A look into Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that is likely the most common and most under-diagnosed condition in North America. It is estimated that 18 million Americans and 3 million Canadians have some degree of gluten sensitivity – that’s close to 10% of the population! Of that astoundingly large group of people, many will progress to a state of serious illness with symptoms ranging from severe discomfort to death. In comparing blood samples collected in the 1950s to those in the 1990’s research revealed that young people these days are almost 5 times as likely to have Celiac Disease (“CD”). That’s almost a 500% increase in around 40 years; and those numbers are steadily increasing.
How can it be that bread, a food that is so deeply ingrained in the human fabric, is bad for us? The human race has been consuming bread, and other wheat products since at least 8000 B.C.! We break “bread” with our family, we celebrate bread in our religions, and something new and wonderful is always the “best thing since sliced bread”.
In this newsletter, we’re going to take a deeper look at gluten, gluten sensitivity, and possible causes to a silent killer that is costing us quality of lives, lives, and millions in medical expenses. We will also breakdown the foods to avoid and those that are safe for people with gluten sensitivities.
The traditional art and skill of slow-rise bread making.
In our previous article “Bread 101”, we invited you to join the No-Work Bread Revolution to discover that it takes almost no time or specialized skills to make brilliantly crusty, flaky bread. Now, we take bread making a step further to explore the traditional lost art of slow-rise artisanal bread making.
Why should you spend time making slow-rise bread when you can buy fresh bread at a grocery store?
We can assure you that nothing is more visceral and communal than baking and breaking bread. It is a tradition that we have shared across cultures and continents for over 30,000 years – we are connected to the hearths of our ancestors through techniques that up until this century have been passed down almost entirely unchanged from generation to generation.
For most of history, it has taken hours or days to make a proper loaf of bread. In her memoir, My Life in France, Julia Child said that it took her two years and around 184 pounds of flour just to try out different styles of making French bread!
The No-Work Bread Revolution.
In this world there is no aroma more inviting or appetizing than that of baking bread. Further, there is only one good type of bread – and that is bread that is still warm from the oven. Mmm… add a little cheese, a good olive oil, and a few thin slices of prosciutto and you have a true feast.
A few years ago, a revolution began among the foodie community with the popularizing of the so-called “no-work” bread. Simply put, it allows anyone, even a six year old, to create an out of this world, thick crusted, open crumbed, artisan loaf with practically zero effort and no skill. In this short newsletter, we will get you on your way to becoming a master baker by having you bake your own loaf of bread by following an easy recipe. Trust us, it’s worth it! The goal is to get you really interested in baking bread and realize that you can accomplish superb bread at home. In the next article (Bread 201), we’re going to examine bread in more detail and lay the foundation for bread mastery.
Googling “no-work bread” yields over 96 million results! The recipe we’ve laid out below comes from one of our favourite authors, New York Times columnist Mark Bittman, a.k.a. The Minimalist (we’ve been selling his book called “How to Cook Everything” for the last two years and highly recommend getting your hands on a copy). In 2006 Mr. Bittman documented the bread recipe of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery in New York City. Although the concept of “kneadless” bread is thousands of years old, that article kick-started the resurgence of this bread technique. In 2009, Mr. Lahey published his own book called “My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method” and that book goes into amazing detail how to achieve the most out of the least. Below we’ve laid out the basic recipe, or if you’re not in the mood to read, just watch the videos! Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed.