Eating Wheat Again
I went 100 % gluten-free in 2011. Before that I was very low-gluten. Most people now know that modern-day gluten bread is more than just hard to digest. Here’s an article written by Chris Kresser on 50 Shades of Gluten (Intolerance).
Unfortunately, the gluten-free breads I buy are not very satisfying. The ingredients do not read like whole foods – more like refined, processed and unnatural. Not to mention most have genetically engineered ingredients. Even Udi’s, our gluten-free brand of choice, has an ingredient list that looks like this:
UDI’S BEST BLEND (TAPIOCA & POTATO STARCH, BROWN RICE & TEFF FLOUR, MODIFIED TAPIOCA STARCH), WATER, NON-GMO VEGETABLE OIL (CANOLA OR SUNFLOWER OR SAFFLOWER), EGG WHITES, EVAPORATED CANE JUICE, TAPIOCA MALTODEXTRIN, TAPIOCA SYRUP, YEAST, FLAX SEED, XANTHAN GUM, SALT, BAKING POWDER (SODIUM ACID PYROPHOSPHATE, SODIUM BICARBONATE, CORN STARCH, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), CULTURED CORN SYRUP SOLIDS (NATURAL MOLD INHIBITOR), DRY MOLASSES, ENZYMES.
A few months ago I read an article in Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine about Jack Bezian, who has been baking wheat bread the traditional way for many years. He sells it at farmers’ markets in Santa Monica, California. Jack has a bevy of gluten-intolerant customers, who are, understandably, so grateful that he bakes the way he does.
Combine that information with my Weston A. Price knowledge, and I was ready to order some real sourdough bread last month. The test would be to see if my nine year old son and I would react (him: eczema, itchy nose, behavior issues; me: aching in finger joints, bloating).
Now, I’ve read enough about gluten intolerance to know that even if you aren’t feeling any negative effects from gluten, that doesn’t mean that you’re free and clear to eat it. Just like when you put on some L’Oreal makeup and the propyl paraben soaks into your skin causing your liver to stress, gluten and other food allergens can do silent damage.
But honestly, the bread tastes so much more real and health-promoting than the gluten-free bread alternatives, and we’ve not seen anything at all to concern us, that we are eating it every day. With lots of raw or low temperature pasteurized butter like Kerry Gold.
Happily, we are on our second shipped box of real bread. I like the plain boule and the zucchini onion very much and am eager to try the other flavors. I send a 60 dollar money order and a few days later receive a box of six loaves. I freeze five and start on my first.
Having scoured the internet for info before I bought my first box, I read that not everyone says they’re bloat-free and happy after trying some. But many are.
Jack ferments the wheat for weeks which helps lower the gluten and make it more digestible. Here is part of an email from him:
All of our breads are lower in gluten, because we form the gluten better, bake at the right time, and use the right equipment at the right temperature. If you are a severe wheat intolerant, a sourer bread may help you more, but any one in the list should be fine. That is why we prefer white flour against whole grain, we can ferment up to a month, Whole grain fails faster and a coarse grain does not behave as well.
Here’s a video of Jack talking about his type of sourdough culture that contains multiple strains of micro-flora.
I’m not affiliated financially with Jack. I am only writing this because I am happy to be eating WAPF-style (if Jack will let me call it that) sourdough bread, and if there’s a chance you could eat it too and be happy, then that makes more of us happy. Of course, please do your own research and come to your own conclusions before trying wheat again. Don’t rely on my take.
Do let me know if you’ve tried this bread and what you think!