Panera bread menu recipe

Panera bread menu recipe makes baking a delicious, nutritious low-GI loaf so easy; use your own little oven.

The bread machine is apparently the most under-utilized kitchen appliance; and I cannot help wondering why. It does all the kneading and waiting for you. I bake a loaf daily; it takes only five minutes. So why is it not used more often?

Frankly I am not sure, because the smell of baking loaves will certainly get your family's mouths watering and yours too.

The perfect bread machine loaf

About Bernard Preston

This page last updated by Bernard Preston on 3rd March, 2024.

Plus you have total control over the ingredients. Most commercial loaves today are loaded with chemicals, sugar and too much salt. They use refined-flour and so have a high glycemic index; definitely fattening, not nutritious and totally unsuitable for diabetics.

Both white and brown flour have a high glycemic index; around 71. They rapidly raise the blood glucose affecting us negatively.

Look for the real-bread logo; made from flour with all the parts in exactly the same ratio as in a grain of wheat. Better still bake it yourself.

There was a time when dieticians said, it is not the bread but what you smear on the slice that makes it fattening. Patently that is not true. All refined starches, and perhaps even this 100 percent wholemeal loaf if you are insulin resistant, are likely to cause your blood-glucose to soar; with a corresponding spurt from the pancreas.

Real bread logo.

Consumers are getting very tired of tasteless commercial loaves; the real and fake bread issues are now finding their way into the media.

The real bread movement is creating huge interest in the UK with home-chefs and small artisan bakeries springing up everywhere. Folk love their sandwiches but know that the commercial loaf is usually pretty awful, very fattening and lacking in nutrition.

Once you have done it a few times, it takes only six minutes to mix the ingredients. Thus, it really does fit with our theme of slow food, made fast. But, of course, it then requires five-hours to rise and bake; the longer the better.

Always select a machine with at least a five-hour cycle.

Most of these bread ovens have a timer, so you can have a fresh-loaf for breakfast.

These are my blood glucose figures after two slices of real bread weighing 190g with just butter, followed by a sedentary few hours at the computer.

Time (minutes)

  • 0
  • 30
  • 60
  • 120
  • 180

Blood glucose

  • 4.9
  • 6.9
  • 8.0
  • 8.2
  • 4.0

That 8.2 is high, and it stays up for too long; I'm clearly borderline prediabetic.

For the scholars amongst us, the word "pan" is the Latin for bread.

And panera means bakery. If you check out our glycemic index calculator you will discover that bread made using 100 percent real flour does not cause an insulin rush in most people; its GI is relatively low.

Our basic bread menu recipe uses the following ingredients.

  1. 100 percent real flour
  2. Yeast
  3. Honey and salt
  4. Butter or coconut oil
  5. 1 TBSP hummus if available
  6. Water
  7. Ground seeds

It is optional but that recommended added protein from the hummus will lower the glycemic index.

True wholewheat flour has quite large amounts of iron and zinc; adding a tablespoon of butternut soup to the dough would increase the absorption of minerals in general. It's the beta-carotene that inhibits the influence of the antinutrients.

Bread flour comes of course, from wheat, a cereal grain. Along with maize and rice, it is in the top three grains produced worldwide.

The ground-seeds make baking more tricky; we still eat them daily but often have them instead in a smoothie. They may cause your loaf to flop.

Note that all three of these grains have a high glycemic index when refined, and are thus very fattening. Lowering the GI of your panera bread menu recipe is vital; more about that lower down.

If you are obese then stop eating supermarket-bread right now. New programmes like the Paleo and Banting diets attempt to exclude all carbohydrate but that's not necessary.

I'm partially in agreement but in a rebuttal to the Banting diet I question the sense of excluding the good carbohydrate in an apple and legumes, and 100 percent whole grains, for example; for a season it may be necessary.

A grain of wheat has three important parts:

  • Endosperm - starch and protein
  • Germ - protein, vitamins, minerals
  • Bran - insoluble fibre. The outer husk contains the vital lignans; and small amounts of the most important essential amino acids and vitamins.

* Terminology used in a grain of wheat

White flour

The germ and bran are removed leaving only the starch for white bread. Made fast or slow, it cannot be described as good food. It also has an extremely high glycemic index, meaning that it is very fattening.

But our panera bread is only a medium GI, and lower down we will have a few words to say about the low GI loaf.

Brown flour

Brown flour contains the starch; and some of the germ and bran are added back in. It has far more of the vital B vitamins, iron and fibre that the colon demands. Generalised muscle weakness is the Thiamine story; vitamin B1.

But some of the bran and germ have certainly been removed unless it is labelled as 100% wholemeal.

True whole flour

Ideally you would want to have freshly-ground whole flour as the fatty acids begin to go rancid once the grain is cracked. But that is another complication, and I recommend you start with the flour you can get. Later you can start to think about a wheat grinder and the full grain; it is a rich source of vitamin E, one of the anti-frailty vitamins.

Home bake bread flour will give you more ideas.

What are lignans and why are they so important in promoting wellness and preventing disease is a question you may be considering.

I use only stone-ground 100 percent wholemeal flour.

The lignans in true whole flour give protection against both malignant tumours and a recurrence after treatment. However the Mediterranean Diet does not go far enough to prevent breast cancer[2] because it allows bread that is refined.

Wheat gluten intolerance and whole grains are also vitally connected; the bran delays stomach emptying improving the digestion of the protein.

Panera bread menu recipe makes baking a delicious low GI loaf so easy using your own machine.

The seeds

You will want to add your favourites. We use sunflower, freshly-ground flax and pumpkin seeds; and poppy. 

Quite often I will add sesame too. There is no point adding whole seeds, as they would go through the gut undigested and may get stuck in diverticuli. Mash them first in a little inexpensive coffee grinder with a spinning blade.

Add the ground seeds to the receptacle above the oven dish.

The seed contains dumps after an hour

Freshly-ground nuts and seeds are important in every diet; however we find they make the loaf significantly heavier. It doesn't rise as well; so we now enjoy them in our smoothies instead.

Measuring cylinder

In the foreground you can see the measuring cylinder with two marks; one for the flour, and the other for the water. That's just for convenience.

On our Panasonic we use the following measures.

  • 700 ml 100% whole grain flour
  • 350 ml water.

Yours may be different.

Panera bread menu recipe

Panera bread menu recipe makes baking a delicious, nutritious medium GI loaf; it is so easy using your own little oven and a few minutes labour.

In the United Kingdom they are calling this real bread; that which you buy in most supermarkets is a pale counterfeit. I like the term.

Easy flour and water levels

The king is in his counting house, anticipating bread and honey. The queen, well, she likes toast and marmalade.

Ingredients in the baking tin


The yeast for baking bread is a fungus which turns some of the sugars into gas, thus leavening your loaf. The dried granular form is used in your bread-making machine; one day I am going to try the fresh kind which is what serious cooks use. Actually I can no longer find it anywhere.

The old Lebanese lady who taught me to bake bread and rolls would turn her nose up at the dried stuff.

Imagine our surprise that, forgetting to add the yeast last week, our sourdough variation of Panera bread menu recipe did not give us any sign of heartburn when enjoyed with soup for supper. Our experiments have been fun and, if you are observant, may lead to a more nutritious loaf than ever.

If you want to forego using yeast, or less of it, then perhaps you should investigate the subject of what is artisan bread.

The yeast like humans has a sweet tooth; if your bread is not rising to your expectation, or collapsing, try adding more honey; since I started using a whole tablespoon I have been getting much better results.


  1. Sprinkle one-third of a tsp of dried, powdered yeast on the bottom of the oven bowl; you can add it at the top too.
  2. Add the measured amount of flour (700 ml).
  3. Add half a teaspoon of salt and and 1tsp of honey.
  4. Add a tablespoon of butter or coconut oil.
  5. Add the measured amount of water (350 ml).
  6. Place the bowl in the oven.
  7. Close the lid and choose your settings.

If you are getting to be an old fart like me, you may be intimidated by all the settings on modern gadgets. On our faithful Panasonic it's two beeps each on:

  • Select
  • Options
  • Size

And then hit the red start button; we use the standard crust setting.

I am a beekeeper and I use raw honey but that is only because we have plenty; for your needs you might as well buy that from the supermarket which has already been heated.

There are cheaper bread machines on the market, whether better or worse I know not. But old faithful Panasonic is thirty years old, without a hiccup. Be careful not to scratch the oven-dish; wait five minutes before trying to shake the loaf out. And always twiddle the paddle before use; that gland gets stiff and may seize.

What is the cost of your panera bread? Frankly, there is not much of a saving unless you have access to wheat directly from the farmer; and you turn it into sourdough. The two major expenses are the flour and yeast. Together they come to a little under a dollar in South Africa.

Then you should really cost in the electricity; for us that is free because of our solar generator. Mr Golden Sun comes bearing a precious gift; light for our photovoltaic panels.

You too could have a solar electric breadmaker.

But for your five minutes of labour, you will have a freshly-baked loaf of the very highest quality. What is more you know exactly what is in it; more than you can say for what comes from the grocery store.

Just the smell of baking bread will bring friends and neighbours knocking on your door; it is worth every cent. Pan-fried toast using wholegrain is so good.

Excluding the electricity, it costs about R10 in South Africa; under a dollar.

Bread experiments keep the whole exercise fun and enable you to improve the quality of your loaf; just recently for example, I decided to use just honey and no sugar for the yeast. Voila, it rose far better.

Will you join us for lunch? One slice of real bread is enough; more than that and you will feel stuffed.

The perfect lunch

On the Panera bread menu recipe today are:

You reckon the Queen of England has a more nutritious lunch? I doubt it and I absolutely guarantee that neither Presidents Trump nor Ramaphosa of South Africa will; but you could.

Dribble with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Only the extra virgin has oleocanthal, the substance that acts like a Cox 2 inhibitor; it is an anti-inflammatory agent. This is divine food, fit for the gods, but spurned by most men.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • ´╗┐Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • ´╗┐What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

Why not honey, that is the question? You may be surprised that I have vacillated over the sugars that the yeast needs to act on.

It is a bit of a hobby horse; that from the supermarket has been heated and finely filtered and in my opinion is probably of little more value than brown sugar. Do not use raw honey for your panera bread menu recipe; the heat renders the vital enzymes inactive. It is a waste of the good stuff.

But supermarket honey is probably little better than sugar; provided you are sure it is not adulterated. That is always a potential unknown factor.

If you want to be a King, like me, or Queen, counting out your money and having bread and real honey, you have to find a local small beekeeper who does not heat it. Yes, like the common loaf, most of the supermarket honey is also counterfeit. 

Small beekeepers are about; start hunting at the local market where you will find them, swollen fingers and all.

You do not have a sweet tooth? Good, this panera bread menu recipe with dips made with cream cheese is a winner too; the extra fat and protein in the olive oil and feta cheese lowers the GI even further.

Gluten Free Bread Recipe

Does bread give you a belly ache? You may be one of the 1% of people who are gluten (bread protein) intolerant; sourdough breaks down the offending proline fragments, but this gluten free bread recipe is an alternative.

Read more about how you could most likely have your bread and eat it, at our meaning of gluten page.

Whilst gluten intolerance is a real problem for some, I have the feeling with some patients that avoiding it will become the supposed panacea for all their problems. We need to be wary of what I call health nut neurosis. In any case there is strong research showing that those who enjoy whole grains daily have far stronger hearts.

Low GI bread

If you suffer from diabetes or hypoglycemia then it is important to enjoy only bread that turns slowly to sugar in the body. Try our Low GI bread recipe; it is just a variation of this Panera loaf. If cost is a factor when looking for an added protein then consider that dried chickpeas are a quarter of the price of those in a can.

Working out the price of canned versus dried chickpeas turned out to be a revelation; all you have to do is soak, pressure cook and freeze them. Make up a kilogram at a time, which gives you about 5 - 6 packets.

In short by adding protein to the dough of your panera bread menu recipe you can turn it into low GI.

Added fat further lowers the GI; butter is back, olive or coconut oil.

Always of importance is the carbohydrate count chart.

Too much salt in supermarket bread

The research is weak that we should dramatically limit our salt intake if we are vital and strong; unless we have kidney disease. Despite that, the wisdom of the ages, perhaps mistaken, is that you should limit the salt in your diet if you have high blood pressure.

Read more at salt high blood pressure to find out what the worst offending foods are.

It is just one more reason to bake your own panera bread menu recipe. It contains half the salt of the commercial loaf. An average commercial slice contains 170 mg of sodium.

Our Panera bread menu recipe contains half a teaspoon of salt, or about 1200 mg of sodium; divided by 15 gives around 80 mg per slice, a fraction of that in the commercial loaf.

New research about heart, stroke and diabetes confirms that salt remains a very important topic; too much from processed foods and eating out will be deadly but little is also a problem.

Storing wheat berries

Milling your own flour is the only way to get 100 percent wholemeal; the fatty acids start going rancid within three days. It was a huge step-up for us when we purchased our own grinder and located a farmer would supply us with wheat berries.

Then storing wheat berries became an issue; an important one, to prevent weevils and aflatoxin contamination.

There is a very real issue of cost here; either you invest in the equipment needed for nutritious, fresh food, or you will spend a lot more on doctors and medication. That is my opinion, anyway, and it is backed by strong research. Whole grains mean less heart disease, and contain many of the vitamins needed to evade frailty syndrome.

So I happily bought a deep-freezer solely for storing wheat berries. The electricity, mainly needed during the heat of the day, is supplied by solar power. Now the best bread in South Africa costs only five rand per loaf; about a quarter of a dollar.


One fairly simple upgrade on your panera bread menu recipe is to add a sourdough starter. Its particular virtue is the ability to break down one of the indigestible amino acids that makes the gluten in the common loaf difficult for many folk.

Do you suffer from indigestion, or cramps and diarrhea after eating bread? Try making our starter at sourdough recipe.

It is in fact the way I bake most often these days; it tastes better and keeps longer too. Thereafter go to easy sourdough bread recipe for the whole procedure.

We have become interested in kefir, a probiotic containing many more strains of bacteria and yeasts, and have been experimenting with using it to ferment the dough.

Early signs are though that kefir benefits are something very profound.

Read more at our kefir sourdough bread page.

Enjoy it with this smoked salmon dip recipe; you can whip it up in only five minutes if you keep fresh parsley and feta cheese in your kitchen.

This yeasted beer bread recipe is a fun alternative.

And here is yet another sourdough bread recipe. It's a complex subject, so it is best to do plenty of reading.

Preserving your sourdough starter is only relevant who want to bake occasionally.

Sourdough bread for diabetics depends on many factors; those that are "brittle" alas should avoid all bread until their blood glucose is under control.


I haven't enjoyed pizza for years; it gives me such a bloated feeling, and often like there are rocks in the bottom of the stomach. It was such a joy to discover that predigested with a culture I could again enjoy one of my favourite foods.

This sourdough pizza crust proved very simple to make, and requiring only a little of my time. But it need to prove for 24-hours whilst the bacteria in the culture predigested the gluten.

Don't toss an old loaf; use it to make this stale sourdough strata.

whole grains and the eyes

Scientists looking for a unequivocal answer to the question why is whole grain better found there was far less macular degeneration, the chief cause of blindness in older folk.  

Backyard permaculture

Backyard permaculture is about working with nature, rather than fighting against it, and it reaches right into the kitchen.

Whether it is making good use of your kitchen waste, or baking this panera bread menu recipe, it is about getting back to nature.

It is a shocking waste that a third of the food produced in the world is lost; the race to end waste is an attempt to change that. Each of us must do our own part; one way is to feed any left over panera bread to your dogs, or hens.

Notice that we advocate using local wheat where possible, reduce carbon emissions from transport. Using your own soft rainwater for the sourdough fermentation medium, providing your own solar electricity if you can, and even grinding your own flour so you know it is 100 percent wholemeal are all part of the process.

And in any case your own panera bread menu recipe tastes just divine. Add some homemade hummus to the dough and it will be low GI. In case you have some concerns about your midriff, I have not put on a pound since getting into our own baking, enjoying corn and potatoes fresh from the garden; but our green salad is a large part of that. How many colours can you count in my lunch below?

Permaculture is about making sure your grandchildren inherit an inhabitable world; right now it is looking a lot less certain. It is central to our philosophy of creating a cyan zone. 

Backyard permaculture is what you personally can and should do about the problem; otherwise future generations will curse the very ground where we are buried.

A salad including raw beetroot.

Mulberry jam

Panera bread menu recipe and mulberry jam, if both are made in your own kitchen, just like granny did, with no chemicals and preservatives to addle your brain make a wonderful combination; then you can be assured it is free of chemicals; no high-fructose corn syrup either. 

"How to make mulberry jam" can be found using the Site Search function above; one hour to pick 9 pounds of fruit, one more to make 11 jars.

Mulberry jam gel point drips

This gooseberry jam recipe is even more tasty but picking the fruit and removing the capes takes longer than mulberries. Both grow rampant in our garden.

Easy Zucchini Bread recipe

If you love cooking, you will very soon get bored with simply following recipes. If you have access to summer squash in abundance, give a thought to this easy zucchini bread recipe; less than ten minutes' work, followed by the usual five hour wait for nature to do its thing.

It is just a small variation of the basic Panera bread menu recipe; cut back on the water or it will sink like the loaf below.

I am going to try this again using only honey and no sugar; it rises better.

Zucchini bread recipe

Vegan seed bread

Vegan seed bread is an excellent variation on your basic panera bread menu recipe; it means finding other shortening than butter and a broader mix of seeds and nuts.

Variety is the spice of life, and you will not go wrong with this vegan seed bread even if you are a prolific carnivore.

Any nutritious bread made with 100 percent wholemeal flour and a homemade soup will make a meal all on their own. Try our borscht or green bean and lentil soup.

There is one downside to seed breads; they do not rise like a normal loaf, making them rather heavy. Personally I would rather have them in other ways; they are important particularly for the vitamin E that is so vital to our well-being, if only to prevent frailty syndrome.

Personally I have moved away from adding anything to our basic bread recipe other than hummus and butternut soup, and having these herbs, spices and zucchini for example as part of the main dish; then it rises much better, and is more palatable.

About resistant starch

Whole grains as used in our Panera bread, seeds and legumes contain larger amounts of carbohydrate that reach the colon for digestion, producing less glucose and more good fatty acids that do not spike the insulin and stress the pancreas. The good housewife needs to know about resistant starch. Even if she is a man!

Olive garden menu tapenada

This easy condiment is really my favourite on our panera bread menu recipe; it is just a mixture of olives and capers, with lemon or lime juice, oil and garlic; if you use the pitted kind it literally takes no more than five minutes to make this olive garden menu tapenada.

On our beer bread recipe it is simply delicious.

Another of our favourite loaves is this olive bread recipe. It is a little heavier but if you are concerned about cholesterol you can avoid the butter or coconut fat.

More about storing wheat for British readers in particular. How does 10 pence per pound for your 100% wholemeal flour sound?

Bone health

Recent research by Garcia Gavilan confirms that high blood concentrations of glucose from refined carbs have a negative effect on bone-forming cells; and increase the loss of calcium in the urine[1].

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Useful links

Going green

I alluded above that our Panera bread menu recipe is baked free of charge by the sun. Well, the photons of light arriving on our solar panels come without charge, but there is a cost in collecting them with a solar generator.

Your bread machine uses 0.4 kWh of electricity; call it half a unit which is not a lot. Going green and making a conscious effort to preserve our planet for our grandchildren has been a lot of work; but so satisfying.

The green journey in many ways is a voyage within; an exploration of your own self. Like all passage crossings there are stormy seas, strong winds and currents.

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa