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jemini

Sourdough bread for the gluten intolerant

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Like many people here, I find that I tend to breakout when I consume wheat products. I had avoided wheat for a while, but this is the biggest food I "cheat" with, and thus breakouts. I just can't live without a little bread and some extra virgin olive oil. After doing some research on ways to consume real bread and not crappy nongluten alternatives (most take like garbage to me and are just not the same), I came across this:

http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/70/2/1088

This was a study done a few years ago in which people with diagnosed with celiacs disease were able to eat sourdough bread that was fermented with selected types of lactobacilli. They did gut permeability tests and showed that consuming this bread caused no change. This is thought to be ok since the bacteria predigest the gluten and make it safe during the fermentation process. I did more research, and found that gluten intolerance is mostly a modern disease. Traditional bread was made with wild bacteria and yeasts, and allowed to ferment for many hours, or even days. Almost all bread found in the grocery store is made with quick rise yeast in a few hours, and with no bacteria to predigest the gluten and lectins.

I put this to the test and decided to make my own sourdough bread. Instead of traditional sourdough bread in which one creates a "Starter" from wild yeasts from the air, I a little bit of home made kefir to inoculate my starter. I figure if its mostly the bacteria which break down the gluten, kefir would be the perfect starter since it contains a broad diversity of lactobacilli, as well as some yeasts to make the bread rise. I made the bread with some organic, whole grain wheat flour and allowed it to ferment for a whole day to allow it to slowly rise and ferment before baking. I tried it, and although it was slightly on the sour side (I would rather over ferment than under ferment just to be on the safe side), it was still delicious. I had a few pieces two days ago, and guess what? No reaction! It actually worked! I normally can't consume dairy, but when fermented with kefir I seem to have no problem. This same idea worked with real bread! I can finally have bread again and not worry about breaking out! I am still toying with the recipe a little and experimenting some since this was the first time I have ever baked bread (I'm not really a kitchen guy at all), and these results are very promising. The nice thing is I can bake a bunch of this stuff in bulk, and just freeze the excess so I don't have to spend all my time baking. I suggest everyone look into sourdough bread if they find they have problems with gluten. This could provide the alternative for you.

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That's amazing! I miss bread so much, and I absolutely love sourdough bread...

But I wonder if there's any way to make it without kefir, 'cause I'm very very allergic to dairy in any form.

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Actually there is. "Traditional sourdough doesn't use any sort of inoculate. When creating a starter, you essentially collect wild bacteria and yeasts from the environment until it begins to bubble and froth on its own. I don't know how allergic to dairy you are, but you only use a tablespoon or two of whey to innoculate an entire loaf. But I guess if you wanted to add probiotics without dairy, probiotic supplements or any other real cultured food could probably act as a source of probiotics. Fermented soy kefir could work, or adding a lactobacillus pill to the mix would probably work as well. THe trick seems to be adding enough bacteria, as well as the fermentation time. The more time the bread ferments, the longer the bacteria have the opportunity to breakdown the gluten.

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I think wheat is very similar to dairy in this regard. Dairy can be healthy, even for the skin, if it is made properly; but if you get the typical feedlot milk pasteurized, homogenized, skimmed, eaten with cold cereal, then it turns very unhealthy. Similarly, I think that grains are much healthier if they are made in the way that they were made for thousands of years, until the need for speed and cheapness took over.

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I think wheat is very similar to dairy in this regard. Dairy can be healthy, even for the skin, if it is made properly; but if you get the typical feedlot milk pasteurized, homogenized, skimmed, eaten with cold cereal, then it turns very unhealthy. Similarly, I think that grains are much healthier if they are made in the way that they were made for thousands of years, until the need for speed and cheapness took over.

Exactly. Bread used to be made in this fashion until the use of super fast rising bread was created in order to fire the night shifts in bakeries. This was obviously done to increase productivity and decrease cost. It did some to come at the cost of human health.

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Actually there is. "Traditional sourdough doesn't use any sort of inoculate. When creating a starter, you essentially collect wild bacteria and yeasts from the environment until it begins to bubble and froth on its own.

You can make sourdough starter with store bought yeast. If you search for recipes, most will be done this way.

You can also try making bread with the sponge method which can use yeast or sourdough, but you mix half the flour and the yeast and leave it out overnight. That counts as the first rising. Then you mix in the rest of the flour, knead, shape into loaves, etc.

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hmm. My sister has celiac disease really severely. I don't think this would ever be recommended for her so maybe it depends on your how you react to gluten really? I can't imagine all celiacs could eat wheat sourdough bread if prepared properly as they say, but I'd have to see a lot more studies and a lot more doctors and specialists giving this the OK but I'm glad it worked for you!

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Yeah, I wouldn't recommend this for full blown celiac disease. Some people are VERY sensitive, and even the smallest amount of gluten can trigger symptoms. With acne sufferers, many of us suffer from leaky gut and gluten intolerance. So the trace amounts that still exist in the sourdough bread are seemingly ok for those who are intolerant, or perhaps with milder forms of celiac too. But if you have a serious case of diagnosed celiac disease, this is still probably not safe.

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If you are at all interested in baking your own bread, there are other ways besides sour dough that allow plenty of time for more fermentation. And more of the flour is affected. With sourdough, only a small amount is mixed into the starter. And you could add whey to help it along.

There's the sponge method in which only half the flour is stirred in the night before. The stirring counts as the kneading. And then it sits overnight which is the first rising. In the morning you knead in the rest of the flour, shape into loaves. Then you either let rise and bake or put in the fridge to slow rising, then take out in the evening let rise, then bake.

And there's this method, which I imagine, since it has so little flour, makes a mushy bread like Rainbow or other typical supermarket sandwich bread:

No knead bread

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting

¼ teaspoon instant yeast

1¼ teaspoons salt

Cornmeal or wheat bran as needed.

1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.

4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is O.K. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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One thing you need to know is that whole grain flours are very heavy and need more to make them rise than white flour. that's why we've been eating white bread all these centuries. It makes nicer bread. I used to make bread a long time ago. I didn't have such good results when I tried whole wheat sourdough.

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