10 Years of Blog Archive

Friday, January 20, 2012

We Had to Say Goodbye to the Panderias (Bakeries) in Cuenca

Imagine walking down the street, and on about every corner there is a bakery or in the Spanish language, panaderia. Before you even come to this panaderia you can smell loaves of breads, rolls, donuts, pastries, cakes and cookies baking in the oven. When we first got here we indulged every time we were downtown Cuenca, which was about three times a week. 

After a couple of months of enjoying these refined flour treats we were suddenly reawakened to the fact of how unwholesome refined flour products are. We never forgot this fact, but we were just pretending like we forgot, after all the first couple of months that you are here it’s a vacation! LOL . And what really happened is we all started missing the flavor and whole goodness of what whole wheat bread tastes like! Imagine that!

Most bakeries here in Cuenca do not make whole wheat (integral) bread and rolls but those that do we do still buy the whole wheat French bread type loaves from them when we need bread on the spot. One of those places is Coral Centro, and they have the best whole wheat bread than anywhere else, in our opinion.  And the other place is SuperStock, but you need to call it in ahead of time and let them know you want whole wheat and they will make it for you. 

After awhile of eating something you’re not used to such as we were with refined flour, your body lets you know with warning signals. Our warning signals were not weight gain but feeling more tired than usual, and not having as much energy, and being constipated. This condition is NOT healthy—it  is what causes toxic build up and disease. 

Refined flour products have no fiber or vitamins and minerals left in them—all of the whole goodness is taken out of the wheat kernel at the factory to make white flour—it is just empty calories with no nutritional value whatsoever. 

This is why we make our own baked goods as much as possible. We make homemade pizza crust using the same recipe that is in this video for French bread. We’ll start adding some of our whole wheat baked good recipes on the blog once in awhile for those of you who would like to try whole wheat flour out in your baking. 

Saying goodbye to white flour AGAIN was not that difficult because we’re back on track with our energy and health once again and we feel great and that is important to us. 

Nutrition of one cup of whole wheat flour
Calories: 656
Protein: 21.7g
Carbohydrate: 145.7g
Total Fat: 3.3g
 *Excellent source of:
Iron (8.7mg)
Magnesium (178mg)
Zinc (6.4mg)
Niacin (8.4mg)
Easy Whole Wheat Bread

Ingredients for 2 loaves

1-tablespoon yeast
6-7  cups of whole-wheat flour
1 -2 cups white unbleached flour
3-tablespoons honey
1- teaspoon sea salt
2-cups warm water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

For a harder loaf like French bread omit the oil and brush the top with egg white before baking.

In a large bowl combine the yeast, honey, and warm water. When the yeast becomes bubbly, add your sea salt and oil, stir in half the flour, stirring well. Pour bread batter onto clean countertop and knead bread with your hands using the rest of the flour, adding a little at a time. Continue kneading for at least 5 minutes, adding more flour until bread is not sticky anymore. Put bread back into the bowl with a little oil and let rise for one hour. After the bread has risen, oil two bread pans thoroughly. Divide dough into two parts and work each part into a little loaf. Let bread rise again for one hour.  Bake in 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Oh, so delicious. Get out the butter (not margarine) and honey and enjoy!


  1. Hi, I read your blog all the time...I love it! We are travelling to Cuenca in July to check it out. Anyways, I make my own bread too and I always thought 100% whole wheat was impossible to make light and fluffy...not so I discovered. Her is a link to the best whole wheat bread recipe ever. I make 4 loaves every Monday. Sometimes I make 3 loaves and use the other dough to make cinnamon buns. I also add ground flax to mine sometimes for even more health and fibre. Here is the link to the recipe.

  2. Hello! Thanks so much for the link to the whole wheat bread recipe. Flax seeds are really good for you...I will have to try it out! Glad you like the blog!! Thanks again!

  3. Just wondering if you know if there are other types of flour available, like rice? I am gluten free and wheat is not an option for me. I make my own everything because everything in the US is made with glutenous flour. We want to move to Cuenca but I need to have other flour available. Thanks! Great Blog!

  4. Hi Peekapolady,

    Good question. They do have different types of milled flours but still being sort of new here (8 months) I'm not sure what they are.

    I know for a fact they have maize flour and they have like three other types (no labels--because they are milled then placed in clear bags without labels.

    I have not yet heard them say when we ask that it is "arroz" flour, which would be rice flour. But you might want to get yourself a "Whisper Mill" BEFORE you come here and then just mill your own rice kernels when you get here.

    There is no shortage of white or brown rice in the stores here.
    Glad you like the blog!


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