From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Taking a step back....

... from being wheat free.  On Dec 1, 2012 I posted how I was walking away from wheat.  Modern white processed wheat.  Nasty stuff.  I turned to an older grain: spelt.  I was happy.  I felt good.  And when I had a blood test to check my Hashimoto's (an autoimmune disease that makes an immune system think the thyroid is an enemy) count and saw that it had dropped from ~1000 down to ~650, I was elated.

So in June, 2013 I even quit spelt, assuming that my counts would go down even further.

They did not.  Instead, the count in June 2014 jumped up OVER 1000.  WTF!!  

Still, I kept my to a 99% (hard to miss crosscontamination) GF diet.  But I realized that I was adding so many things I didn't like to my diet in pursuit of GF.  Gums, thickeners, husks, etc.  Things my lower tract didn't like.  

Now, mind you, I was never diagnosed as celiac and never had any trouble digesting modern wheat.  But I know from research Hashimoto's and Celiac is linked and is always a threat for me.  So, basically, by going GF, I was trying to prevent Celiac disease.  But I was not happy.

Then, in Nov 2015 I did a lot of research on fermenting flour, especially spelt.  One study showed that they fermented (soured) wholegrain spelt with yeasts and lacobacillis and the resulting bread was shown to have only 12ppm of gluten.  Wow!  FDA labels products with 20ppm as 'gluten free'.  

"Now research shows us that lacto-fermentation of wheat has the potential to drastically reduce gluten levels. We found three studies along these lines. Our favorite study showed that sourdough bread produced with a particular strain of lacto-bacilli had gluten levels of 12 parts per million – where anything under 20 ppm is considered gluten-free. Bread made with the same wheat but without lacto-fermentation had gluten levels of 75,000 ppm."

So - welcome back MONA!  You may recall I was playing with homemade sourdough back in early 2013 (CLICK HERE).  Not much came of that.  But after further reading like above, I started another MONA on Dec 1.  Just wholegrain spelt & lime juice.  That batch went for a couple weeks.  It was a tad loose and kind of a foamy/slurry.  As I removed the daily overload and jarred it up, I used it to make some pretty awesome pancakes and even a batch of sourdough cornbread.  But Mona had little flavor and while it leavened the pancakes and cornbread, it didn't lend anything else.

Enter - ReMona, a 2nd starter that used orange instead of lime juice. It got off to a great start and never needed any boost from Mona's occasionally dose of ACV.  ========>

ReMona is almost 2 weeks old and has legs!  Batters made from the accumulated overload starter are thick and almost doughy.  Pancakes actually need a bit of milk to thin the batter and next time I make cornbread, I will reduce the amount of fresh spelt flour in the overnight ferment.

But talk about flavor.  Boy howdy.  The first batch of pancakes really took me by surprise.  I thought, "What's wrong?" but figured out it was the sour, sour that Mona never developed.  ReMona is like Glenn Close: "I won't be ignored!"  LOL

Although I've not made a LOAF of sourdough bread yet, I have been eating spelt sourdough for about a month.  Berlin Natural Bakery (right here in Ohio) makes an old-fashioned spelt sourdough loaf (non-GMO, organic wholegrain) that containes only spelt, water, salt.  All the 'rise' is natural fermentation and it's delicious.  But a tad pricey.  So this month I'm going to see what I can do with ReMona.  

(P.S. in the ReMona 2nd pic shows the next batch of starter in progress:  a sifted white spelt flour/OJ which I'm hoping to use for - waaaaaait for it - sourdough pizza crust!)

Stay tuned.

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  1. Though I have problems galore with wheat, I continue to eat it once a week in my pizza crust.
    I've tested allergic to wheat, rye, and spelt. I guess giving up the stuff was just best---no substitutions---for me. I was forever trying to find something that tasted close--what a joke.
    But I refuse to give up Pizza Day and MY crust recipe is just THE BEST, bar none and so I know every Thursday night I will not sleep and my guts will be knotted up like a pretzel (which, of course, i can't eat!)
    Most of the time I don't miss bread, etc. And last weeks glut of No-No's proved once and for all--it's just not worth indulging.
    Gosh, do you remember when we could eat ANYTHING???

    Hope your New Year is going well. We had a beautiful day of sun today and tomorrow is for snow---hooray. Hopefully we'll be breaking out the skis.

    Ever get the idea I should have just EMAILED you???

    1. Yeah, but if you'd just emailed me, the rest of the world couldn't appreciate our scintilating conversations about rogue deer and guts and pain. We are such party people, no? LOL

      But really, if I make a good sourdough pizza crust (heck, even if I make a bad one that's edible), I'm emailing you the pics and the recipe. With such reduced gluten in the spelt, you might have less pain on Pizza Day. Stay tuned...