Most of us have a love/hate relationship with bread and other wheat products. On one hand, we enjoy these wheat foods (and other gluten containing grains) but on the other hand we often notice we feel sluggish, bloated and flatulent, or worse, after eating them. What I have noticed over the years is that most people will talk about bread and gluten products (pasta/couscous/biscuits etc) as a naughty addiction and something they love but often makes them feel uncomfortable and ‘fat’.
I am absolutely with you on these feelings and in fact, I was exactly the same for years. I would occasionally (sometimes often) indulge in pasta dishes and sandwiches but the bloated stomach and foggy mind the following day was always ‘a pain in my neck’ and I would then avoid all wheat and gluten products for days or weeks. Then the cycle would go on and I would ‘need’ to have a wheat-fix again, and on and on it went.
Needless to say, I have endless such conversations with patients in my clinic, as almost everyone has been or are currently battling with this. The thing I want to make clear is this; Gluten or wheat is not ‘bad’ but there are some factors that are causing so many of us to have unpleasant symptoms when eating these products. Of course, there are the wheat and gluten intolerant people who have an immediate immune reaction to either or both of these two or the coeliacs who get very severe problems and must avoid all possible sources all the time!
Gluten is a ‘sticky’ protein found in wheat. It can be hard to break down in our gut, especially if you suffer from gut dysbiosis or autoimmune conditions etc. The way wheat farming differs today is that the growing phase has been sped up and enhanced (to make more crops in shorter periods of time = great financial profits), and it causes these grains to be harder to break down, and then there is the processing. A majority of wheat products are overly processed and what we are eating is high-reactive gluten products, with a minimal nutrient value that tastes great but cause our bodies to be in a great deal of discomfort and inflammation. We also tend to over-consume these types of foods….because they taste so good. I get it!
So, here’s the good news. I find that most of my patients can happily tolerate bread made on wheat flour (and other gluten flours) when done correctly. Notice the word ‘done’. Yes, I am talking about making your own bread! I know you may roll your eyes and wonder how you will fit that into your already jam-packed schedule. Hang in there, read on and you will see that it is very do-able and you can absolutely fit it. It is not a case of spending time kneading the dough, this is a particularly cool recipe that requires you to throw a few different things into a bowl leave overnight and then bake in the morning, no fuss no dirty hands – but a yummy smelling kitchen and a happy tummy!
The advantages of baking your own bread and the reasons this bread is different from other are:
- There is absolutely no yeast. Most bread recipes and bakers will use some yeast. This is not tolerated well by most of us. Yeast is yet another tool to speed the baking process up. We don’t want this, we want this process to take time.
- I only recommend organic or non-toxic flour. Otherwise, you have a modern wheat on your hands, one that is hard for the body to break down and contain no or little nutrients.
- We need to use the help of a sourdough. The recipe to create your ‘mother sourdough’ is below. Again, easy and essentially a living (good) bacterial organism that lives in a glass jar in your fridge, very self-sufficient and a handy little thing. The sourdough is what takes the hard work out of making bread. When sourdough is added to the flour mixture it spends the 12 hours quietly working away at the grains. It uses the natural live bacteria to break down the grain and phytic acid which is a nutrient blocker (meaning you don’t absorb nutrients a swell when Phytic acid is present) and gluten of course. That is the answer to why you are likely to feel fine when eating this bread. The grains and gluten has been ‘pre-digested’ by the natural good bacteria in the sourdough so your body doesn’t have to.
So if you follow these two recipes, one to make your own cool sourdough and the bread dough recipe, you will actually have some healthy reasons to eat (this) bread. The sourdough also has the added benefit of adding a slight sour taste to the bread, great to enhance digestion and improves absorption of nutrients. There has been studies done on celiacs, showing that they did not have an immune/inflammatory response when eating this type of bread. So I’d say its worth a try.
Lastly, it is so delicious, please try and make this at home. In my household, we probably eat 2-3 of these per week. And we have happy tummies all around. I would not eat commercial/supermarket/yeast based breads. It just doesn’t feel good and there is no real nutrient value in those. Only gut trouble to be had from those.
Sourdough Starter Recipe:
Mix 2.5 dl/1 cup of Rye Flour, 2.5 dl/1 cup of plain flour and 2.5 dl/1 cup wholemeal flour with 4.5dl/2 cups of water. Put in a glass jar and leave the lid ajar. Let stand in room temperature for 2 days. After two days, check the dough and have a taste. If it’s getting sour, close the lid and put in the fridge for another two days. If it’s still not sour, leave out in room temperature for another day before putting it in the fridge with a closed lid. By the fourth day your sourdough is ready to go.
Your sourdough will need a minimal amount of maintenance. Each time you take a bit of sourdough out, add a bit more of the flour (rye, plain flour and wholemeal) and water back into the jar and stir.
The World’s Best Sourdough Bread (and easiest) In this order – Yeast Free!:
Add 1.5 L/6.5 cups of cold or room temperature water into a deep bowl Add 2.5 tbsp. of Fine Himalayan Saltv Add 1L/4.5 cups of plain flour to the water and mix.
Add 4 tbsp. chia seeds
Add 4t tbsp. flax seeds or sunflower seeds and mix into the dough.
Add 3.5 dl/ 1.5 cups of sourdough and stir Add 0.5 L / 2 cups wholemeal flour
Let stand in room temperature under a moist cloth for 10-12 hours (overnight).
Heat up your oven for 30 minutes on max temperature – Appx 250-270C (480-500F) along with a cast iron pot. A hot cast iron pot will prevent the dough from sticking as it instantly creates a crisp crust to the dough. After 30 minutes, take the hot cast iron pot out of the oven and take the lid off. Quickly pour in the dough and put the lid back on. Put the pot back into the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 240C (450F), take the lid off and bake without the lid for another 15 minutes for a total of 45 minutes. Tilt the cast iron pot to get the bread out and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes on a rack.
WATER+SALT+FLOUR & SEEDS+SOURDOUGH= That’s all.
Know your bread, know the ingredients and keep enjoying that crispy, soft, satisfying goodness that is so nurturing for your digestive system.
Step 1 – Mixing the Flour
Step 2 – Texture After Adding Sourdough
Step 3 – Adding the Seeds
Step – 4 Final Texture After Seeds and Wholemeal Flour