Ok, so bread is bad: it makes us put on weight, it's sugars, it's heavy to digest... Yet generations of our ancestors have survived thanks to it. Nowadays, its nourishing and satisfying qualities are less in demand, maybe because on that side of the world, we no longer starve and die from lacking food (arguably).
I love bread, I could live on it. But it makes me put on weight and now too, I get bloated every time I eat some unless in very small quantities. Being in perimenopause, some ingredients are no longer welcome as they don't seem to get digested as efficiently as they use to. I will not expand on the fact that the wheat we eat is often genetically modified, that it includes more Glutten than found in the natural plant and that it's incredibly difficult to find any food that's not been tempered with industrially nowadays... which is surely linked to the poor industrial quality of these breads we eat. But...
Yeast: the culprit
In Ayurveda, allergies come from a dysfunctional digestion. I was diagnosed with a serious Gluten intolerance a few years back, till treated with ayurveda. Suddenly my allergy had disappeared: Wheat flour, yeast, I could eat it all again... Ayurveda teaches us which flour and grains are better for us according to our dosha ( or "dominant constitution". You can take the test to know what is your dominant dosha here). It remains that most breads contain yeast, used to raise the bread. And that is the issue according to Ayurveda: yeats is a fermenting agent. It's not so much the grain but the yeast in the bread that is often the reason of the bloating, intolerance or full-blown allergy. Fermentation slows down the digestive process. The ingested food stays too long in the digestive tract creatings acidity and often gas linked to that fermentation process. Bottom line, if you remove the yeast, from the bread, it becomes much more digestible.
Try it for yourself
if you are trying to lose weight or are chronically bloated and don't want to part from bread entirely, flat breads such as Pittas, chapatis or tortillas and Soda bread are an alternative. Here is a recipe of Soda bread, a bread that's been raised using Bicarbonate Sodium rather than yeast. You will surely notice the difference!
If you suffer from IBS or chronic indigestion, food or respiratory allergies, it's best to consult an ayurvedic practitioner to establish the root cause of the issue, follow a course of herbal medications and a specific diet to end the problem. But already, cutting your bread consumption and replacing traditional bread by the Soda bread will improve the situation.
3 cups all-purpose flour. Try to find non- modified ancient grains flours (
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1,5 cups buttermilk (or 1,5 cups milk mixed with 1,5 tbsp white vinegar)
If you wish: add a few blackberries or raisins or goji berries to the mix
Preheat your oven to (200°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can also use a mold of your choice.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking soda, and salt.
Gradually stir in the buttermilk (or milk and vinegar mixture) until you have a sticky dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it gently for a few minutes, until it comes together into a smooth ball.
Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet or in the mold of your choice and use a sharp knife to score a deep cross into the top of the loaf.
Bake the bread for 30-40 minutes, until it's golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
This Bread is best eaten fresh as it might dry quickly.