The Gluten Monster
Since the beginning of time, bread has been “the staff of life” on almost every continent. I can still remember my Papa eating with fork in one hand and Italian bread in the other for every meal. In Italy his descendants ate the same way. Were he from Mexico, he’d have a tortilla in his hand. Were he from the Middle East, he’d have a pita. The smell and taste of fresh bread has quickened the hearts and delivered nutrition to the entire world! Until preservatives and dough conditioners, bread was eaten the healthiest way – FRESH! All bread has one thing in common from the beginning of time, they all contained, gluten, which comes from the Latin word “glue.”
Take a look at bread from a baker’s point of view. Bread makers love gluten because it gives the bread an “elastic” texture and “glues” the bread together. There is just the right amount of gluten in wheat to bake bread if eaten fresh and properly “proofed.” The more gluten in the bread, the easier and faster it is to make and the longer it lasts. An ingredient called “vital wheat gluten” (highly concentrated gluten) is added to make bread “predictable” when “processed” through machines in modern factories that stuff their “bread” with gluten, preservatives, yeast, and dough conditioners. Nutritious bread falls apart as it ages if not frozen. Quick, easy, and shelf-stable bread has now replaced freshly baked nutritious bread taking only 30 minutes compared to 5 hours. Huge manufacturing plants are more “efficient” and “profitable” monetarily (not to our health). Read your “healthy” bread’s ingredients (especially “sprouted breads”), and you will see “vital wheat gluten” added. The longer bread can sit on the shelf or in storage, the more profitable it becomes. Most “brands” do not even bake their own “bread” having large conglomerates “private label.” Using cute little names of sweet relatives (usually not even real people), they portray themselves as “family bakeries” that bake “healthy in small batches.”
Too much of a good thing can be unhealthy, and this is the case with “vital wheat gluten.” It is marketed as a healthy protein because like soy – it is cheap and profitable! When nutrients or proteins are “isolated” from their original “packaging” (the entire wheat kernel), our bodies may not digest and absorb “assimilate” the food. When “isolated” nutrients or proteins are put into other products for their “useful properties” such as vital wheat gluten, soy, by products of corn, etc., we notice an adverse effect and our bodies can develop allergies to these products. Since gluten is glue, it holds all the environmental chemicals, pesticides, and pollutions of the field in which it grew. The more concentrated the gluten (vital wheat gluten), the more concentrated these are. Your body’s acceptance and usefulness of the food that you eat (assimilation) is very important to your health.
We as a family bakery believe that using gluten in its original intended form allows us to enjoy “the staff of life” in its healthiest form. Anything worth having or eating takes time, and bread is no exception! Every loaf we bake uses a true sour dough starter and is delivered and shipped fresh from our ovens within hours of baking them. Taking 5 hours to mix, knead, divide, proof, shape, and double proof the “old fashioned” way and only using Certified Organic highest quality ingredients is worth the time and labor as we see the healthy advantages in our families, children, grandchildren, and now our customers!