Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bread - I Want to 'Make It With You'

Sorry, I couldn't resist the title.  If you like sappy love songs from the 70's, then it is likely that you have heard at least a couple of the songs by Bread.  Of course, one of their hits was 'Make It With You.'  It just seemed to be fitting to use it for the title of this entry considering that I am going to be talking about making bread.

A while ago, a friend of mine had posted her new found recipe for 5 grain bread on facebook.  She came up with it through trial and error in an effort to find a bread that she could eat without aggravating her food allergies.  First, let me say that I am 100% convinced that most of the food 'allergies' that we experience (that is 'we' in general as I personally do not suffer from any food allergies) are a direct result of the way our foods are processed and stripped of the beneficial nutrients.  I can't say that this is true with everyone, though.  It seems to me that there has been a far greater occurrence of food allergies in the last few years than anything pre-2000.  According to a report from the Center for Disease Control:

"Food allergy is a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives. Eight types of food account for over 90% of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat (1,2). Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips and hives to death, depending on the severity of the allergy. The mechanisms by which a person develops an allergy to specific foods are largely unknown. Food allergy is more prevalent in children than adults, and a majority of affected children will "outgrow food" allergies with age. However, food allergy can sometimes become a lifelong concern (1). Food allergies can greatly affect children and their families' well-being. There are some indications that the prevalence of food allergy may be increasing in the United States and in other countries (2-4)."
 Evidence for my belief about food preparation is in the second sentence in the above quote: Eight types of food account for over 90% of allergic reactions in affected individuals: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat.  Milk is pasteurized and homogenized.  Further, it is potentially skimmed (the least of the evils) or processed into reduced fat (1% or 2% milk fat) varieties.  All of these processes, with the possible exception of skimming, turns the milk into something other than it once was.  Of course, this doesn't even address the fact that many of our cows today are fed diets that they were never intended to eat.  Cows are not supposed to eat corn and soy.  They are supposed to be allowed to graze on the grasses that grow in the pastures.  Feeding them anything else is just not natural.  The same goes for chickens - and the eggs that are listed second in the above statement.  Chickens are NOT vegetarians.  Have you ever heard the phrase about the early bird?  Chickens...eat...worms.  They also eat insects when they are allowed to graze normally in an open field.  When they are force-fed in a coop designed for the sole purpose of making egg production and collection fast and easy, they are somewhat less than healthy and it results in eggs that are no longer what they should be.  Peanuts and tree nuts are simply not prepared properly at all.  Nuts have phytic acid as an inhibitor to sprouting.  This is a good thing as without it, we would have seeds sprouting and rotting before we could consume them.  However, it is not something that we truly want to be eating.  Simply soaking nuts prior to roasting or otherwise preparing them removes the phytic acid.  The source of our fish is largely from farms.  While this seems like a good idea, it essentially presents the same problems as does raising cattle and chickens in feed-lots.  It exposes the fish to things that do not occur in nature in the same concentrations as they do on the farm.  Soy is another victim of improper preparation.  Soy, as a whole food, properly prepared would likely present a lot fewer problems than it does.  The problem is that soy is subjected to modification, separation, isolation, and other unnatural processes.  In addition, soybean oil is often occurring in processed foods in its partially hydrogenated form.  I have to ask if it is soy as a whole food or soy in one of its many adulterated forms that is the cause of allergies.  Finally, we have wheat.  Wheat is another victim of processing.  It is no secret that there is a difference between wheat and whole wheat.  Flour made from properly prepared (soaked and/or sprouted) wheat berries would likely be a lot better tolerated.

Sorry, I got a bit carried away...  This post was not intended to be about food allergies and their causes so I will change gears back to what it was intended to be about - making bread.  One last point on the above rant - I am not a doctor so please, if you have been diagnosed with food allergies, do NOT make any potentially lethal changes to your diet based on my above-stated beliefs.  If you would like to test my theory, please only do so with the proper supervision of your doctor.

Today, I started the process of my own trial and error bread making.  I plan to use Donna's recipe as a basis for my own, but I will be making some variations on the theme.  My first step is to soak and sprout some buckwheat groats and red wheat berries.  For this first trial, I am using 1/2 cup (dry) of both.  I intend to add quinoa to the mix along with one other grain that I am undecided on at this point.  I need to get some quinoa, so when I go shopping for that, I will also shop for a suitable addition.  I don't intend on adding any prepared flour for this first trial.  I will be using my food processor to 'grind' the sprouted grains.  We'll see how things turn out and I will keep you posted.

1 comment:

Debby Alten said...

I'll be waiting for this recipe. Gheez, it took me an hour to read this post. JK. Always worth it, my friend.