Friday, July 20, 2012

TWD/BWJ: Semolina Bread

I wasn't going to participate this week but after seeing some of the other posts, I relented. Hated to miss out, even for a good reason. The recipe can be found here or here, links to other blogs are here.

Last week the library called to say that a book I put on reserve ages ago had come in. Oh, how I wish I hadn't read it. There are some things you don't want to know. Especially when you're learning to bake. The book was Wheat Belly, by Dr. William Davis.

What an eye-opener.  I realized that I knew very little about wheat.  Just when I was getting over the whole corn thing too.

The sponge gurgling on the back porch
You know, you think "whole wheat" = good thing!  That's where it lived in my brain. Never questioned it for a moment. Ah yes, there are all those gluten-free people, but they have some kind of disease, don't they?

Turns out there's more to the story.  And yes, the good doctor has a definite bias (one of my Facebook friends called the book "dogmatic").  But that doesn't change the facts.

Did you know that 2 slices of whole wheat bread have a glycemic index of 72?  That's higher than 2 slices of white bread (69), 2 tablespoons of sugar (59), or a Snickers bar (41)! Which means that it sends your blood sugar higher faster.  That one blew me away.  Apparently this is not in dispute and has been known for years. 

Every bread recipe should begin with "remove your rings"!
And has anybody else played with those Inktense pencils? 

And then there's the whole hybridization thing. The wheat that's available today bears very little resemblance to the wheat that was grown in the mid-20th century. Did you know that today's wheat is 12"-18" tall? No more amber waves of grain. And yes, this has helped feed a starving world.  But it has also changed the wheat which apparently adds the chromosomes from both parents. It ends up with twice as many when it's hybridized, unlike many organisms (including humans) whose offspring have the same number of chromosomes as the parents. Plus, there's an issue with genetic modification. The proteins and enzymes in wheat now are new to the human experience. It was a very scientific book. Don't read it. You'll be sorry.

Flat.  But what do I care at this point?

Basically, the point of the entire book was that there's a chance that the consumption of wheat could contribute to everything from diabetes and Crohn's disease to Alzheimer's and cancer. I know that sounds crazy. So, I'm going wheat-free for a month. It's a scientific experiment. I want to see for myself whether I feel better, have more energy, fewer food cravings, less brain fog, etc.  I'll let you know. 

In the meantime, I made something for myself while the bread was rising.  Wheat-free cheesecake (the crust is made of nuts).  Stopped by the Thursday Farmer's Market in town and found this wonderful jelly to put on top of it. It's Pomegranate Moscato, made by an 11-year-old boy!  He was the cutest thing.  And the jellies he makes are amazing and very reasonably priced.  Here's more info. Some days you just never know who's going to cross your path.

My husband hasn't read the book.  Neither has my neighbor...

A shoe for you.  Not very exciting, but I saw it while the dough was rising.  Can't believe the picture came out since I took it over my shoulder while driving in rush hour traffic.


  1. Reading The China Study threw me for a loop for a long time... I have been avoiding Wheat Belly - I love to bake way too much & wouldn't be able to deal.
    That jam sounds really good!

    1. Uh, oh. I haven't heard of The China Study.