Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Love that Spelt Bread

Like a lot of Sjoggies, I just don't tolerate foods made with wheat. Um, I'll bet it wouldn't take much imagination to guess what symptoms they induce. I made an earlier promise not to discuss flatulence frequently on Reasonably Well, and I'm sticking to it.

I make it a practice to avoid eating wheat except for special occasions, and when I do, I always regret the indulgence. So does everyone else around me.

So I've been trying various wheat-free products. I have to say that the Organic Newman Os wheat free - but not gluten free - are dangerously tasty and in my opinion are an even up trade for Oreos. Rice based pastas are great, if I'm careful not to cook them too long. Once drenched in spaghetti sauce, these pastas are delicious. And don't even get me started on this gluten-free brownie mix by The Cravings Place. Man....

What I miss the most is honest to goodness home made bread. I've made home baked bread ever since I was just a kid when my mom would have me help her rip out fragrant golden loaves twelve at a time. I've tried various bread mixes labeled as gluten free, and have been disappointed in the results. Purchased loaves, especially those sold in the frozen foods section of grocery stores, taste gummy and flavorless.

I've been on a mission to find an acceptable wheat free bread recipe, and I think that tonight I may have come close. I do tolerate spelt flour, even though it does contain some gluten. Many people who have wheat intolerances but not true celiac disease can enjoy spelt products without problems. Spelt is an ancient grain with archeological evidence of its use as early as the bronze age. You can read more about spelt here.

I used a fairly simple recipe, found here, that calls for  a combination of whole and white spelt flours, honey, sea salt, butter, water, and yeast. I chose to use organic versions of these ingredients. In mixing, this bread dough definitely had a much different texture than conventional wheat flour. As recommended in the recipe directions, I tried to avoid using too much flour in the kneading process. I chose to use less sea salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons rather than 2 as listed, which was probably not a good decision. I would definitely add the full amount when making this bread in the future.

The loaves looked and smelled wonderful. The loaves do have a more crumbly texture, which is probably due to less opportunity for gluten fibers to form to create that spongy elasticity of a great white bread. Still, eaten while still warm and spread with butter and strawberry jam, it was absolutely delicious. Mmmmm..........


Seeker on the road of life said...

Ok, I just had a lightbulb moment! I am so glad that you mentioned flatulence! It is a constant complaint of my husband and daughter and I never would have figured this out on my own. Wow, I am now going to try some time off the wheat and see what happens and if my symptoms improve. Thank you for the post and if you could let me know about how long it would take to see improvement, I am sure that my family will want to thank you too!

Julia Oleinik said...

Hi, SOTROL - love the name, by the way- it seemed as though improvement happened really quickly. I would guess I noticed a change after a week. Hope it works as well for you!