Back to Basics: Bread

Bread is and always has been my weakness. I think it runs in the family, if you ask my siblings what their favourite meal is they will undoubtedly say Bread & Butter. However, everywhere you look you see diets and regimens eliminating this "evil food". I am aware that as a society we have manipulated certain varieties of wheat to the point where some might even consider it unhealthy, and we certainly consume more than our share of this golden grain. We've narrowed down our diverse ecosystem to Corn, Soy and Wheat and most of the food we buy at the supermarket is derived from those. But still – I could not help but to question: What ever happened to home made bread? The most basic fermented food that used to bring families and the community together. I try my level best to avoid white bread and other processed varieties but I struggled to understand this war against wheat (gluten specifically) and the concept of bread itself. So I got myself a book and decided to experiment on a quest to find a recipe that would satisfy my family's taste buds and needs. Worth the journey!

In ancient Greece, local community bakeries were well established, each family made their own variety at home, then left a mark to label their bread before taking it into the public ovens.
— Breads & Rolls, Thermomix

I went back to the basics and started experimenting with a variety of grains, cereals and seeds, made 12 different recipes in 12 days. Nothing out of ordinary, simple recipes with a few ingredients, and of course, switching some of the conventional ingredients for healthier alternatives. Nut Mylk instead of processed Cow Milk, Sea or Pink Salt instead of Table Salt, Coconut Oil or Cold pressed Virgin Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil, Vinegar instead of Eggs, Raw Honey or Stevia instead of White processed Sugar, and Whole Grain flour instead of White processed flour. What an experience! I've been involved in food preparation for a number of years now, but I have to admit, nothing has been more rewarding than making my own bread.
What have I learned?

  • Making bread is much easier than I thought it would be! Baking a cookie is way more complicated.
  • Every grain is different in texture, flavour, humidity and consistency. 
  • Once you have the basic mix, you can add anything to your bread! Seeds, dried fruit, olives, the possibilities are endless!
  • If you don't have Celiac disease or any kind of Gluten intolerance/discomfort, moderate amounts of wheat, spelt, rye and oats are OK. Just keep in mind that the more variety in your diet, the better!
  • For Gluten-free diets, the most nutritious grains would be Quinoa, Millet, Amaranth & Buckwheat in the form of flour for bread. You can also experiment with Rice, Corn, Almond, Teff and Kamut flour as well.
The first fermented breads appeared around 3,000 BC. They noticed how after kneading and leaving the doe unattended for a long time, it would double the size and result in a lighter and softer bread.
— Breads & Rolls, Thermomix
Trying to mimic my nostalgic "Three sided bread" from Arequipa

Trying to mimic my nostalgic "Three sided bread" from Arequipa

Made with Love

Made with Love

White or highly processed bread has no particular smell or taste, it totally lacks in personality!
— Mariana, The Mindful Sprout
Spelt + Rye = Family favourite! 

Spelt + Rye = Family favourite! 

The recipe below doesn't require the use of a blender, nor a bread machine. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients and your regular oven for baking.

SPELT & RYE BREAD

INGREDIENTS

  • 380 g. Water
  • 250 g. Rye Flour
  • 150 g. Spelt
  • 100 g. Nut Mylk Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Flax Seeds
  • Dried or Fresh Yeast (follow the instructions on the package)
  • 1 Tbsp. Raw Honey
  • 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 Tsp. Sea or Himalayan Salt

Pre heat the oven to 200℃. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, leave to ferment for 2 hours (covered with a wet cloth in a warm spot). Place the dough on a baking sheet, shape it, sprinkle a few more seeds for decoration and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 180℃. Bake for 15 minutes. Let it cool before slicing.

12 Days, 12 Recipes


SOURCES:

Photos by: The Mindful Sprout

Book: 

Nutrition Facts: