‘Purple Bread’ is Trending, But This Bread is Better

White or whole wheat? How about purple?

Professor and food scientist Zhou Weibiao from the National University of Singapore has invented an allegedly-healthier bread by injecting dough with the purple pigment anthocyanin, extracted from black rice.

The pigment, an antioxidant found naturally in foods like blackberries and purple cabbage, causes a chemical reaction that slows the body’s absorption of the bread’s starch, Weibiao told CNN in March.

The result? A fluffy loaf with a striking color, and a host of news outlets speculating that this could be the world’s newest superfood.

I say: back up the bread truck. Before we clamor for a royal roll of our own, let’s remember the basics about good nutrition.


Purple Bread is White Bread

It may look different, but behind the extracted pigment, purple bread is just like most loaves on the market made from refined wheat flour. The dough contains the same number of calories as regular bread and lacks the fiber and B-vitamins found in the bran and germ of whole wheat.

Eating primarily refined grains can harm health in the long term, raising the risk of heart disease, diabetes and overall mortality. In spite of the hype around purple bread, it’s too early to claim that the added antioxidant has the power to counter these effects.

Here’s the wonderful news: we already have a proven way to slow the release of starch in our bread and reduce our risk of metabolic diseases: eat more whole grain bread!

A good loaf of brown bread made with 100 percent whole grains provides a pleasantly hearty flavor and a nutritional sure-bet. You can buy one at almost any market these days, but baking your own loaf is especially gratifying, and you don’t need to be an expert baker to pull it off.

For inspiration, here’s the recipe for my family’s own daily bread. With its light, fluffy crumb and shattering crust, this bread reinvents what you think you know about the texture and taste of whole grains. Enjoy it warm and buttered, and if you’re still after those purple antioxidants, a side of fresh blueberries has you covered!

100% Whole Grain No-Knead Bread

100% Whole Grain No-Knead Bread


2.5 cups stone-ground whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbls. honey
1 Tbls. vital wheat gluten
1 tsp. salt
˝ tsp. dry active yeast


Pour 2.5 cups cool water in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast, honey and salt, and fork-whisk until mixed. Dump in the flour, oats, gluten and salt, then mix it all up. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise overnight, for about ten hours.

The dough will now be very wet and bubbly. Remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle the top with 3-4 Tbls. of whole wheat flour. Sprinkle some more flour on a cookie sheet, and on your hands. Then, gently pinch the center of the dough with both hands and lift it straight up and out of the bowl.

Drop the dough onto the floured cookie sheet. Roll it briefly on the cookie sheet, until the outside is just dry enough to handle. Then fold the dough into a package: left side folded into the center, then right, then top, then bottom. When you turn it over, you’ll want to see a smooth ball on top, with all four corners tucked underneath.

Drizzle a little olive oil into your mixing bowl, and drop the new loaf in the bottom. Cover again with plastic wrap, and let rise again for 1-2 hours.

Thirty minutes before you’d like to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a large dutch oven, with the lid, into the preheated oven, and let it heat up in there for 20 minutes.

Remove the hot dutch oven from the regular oven. Uncover your loaf, dust it with flour and once again, quickly fold your dough into a snug package, just as described above. Drop it into the hot dutch oven, and use a (serrated) steak knife to slash the top of the dough two or three times, in parallel lines, only about Ľ inch deep each time.

Replace the hot lid on the hot dutch oven, and bake for 30 minutes. Then remove the dutch oven lid, and bake for 20-25 minutes more. By the end of cooking, the interior of the loaf will be around 200 degrees, and the outside will be dark and crusty.

Cool your loaf on a wire rack, admire it, and eat it!


Sue H
Sue H2 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

Clare O
Clare O'Bearaabout a year ago


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

william Miller
william Miller2 years ago

Thanks for sharing

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran3 years ago


Carol S.
Carol S3 years ago

I'd love to try purple bread :). Purple is my favorite color!

angela u.
angela U3 years ago

Not much fibre but I do like the no knead part.

Maggie A.
Maggie D3 years ago

Whole grain, never to be confused with whole wheat! And, of course, whole grain rice.

Caroline F.
Caroline Fehr3 years ago

The water, 2 ½ c. to flour 3 ½ c. ratio turned my dough into porridge. I had to add another 2 c. of flour to make the dough manageable.