The Fresh Loaf

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Predigestion and gluten strength

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Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

Predigestion and gluten strength

I have started using a predigestion for my WW loaves to compensate for phytic acid, but I seem to be having trouble getting a good rise out of my loaves.  My predigestions have been approx 12-14 hours with 3, 45 min rises after adding the additional ingredients.  Has anyone else had any problems with this? I am wondering if the 14 hours is great for dealing with phytic acid but perhaps breaks down the gluten too much for average sized WW loaves.  Thoughts?

ericb's picture
ericb

Could you please post the formula you're using? This would be helpful.


I'm not familiar with the effects of phytic acid on gluten strength, but the idea of a 12-14 hour preferment seems about right. Depending on the percentage of whole wheat flour you're using, it might be difficult to get as much rise as you'd expect with white flour.


I read your previous post on phytic acid, and I have to ask: do you have a way of measuring the amount of phytic acid in the dough? How do you know that, in your specific formula, 14 hours is long enough to get rid of it? Perhaps it's entirely gone after only 8 hours. Or, maybe it needs 20 hours.


Unless you perform tests to isolate and measure phytic acid, I would suggest focusing on simply baking good bread. Otherwise, you're ultimately just guessing. Some recipes call for long preferements. Others call for less. Some recipes yield delicious loaves, others are barely edible.


If you're looking for a good, no-fail whole wheat loaf, I've always had success with Peter Reinhart's WW Sandwich Loaf in his book, Whole Grain Breads. It incorporates up to a 24-hour "soaker" and an 8-hour preferment. Both of these contribute to a tasy loaf, and they might fulfill your phytic acid requirements as well.


Eric

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

That PR recipe sounds great, I'll have to check it out.  Right now I am extending the sponge on Laurel's Kitchen Breadbook's 100% WW recipe for "Yogurt Bread."  And guess what? Now that I'm sitting down to type it out, I see a little asterisk at the bottom of the recipe that references the index for adjusting the recipe for longer sponges.  The 12-18 hour sponge calls for 1/8 tsp yeast (I've been using 1 full tsp) half the flour, all the salt, icy water (I've used cool), and all the sweetener to make a very stiff dough.  I wonder if I was inadvertently over-proofing my sponge and weakening the gluten? I have been baking with her version of this recipe that does not call for a sponge for a while and love the bread. 


As far as Phytic Acid goes, I guess I feel responsible to give neutralization my best effort since I bake WW bread exclusively and have 2 very small children at home who need to be optimizing their vitamin and mineral intake.  I guess I've gone as far as to commit to learning to bake with WW, so I might as well make sure that effort is actually doing us some good :)  I may not know enough (yet)  to be sure I am maximizing my phytic acid reduction efforts, but even if I can reduce it by 80% or even 50%, there's that much more benefit for our bodies. 


You're right, though, to say that it's better to make a delicious WW loaf that will get eaten rather than a "healthier" brick that no one will touch.  The curiosity in me wants to see if I can conquer both :) (Don't you just LOVE a good bread challenge?)

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Hi Mylissa,


I teach classes in the Weston A. Price tradition and it is suggested to "soak" grains and flours for at least 7 hours to neutralize the phytic acid. When I make bread, (and it is gluten free sourdough bread,) I make sure that all the flours that go into the recipe either soak, what you're calling preferment, for at least 7 hours. If I add additional flour to the final loaf, I let it rise at least 7 hours as the rising time counts towards neutralizing the  phytic acid in those additional amounts of flour.


I support you in your efforts to make easily digested food for your children. It's so very important in this day and age.


sharon

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

Ok so that title was a bad pun, but I have been very interested in dr. price as of late, and want to learn more about him and his research.  You said you teach classes? I live in Utah, are there classes available here, or where can I get more information about what you do?

Kuret's picture
Kuret

Aren´t vitamin/mineral deficencies in developed countries somewhat of a myth? Seeing as local health institutions do not distribute vitamins and minerals and from what I understand recomend plain ol "eat everything" to get sufficient vitamins/minerals.


Phytic acid seems to me like a thing you ought to worry about when distributing food to starving people and not something you have to worry about if you eat a diverse array of foodstuffs.


What I am trying to say is that I think you should concentrate on making tasty bread and not worry about phytic acid.

Mylissa20's picture
Mylissa20

I have done a lot of research on this subject and could type pages, but I'll try and be brief (I'm a talker, so it's not easy :) ).  The grand majority of people in "developed" western countries do not eat a diet exclusively consisting of whole wheat bread products.  There are documented cases of "developed" countries suffering from phytic acid when whole wheat was used in a manner that did not compensate for it.  A big study was done in Ireland, where outbreaks of rickets plagued the countries children as a result of untamed phytic acid.  Ireland's food industry then made it mandatory to neutralize phytyic acid in all whole wheat products. 


The reason that it is not good enough to simply "eat everything" to maximize vitamin and mineral intake in a whole wheat diet is simple.  The phytic acid present in the bran of the wheat not only protects the vitamins and mineral within the wheat granule (so that the seed can be planted and grow) but when introduced into the digestive tract, can function as a "free-agent" that will latch on to those same vitamins and minerals already present in your DT from eating other foods.  I have loads of links to research done by doctors, dentists, and scientists documenting the harm phytic acid can do to our bodies in a whole wheat diet where it is not compensated for if you're interested in the science and prevalence of it. 


Here's another point for preferments/predigestions: Gluten intolerance is a rising plague in the united states.  Preferments and predigestions help transform the gluten into a form that is more easily digested by our bodies.  Predigestions are not new to bread, they are the original form of breadmaking. 


I appreciate your suggestion to focus on good tasting bread, and that has been the main focus of my breadmaking for the past year.  Now that I have accomplished that and am happy with my loaves, I want to see if there's more that I can do.  Am I wrong to try?

sharonk's picture
sharonk

Hi Mylissa,


I have healed myself from many ailments using traditional cooking and food prep techniques taught in the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. Go to WestonAPrice.org. You can join the organization, you will receive a lot of helpful materials. In my state, Massachusetts, there are Weston Price chapter leaders all over the place holding monthly meetings to share info. There are lists of chapter leaders by state on the website.


 


I do consults by phone and am in the process of putting some of my classes into online format. Let me know what you would be interested in and we can go from there, if need be. You really can learn quite a bit from the book and the monthly meetings.


 


Take a look at my blogs on the fresh loaf. They have my website address.


www.food-medicine.com


Let me know if you can't find my info.


sincerely,


sharon