Made a couple of breads today.
Bread#1: partial hemp and semolina with celery seed
- 700g ww flour
- 200g hemp flour
- 100g semolina flour
- 50g wheat germ
- 20g celery seed
- 20g salt
- 750g water
- some flax seeds for the top
This was a very damp dough, so I didn't add any extra water at the addition of salt. It did improve after a bit of sitting. I only turned it twice, and then decided sleep was more important. And I was noticing that my sourdough wasn't performing very well -- I hadn't refreshed it for 3 days, and it was likely nearly spent -- so I opted for a longer bulk ferment, in tins, and I'd bake it in the morning.
I baked it at 500 degrees F for 20 minutes, in a covered roasting pan, then removed the lid and baked another 20 minutes at 450 degrees F. Then I removed it from the pan and baked it on the rack for an additional 6-8 minutes. When it came out of the oven, I immediately brushed butter on the top to soften the crust.
Bread #2. Partial Kamut with added flax and bran
I refreshed the sourdough again, and it seemed to be more viable now, so I made this second bread, after taking the tinned loaves from the oven. This bread consisted of:
- 700g ww flour
- 300g kamut flour
- 50g wheat germ
- 50g wheat bran
- 50g flax seed
- 750g water
- 20g salt
No great design here. I simply was using up some flour and other materials that I had on hand. I had no idea whether the kamut was whole grain, so I added the extra bran. It can never hurt.
I have been using organic ww flour now since January, and notice no difference in taste or quality. I suppose one pays extra for psychological benefits, and peace of mind. And for the earth too.
I really liked the partial hemp and celery seed bread -- but my wife found it bitter. I found the taste interesting, and I also found that it left my breath fresh (unlike some breads).
I felt that the partial kamut and bran loaf was also good; it had a good rise despite the branniness of the crumb, which bordered on the furry when the knife went through it. But my wife found it a bit more sour in taste than usual. That's probably a reflection on the state of my starter, more than anything else.
I looked at a number of online articles about Kamut, recently. One of them that I found memorable is freely downloadable: Columba, M. and Gregorini, A. (2012). Are Ancient Durum Wheats Less Toxic to Celiac Patients? A Study of α-Gliadin from Graziella Ra and Kamut. The Scientiﬁc World Journal. 10(1100) 837416. 8p.
These scientists decided to test the hypothesis that our modern wheat causes more immune response than more ancient grains -- a view that has been popularized by many people, including Dr. William Davis, author of Wheat Belly.
The science does not support this view, at least, not yet. This article tested a couple of "ancient grains" -- Graziella Ra and Kamut, both thought to be older versions of our modern Durum wheat. Comparing it to four modern Durum wheats (Cappelli, Flaminio, Grazia and Svevo) they found the ancient wheat causes similar immune response with those suffering from celiac disease. The older the variety, the more protein it had; the more protein, the more gliadin, and thus, the similar immune response from those with Celiac Disease. There were some small differences in the proteins, but it was felt that in the absence of more study, all of these varieties had potential to elicit an immune response in susceptible humans.
And how far back does one have to go, in history, to find an "ancient grain" wheat variety that would not cause an immune reaction in those who are susceptible?
Interesting factoid from the article: "Capelli is an Italian traditional strain of durum wheat which deserves a privileged place among the varieties of old established durum wheat for being the very first selected variety." (The Italian Traditions web site tells us that the Capelli wheat was selected for in 1915.) Flaminio, Grazia and Svevo are contemporary varieties. Graziella Ra and Kamut are distant ancestors, so far back their relationship to durham is controversial, debated amongst geneticists. And what we find is that the protein levels are higher in the earlier wheat varieties, less in newer varieties.
So how to explain that Celiac Disease and immune responses to wheat are on the rise, if older varieties would have caused CD too? Here's a thought: is it possible that there are more people who have more immune reactions to wheat these days because more of them are surviving? A whole lot of diseases that are on the rise might also fall into this category -- e.g. Diabetes. People are living longer with these genetic predispositions, long enough to have children of their own (which may or may not have happened as often in the past, due to a lack of understanding of the illness, or less medical care). Since these problems are better understood, people are surviving, and are now passing along more of their genetic material.
Wheat is also passing along its genetic material, to newer varieties. By studying ancient grains, we are learning what we need to select for our future grain.
Notes to Myself
- The Italian Traditions web site has a good description of the how to make Capelli Bread. I am a bit curious about what the difference is between "Yeast culture" and "Sourdough", but I am intrigued by the method, which no doubt has evolved within the culture of South Italy, alongside their preferred variety of durum wheat. In a nutshell, the method is:
- In the evening, 1/3 of the culture yeast is mixed with 2/3 capelli flour.
- It is left 3 1/2 hours, then the same proportions are repeated.
- When the dough doubles in size, the culture yeast has leavened the dough and its ready to use.
- It is kneaded 30 minutes, and then the dough is left to proof in wooden containers lined with coarse, dry cloths. Again, it is left 3 1/2 hours.
- Baking time and temperature depend on the size of the dough