Well Fed Family – Breads
Presented & Produced by Amy Knowles & Lee Burdett
One of the keys to making nutrient-dense bread is to soak the grains or flour. This point is made and demonstrated throughout this video. We get to see each step of the process from grinding the grain in a grinder that sounds like it is powered by a jet engine, to soaking in a warm, acidic medium, to adding ingredients and baking. In addition to showing us the details, they explain why they do what they do.
A variety of different bread products are demonstrated, including cinnamon bread, sandwich bread, corn bread, tortillas, biscuits and pancakes. One of the choices is an Ezekiel mix bread which has spelt, lentils, wheat, beans, barley and millet. The cooks take advantage of more than one opportunity to point at the Bisquick box and laugh at its long list of good, wholesome ingredients straight from the lab, or another planet. They don’t actually use the box otherwise. You can use that box or you can use real ingredients (including a lot of butter) and live a little longer and happier. It will taste better too. For the biscuits you can use a cast iron skillet if you like. They use a griddle in the video because it’s cute. Of course it is important to sample the results for quality control. The down side is that if you were too successful, sampling may lead to needing to do the whole thing over again.
One minor quibble: Knowles and Burdett explain the importance of soaking or sourdough fermentation to get rid of phytic acid, which, they say, “makes bread hard to digest otherwise.” Phytic acid blocks mineral uptake, but doesn’t otherwise make grains hard to digest. It is the tannins, enzyme inhibitors and complex proteins and starches in grains that make them hard to digest, and soaking or sourdough fermentation largely take care of these also.
Knowles and Burdett have fun with their cooking. They do sneak chocolate chips into one of the recipes (don’t tell Sally) but emphasize that it is an occasional treat and that bread in general is not a good base for your diet pyramid. Good fats, meat, dairy, and eggs are properly promoted as the basis for a good diet. My thumb is not exactly an expert on cooking matters but it is UP for this.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Summer 2012.