Now that you’ve learned a few basic tips for bread making from Lesson 1, here is some additional information for you to help you on your bread making journey. At the end of this post, I’ll give you a great, basic bread recipe that your whole family is sure to love.
There are so many reasons to continue to learn the skill of bread making, not just because of the delicious flavor and the wonderful smell of home-baked bread. But reasons you may not have thought of previously. I’ll share some of those in this post.
There are so many “don’t’s when it comes to eating. Don’t eat too much salt, don’t eat too much sugar, don’t eat too much fat.” It can be very confusing and cause us to just give up. But there is something more important than the "don'ts".
The fact is, what we are really missing is nutrients. Most Americans eat a lot of food but our bodies are starving because we aren’t eating nutrient-dense food. If our body doesn't recognize what is in our food, then it can’t use the nutrients.
If you look back through history there were long periods of time where people had nothing to eat but grains and yet they still had better health from nutrition, without being overweight. How is this so?
The Primary Reasons are:
The grains they ate were different than the grains we have today. Primarily, in our history, ancient grains were used such as such as kumat. The Modern grains we have today are much harder on the gut and have been altered to fit our convenience rather than our nutrition.
The grains they ate were prepared differently than those we have today. Wheat today has been milled to prepare it to sit on the shelf a long time waiting for us to purchase and use it. This is great in terms of convenience, but the nutrition has been largely stripped away and then other nutrients have been added back in. This makes it very hard for our bodies to even recognize the nutrients and use them. Wheat that has been milled and prepped to sit on the shelf must have BY LAW the germ removed. Oils in the germ are packed full of nutrition but when they are ground into flour, the oils quickly turn rancid and actually become carcinogenic. Therefore, it is not legal for flour to contain the entire ground wheat berry in it. This makes the typical wheat flour you find on the shelf lacking in any real nutrition.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
JUST TAKE THE FIRST STEP!
We don’t have to remove bread from our diet, happily!
Just take the first step which is: Start to make more of your bread at home. Leave those store bought breads at the store.
We are living in toxic times and cancers are rampant. Highly processed foods are linked to cancer and the first thing on the list of cancer risks is:
#1 mass produced packaged breads and baked goods.
Science has caught up to realize this!
By just leaving the store bought bread at the store, you will be removing poisons such as insecticides, herbicides, dough conditioners, stabilizers, fillers and preservatives from your family’s diet. All this removed just by making your own bread, even using the flour on the shelf.
Once you are used to making your own bread and it becomes easier to you, you can take the SECOND STEP.
Start using more whole wheat flour instead of all white flour. As you get better and better at making the bread, you can add in more whole wheat flour until you get to the point where you are using 100% whole wheat flour. You’ll be surprised as you work with it how delicious it will be, with just a bit of practice.
Eventually you will find yourself ready to take the THIRD STEP:
Once you feel comfortable making bread with all or mostly wheat flour, now try buying wheat berries whole and storing them up in a cool place in your basement. Then grind them yourself each time you want to make bread. There are many modern conveniences to help you with this! Wheat grinders today make a very fast job of grinding the wheat berries into a fine powder and over time, are worth the investment when you think of how much money you save by making your own bread. And you can reclaim the super-food in the wheat berries, and remove toxins just by grinding your own!
Eventually you may find you are enjoying this nutrition and flavor so much you can go to this next step and pull additional nutritional benefits into your bread. This step involves preparing the grains to be easier for the body to digest and use the nutrition. There are three ways to do this.
1. Sprouting Grains before grinding
2. Soaking the grains before grinding
3. Fermenting your dough to make a natural leaven (Sourdough). And yes, you can make a sourdough (natural leaven) without making the dough sour!
Why are these things important?
Because all grains contain something called Phytic acid. This is an organic acid in which phosphorus is bound. It is in the outer layer of all grains which is what helps keep them from sprouting until we are ready to use them. Which is great. Except for one thing. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in our intestinal tract and block the absorption of these minerals. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to mineral deficiencies and even bone loss. Soaking grains allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other hopeful organisms to break down and neutralize the phytic acid. Soaking grains in a little warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors that are present in all seeds. It also encourages the production of a number of beneficial enzymes. This also increases the amounts of many vitamins, especially B vitamins.
Sprouting or soaking grains was the typical way of our ancient ancestors. Properly prepared grains by sprouting, soaking or fermenting natural removes the phytic acid.
This might seem like a lot but don’t worry. You don’t have to do all this at once! You can start with just the first step which is: Stop purchasing store bought bread and start making your own. Just take the first step.
When you do this, you are helping your family down the road to healthier and more sustainable eating! And what could be better than the smell of warm, fresh baked bread in the oven?
To help you take that first step, here is a simple recipe that incorporates just a little whole wheat flour and is easy to work with. Remember to look at our post on Bread Making 101: Lesson 1 so you can have those tips available and have a successful loaf!