When I first got into Traditional Food nearly 14 years ago, I pretty much had to make anything and everything myself because there were few companies (and none in my local area) that made the type of food I was seeking – let alone understood what I was even talking about!
Nowhere was this paradigm disconnect more apparent than the art of breadmaking.
“Isn’t using yeast the proper way to get bread to rise? Isn’t this the way it’s always been done?” they would blankly ask.
“If the bread is organic, isn’t that good enough?”
Uh, no, no and no!
Yeast for breadmaking is relatively new in the grand scheme of human history. In fact, when baker’s yeast was first introduced as an alternative to true sourdough starter in France in the mid 1600’s, it was strongly rejected because the Renaissance scientists of the time knew that this quicker, more convenient approach to breadmaking would negatively affect public health.
A few weeks ago, I posted on Facebook that I was trying a new soaked bread recipe. Quite a few of you commented or emailed asking for the recipe, but I wanted to get it just right first before sharing. Making traditionally prepared bread (as opposed to modern, difficult to digest yeasted breads) can be a bit tricky to master and no one wants to waste quality ingredients not to mention precious time on failed attempts!
To make a long story short, it took me a little trial and error to get the recipe to work, but the results are awesome (you can even slice the loaf for sandwiches!) so I thought I’d share for those of you who enjoy baking traditionally prepared bread for your family.
Homemade bread is making a comeback, frequently combined with the convenience of a bread machine recipe. More and more people are opting to make their own with quality ingredients they source themselves.
Quality trumping convenience is an idea whose time has come in the bread department as the general public awakens to the dangers of white flour, one of the “displacing foods of modern commerce” as described by Dr. Weston A. Price in his nutritional classic Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.
This is a radical change from even just a few decades ago. My Grandmother, like many of her generation, always chose white bread over “brown bread” as she called it because she considered whole wheat bread a sign of poverty. She believed this because she observed when she was growing up that those who ate white bread were more affluent and educated.
Our family loves my Belgian waffles recipe using sprouted flour. Belgian waffles are our family’s breakfast of choice most weekends and the kids almost always request them as their special birthday breakfast.
I’ve tried so many different Belgian waffle recipes over the years, I’ve honestly lost count. I’ve made them with various flours as well including kamut, spelt, soft white wheat, einkorn, rice, oat and various flour blends in between. Perhaps you’ve even tried the soaked waffle recipe I posted awhile back.
My favorite classic Belgian waffles recipe is the one by Chef Emeril Lagasse. To his credit, Emeril’s recipe calls for real eggs and butter which many of the modern waffle recipes do not.
One of the trickiest aspects of implementing the traditional method of soaked oatmeal in order to maximize the nutrition, eliminate antinutrients, and considerably improve digestibility is getting used to the slightly sour taste.
Some of you are even going so far as to rinse the soaked oatmeal after cooking, for example, in an attempt to lessen that slightly sour taste that some find unpleasant. Unfortunately, these efforts are not working very well for those of you that have emailed me about it.