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Sourdough and gluten

Hey everyone, I used to make bread for my family every day, and it was such a beautiful ritual and tradition in our home, I stopped making it after my Dx, and after a year of not making bread, I feel like my kids still have not gotten past missing bread at the table.

I just haven't had the stamina to make bread if I can't eat it. It has just felt like too much to ask from me this past year. Not to mention, if a diet heavy in carbs is associated with developing Crohn's, and all my kids are at risk for developing this (and I think some of mine are showing early signs) I figured it could be good for them to skip the bread, except maybe when we go somewhere and a wheat product is served.

And as a final note, I have a child with EOE and gluten is one of his triggers. He had stopped eating wheat about a year before my Dx, but I was still using Rye and Einkorn, which have less gluten, and it improved his symptoms, but they didn't go away entirely. We decided to go entirely gluten-free last year when I was diagnosed, and it helped my oldest son's symptoms...but he still has symptoms sometimes...because EOE is also a witch. I make an occasional gluten-free treat for birthdays/holidays, but I end up violating my own diet to eat it because I just can't pass up a cookie if I spent all afternoon making them! It is what it is I guess.

Anyway, I was up last night crying because we have all tried to be so brave this past year and give up bread, and my husband and I have done everything we can to model acceptance and understanding, but my 5-yr-old seems to be really struggling with the loss of bread and she just doesn't seem to be able to understand yet why we don't eat it at home anymore.

I'm probably going to try to make a gluten-free "bread" for Easter this year, but it's just not the same thing, and I worry about all the gums and additives it needs to make it seem like bread.

So, now that I've given you the soap opera, my question is, do any of you still eat wheat or gluten-containing products without problems? Have any of you switched to sourdough (rather than quick yeast bread, which is what I made for years) and had good results with it? I'm especially interested if you couldn't tolerate conventional bread products, but you are able to tolerate sourdough, but any experiences are helpful.
Hello, Jadegreen! I'm so sorry you're having a hard time around bread. I totally understand. Bread has always been very equivalent to love in my world. Some of my earliest comforting memories are of my mother feeding me bread dipped in yogurt as a young child.

I have Ulcerative Colitis, but have always had issues with gluten. I would get terrible acid reflux, mild facial swelling, hyperglycemia, and bouts of acne from gluten. I've been gluten-free on and off for many years because of this.

HOWEVER -- I recently started making sourdough bread with rye and whole wheat from a brand called Farmer Ground Flour. The farm and the mill are less than 20 miles from where I live. This wheat (and rye, etc) are grown sustainably with non GMO grains, and the processing is done in the traditional way. Amazingly, my homemade sourdough made with this farm's wheat and rye IMPROVES my UC symptoms! The bread helps bulk up my stools and gives me none of the usual gluten issues I normally get. Plus... it's like the best-tasting flare-food ever.

So if you're willing to experiment, I would highly recommend making sourdough from high-quality whole wheat blended with high-quality rye (I personally like a 4:1 ratio of whole wheat bread flour to rye). Whole wheat has less gluten than white, and rye has almost no gluten. I've even used the white bread flour from Farmer Ground Flour and have still found that it causes none of the usual symtoms I get from conventional wheat.

Wheat gluten isn't the devil. But the crop has been really corrupted by capitalism.

If it turns out that your son can't tolerate high-quality non-GMO whole-wheat/rye, you need not despair! You CAN make gluten free sourdough without using a bunch of weird fillers! Example is here.
Another note: sourdough is magical stuff. The lactic-acid bacteria consume a lot of the glucose in the wheat, which lowers the glycemic load of the bread (amazing for diabetic-prone people like mean). And even when you bake the bread and cook all those friendly bacteria, their remnants, called postbiotics, are still very healthy! Postbiotics are as healthy to the body as prebiotics and probiotics! So even though sourdough is cooked and therefore not a probiotic food, it is a postbiotic food, which confers many similar benefits to the body.
Hi there, thank you so much for this!

I can't believe it's been over a year since this post, time flies. So, in the last year I made gluten-free bread for Easter, and then I made lower-gluten einkorn rolls for a favorite celebration at our house. I haven't tried making sour-dough anything, yet, though.

We had another baby and made a big, cross-country move, and are only finally feeling a little more settled. Almost. :) I bought some einkorn sourdough starter through Etsy, and I am hoping to wake it up and try to bake something in the next week.

Thank you so much for your specific tips and suggestions, I will certainly bear them in mind and may check them out at some point. :)

Lynda Lynda

My Auntie does not have any bowel diseases, but says she feels so much better without the gluten. She has lost weight, she walks every day and also looks for other things to help her feel better [ not fad diets, just healthy solutions.]
Thank you! I'm glad you responded even if it's a year old. You never know when the person on the other end might still be looking for answers--and I am. :)