Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Archive for the ‘Fat Free’ Category

Sprouted spelt bread for your nearly gluten free life

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At a recent microbiome conference, I learned something that has changed my diet around. Scientists have known for a while now that there is a close link between gut bacteria and our diet. And by not eating certain food groups, i.e., reducing the variety of food in our diet, we make the gut microbiome ecosystem worse. When we go gluten free or low FODMAP diet, we also take out whole wheat from our diet which can potentially lead to significant reduction in variety of food consumed. So if one can re-introduce whole wheat back in the diet, without increasing gluten content, it might make the microbiome in our guts fitter.

Oh, who am I kidding. I want a good gluten free bread to go with my soft boiled eggs in the morning and I am sick of paying $6.99 for a loaf a bread.

Looking through Monash University’s gluten analysis, I  had further learned that spelt has less gluten that modern wheat. And sourdough bread made with spelt is nearly gluten free. This got me thinking – while sourdough is not something I wanted to invest time and energy in, what if I could make raised loaf with sprouted wheat? I had also accidentally tumbled on a sprouted spelt flour from the excellent One Degree Organics folks (God bless them!). And in my other experimentation, I had found that sprouting made it easier to digest  legumes. So, putting two plus two together, I hypothesized that if I could make a loaf from sprouted spelt, I would have a happier gut.

Easier hypothesized than done, the real challenge is in the art of making bread from whole wheat. I consider Acme’s whole wheat bread to be the standard of bread making. And I had tried  Bittman’s no knead recipe and failed every time – the bread would  turn out wet inside. Some further research into no knead bread, led to this smithsonian article that  stirred a new hope. Just one  bake later, I knew I had tumbled on the right recipe.

Since then I have made this bread recipe a few times. The bread turns our airy, it is chewy and moist without being wet, and most definitely not dry or crumbly. And it is significantly better than my current commercial favorite, Whole Foods prairie bread. And best of all, my stomach is happy. And my soft boiled eggs have  a perfect companion.

Cross section of sprouted spelt bread using no-knead style

With my one degree organics sprouted spelt flour, I use  16 oz flour, 16 oz water, 2tsp salt, a tiny pinch of fast raising yeast (1/8th tsp), and I let the mixture rise overnight. So far, I have tried making loaf. I follow the temperature to the tee – 520F for  15 minutes, lowering to 470F for 20 and final 15 minutes with oven slighted open (at 470F).

Loaf from sprouted spelt flour

There is a  problem to be solved still. The dough is so wet that it is unclear how to make slits on top. The bread is splitting along the side in this case.

Addendum: Every gut is special. Please experiment with the amount you can handle. I have a very sensitive gut and it is perfectly happy with 1/8th slice of loaf made with 16 oz flour.

Trio of preserves

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Jams and marmalades this season

Jams and marmalades this season

Black berry jam:
It is the end of the season here, and I picked up 2 lbs of blackberry at 1/2 the usual price!

Rinse, crush, and add 1 lb sugar. Add juice of 1 lemon reserving the zest. Cook on medium until candy thermometer reads 220 F. Switch off flame, add zest of the lemon and proceed to can.

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Written by Som

August 17, 2010 at 7:45 am

Flour, salt, yeast …

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Homemade bread

Homemade bread

I have been struggling with making bread off and on for the last decade. I had given up but Mark Bittman’s “no-knead” bread got me going again. After several attempts that resulted in uncooked center, I think I have found my mojo … It is no Acme but works fine accompanied by soups and in recipes like bread puddings and garlic bread.

My favorite breakfast: A slice of thick cut Acme sourdough – lightly buttered (would have mentioned a smear of clotted cream in my past) with a dollop of bitter orange marmalade and cup of Blue Bottle coffee…

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Written by Som

October 7, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Tasty oatmeal – morning dessert

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Breakfast oatmeal served with caramelized figs, toasted walnuts and homemade orange marmalade

Breakfast oatmeal served with caramelized figs, toasted walnuts and homemade orange marmalade

I decided to give oatmeal a try after watching Alton Brown.

Before steel cut oatmeal became part of my daily diet, I had  unsuccessfully tried several instant oatmeal versions. The steel cut variety is actually tasty. The grains are bigger resulting in chewier texture and the flavor is distinctly nuttier. Here is my dessert like version that is tastier than AB’s.

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Chocolatey chocolate biscotti

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Chocolate biscotti

Chocolate biscotti

Here is a link to our favorite chocolate biscotti recipe from David Lebovitz. When had along with an excellent cup of coffee (e.g. Blue Bottle), this is chocolate and coffee heaven.

We rarely make variations on this one but for this batch, we used dried apricot kernels (source: Trader Joe’s).

Written by Som

September 25, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Skin to seed of tomatoes – part 3 – Green tomatoes

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Green Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

I can’t beat my local Farmer’s market in quality of heirloom tomatoes but in Bay Area, where green tomatoes are non-existent in the marketplace, growing your own tomato plant has this added bonus.

Wait to for the tomatoes to achieve their full size. Pick when still green and very firm.

In Indian cooking, green tomatoes are used like ripe ones – only difference is in color of the curry and tartness. Here are couple of multi-purpose (and cross-cultural) fat free recipes using green tomatoes.

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