Bread, or rather: Whole Grains
Boil rice according to package instructions. Stir the yeast into one cup of lukewarm water. Mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil, if desired. Knead thoroughly and shape the dough. Cover with a towel and proof for 30 minutes to 3 hours in a warm place. Bake for 40 minutes at 350°F in a preheated oven.
Tip: Not your ordinary bread
You should not compare this bread to regular bread. It is very compact and hardly rises at all because of the full grains and seeds, but that is exactly what makes it so nutritious, satisfying and tasty, even eaten on its own. You can make sandwiches with slices of avocado or olive tapenade; perfect for a packed lunch.
This bread is gluten-free if you replace the spelt flour with buckwheat flour. You do need at least two cups of flour to hold the bread together – every other ingredient can be a whole grain.
As Professor Walter Willett says: “You can’t overeat on this bread because whole grains are naturally filling, and after just two slices you will be satisfied.”
Bread versus Whole Grains
Grains have been getting a bad press recently. It has become clear that gluten intolerance is an issue for many people, and that refined grains do not have a place in a healthy lifestyle. However, recent studies indicate that whole grains such as barley, spelt, rye, and millet, and pseudo-grains such as oats, amaranth, buckwheat, teff, quinoa, and brown rice, can be very valuable. Whole grains are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins and can play a part in preventing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. But, as Professor Walter Willett at Harvard made clear to me when I interviewed him, you only enjoy the benefits of whole grains if you eat them whole. Once grains are milled (as for bread), they turn into processed grains and their advantages are lost. And in order to make bread, grains must be milled, otherwise breads simply fall apart. Even bread made from whole grain wheat is not okay. Though the nutrients in the whole grains remain, it is still a milled grain. Milling exposes the starches which turn into fast-digesting carbohydrates, and fast carbohydrates are extremely detrimental to our health. Eating the whole wheat grain precludes this process, which is why only whole grains deliver health advantages. Grains should be prepared in their natural form as much as possible, without milling them into flours. This is why bread will always be a problematic case. I have tried to create a bread with as many whole grains and as little flour as possible, using only enough to hold the bread together.
Professor Walter Willett also told me the following, which I found particularly interesting and honest: “We don’t need any grains at all to be and remain healthy. People who want to eat them should be aware that only complete whole grains provide health benefits and if we want to continue to feed the whole word, we must include these grains..."
Another delicious recipe with whole grains is Overnight Whole Oats.
"Whole grains are rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins and can play a part in preventing diabetes, heart disease, and cancer."
- 1 cup spelt flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup short-grain brown rice
- 1 cup mixed seeds (ground linseed, pumpkin seeds, chia...)
- 1 cup oat flakes
- yeast (see package for amount)
30 minutes to 3 hours