One of the most talked about health concerns of the 21st century has been that of gluten. Since we're bread bakers, we get asked about it quite frequently. Today, we will take a look at the purpose of gluten and its function in bread.
Gluten is one of many proteins that make up the total protein content in any and all cereal crops. Gluten, in particular, plays a huge role in bread baking performance, i.e. how the dough rises and the final shape of the bread.
By itself, gluten is responsible for about 75% to 85% of the total protein content in breads. Gluten is made up of glutenin (contributes to elasticity of bread dough), and gliadin (contributes to giving the bread the ability to rise properly during baking). When these two protein groups combine they make gluten and this combination is crucial for a correct baking process.
Gluten forms when water is added to flour and the two are mixed together. During the mixing process, a whole network of protein forms up, which is what gives bread dough its inherent, characteristic elasticity. The bread dough holds gases within it that were produced during fermentation, and this process allows for the bread to rise during baking. So, gluten is a key puzzle piece to making bread.
There are people who are legitimately allergic to gluten. This allergy is called Celiac Disease. These people are actually very, very allergic to gluten and can experience pretty bad health consequences if they consume it. Such individuals have an autoimmune disorder (the cells aren’t processing something quite right, in this case it's gluten) and for them, gluten will wreak havoc on their small intestine, among other things. This disease affects approximately 1% of the population.
Now, there is a whole different array of people who are sensitive to gluten, but this has a lot more to do with the ingredients used in the bread, and in how the flour was processed, than it has to do with the presence of gluten in the bread itself. Many commercial breads and other gluten containing foods are highly processed, removing the good nutrients and oftentimes adding in some pretty gnarly preservatives.
Eating Healthy at 20 Shekels Bread
We encourage people who are sensitive to gluten to try our sprouted breads. Please, please, please, do not eat our bread if you have Celiac Disease. We might know how to do CPR, but that does not mean we want to use it in the bakery! However, if you’ve been made uncomfortable, tired, bloated, or just lazy and sleepy in general from eating bread in the past, please come on down to 20 Shekels and try our awesome sprouted bread.
Sprouted bread is the solution for people who, while they do not have Celiac Disease, are still sensitive to gluten and they miss out on the deliciousness that is bread as a result. Sprouted bread is a great way to get the awesomeness that is bread without the enforced snooze and the big tummy that comes after.
Sprouted grains are ground into flour which we purchase direct, and yes, we buy the absolute best sprouted flour available in this country. Our sprouted bread is made from grains that were allowed to sprout into a tiny plant before being milled into a flour. This spouting process converts the grains from a starch (tired, sleepy, bloated) into a vegetable (energy, excitement, filling!).
So next time you’re in the mood for trying something new, swing by 20 Shekels! You (and your tummy) will be amazed.