food and labeling regulations is a bit like entering the twilight zone - it’s hard to distinguish between real and unreal, between true and untrue. I’ve seen “Light Rye” bread on store shelves that do not list rye flour as an ingredient; sourdough bread that uses chemical sourdough; and, of course, whole wheat bread that is made from industrially assembled flour mixes with bran added. When you see a loaf of bread that shows beautiful wheat sheafs and kernels underneath a colourful heading that promises “Oven Fresh Whole Wheat Bread made from Nature’s Best”, make sure you read the list of ingredients - more likely than not, the bread does not live up to the promises of the packaging. The term “Whole Wheat” may be used for flour that is nothing more than commodity white flour with an amount of bran that has been removed in the earlier milling process mixed back in. In that process the most important and nutritious part of the wheat (or any other sort of grain for that matter), the germ has been removed. The germ of any grain is where the essential nutrients and minerals and fats are concentrated. For industrial flour this is an undesirable ingredient as it is the part that reduces the storage time of flour drastically once it is milled, therefore it is removed during the process of converting grains to flour. If you want true whole wheat (or rye or any other grain), then look for flours or breads made from “Whole Grain”. What’s even better is to buy breads made from freshly ground, preferably stone ground, whole grain flour. Only then can you be sure to have all the nutrients and minerals in your bread.

The Benefits Of: Spelt

Spelt is known as an ancient grain with its origins dating back several thousand years in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East and in Europe. It was later replaced by newer, higher yielding and easier to grow varieties of wheat. Spelt has remained popular in Europe, particularly Germany where it is known as Dinkel, and also in Italy where it is called Farro. Spelt is experiencing a resurgence in its popularity due to its health benefits and superior flavour, particularly as more people are discovering and understanding their intolerances and allergic reactions to common wheat. It is generally found to be far more easily digestible than common wheat. The spelt grain has a tough outer husk which protects a soft, highly water soluble kernel. It contains a high proportion of protein and also of cellulose, which stimulates proper functioning of the digestive tract and is important in the prevention of digestive problems including constipation and bowel cancers. Comparatively higher levels of vitamins support good skin function, regulates metabolism and stimulates appetite and heart function. Higher proportions of essential amino acids promote general positive feelings of wellbeing and the balancing of moods. Spelt has been found by many people to a preferable alternative to common wheat, however it should be tested in small quantities if there is any doubt as to its suitability for particularly sensitive people.