yeasties and gluten

There’s sooo much fun to be had with yeast. These little guys (call them yeasties) just love to chow down with sugars before shaking their tale feather burping whilst they get their boogy on. And those burps are what make bread rise.

Meanwhile the chew factor in bread comes from Gluten. Gluten is formed when grain proteins Gliadin and Glutenin join together. However, countries like the USA have cultivated high carbohydrate strains of wheat which has also altered the Gliadin and Glutenin (or Gluten potential) of the grains. The problem here is that both exposure and over-exposure of these Gluten compounds to cells in the body (via eating high gluten potential grains) leads to Gluten Intolerance. Meanwhile if either Gastrointestinal or Immune health is compromised, an allergic response can result.

There are further risks: over-exposure to the carbohydrate content of modern wheat is a leading cause of blood sugar problems resulting in excess body fat and Type 2 Diabetes. And molecular mimicry of Gliadin to Pancreatic beta cells and Thyroid TPO cells can result in auto-immune attack of those cells – resulting in Type 1 Diabetes and Auto-Immune Thyroiditis .  Above all, gluten addiction can worsen and hasten the onset of these health disorders – due to the opiates formed from gluten and released into our bodies.

So how do we get our chew on without getting a big belly or an exhausting and disabling immune response, such as an allergy? And how can we let the yeasties get their boogy on without getting an unhealthy addiction when we eat the bread they have given rise to? That’s where getting funky with flours from Wholegrains, from legumes (beans) as well as fours from lowered gluten or gluten free grains is hella fun. And its as easy as 1-2-3 to get started.

Step 1: Pick a Flour

½  CUP of Grain Flour – such as Rice, Buckwheat or Sorgum

1/3 Cup of Gummy Grain or Bean Flour – Tapioca, Soy, Quinoa, Amaranth or Chickpea (Garbanzo)

Step 2: Mix it up

1 egg

1/3 Cup warm water or milk

1 packet / 1 tsp instant dried yeast

1 tsp brown sugar

¼ tsp Xanthum gum

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cumin or ground fennel or dill seed (optional)

Step 3: Burp and Bake

First dissolve the sugar in the water. Then mix in the yeast and let that get frothy (about 5 minutes). Personally I like to sub out the water and use milk together with an extra egg white as this adds a lovely chewy feel to the bread. And the reason for this is that extra protein in the milk and egg add density and chew factor.

After this, mix with all the other ingredients to form a moist and firm, but not crumbly or dry paste (note you’ll need extra flour if using more wet ingredients, such as an extra egg white). Then cover and let the yeasties dance and burp for an hour (the mix will rise and double in size).

Once it has risen, pour onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and shape into something fun like a hedgehog (easy to do – just tip the risen mix from your mixing bowl directly onto the sheet and use a wet spoon to add any simple artistic touches you want). Then cover with foil and bake at 425F for 30 mins or until the outside is crusty and brown and the inside feels firm when tapped.

Adapted from:

Reinhart, P. (2001). The bread maker’s apprentice – mastering the art of extraordinary bread. Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA

Hagman, B. (2000). The gluten free gourmet bakes bread. Owl books, New York, NY

Sjöberg K, Wassmuth R, Reichstetter S, Eriksson KF, Ericsson UB, Eriksson S. (2000). Gliadin antibodies in adult insulin-dependent diabetes–autoimmune and immunogenetic correlates. Autoimmunity 32(4):217-28. Retrieved from:

P KUČERA,D NOVÁKOVÁ,M BĚHANOVÁ,J NOVÁK,H TLASKALOVÁ-HOGENOVÁ,and M ANDĚL (2003). Gliadin, endomysial and thyroid antibodies in patients with latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA). Journal and Clinical Experimental Immunology 133(1): 139–143. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2249.2003.02205.x

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