Having undisputedly confirmed that refined carbs are not an option in a healthy diet, we go in search of a healthy bread alternative and find a delicious option in a grain free sourdough loaf. Sourdough bread is traditionally made from a starter of wild yeast and bacteria ' it's an ancient art that's been done for centuries and improves the digestibility and texture of whole grain products. The wild yeast starter and bacteria influences the taste of the bread and has a higher proportion of beneficial bacteria ' lactobacillus ' which means higher lactic acid (less phytic acid) making it easier for your body to absorb minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc. Many people who find that standard loaves make them bloated, notice that sourdough is more harmonious in their system. That's because the bacteria/yeast combo predigests the starches in the grains. Preparing sourdough is a process that requires soaking the grains for some time, and frequent rinsing which breaks down the protein gluten into amino acids and can even make it palatable for gluten sensitive people. When shopping for sourdough, make sure it was made with the time-considered traditional recipe. Alternatively make a loaf at home. We tried a grain free cashew option using probiotic capsules as the starter.
300 grams (about 2 cups) raw cashew pieces
' cups filtered or spring water
Probiotic capsules (use enough to equal about 30-40 billion strains)
2 large eggs, separated
1 TBSP filtered water
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt
1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water for egg wash
*Your probiotic will ferment the batter. As each brand uses different amounts of strains per capsule you will need to check the packaging to see how many you require.
Make sure you have a baking pan that's about 20cm x 10cm.
1. Make the 'sourdough' starter by processing the cashews and filtered water until well blended and smooth. Stir regularly and keep going ' it might take some time.
2. Put the mixture in a glass or ceramic bowl (it must be a non-reactive bowl), add the probiotic powder and combine well until you have a thick homogenous mixture.
3. Cover the bowl with a plate and put it into the middle of your oven.
Turn the oven to 50 degrees Celsius (not less than that). Leave for 12 hours minimum and not more than 20 hours. The temperature is important - too high and it will kill the living bacteria, too low and it won't activate.
4. When the culture is ready, preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Grease or line your baking pan.
5. Separate the egg yolks from the whites, add a tablespoon of water to the yolks and mix together. Transfer your cashew mixture into a large mixing bowl using a spatula and add the yolks. Blend them together until the mixture is lump free and smooth then stir the salt and baking baking soda into the cashew mixture.
6. With clean and dry beaters, whip the egg whites until stiff. Make sure the peaks are gentle and not too well beaten. Gently fold them into the batter till the egg whites are no longer visible.
7. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Your pan should be about three quarters full. Before baking, brush the loaf with the egg yolk and water mixture to give it a crusty finish. Be gentle.
8. Bake at 170 degrees Celsius for 50 minutes to an hour. You'll know it's ready when you tap the top and it sounds hollow. You may want to up the temperature to 190 degrees and bake for 10 more minutes so you get a
9. Your bread may crack, this is normal. When done, leave to cool for 15 minutes before slicing. This bread actually tastes better the next day.
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