SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

February 18, 2018

BREAD – I’ve been thinking. . .

Let’s bring ‘Bread’ back, ourselves

For some of us – there’s no such thing as retiring, could croak, but not quit.  Recently thought my time was up (as many no doubt noticed – the long spaces between posts). . .but, promise. ..  I’ll relate soonish, want to relate what I think is working for me on a different issue.  This post is not about that.  Instead, once again – it’s about something I dearly love – BREAD. . . Sourdough Bread.  I can’t be the only one who is longingly approving of bread.  But not just any bread.  Gotta be healthy for us;  nourishing and heavenly scented.  And while we’re dreaming, why not HEALING too (helping to repopulate the friendly bacteria in our gut – – which heals, instead of causing so many of our modern day ills as store-bought bread now does?)   

I’m presently awaiting  stone ground whole wheat flour from one online source and a hunk of starter which is from a starter more than 15 years old – – guaranteed to get the job done.  It is originally from a Russian culture and then blended with a Finland culture, then adapted to the environs of several local states in our own country.  I bought this special culture from “Donna’s Live Sourdough Culture” at   Why go this route?   Well, I who am nutso over everything I do in the kitchen, am not really successful getting it done properly using the yeast in the air method to cooperate with me.  Either I did something wrong or didn’t do enough of something,. . . I dunno. When I started on  that fruit diet in September ’17, tossed my starter – had been using, as was disappointed in my efforts.  Threw my Scobies from the Kombucha into my rose garden – they loved it, even some of the roses I thought had died came back and  and reached for life again.  Couldn’t find anyone who was willing to accept my Scoby family.  I am making my KOMBUCHA again,. . . only this time, I created my own Scoby on my own with just the Black Tea and sugar + distilled water and a bit of time.  It was gorgeous and even better than the one I had bought before.  And delicious.   I’m making twice as much now as my son loves it too. One CAN buy good Kombucha in stores, but the law of 2010 limited how commercial Kombucha is made due to the minor liquor content which the carbonating process generates. .  .  .  so homemade is always better and cheaper. 

So if one uses Kombucha,  makes fermented veggies (have put up several recipes – – my own and others over time since 2008), no choice, you’re gonna be healthy.   But for utopia, I want my sourdough bread back. . so I’m gonna have it.   Don’t know how I’ll work it all out, but whatever it takes – – it’ll be worth it.  Let’s remember – BREAD WAS ONCE UPON A TIME  “Healthy Stuff” until commerce decided to make it for us.  Bread was always made with airborne yeast and slow rising (overnite).  They couldn’t do it profitably the way people had always done it (globally), so (baker’s) yeast was developed and used commercially which cut timing down to as little s 40″ for some and a matter of hours for others.   Ingredient changes happened as well.   Even the grains have been altered (genetically modified) and morphed into a product,  becoming harmful instead of healing and nourishing.   People did not know or understand the significance.  Progress may be good for some,   but mostly, the uniformed public is injured.   Allergies, leaky gut syndrome, colon cancer and lots of digestive diseases as well as the loss of one of our favorite foods.  This all happened early last century, but look how our disease level has grown.  Because one thing all love and most still use is bread.   Especially the middle class and those on down in order to keep bellies full.   It’s really only in this last year or two that I have fully realized what has really happened here.  Tho I claim to be an eternal student,  I certainly am not the first to catch on to ‘what is’  .  .  so . . .  do we just say . .’that’s the way it is’ ?   Or can we DO SOMETHING  about it?    Can everybody start breadmaking?  I don’t think they will!. . they could!. . .but they won’t for 1001 reasons.  Still,  why not. .


You know, into groups or clubs. . different sections of people  where we normally gather anyway because we share ‘something,’ or we wouldn’t be gathering in the first place.  It could be discussed . . a sort of bread-baking group done in turns or groups  or even, perhaps some might open up business with slo-baked, natural and (long-forgotten) deliciousness.  Such business still functions abroad, tho not too many of them.  It is more costly first off. . but how much is such a rare blessing worth?  Most of us would pay whatever it takes to get healthful, scrumptious stuff which we actually want.   

We all need this fiber if we would be healthy.  Our satiety levels would improve as well as well as  our joy.  I’m just thinking that there surely can be ways we could share the load burden-wise so that most of us could recapture something which has been taken from us and we didn’t even know it. . .  .  along with the milk issue.  Who knew that “pasteurization”  of bovine milk has made it unsuitable for human consumption  – – look at all those babies who have been ill-served with cow juice; setting up a cascade of allergens and neurological disabilities.  Of course. . . SOY is worse.  It’s a sad thing when a woman can’t nurse or refuses to.  In all my years I’ve never found anywhere to be able to buy old-fashioned RAW MILK just the way the cows gave it long ago.

Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers (I’m sure no ONE individual does), but I’ve managed to find a tidbit of info which is relevant to this subject in the following.   I have a habit of copying info I want to keep or use (one day)  – toss it into ‘Notes’ til needed.  Sorry, I didn’t copy the source and these words were only a part of the whole.  But it’s worth sharing just as it is. . . so I’m sharing.  Found it as my Starter for Sourdough will be here next week and I was scrounging for all the ammo I could find to do it right (if I can).   I’m hoping some or any of you will give this some thought – – why shouldn’t we as people – ordinary, be able to help ourselves retrieve some of what has been lost.   We’re still here, the Earth may be suffering, but she will cooperate if we try.  .  .  just sayin’            Jan

About 95% of the flour used in the USA is white.

Only 20 to 30% of the grains original vitamins are retained.

       Natural leavened bread, because of its inherent beneficial ferments, slowly recreates the population of friendly lactobacillus digestive bacteria in the absorption tract. The end result is a recovery of digestion and proper elimination by the effective action of friendly bacteria. Numerous studies demonstrate that populations with the highest fiber intake have the lowest incidence of colon cancer.

In an article, published in 1984 in East-West Journal, Ronald Kotsch describes why conventionally yeasted bread contributes to disease. “In (conventional) yeast fermentation, the starch cells of the bread actually explode. The patterns they form are identical to those of cancer cells. According to French researcher Jean Claude Vincent, the bio-electrical energy of the dough also is identical to that of cancer cells.”

According to Walter Last, “Undigested gluten from quickly risen bread can seriously weaken the intestinal wall. Its effect on the tiny absorption villi in the small intestine may be compared to the action of sandpaper on wood. Animal experiments have shown that the intestinal absorption villi are long and slender before they come into repeated contact with wheat protein. Afterwards, they become blunt and broad, with a much-reduced ability to absorb. This greatly contributes to the widespread incidence in our society of people with problems of malabsorption and who are missing out on vital nutrients. In such people, not only are the absorption villi blunted, the irritation caused by the sandpaper effect of gluten produces a protective mucus coating over the intestinal wall and this makes it still more difficult for nutrients to pass through the intestinal wall.” 

Thus we find gluten, and especially wheat gluten, implicated in malabsorption diseases, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, and just about every disease under the sun. When things go wrong in our guts we do not receive the nutrition we need. Malnutrition is one of the major factors that lead to disease including cancer.

Since bread and wheat products are such an important part of daily food consumption, it follows that such food items be healthy and wholesome. Today’s milling, refining, bleaching, enriching, and addition of various chemicals to flour and baked breads cause many scientists and medical workers to question their nutritional quality as well as their safety.

Traditionally starters were passed down from generation to generation but if you don’t know someone who has it one can simply mix some flour and water (some suggest starting it with fresh pineapple juice instead of water) and leave it out on the counter for a week or until its bubbling. During this process the natural yeast and bacteria in the air will impregnate the mixture) Sourdoughs are fermented by a variety of lactic acid bacteria, called Lactobacillus, which consume sugar to form carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas. They also produce lactic and acetic acids, which give sourdough breads their distinctive flavor. Traditional sourdoughs do not contain baker’s yeast.

Storage methods for breads that contain no additives are very important to maintain freshness and to avoid spoilage. The staling process begins for regular yeasted bread as soon as the bread is removed from the oven. Sourdough bread on the other hand increases in nutritional value for days. Freezing bread prevents microbial spoilage. Baked bread can be kept frozen for three months without losing flavor. Interestingly, slightly stale bread is more easily digested than fresh bread, up to ten days, after which there is a reversal (Jackel et al., 1952). When I used to make sourdough bread I would make many loafs but would wait two days before freezing any of them to let the natural yeast continue to work in the bread.

Use organic whole wheat stone ground if possible. The toxicity of pesticide residues on food depends on whether organs, including the liver, have the ability to metabolize them and their resulting metabolites (Hayes & Borzelleca, 1982). There is evidence that pesticides also interact with other chemicals and nutrients in the diet (Dubois, 1972). Chronic poisonings have occurred from ingesting aflatoxins from grain due to inappropriate cleaning (Opitz, 1984; Pfander et al., 1985).

There are several advantages to stone-ground wheat flour. The endosperm, bran, and germ remain in their natural, original proportions. Because the stones grind slowly, the wheat germ is not exposed to excessive temperatures. Heat causes the fat from the germ portion to oxidize and become rancid and much of the vitamins to be destroyed (Aubert, 1989). The nutritional importance of using fresh stone-ground grains for bread-making was revealed in the results of feeding studies in Germany (Bernasek, 1970). Rats were fed diets consisting of 50% flour or bread. Group 1 consumed fresh stone-ground flour. Group 2 was fed bread made with this flour. Group 3 consumed the same flour as group 1 but after 15 days of storage. Group 4 was fed bread made with the flour fed to group 3. A fifth group consumed white flour. After four generations, only the rats fed fresh stone-ground flour and those fed the bread made with it maintained their fertility. The rats in groups 3 to 5 had become infertile. Four generations for rats is believed to be equivalent to one hundred years in humans.

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