When I hear the term Sweet Bread, my mind wanders to a warm bakery on a morning where you can see your breath as you walk. The racks are partially empty as the bakers continually bring steaming-hot baked goods and elaborately decorated petits fours to the front display. There are gooey pastries, sticky buns, crumbly scones, and golden croissants. The smells of baked goods wafting from an oven are enough to make you forget about being “good” and word nutrition kind of goes out the window, doesn’t it?

Baked goods are a bit of conundrum. Make them at home and the ingredient list can be extremely simple. Buy them freshly baked from a real bakery, and most will loose their glorious texture within hours. While you don’t always know exactly what’s in everything, at least you can ask and you’ll know if the baker is proud of his/her ingredients.  However, if you buy baked goods with a label on them, it’s a completely different story. In order to duplicate the doughy texture, color and taste of a fresh croissant and keep it that way for a week requires a multitude of additives not typically found in your pantry. Just how many you ask? Let’s take a look at the ingredient list for this particular brand of  Premium Ensaymada ‘Brioche:’

A few things to note. Since when does cream cheese have 17 ingredients with the first being HFCS? This bread is loaded with partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats), dough conditioners and preservatives. Our advice: skip the packaged baked goods altogether. If you have a hankering for a baked treat, make your own or visit a bakery that prides themselves on using real, high-quality ingredients.

For those of you who follow our blog, you know we ran a contest on Monday to see if you could guess how many ingredients were in this particular product. Just to get the actual count was difficult with this ingredient list. The grand total rivaled even the most processed foods we’ve seen with a count of 84 ingredients (for our contest and for simplicity, we counted every ingredient on the label, even if some appear more than once). Guesses ranged from 8 to 100 and our average guess was 36 ingredients.

Congratulations to Angie for winning our contest with her guess of 80 ingredients! As our winner, she will receive 5 hand-stamped, reusable, muslin produce bags.

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Thank you to everyone who entered our contest and took a guess!