According to many "experts" gluten is our greatest modern gastrointestinal enemy. The bane of good health and the cause of all of our intestinal discomfort. And gluten containing grains (especially wheat) are to blame, and must be banished from our supermarket shelves immediately! Forget the fact that millions (if not billions) of people's lives and vast civilizations have been sustained handsomely by this tiny grain, for multiple millenniums, whether consumed in the solid form of bread or in its liquid form, beer. But what I want to know is; is there any hieroglyphs on Egyptian tombs where two dimensional forms are grabbing their bellies grimacing in pain? No? Then is gluten the real problem that causes our intestinal distress? My guess is no, well, not in the way we have been told. Some crops grown in this country are not only genetically modified, but they also come with a bevy of other chemicals that go along with their growing and processing. Chemicals that were not used decades ago to give products their incredible disease and pest resistance, shelf life and aid in cheap manufacturing costs. Those chemicals are the more likely culprits, not to mention the mechanical processes that are used to speed up the rate our foods are made these days.
"The silly people don't know their own silly business."
Need I mention the"experts" who insisted that egg yolks were the evil harbingers of artery clogging cholesterol? What about the "experts" who submitted empirical studies showing that french fries and chocolate were a pimply teenager's greasy nightmare? What about all the "experts" that ignored the findings of doctors like Joseph Goldberger, who insisted that the illness Pellagra was diet based? Many people suffered needlessly and even died of niacin deficiency all because they were not properly preparing the dried corn for human consumption. Polish biochemist Kazimierz Funk, who worked on the Beriberi epidemic, found similar nutritional problems associated with those found in Pellagra. He even wrote a paper claiming that it was the milling process of the dried corn that was the problem -- Yes, I said the milling process of the corn, not the corn itself. But due to political and economic issues, these men were ignored by other "experts." And so, "experts", in my opinion, are experts of their own opinions, and it pays to find out who is funding the "expert" opinion and why. Please remember that the next time you hear some "expert" who is claiming that the sky is falling, or that breathing will kill you. Now getting back to the subject at hand, soaked white whole wheat bread!
They don't know their own silly business. It is mankind's pride and love of money that are the ruin of our health, and civilizations. The whole process from sowing seed to milling the flour is to be our concern. Growing grains that are indiscriminately laced with insecticides, herbicides, and fungicides are not responsible farming practices, and not all farmers are so inclined to be that lazy, but some are. What about how the grains are stored before they are made into flour? And we must also recognize what Dr. Joseph Goldberger and biochemist Kazimierz Funk learned; just as assuredly as Montezuma inadvertently got his revenge over the marauding Spaniards: that in like manner improperly prepared wheat products will reek havoc on your tummy and even your immune system. If you care to learn about the Pellagra epidemic, then you will learn that the lye water treatment of the dried corn is what makes the niacin locked in its grain nutritionally available to our digestive system. Without this all important processing treatment, the squirts and other physiological problems are in your future. It's not the grain's fault for wanting to defend itself. As for learning from the Beriberi epidemic, if you remove too much nutrition, then you will suffer a different form of dietary suicide, something vegans are well familiar with, nutrient starvation. Not form lack of food, for surely they eat a ton of food, but from the lack of key nutrients they could easily get from meat. So as you can clearly see, history has taught us that it's not the grain that is the problem, it's how mankind grows and processes the grain that is the problem.
...not only are soaking, sprouting, and souring proven methods for preparing grains for optimal human consumption and nutritional assimilation, but so is cooking! Just as you can over cook the nutrients out of a food, you can under cook a food and render it's nutrients inaccessible, and even dangerous. Raw bread is not only yucky, but it will blow up your tummy like a hot air balloon! Speaking of raw, as I've said before, raw vegans seem to forget that we humans are not ruminant animals (self contained microbial cellulose processing plants), nor are we actual plants (photosythesizers). So cooking is a very good thing for humans, because it can lessen the effects of anti-nutrients and it helps break down cellulose fibers. As I read in an article about cooked vs raw foods, if a gorilla could cook, it would make and eat spaghetti.
Soaking and Souring Agents
Red Or White?
But white wheat doesn't have as much gluten as the red, so the bread won't rise as much as when red wheat is used. But whole wheat breads don't rise well anyway, because of the bran. So if you want a really high loaf, then I suggest mixing all purpose white flour made from red wheat kernels with the white whole wheat flour. I hope that makes sense. So now you know that wheat comes in two colors, so if the bag says "white whole wheat" that just means the color of the kernel of wheat is white, and the bran is still in the flour, not that is all purpose white flour. The word "whole" is the clue as to its composition. And now, lets finally get to some bread making! To insure success, always read through a recipe to make sure you have all the ingredients, and that you understand the process. And start with room temperature ingredients to help facilitate the rise.
3 c. white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
500 mg vitamin C tab crushed to powder (optional as a dough conditioner)
20 drops of iodine (optional as a dough conditioner)
1 cup water
1/2 c. yogurt
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar (or honey, but the dough will be a little stickier.)
1/4 c. water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
- Place flour, salt, dough conditioners if you are using them, water and yogurt into a mixing bowl and mix until you get a homogeneous and firm dough ball. No lumps of dry ingredients. Cover the bowl and leave on the counter for 12 to 24 hours. This process will start to break down the flour, and when you are ready to use it, you will notice a marked difference in the dough's texture. It will be soft, pliable and have a pleasant sour smell.
- Prepare a standard loaf pan with a light coat of butter, or oil. (I have found that the loaf will fall right out of the ban if butter is used, while it will stick if oil is used. If you use oil and it won't come out of the pan easily, then just let the loaf sit in the pan for about 5 min. to steam, and it should come out.)
- Mix the sugar, water, and yeast in a small bowl to proof, or activate, about 5 min. When nice and bubbly, add to the dough ball. This will be kinda hard to do, but kinda fun to squish around.
- knead until smooth and elastic; it won't tear easily and doesn't look lumpy. The amount of time this takes will depend on your kneading technique, the dough will tell you when it's ready, but it shouldn't be more than 10 min. You don't want to over work the dough.
- Form into a loaf by rolling it out into a rectangle about 9" wide and 1" thick. Then roll it into a loaf shape, pinch the rolled seam closed at the bottom and pinch the ends down to the surface of the table with the sides of your hands, then tuck them under the loaf.
- Place the loaf in your prepared pan with the seam side down, oil the top with soft butter or oil and cover with cling wrap or a dry tea towel.
- Place in a warm spot to rise. This can take anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours depending on weather conditions, the strength of the yeast, and the temp of the house and ingredients when you started.
- When the dough rises about 1" above the rim of the pan, start the oven at 375*F
- To ensure a good rise, you can place a pan of hot water on the bottom of your oven or you can get a spray bottle of water ready to spray the oven down with about 20 good squirts. The resulting steam will allow the dough to rise higher in the intense heat of the oven before setting its crust. I even spray the loaf itself a bit.
- Place loaf in oven and spray with water to create steam, if you don't use the pan of water. Bake for 20 min. on center rack. Then reduce heat to 350*F and rotate the loaf 180 degrees and bake for another 20 min. Remove when golden brown and sounds hollow when it is thumped.
- Carefully remove the loaf from the pan onto a cooling rack and DO NOT cut into it until it is completely cool, or it will turn gummy. It can be sliced when cooled, but it slices better the next day. Enjoy!