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Durning my January Whole30 I did a lot of thinking. Pondering the reintroduction of food. And wondering why wheat is always on the chopping block these days. What about wheat makes it the villain?
I knew I didn’t want to be one of those people afraid to eat wheat, so I started to study gluten and gluten intolerance. It turns out most people are sensitive to gluten in manufactured bread products but when they are given a fermented or sourdough bread their sensitivity is gone. So is it the gluten or the process by which bread is being manufactured?
In my studies, I concluded that it was the manufacturing process that is the culprit. In fact, soaking and fermenting grains has been around for centuries. If you would like to follow my rabbit trail here are the books and documentaries I watched to learn more about the history and
- The documentary, “Cooked” on Netflix. This is a four-part series based on the book Cooked by Michale Pollen.
- “Nourishing Traditions” is a cookbook by Sally Fallon
- “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” is another documentary on Netflix
- “Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS” is a traditional cooking blog and school.
Sourdough bread is the result of fermenting flour, water, and salt. Allowing the bacteria, which is growing in your starter, break down the flour unlocks a rich storehouse for humans to eat. It turns out our gut is not as clever at breaking down wheat all by itself. The outside fermentation eats away at the grains allowing our body to absorb the partially broken down gluten. Making sourdough bread a good choice for people with sensitive stomachs.
Aside from the digestion benefits souring grains or soaking grains overnight allows the minerals and vitamins to remain in tack for our consumption. Wheat is high in protein, and rich in vitamin B, calcium and iron. Many vitamins and minerals we take supplements for.
Starting or the “Starter.”
So in mid January and during my Whole30 I began a starter. An equal ratio of water to flour in a mason jar. I fed my new pet religiously. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Taking away half after the third day and feeding again. I was getting into a routine and I developed a healthy starter.
What to do now? I was still on the Whole30 but I needed to start using my yeast. Bread felt like a really big undertaking that I was not yet prepared for so I started smaller. The cooking class I was apart of suggested making pancakes and or waffles every day before its morning feeding. I could not eat them but because of the simplicity of the recipes, I knew I could try it out on my kids. They LOVED both the pancakes and the waffles!
I rediscovered a food group that my family loved and I loved the rhythm it was giving my day.
After the Whole30 I have reintroduced grains into my diet without discomfort. I make waffles every morning for my family, and sometimes I eat them too. In addition to waffles, I make biscuits, pizza, tortillas, cinnamon rolls, cinnamon raisin bread, and regular sourdough loaves.
Now to my routine.
Making a schedule and or routine is not the easiest thing for me to do, however, with sourdough you have to plan. There are no last minute bread requests for dinner at 5 pm. So here is my flexible routine thus far.
- Monday: Make waffles, feed starter. Catch the starter at its peak and pull out enough for 2 loaves. Make the dough and allow it to sit overnight. Feed starter before bed.
- Tuesday: Make waffles, feed starter. Bake dough from last nights preparation. Feed before bed.
- Wednesday: Eggs for breakfast. Use starter for tortillas, biscuits or pizza. Let any of those doughs sour for 6 to 8 hours. Feed before bed.
- Thursday: Waffles, feed starter. Out of the house all day. Feed starter before bed.
- Friday: Waffles, feed starter. Catch starter at peak for bread. Feed starter before bed.
- Saturday: Use leftover bread for french toast, feed starter. Bake bread or bagels. Feed starter before bed.
- Sunday: Waffles, feed starter. No baking today. Feed starter before bed.
- Begin Again!
The routine looks like a lot, but once you are in it, it’s not so bad. Being able to bless my family with grains they can enjoy from the work of my hands is pretty amazing.
If you have any questions please leave it in the comments or find me on Instagram. Thanks for being here!