I’ve recently have taken some classes on making better bread. Going back to scratch cooking has been something I’ve hesitated doing since it can be time consuming. It does require some planning, too. In taking on this effort, I have learned some valuable information. I’ve known for a while that the flour we use in grocery store is inferior, but I didn’t know to what extent. So I’ve learned how to grind my own flour. I’ve also learned the concept of soaking grains and flour. This has become an important part of the nutritional aspect of baking bread products. Soaking grains and flours can help release the phytonutrients (the plant nutrition) that the body can use more readily.
Eating whole grains on a regular basis can help reduce cholesterol, cancer risk, diabetes, and hypertension, just to name a few. However, the processed whole grains we eat can be improved upon by soaking them first and then using them in our recipes.
Whole grains have what we call anti-nutrients in them that prevent the vitamins and minerals in the plant from being digested and absorbed our bodies. Phytates are one example. They are a natural occurring substance found in whole grains. They hold on tightly to zinc, iron, B vitamins, that make them unavailable for absorption.
Fortunately, in traditional cultures, human ingenuity worked out ways to mitigate the downsides of grains by removing or predigesting the various anti-nutrients through soaking, sprouting and fermenting. It has been said that they might be tolerated more by folks who are gluten-sentitive.
So I have posted a photo of my soaked pumpkin muffins that taste wonderfully. Soaking the freshly, ground flour in an acid medium (buttermilk, whey, kefir) overnight does take some planning and a time commitment. But the taste is moist and yummy. My next adventure is going to have me learn how to make a loaf of sourdough. Heads up: at least one week of fermentation is involved. *sigh*
But I will keep you informed and take some photos 🙂