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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Wheatgrass Juice Loaf and a Loaf with Seeds

"Put down the loaf!  Step away from the loaf!"

I'm continuing to fast twice a week, use green juices daily, and I'm still determined to try a detox from bread.  But addictions are hard to fight, and I openly admit I'm addicted to bread.  I still eat it.  I have to find the right time to do this, to completely fast from baked bread.  I have to figure out what else I'm going to eat, when I finally put down the loaf.  Will I be able to give up everything but fruit and vegetables?  Shall I eschew all grain, all dairy, all tea and coffee, all nuts, seeds, oils and beans?  Can I give up cooked foods for a time?  Should I use enemas and colonics (as so many detoxifying regimins say I should)?

Wheatgrass tray, ready for harvesting

Juicing the wheatgrass for the bread

120g of extremely green juice

Juice and water and sourdough

Aerating the mixture

1. Whole Wheat Bread with Wheatgrass Juice
While I'm still straddling the raw food vs cooked food (soup, bread) vegetarian diet fence, this bread -- a whole wheat bread made with wheat grass juice -- occurred to me.  As I've said before, raw foodists would likely say tsk tsk.  I decided to try it anyway to see what it is like.

  • 1000g organic whole wheat, freshly milled
  • 800g water
  • 200g sourdough starter made with 100% whole wheat flour at 100% hydration
  • 18g salt
  • 120g wheatgrass juice

I mixed up the dough with 700g of the water, and all of the wheatgrass juice.

Wheatgrass Juice added to sourdough and flour

After a short autolyse, I added the salt with 50g more water.   I have never seen or felt a dough behave this way.  The gluten would form, with kneading, but only in one dimension.  Usually a bread dough made with wheat will be gluey, sticky; so when it is kneaded outwards, and then folded over on top, the gluten that has elongated like a muscle will reattach to the dough, and form a complex 3D matrix of gluten, a network of this strange stretchy molecule.  But not with this wheatgrass dough.  At a mere 12% addition to the dough, the gluten was utterly changed.  As I say, I could lengthen the gluten with kneading it, but I could not get the dough to stick to itself, when folding it back into a ball.  Furthermore, the sourdough didn't seem to want to incorporate.  The wheatgrass juice turned the dough quite green, but you could see the sourdough throughout the dough, and it didn't seem to be spreading smoothly throughout the entire dough, as it usually does.

greenish tinge to dough

strange texture: the gluten doesn't seem to want to glue together

It stretches but it doesn't want to stick to itself

The sourdough remains in tiny flecks and doesn't incorporate

flaccid dough

Further rests were beneficial.  I would rest for 30 minutes, then try again, and each time it was a little better.  In keeping with my latest experiments of "steeping" the dough, I added 50g more water after another couple of resting periods, and thereafter I merely stretch-and-folded the dough in the bowl every 30 minutes.
After many rests, the dough seems to get smoother
The bread was baked as usual, with steam at 450 degrees F for 40 minutes; however, I felt that the loaf needed a bit more time, so it remained in-oven another 10 minutes, so a total of 50 minutes.

This was a particularly odd shaped loaf

Evidence of the dripping of the dough through the cracks between the broken baking stones.

This was a very high hydrated dough (is it really somewhere around 92%!?), and I didn't have it sitting properly on the baking stone.  Things were pretty crowded in the oven, I had another bread baking at the same time.  So this wheatgrass bread actually dripped a bit.

A very curious scent and taste.  I've never had anything exactly like it before.  But when it was freshly cut (the next day and the day after), it reminded me ever so slightly of the strange taste one finds with salt-rising-bread.  Though not nearly so off-putting as that (if one isn't used to the taste, salt-rising bread can be not what you'd expect).

A particularly good bread, despite the odd shape and colour.

I liked this bread, and ate it with cheese until it was all gone (tsk tsk).  A couple of days, and this bread had disappeared.

2. Rye Loaf with Seeds
I was hedging my bets with this loaf.  I wasn't sure whether the wheatgrass juice bread would turn out, so I made something a bit more conventional.  This bread was frozen before I cut into it, a few days later.
Wheat, rye, sunflower seeds, pepitas, celery seed
  • 800g whole wheat berries, freshly milled
  • 200g rye kernels, freshly milled
  • 90g sunflower seeds
  • 90g pepitas
  • 15g celery seeds (2 TBSP)
  • 770g water
  • 20g salt

Lots of seeds

Wheatgrass loaf on left, seed loaf on the right

Finished loaves: they could have fermented a bit longer

I kneaded this loaf a couple of times after adding the salt, and then left it to rise while I ran some errands.  It could have used another hour or two of fermentation, but I wanted it baked to take with me to yoga, so I could give some bread away.  I had to make do with the time I had available.

Everything I'm not supposed to eat, when I do a detox: grain, seeds, high baked-temperatures,
and I haven't even mentioned the fats that I want to put on it: butter, cheese, eggs...

The loaf is a bit denser than I'd have liked, but it is an acceptable loaf.  My wife complains that it is slightly bitter -- she thinks it is probably from the celery seeds.

Notes to Myself
  • I can go a single day -- 24-32 hours without eating bread, without eating anything at all.  Why not just give it up for a full 3 days, 10 days, 21 days, or 60 days?  What difference would it make?  Without my constant infusion of whole grain fiber, wouldn't I feel hungry all the time?   
  • Am I just procrastinating trying this fast away from bread?  Obviously.
  • I was  wondering what the effect of wheatgrass juice was on the yeast and LAB of my sourdough culture: would it survive the juice's concentrated chlorophyll and other micronutrients?  Did it alter the gluten structure?  It certainly was a weird texture, after adding it, something I'd never experienced before.

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