An increasing number of people are finding they have to give up processed wheat flour products in order to maintain good health. Often, the wheat gluten is the culprit, but that is not always the case. It could also be the body’s intolerance to the modern ways in which wheat products are prepared and refined.
If you suspect a wheat problem, before giving it up altogether, you might see if you or your affected family member can tolerate sprouted or fermented whole wheat flour. You don’t need any specialized equipment to ferment flour, though it helps if the flour has been freshly ground. Sprouting wheat berries does take an initial investment of some sprouting bags, a dehydrator, and a mill to grind the berries. If you are able to both sprout and ferment your flour, you are assured of your baked goods being the most digestible.
If you find the problem is with improperly processed wheat, but not wheat itself, you will need to make everything involving wheat from scratch. My experience has been that bread made with sprouted flour tends to be heavy and does not always rise predictably. Sprouted sourdough bread works just fine, but it is a much heavier bread than you might be used to. I prefer to mostly avoid bread and go with alternatives that are easier to prepare.
One truly awesome and versatile bread alternative is yogurt butter crackers, based on a recipe from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Mix one cup of plain whole yogurt, one cup of softened raw butter, two teaspoons of sea salt and about three and a half cups of sprouted, freshly ground wheat flour. You want to end up with a soft but not sticky dough. Allow the dough ball to rest at room temperature for twelve to twenty four hours. The next day, roll the dough out onto a large well buttered cookie sheet. Cut into cracker sized pieces, and bake for twenty minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned. The crackers will be soft when they come out, or you can bake them for a bit longer to make them more crispy. Just watch them closely as they can burn quickly.
Depending on the size and length of bake time, these crackers can be used for sandwiches, grilled cheese snacks, with all variety of spreads (one of my favorites is with cream cheese and smoked salmon), or even to dip into fried egg yolks. Essentially, they can be used just like crackers, but also as bread with some limitations. They taste mildly sour, but the sprouting of the wheat adds just enough sweetness that children really like them. The cracker dough itself can be used as a base for quiches, and perhaps even pie crust. The possibilities are awaiting your discovery.
The recipe says this dough can be made with spelt flour as well. I suspect other grains may also work. If wheat itself turns out to be the problem, you can experiment with using various types of wheat free flours, and whenever possible, sprout and freshly grind any ingredient that’s based on a grain.