Celiac Disease has increased 400% since the early 1940’s; at that time Celiac’s affected 1 person in 2500, now it’s about 1 person in 133. Why has the number of people with Celiac Disease mutliplied at such an astounding rate since then? Humans have been eating wheat for 10,000 years, what changed so drastically in the last 70? Celiac Disease is an auto-immune disease. People with Celiac’s are allergic to a specific part of the gluten protein found in wheat. The gluten protein is composed of glutenin (believed to be relatively harmless to celiacs) and gliadin proteins. The ammino acid sequencing in the gliadin protein causes an immune response in the small intestines in individuals with Celiac Disease. Their body produces anti-bodies that attack the villi in their small intestines.
Something else that’s becoming more wide spread is gluten sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity is much harder to pin down; there is no blanket reason why people are gluten sensitive. For some it is intolerance to the gliadin protein in gluten, for others it’s the herbicides and pesticides used during the growing and harvesting of wheat, for others it’s the nutrients added to enriched flour, some people are actually allergic to the types of carbohydrates in flour (monosacharrides, oligosaccharides and polysaccharides)….and that’s just a few of the many reasons people have gluten sensitivity.
The industrial revolution, changed so much about the American way of life. It changed our food, and the way we eat. Large flour mills popped up. Not only was flour able to be milled in large quantities very quickly, the end product was finer and more consistent. In turn, wheat was developed to be more resilient and have higher and faster crop yields. Along the way it was decided that white flour and a longer shelf-life was the desired product. This started the change in bread. Commercial yeast came along and completely turned bread baking on it’s ear. From start to finish, instead of a loaf of bread taking days it could be made in a couple of hours. Goodbye tasty wholesome bread; hello wonder bread.
In the past couple of decades people have started to care about their food again; where it comes from, what’s in it, and how it’s made. Small farms, artisan craftsmen and small businesses are stepping in to fill the gap between the convenience of mass production and made at home commodities.
Not only is artisan bread delicious, it’s better for you! We take the art of old fashioned bread making and present it in a way to fit into the modern world- the artisan bakery.
Sourdough breads are made with a sourdough starter. Flour and water are mixed and left to ferment. The naturally occurring yeast and spores in the flour are activated in a warm wet environment (a warm room and the added water). The yeast feeds on the sugar and starches in the flour which produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. The elasticity of the gluten in the flour traps the carbon dioxide bubbles that form, allowing the dough to expand and develop a fluffy airy texture as it rises, the gases also add flavor to the dough. The more sour the flavor, the longer the dough has been left to rise. Using a preferment (the starter) and allowing the dough to have a lengthy rise (ferment) helps break down the gliadin portion in the gluten protein. This in turn makes the bread much easier to digest. Some people with gluten sensitivity, and some people with arthritis are finding that they are able to eat sourdough breads with no ill affects.