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If its Gluten Free it ain’t Bread

“Is this bread gluten free?” A question we are often asked by well meaning albeit maybe visually challenged gluten free cheerleaders. We love you guys and truly believe in your gluten sensitivities but first of all, if its gluten free it ain’t bread. Bread has gluten. Yes? Yoghurt has active bacterial culture; bread has gluten. Call it want you want; cardboard, drywall, or insulation but ‘gluten free’ is a descriptor that disqualifies a loaf as real bread. Tofu ain’t chicken no matter how much you try.

Tofu Wiener
Tofu Wiener – Courtesy Thomas Pluck
Cheap photo shot? True, but you got this far so might as well keep calm and carry on…
Next time you see a loaf of bread of any size or loft, call it oven spring, it is not gluten free. Our bread is lofty. You can see that.
Lofty Sour-Dough
Lofty Sour-Dough

Gluten free bread is kinda flat. Opposite of lofty. You can see that too.

Gluten-Free Raspberry Tea Bread - Courtesy Melting Your Mouth
Gluten-Free Raspberry Tea Bread – Courtesy Melting Your Mouth

Second, we believe commercial yeast is also at blame. In a gluten free nutshell here is why. Commercial yeast is designed to react very quickly and doesn’t allow sufficient time for enzymes to break down starch molecules. That means your digestive system must work very hard to finish the process of breaking down the starches and in some people that can lead to a bloated feeling. Hence the term gluten sensitivity. A naturally leavened bread like ours mitigates that demand on your digestive system and thus can be better tolerated.

Out of the nutshell here is the same thing as explained by the  Real Bread Campaign for basement dwelling, Frito-Lay munching nerds.

True sourdough breads are made using a starter that contains a culture of naturally occurring yeasts and lactobacilli or lactic acid bacteria.  The yeasts produce carbon dioxide (CO2) that makes the bread rise and the bacteria produce lactic and acetic acids that affect characteristics including taste, texture and sourness of the finished bread.  In the right quantity, the acids also act as a preservative, slowing the onset of mould – a much more natural method than the spraying of calcium propionate that many modern factory loaves get.

From a hundred or more species of yeasts, saccharomyces cerevisiae (brewer’s sugar fungus) is the one usually predominant in sourdough cultures, the same species that’s sold as fresh, dried or instant bakers’ yeast. The main difference is that these industrialised versions are specific strains that have been bred (or even spliced together using GM technology) for characteristics such as speed and/or volume of CO2 production…   © 2009 The Real Bread Campaign.

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Starting Bread Starter

For a number of weeks farmersdotter has been working diligently on the bread starter for this years bake. She began with a dormant starter from last year which responded very well and will yield a wonderful sour dough. She also developed another starter from pineapple and red grapes.

Bread Starter
Bread Starter

The fruit provides the sugar on which the yeast feeds allowing a preferment and a longer fermentation time for the yeast enzyme and bacterial actions on the starch and proteins in the dough. This in turn improves the keeping time of the baked bread, and it creates greater complexities of flavour.

Halving the starter everyday to feed it means there is an abundance of starter dough left over so one problem is what to do with the left over starter. No doubt farmersdotter will come up with a solution but in the mean time we are developing a great store of frozen waffles!

Yesterday we started firing the wood oven in the Bakery. It will take a few burns to get the oven well primed for the first bake for the Penticton Farmers Market May 5.

Bakery Oven
Bakery Oven