Friday, September 28, 2012

wheat-free, I guess!

I've been putting off talking about it explicitly in hopes I was wrong, but it seems that wheat officially causes eczema flare-ups for me, so I am cutting it out. This is why my last couple of recipes... scones, rice pizza... have been wheat-free. Sigh! No, it's good; it's very good to know how to control the eczema, because eczema sucks, right? And the kitchen chemist in me is very excited to experiment further with different types of flour (spelt behaves much like wheat, but buckwheat is heavier and seems to absorb liquids differently - hmmm!), so you'll see some evidence of that soon. I will be trying buckwheat tortillas (I hate working with corn flour) and will probably post my master list of weights for efficiently using your electronic scales (what?? You still don't have one?? They are $10 at Canadian Tire like every other month for a week, at least!), including some flours that are new for me. I'm also trying to soak/ferment grains more - inevitably, when you get into wheat-free, you end up reading primal and GAPS philosophy and recipes. It's fun, right? Yes.

Another weird change is that I have purchased unbleached organic WHITE flour again...! I know, I can't get over it myself. But Cure Tooth Decay argues very convincingly in favour of making white (unbleached) sourdough your go-to bread: the phytic acid in whole grains resides in the dark, oily, nutrient-rich bran of the kernels - so though that's where the nutrients are at, the phytic acid effectively blocks absorption of those nutrients. Soaking/fermenting/sprouting goes so far at unlocking the enzyme phytase, which sort of eats the phytic acid and makes the bioavailibility of the nutrients go up, but wheat is apparently quite tricky and the author just says to use white flour. Crazy. Anyway, since I'm not eating wheat, and Tony has a soft spot for white flour, I figure I can still tell myself I'm being Healthy And Responsible by doing it sourdough-style. For more on this, see this excellent entry on Kitchen Stewardship on why some experts recommend white flour, with a good amount of traditional/historical detail - which is super important to me - and yes, reading CTD, and this article, I do recall seeing anthropological images of, or reading biblical accounts of, pre-industrialized non-Western cultures sifting grain to create reduced-bran flours. Isn't this, like, in the pyramids? I'm pretty sure I've read or seen that hieroglyphics illustrate this process. It has tradition on its side! (Can you tell by the length of this paragraph that I am still sort of reeling from this decision, and maybe feeling a tad insecure?) The whole Kitchen Stewardship series on soaking grains is here, and if you want to get researchy, you can by the phytic acid research paper by Amanda Rose of Rebuild From Depression here. I also have it in a hard copy if you want to borrow it. Anywho, I am going to keep making the sourdough starter with whole wheat bread flour, but will be using unbleached white flour to make the loaves. So weird to say "out loud"!

So - just to be clear - I am NOT advocating Wonderbread!! I hope, and really, I do believe, that real sourdough bread is a world away from supermarket un-food imitation bread products.

Whew, so... that's what's cooking for us, lately!


  1. How long have you been wheat-free? How did you make this discovery! Oh, Amy! I was so puzzled with the rice pizza...I was like "...what? but why?" Now it makes sense....what about quinoa flour?

  2. "Isn't this, like, in the pyramids? I'm pretty sure I've read or seen that hieroglyphics illustrate this process."