My daily bread

30 Jun

I’m not sure what set off my sensitivity to wheat gluten. I think it might be linked to my hay fever, or to the anti-histamines I take during this long season of grass pollen. It’s not just grass; I also react to oil-seed rape, rosebay willow herb, a common roadside weed, and African violets! (And something in a female neighbours’s floral perfume). Anyhow, I recognised the signs and cut out the wheat. So, no bread, pasta or any products sneaking in the occasional bit of wheat, if I can avoid it. That also rules out one of my favourite tipples, wheat beer. What is the effect on me of wheat, I do not hear you ask. Well, the bottom doesn’t drop out of my world, but it feels like the world drops out of my bottom.

As making bread is one of my favourite occupations, this has largely been put on hold. I have made some gluten free bread, but it is a bit of a funny thing, more like a savoury sponge-cake than proper bread. Even the way it is made is like a cake recipe. The flour (rice and maize, mostly) is mixed into a loose batter with yeast, eggs and milk. I have no problem with eggs, but I need to take lactose caplets if I stick to the recipe. The mixture, with a bit of sugar and a teaspoon of vinegar and another of salt is mixed to a gloop and poured into a greased bread tin to rise and then bake. The results are ok, but it is far from delicious. I shall try making bread from rye and other grains, and report back on the progress. It looks like another visit to the local wholefood store for some rye flour, tomorrow. I already have some polenta (fine maize meal),and gram (chickpea) flour. Any suggestions?

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