I made homeade bread for the first time today. Well, that's not true really, I've made quick breads before, but never real bread (you know the kind that actually have yeast rather than baking soda/powder and salt and you have to knead them and let them rise, etc)!
The bread I made was spelt bread and I used this recipe. Let me just say that it was super easy and much quicker than I thought it would be. Since I don't have a bread machine I thought it would take ages to do all the kneading and rising, etc. But I was pleasantly surprised by this recipe.
It's actually suppose to be baked in two 9" pans, but I had one 9" and one 8" and the 8" one puffed out the top and was really tall (that's it in the photo)!
This is the yummiest bread I have ever tasted and it's totally 100% healthy!! The spelt makes it so light and fluffy and the taste is perfect. Because I live at high altitude (6,500') I had to alter it just a little and ended up using around 5 1/4 cups of flour rather than 4 1/2, but if you live at high altitude you already know that you must add more flour (or less liquid) to make baked good work properly.....
Why am I making homemade bread? For two reasons:
1) It's way cheaper and this recipe made more than a commercial loaf of bread. I figured it up to be $1.70 for this recipe and the commercial (non-hydrogenated, non-high fructose corn syrup) loaves costs $3.17. Yikes, that's a savings of 54% per loaf!
2) Eli was recently diagnosed with asthma (he currently has pneumonia to go along with it) and now that I actually know what has caused all of his lung issues (croup as many as 10 times and RSV at least once, but I think 2x) since he was little I am going to start combatting the illness 'holistically.' Right now he is using a nebulizer with steroids to get his lungs back to normal since he's been really sick and I really don't want him on medicine for the rest of his life when asthma can be directly related to diet. He also has severe eczema which is also directly related to food sensitivities. Wheat is a huge contributing factor for both ailments (along with dairy, soy and sugar). We already don't do soy products for various other reasons, so I'm going to start testing him for sensitivities to those other items listed. I'm going to completely cut out everything on the BAD list (over a period of time - not gung-ho because they might revolt and not eat at all if I did that!) and see how he does and then we'll add things back one at a time every couple of weeks to see if I can determine what his sensitivities are. The eczema will probably be easier to figure out, the lung issues may take more time. Or this may be a permanent dietary change for all of us.
So, I tried the spelt bread recipe today to see if we would like it and if it would be a viable option for a wheat alternative. I also made homemade pizza yesterday with a spelt crust and homemade sauce and it was sooooo yummy. I really like the flavor of spelt, have I already mentioned that!? We will also be experimenting with non-wheat pastas and I bought rice crackers today and the boys really liked them. As far as sugar goes, I already use stevia some and another organic non-refined sugar so I think we'll just have to get accustomed to the stevia (contrary to what the research says, I DO think it has a bitter aftertaste....) and start using that as a sugar replacement. The dairy will be the hardest for Eli (I don't mind so much for myself because I only tolerate cow's milk in my cereal and have been on a dairy free diet before and milk and cheese alternatives are fine with me). Eli loves cow's milk and cheese, etc, however, I've known for a while that he had some sort of dairy sensitivity because he drinks lactose free milk. We'll probably switch him to almond milk (YUMMY!!!!) or rice milk with alternate cheese as well. We've also added a calcium supplement to the boys' regimine since we won't be taking in as much dairy. They now get a probiotic, multi vit., whole food supplement, calcium and cod liver oil daily.
Any suggestions from anyone who has cured/controlled their own or their child's asthma by diet alone would be greatly appreciated. I already have one friend who has done this with her 2 children and walked another friend thru it and all have been symptom free for over a year now! Not even a sniffle or winter cold for the first friend's kids (don't know about the other friend).