I am a freelance writer living in Gloucestershire. I have been writing family style articles in the form of columns for newspapers since 2000 and spent four years presenting an interview chat show on Forest of Dean Radio.
Published December 1st 2012
The quickest, simplest and tastiest rye bread ever
There have been various times during my adult life when I have stopped eating wheat for a number of reasons. Now I do have a bit of a problem with this statement, because, I am an actress, and, as an actress, I do recognise that it can undoubtedly be seen as a rather precious thing that members of the acting profession like to do.
Eldest Daughter was recently doing a voice over. When lunchtime came, the owner of the production company asked her if she would like some lunch, adding the words: "Do you eat actress's food, or normal food?" To which the answer was,"normal food". Both Eldest Daughter and I thought that the comment was hilarious, and rather apt.
So, at the risk of being a bit of a "lovey", I do actually fare better when I don't eat wheat. Various articles have been written on the subject of wheat consumption and the consensus is, that because it is not an ancient grain, our bodies do not absorb it as well as its older relation spelt flour, or grains that contain less gluten such as rye.
Personally, I am a bit asthmatic and when I give up wheat I find that my asthma improves. (I gave up drinking milk in my tea and coffee a while back, and that helps too.) One of the most noticeable benefits is seen in the appearance of my hands. When I don't eat wheat, within a few days, they look smoother, and younger.
That alone should be enough to admit that I should really be a fully inducted member of the "lovey society", but, the problem is, that really, it's very inconvenient ... and dull. Bread is such a staple in our diet. Without it, it is more difficult to get a quick lunch on the move, more tricky in restaurants, and more difficult to cook all your favourite recipes. Then there is the bread maker, in which we make delicious bread, on a daily basis, for the family. And not to mention Pascale's pastries or the Christmas cake.
I have had periods when I have only cooked with non wheat flours, but, as I am a Mum, who doesn't have coeliac disease, but who just notices a few health benefits when eating less wheat, I really feel that using a bit of flour in sauces and having the odd piece of cake or a biscuit isn't too bad really. The main benefits seem to appear if I don't overindulge on wheat based bread. So, for me I compromise. When I remember, I have a spell avoiding eating wheat bread, and I cut down on other wheat in cooking.
One of the ways to avoid wheat is to use Rye. Rye does have some gluten of course, but as anyone who has cooked with it will know, it has much less gluten than wheat. The great thing about wheat flour is that the gluten makes the dough stick together, which is useful. We learnt to our cost that without the addition of some wheat flour, you cannot successfully make rye bread in the bread maker; and you cannot make too large a loaf by hand. So the recipe here is for a small loaf, in the oven, which is unbelievingly simple and quick, works beautifully, and is all rye.
250g Rye Flour 175 ml milk (Or non dairy equivalent. Rice or oat milks are both good.) 1 tsp sunflower oil.
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda.
Salt to taste if preferred.
Mix the ingredients together.
Make the dough into a nicely shaped loaf.
Score into four large pieces.
Brush the top with melted butter, margarine or a non dairy equivalent.
Cook for 35 to 40 minutes at 220C/ Gas Mark 7/ 425F
Eat whilst fresh.
There is indeed some gluten in rye flour, as mentioned in the article. It has less gluten than wheat though and the gluten in rye is weaker. There are numerous health benefits to eating rye over wheat too.
Thank you for your comment.