Remember "Only bakers can make dough and loaf!"
Part One of: The Great Wheat Robbery
When wheat is milled to make white flour the bran and wheat germ are removed, two of the most healthful parts of the wheat kernel. The milling company attempts to replace the nutrients they take out with synthetic vitamins. This is a crime. When God created wheat to be used, He put the right balance of vitamins and minerals in that little wheat kernel. He then sealed it in a tough outer shell, the bran, to preserve it. Wheat berries will stay fresh and full of vitamins for years and years. In fact they found wheat berries in King Tut's tomb and were able to sprout it and make bread out of it! However, once the outer wheat shell is broken in the milling process, the whole wheat flour is subject to rapid spoilage. The oil in the wheat germ will turn rancid, which is why they began taking it out in the first place. Removing the bran, oil, etc. gives the flour a longer shelf life, a benefit for the miller and the grocer, but does not do much for our bodies! Refrigeration will slow the spoilage process, which is why most health food stores keep their whole wheat flour in the freezer section.
Cooking Corner Bread Tips!!
How do I know my bread is kneaded enough?
Your whole wheat bread dough will be kneaded enough when the gluten is completely worked. The dough will not be sticky and it will be stretchy. You should be able to pull a piece of dough off and stretch it to where it is almost transparent.
The texture of my bread is heavy!
Try using dough enhancer! This helps in the "linking" affect of the amino acids in the bread. One can of dough enhancer will do approximately 200 bread loaves!
How long do I let my bread rise before putting it in the oven?
An excellent way to test whether your bread is ready to go in the oven is touch the side of the risen bread dough lightly. If the bread stays indented, put it in the oven. If the bread springs back, let it rise a little longer.
My bread is not rising!
The major cause is killing the yeast! Your water should be a little warmer than the temperature of your hand. (100-110 degrees) Another cause is poor yeast. You can test the freshness and/or the quality of your yeast by putting a little yeast in a bowl of warm water. If it doesn't froth the water quickly, the yeast is dead. I have found SAF Instant yeast to be the best instant yeast on the market.
Whole Grains 101
Health experts advise everyone – men and women, young and old – that grains are a healthy necessity in every diet, and that it's important to eat at least half our grains as "whole grains."
Whole grains include grains like wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye – when these foods are eaten in their "whole" form (more on that later). Whole grains even include popcorn!
You may already be eating whole grains. When you munch popcorn in the theater, or give Toasty-O's to your toddler, or enjoy a bowl of hot oatmeal, you're probably focusing more on the delicious taste than on the fact that these foods are whole grains.
Antioxidants, Vitamins and Minerals
Consumers are increasingly aware that fruits and vegetables contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants, but they do not realize whole grains are often an even better source of these key nutrients.
Moreover, whole grains have some valuable antioxidants not found in fruits and vegetables, as well as B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber.
Health Benefits of Whole Grains
The medical evidence is clear that whole grains reduce risks of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Few foods can offer such diverse benefits.
Because of the phytochemicals and antioxidants, people who eat three daily servings of whole grains have been shown to reduce their risk of heart disease by 25-36%, stroke by 37%, Type II diabetes by 21-27%, digestive system cancers by 21-43%, and hormone-related cancers by 10-40%.
Help is On the Way
Even consumers who are aware of the health benefits of whole grains are often unsure how to find them and prepare them. The programs of the Whole Grains Council will help you:
The modern milling process separates the distinct parts of the wheat kernel to produce flour suitable for easy storage and shelf life. This is a basic processed food.
Buying whole wheat flour at the grocer is to buy flour that has gone through processing and been somewhat put back together. You can say the whole is more than the sum of its parts.
Where does it all go?
- Bran - Essential to good health; it permits the body to rapidly eliminate wastes and toxins which are believed to be the cause of many health problems and deseases. It is resold to us consumers (minus much of the original nutrients).
- Middlings -This highly nutritious ouside layer directly under the bran; contains a high percentage of minerals and vitamins and is sold to ranchers and farmers as livestock feed.
- Wheat Germ - This important source of vitamins and minerals is also removed and sold separately as a food or food supplement.
- Wheat Germ Oil - This oil is rich in vitamins, but is removed along with the wheat germ to insure longer shelf life. Oils exposed to air oxidize and rapidly turn rancid, giving a bitter taste to foods that become harder to digest. Wheat germ oil is widely used in cosmetics because of its high percentage of Vitamin E.
- White Flour - The result of the commercial milling process is white flour, almost entirely devoid of nutritional value. It is tasteless and usually flavored with sugars, fats and salt, which are at the root of many of today's diseases: obesity, constipation, diabetes, hypoglycemia, hypertentsion, heart disease, etc... "Enrichment" which is required by the US government (not the Japanese government), consists of only restoring artificially 3 vitamins (B1, B2, and Niacin) and 1 mineral (iron) after having romoved 39 of them plus the bran.
Following is the USDA comparison of whole wheat and white (I wonder, does it allow for the oxidation?) Three ounces is approximately the amount of flour in a thick slice of bread: