Why Choose Ancient Grains?
It’s an interesting read – and you can also see a fair number of videos on YouTube where Dr. Davis expounds his theory that modern wheat is bad for us – or for some (many?) of us at least.
There’s an example video below. It’s a little long – but very interesting and informative, well worth a watch.
In summary, modern wheat has changed beyond all recognition from the original wheat that our ancestors first found in the wild and then started cultivating thousands of years ago. It now contains various ingredients, which were not present in ancient wheat strains and which can, for some people, produce unpleasant side effects.
You can also see further details over at the Wheat Belly blog if you’re interested.
Neither my wife or myself have ever suffered from wheat intolerance, but after having cut wheat out of her diet, my wife felt much better in general. She was more alert and sleeping much better at night.
Obviously, cutting out bread is a fairly major step for anyone – and my wife had always been very fond of bread in her diet. It wasn’t easy for her and so, when we were eating out one evening, she decided to “treat” herself to some bread with her meal. It seemed fairly reasonable and no more than a small departure from her new dietary regime.
However, it was obviously still tough for her to give up bread, so I did a little searching and found that it was possible to source flour made from einkorn wheat. This is the ancient wheat which Dr. Davis refers to in his various videos, books and blog and, since it pre-dated the modifications made to modern wheat, it was worth trying.
It proved to be a big success. My wife had no problems of the type she experienced when she treated herself on our night out – and she was able to enjoy bread again. We also tried Khorasan wheat – sometimes called Kamut – which is basically the bread of the pharaohs, and that was also a success.
Baking Einkorn Bread In A Halogen Oven
I had no experience of baking bread before our experiment with einkorn flour – so I simply sourced some einkorn flour from the local health food shop and followed the instructions to the letter.
Here’s the recipe below:
Quick Einkorn Bread
500 g (17.6 oz) einkorn flour sifted
1 teaspoon of quick yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar
325 ml (11 fluid ounces) of water
- Mix everything together in a large bowl and leave to prove in a warm place for an hour.
- Gently push the dough back down and knead lightly. Add a little olive oil, up to 2 tablespoons according to taste, and place the dough into a 2 lb baking tin.
- Leave for a further 25 to 30 minutes and then place in an oven at 200 C (390 F) or 180 C (360 F) if fan assisted. Leave for 35 to 40 minutes and remove.
- Tap the bread upon removal from the oven. It should have a slightly hollow sound. If not, pop it back in for another few minutes.
To cut a long story short, it was a great success. The einkorn bread has a very distinctive nutty taste. It’s a little like rye bread in some ways.
My wife enjoyed it immensely and experienced no unpleasant side effects. I then went on to try baking bread with Khorasan flour (Kamut) and that went down even better. It’s a matter of personal taste of course, but my wife seems to have a slight preference for the Khorasan bread.
The procedure for Khorasan is much the same as einkorn – but you use a little more water and bake it at a slightly higher temperature.
Baking Einkorn And Khorasan Bread In A Halogen Oven
As mentioned earlier, I followed the instructions to the letter since I didn’t have any experience baking bread. However, as I love using my halogen oven, it was only natural that my next step would be to bake einkorn bread in the halogen oven.
Normally, when trying a new recipe, I set the temperature for whatever is recommended for a fan assisted oven. So, in this case, I reduced the temperature to 180 C (360F) and baked the loaf for 35 minutes.
It turned out fine, but the crust was a little more colored than when cooked in the oven. It was also a little thicker – crustier if you like.
Dropping the temperature and increasing the baking time produced a bread which, although not having the thick crust, was a bit heavy and doughy.
The best results were obtained by keeping the temperature at 180C/360F and fitting the extender ring. Results were pretty well identical to the bread baked in the “big oven”.
In the end, there’s not a huge advantage in baking your bread in the halogen oven – but it is fun to watch it rise and turn into a nice loaf. You will certainly save some energy when baking in the halogen oven.
Other Advantages of Ancient Grains
Unlike my wife, I haven’t given up wheat altogether. That’s pretty well based on the fact that I can’t imagine life without beer – unless I could find some einkorn beer somewhere of course.
However, on one occasion, when we had run out of normal bread, I used the Khorasan bread for my breakfast toast. I was absolutely amazed to find that I still wasn’t hungry again by early afternoon. I really had to make myself eat a very late lunch. It fills you up much more than modern day, highly processed bread does.
In summary, baking bread with ancient grains does seem to offer certain advantages over eating readily available bread from the supermarket. As I had no experience with baking bread before this recent experiment, I’m able to say that it’s much faster and easier than you might imagine – so it might be worth your while to give it a try.
Here’s a short video that explains a little about Khorasan wheat: