It all started with the fact that I have belly troubles with the gluten for years now.
When I arrived in Milan, I was surprised to note there we so few bakeries of quality and I started to do my own bread to avoid the “00” flour, rich in gluten.
One day I heard about Davide Longoni and I started to buy him some bread from time to time.
One year later, Davide became my client (as food strategist) and I got the opportunity to spend more time in his lab.
This is how I decided after a while to develop a concept of bakery on the wheels, that would move from one block to another block, so bread lovers don’t have to make kilometers to get sourdough bread; and to develop small size breads, to ease the carrying of the products and reduce food waste.
Once in this project, I started to look for the perfect flours selection. I was questioning myself, why now when I eat white bread, I have stomach issues? What changes?
It happens that to guarantee a perfect rise, 90% of the flours have dry gluten added, malte and alfa amylase. I went to a fair in Paris, to check the flour producers and discovered it became a standard. But the scariest things, is that the boulangers I know in Milan that do baguette and who I talk to, did not even know, I had to show them the ingredients label on their own flour…
Being French, I wanted to offer the baguette in my product range, so I started to make trial with weak flours. Weak flours are flours with low concentration of protein and gluten.
You may not know but it’s the gluten that makes the bread rise properly.
So next time, you decide to buy “segale”/rye bread at the supermarket, I invite you to check the ingredients, you will see that the proportion of “segale” flour will be minimum… Same thing with “faro”/spelt, or the gluten free bread, for this latter, they will have to use sugar, oil and booster to make it rise, which is not the best for your diet…
Obviously my baguette made with this flour was really heavy and I could not sell it because would end to expensive. So I started to look for a 0 flour, processed like in the ancient time, and with no additives inside. We did some trials, and what a surprise to find back the aromas of when I was a kid, no standardized smell like I find today with the “baguette tradition”. A baguette that will last as well more than most of the baguette you can find on the market, even if Milan is a humid city.
Obviously, all this has a cost… Besides, the baguette is a product that requires hands work. Today, most of the bakeries cut them with machines instead of shaping them… to make some savings.
You may ask me then: so how do you do low gluten bread? By following a process of “autolisi”, mixing flour and water, controlling the temperature, using the right time of rise (if too much, can go in fermentation, if not enough ends being a “rock”), last by creating the force while shaping the bread. This has a cost too, as the selection of the flours made in the respect of the territory and your body.
But is it not worthwhile for your health to spend more?
What about the fact that if you buy bread made with flour from small mills, you will help some local producers instead of feeding multinational?
Last, this bread lasts forever or at least, 2/3 days, it’s more “compact”, so you eat less and can keep it. At the end you can make some savings.
Why am I saying all that? Because I want to highlight that bread and wheat are not a bad thing for your body if processed in the proper way. The difficulty is to find the person working in the right way.
And how to perform your selection, if even the bakers do not know what they use?
Did you know that the “integrale” of the supermarket is made of white flours to which they incorporate the smashed skin in a second phase? Did you know that “integrale” if not biologic or wash properly could be full of pesticide, so you loose the entire benefit?
If you’re a foodie, you have probably notice that this year the bakery is a new trend in Milan, since I started with La Baghet in April, I know 4 bakeries that open.
So let me give you my list of bakeries I know work with the right philosophy:
. Le Polveri,
. Forno Collettivo,
>> those 2 never proposes more than 2/3 breads per day as it’s difficult to properly work in this way.