The 6,000-year-old process of baking bread hasn’t changed much. But, the ingredients surely have.
When grains are properly prepared through soaking, sprouting or sour leavening, the friendly bacteria in our bodies do their work, and gluten intolerance and weight gain shouldn’t be the issues that they are today.
So what’s changed?
Wheat, and other grains hastened through manufacturing processes have not been properly fermented in most breads today, and, hence, your body reacts. I include oats in this, too, because although oats don’t technically contain gluten, they’re often cross-contaminated with wheat gluten in America due to the processing methods in this country.
The faster manufacturers produce their bread and the more fillers they add, the more money they make.
Innovations have made baking bread more convenient, beginning when Pasteur made the commercial production of standardized yeast possible in 1859. The introduction of the gas stove, the electric mixer and the food processor also made the baking process easier, faster and more reliable.
The innovations and conveniences haven’t created the issues we now have with bread. The manufacturing techniques of fast-wheat, GMO-wheat, oats, barley, some rye, and corn, are what’s giving bread a bad name.
Origins Of Bread
In Egypt, 6,000 years ago, bread had three ingredients: water, flour, and salt. In the Middle Ages, bakers added yeast and sugar. When America was colonized, corn and potatoes were added to bread.
In the past, the water, salt, yeast, oil, and flour were all natural ingredients, though.
By the end of the 20th Century, however, commercial bakeries were adding over 20 ingredients to bread, and they weren’t all natural.
Now, we have ingredients like these added to the mix:
- Ammonium Chloride
- Calcium Propionate
- High fructose corn syrup
- GMO soy
- GMO corn
- GMO wheat
Time To Ferment
The key to healthy bread is allowing the bread time to rise and ferment. The more time you allow bread to ferment, the less yeast you need to use, and the more flavorful your bread will be. Let your bread rise at least 12 hours to break down the anti-nutrients.
My grandmother would let her loaves rise overnight in the tin pie ovens on their screened porch. My mother let her bread rise overnight in the fridge. Here’s a good article on long-raised bread.
The way corporations process wheat – they no longer allow it to properly ferment. Just like soy, alcohol, and good wine, wheat needs to be properly processed before it is put on the market.
Here are some good flour product brands:
- King Arthur flours
- Hodgson Mills bread flour
- Einkorn flour
If you can’t find a quality, non-GMO whole grain flour, add flax seeds, Chia seeds, and Hemp oil to a lesser choice, and that’ll pump-up its healthy value.
Making your own bread can be an experience that feels good for the soul. It can be as simple as three ingredients. Homemade bread, or a quality whole grain bread from a health market, is a wonderful and ancient food that brings the entire family lots of pleasure.
Slice by slice.