All grains contain peptides that mimic morphine or endogenous opioid substances. This is where I deal with my latest loaf craving. Get your bread-based exorphin fix here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

25% Quinoa Sourdough WW Bread

Here is a 25% quinoa sourdough bread, made with 75% whole wheat.

Mostly when you hear about quinoa bread, you are dealing with people who have celiac disease, and wheat allergy.  The flour makes a good gluten-free product, high in nutrition, that can be added to other ingredients (other gluten-free flours, and maybe xanthan gum and baking powder) to make an edible bread for those with gluten allergies or sensitivities.

I'm not one of those.  I just added some quinoa to a whole wheat flour and made a typical tartine-style sourdough bread.  25% quinoa flour may be a bit high: studies have shown that a bread containing more than 10% of quinoa affects loaf volume and taste and perception.

This bread was okay, but I prefer just plain wheat bread for taste.  Still, there is a lot going for quinoa, it is highly nutritious.  Unlike wheat, it has a more complete protein (quinoa caught the attention of scientists recently because it contains lots of lysine, the missing amino acid in wheat).  This study is typical:

Chauhan, Eskin & Tkachuk (1992) "Nutrients and Antinutrients in Quinoa Seed". Cereal Chemistry 69(85)

If they can figure out how to grow it in Canada and other countries outside the Andes, the costs of it will go down and the people of Columbia and Peru and Bolivia will be able to afford it again, and eat it as a staple like they have for thousands of years.  The "Fad of Quinoa" has driven up the price and made it prohibitive to people who should be able to obtain it in their backyard.

But to grow it here, we have to solve the downy mildew problem.

I've used quinoa before in bread, but rarely quinoa flour. Usually I just add a few seeds, soaked or not, to a loaf, for added crunch and texture.

Not much snow this year. 
But cold and damp, affecting the dough.

Notes to Myself
  • The processing of quinoa does not completely remove the saponins, the part of the outer hull that is the seed's last defense against being nibbled up by everything.  It can have a laxative effect.  Most of it is removed by washing and rubbing, but to make flour the seed has to be pearled somewhat, and when you do that, you are losing some of the nutrition.
  • If you added 10% of everything they tell you you can (and ought) to add to bread, you will end up with no wheat at all, and a bread that doesn't resemble bread.  What is an exorphin junkie to do?


  1. The loaves are beautiful!!! Perfect shape and crust.

    1. :)
      I smile because in a recent blog of yours, you said something like "exorphin junkie's loaves are not the kind of bread that you say 'that looks delicious' etc."
      And that's absolutely true. I guess I'm after something different.

  2. I agree with Anja. The loaves look very pretty.