The stuff of life, and a staple food in most peoples kitchens. A vehicle for butter & jam or hummus too! It is a staple for breakfast, with lunch or as a ' scarpetta" (Italian term for the piece of bread used to mop up the delicious sauces on the plate). In short, bread is part of the joy of life!
Out of them all, I have found that bread is probably the most difficult food to give up for most people, as it is such an easy go - to any time of day. It's a difficult food to substitute, as the gluten free alternatives are generally filled with awful ingredients, and not a healthy option and they typically taste like cardboard!
This is why I am delighted to bring you two gluten free options that really are delicious, healthy and provide a great substitute to gluten bread.
Lots of people ask me what the issue with gluten is, and why gluten sensitivity is becoming ever more ubiquitous.
I believe that it is to do with how we are farming and consuming. 50 years ago, we would have been making our own bread from scratch, using flour grown and milled locally, and the wheat would have been spray free and organic.
The wheat itself may not be the issue..
Now, due to larger and larger scale agricultural models, it is the norm to buy sliced white bread, made from the wheat grown in depleted soils, and sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate - used as a dessicating / drying agent in the UK.
Glyphosate AKA Roundup is designed to disrupt enzymes, and kill bacteria. It is a broad spectrum biocide.
Glyphosate was introduced to the market as Roundup in the 1970s, and whilst there is little evidence to say that there is a connection between the introduction of this weed killer into our food chain, and our health - considering this enzyme destroyer has been found in 70% people in the UK and only in 40% of test samples in Europe, I think it’s important to not simply ‘follow the science’ but really follow our common sense and instincts here. Our health depends on enzymatic reactions and bacterial diversity , and It has been found to kill important gut bacteria that play an essential role in our mental & immune health.
Consuming gut disrupting compounds lead to an impaired digestive system, and compromised gut wall. Over time, our immune systems, endocrine systems and nervous systems are disrupted. I wonder if partly why were seeing a huge rise in anxiety, adhd, immune conditions and gut related conditions are to do with the enzyme destroying Glyphosate that’s being sprayed on our UK wheat?
If you are experiencing chronic health issues and consume commercial wheat - my suggestion is to go gluten free in order to heal your gut, before introducing organic wheat into your diet again (I would recommend sourdough only as it is so much more gentle on the digestive system, and full of helpful fibre)
So what can you do to protect you health?
- Minimise damage to your gut, by removing all biocide products from your home & food : antibacterial wipes, sprays and hand soaps - GONE! (I will write another blog on effective alternatives to antibacterial cleaning products)
- Avoid non organic wheat. If you have any signs of an impaired gut wall (immune issues, thyroid issues, mental health etc), give your gut a chance to repair by eliminating all gluten for min. 12 weeks.
See these brilliant gluten free finds below to help you transition to healthy & delicious gluten alternatives!
Going gluten free doesn’t need to be difficult with these two solutions, that I have shared below.
The first is an amazing gluten free sourdough bakery that delivers all over the UK. It is run by a baker who happens to be a celiac, and so has found that the gluten free quality bread market was really lacking.
Their gluten free, sourdough bread is absolutely delicious - I highly recommend you check out My Gluten Free Bakery!
The second discovery that has really been a hit in our (mostly) gluten free home is this linseed bread (Paleo Keto Bread aka PK Bread ) by the wonderful Dr Sarah Myhill. She’s vivacious and very passionate about her work as an educator and Dr, supporting people with chronic health issues to heal from the inside out. If you haven't discovered her - I highly recommend you check her out! I have shared the recipe below: This bread only contains linseeds and water - really rich in gut friendly omega 3, fibre and no gluten or risk of containing sprays. An all round win!
Look at that inside! So soft,like a Hovis bread!
This was my first attempt at these rolls and they came out really well! They held together beautifully and were easy to make. (Recipe below)
Take 250gms whole linseed .You could purchase in 250gm packs and that saves weighing it!
Use dark or golden linseed grains - the golden grains produce a brown loaf, the dark a black one. Do not use commercially ground linseed – the grinding is not fine enough, also it will have absorbed some water already and this stops it sticking together in the recipe. If you purchase linseed in bulk then you must weigh it really accurately in order to get the proportion of water spot on! No raising agent is required. Pour half the linseed into the nutribullet together with one rounded teaspoon of sunshine salt. Grind into a fine flour Use the flat blade to get the finest flour Grind until the machine starts to groan and sweat with the effort! You need a really fine flour to make a good loaf. This takes about 30 seconds The finer you can grind the flour the better it sticks together and the better the loaf. I do this in 2 batches or the blades “hollow out” the mix so that half does not circulate and grind fully.Pour the ground flour into a mixing bowl Repeat the above with the second half of seeds and add to mixing bowl.Whilst this is grinding, measure the water you needAdd in exactly 270ml water (not a typo – 270 it is!). Chuck it all in at once, do not dribble it in. Stir it with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring. It will thicken over the course of 30 seconds. Keep stirring until it becomes sticky and holds together in a lumpThe amount of water is critical! When it comes to cooking I am a natural chucker in of ingredients and hope for the best. But in this case – you must measure! Initially this will look as if you have added far too much water! Keep stirring.Use your fingers to scoop up a dollop of coconut oil or lard. Use this to grease the baking tin.Your hands will be covered in fat which means you can pick up your sticky dough without it sticking your hands.Use your hands to shape the dough until it has a smooth surface. Drop it into the greased baking tin.Spend about 30 seconds doing this. Do not be tempted to knead or fold the loaf or you introduce layers of fat which stop it sticking to itself. This helps prevents the loaf cracking as it rises and cooks (although I have to say it does not matter two hoots if it does. It just looks more professional if it does not!)Let it rest for a few minutes,………so it fully absorbs all the water and becomes an integral whole. This is not critical but allows enough time to………..rub any excess fat into your skin where it will be absorbed.There is no need to wash your hands after – the basis for most hand creams is coconut oil or lard. (Yes, lard! It amuses me that rendered animal fat is a major export from our local knacker man to the cosmetic industry).Put loaf into the hot oven at least 220° for 60 minutesSet a timer or you will forget! I always do! I do not think the temperature is too critical - but it must be hot enough to turn the water in the loaf into steam because this is what rises it. I cook on a wood fired stove and the oven temp is tricky to be precise with. That does not seem to matter so long as it is hot! Indeed, I like the flavour of a slightly scorched crust. Alternatively, when the dough is made, fashion it into a rolling pin shape. Then cut into 12 discs. That make 12 buns that cook perfectly.Wipe out the mixing bowl with a paper towel.This cleaning method is quick and easy. The slightly greasy surface which remains will be ideal for the next loaf. The point here is that fat cannot be fermented by bacteria or yeast and does not need washing off mixing and cooking utensils. My frying pan has not been washed for over 60 years. I know this because my mother never washed it either.When the timer goes off, take loaf out of oven, tip out and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cool keep in the fridge in a bag or airtight container.. It lasts a week kept like this. Freezes well too. Best used sliced thinly with narrow bladed serrated knife.