Last week the IWGSC – International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium published their findings in the journal Science.
Scientists, research institutions in more than 15 countries have worked on a detailed description of the genome, the genetic material present in a cell or organism. It was thought to be impossible due to the complexity being five times bigger then the human genome.
Apparently this knowledge could have a major impact on crop breeding focusing on disease and frost resistance, flavour and yield.
It is astonishing how far we have come with science in the last century but is it all to our best? Have we not just discovered that the breeding of new wheat varieties using conventional artificial selection is one of the reasons why the western population has an intolerance or sensitiveness to gluten?
And now genetic technologies are being used to streamline the process of artificial selection! Is this really going in the right direction?
Fortunately there are more and more people going back to old varieties, traditional farming and milling and giving us back Organic and nutritious grains. There is Spelt, Einkorn, Emmer, Khorasan/Kamut® and Freekeh.
Organic flour is for me absolutely essential because the Soil Association reported that one third of grains in the UK are sprayed with glyphosate in 2013. Tests have shown that more than 70% of people in the UK have traces in their urine.
With the technology of the internet we have the huge advantage to all the information we are looking for helping us to make decisions what’s best for ourselves.
I don’t want to sound old fashioned but I do love eating real food, real bread and of course home made.
Here is my recipe for a Sourdough bread with pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin sourdough bread
If you have just like me come back from holiday and refreshed your dormant sourdough from the fridge several times over 3 to 4 days you will have a very mild, milky and bubbly sourdough. Therefore I skipped the part taking one spoon off my base culture adding 50/50 flour and water to use in the main dough.
Makes one of 700g or two small ones of each 350g
- Put Rye breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds in a heat proof bowl and add 100g hot water. Stir, cover with cling film pushing it tightly on the top so that no condensation is happening, leave for 4 hours to cool to room temperature. For the main dough put all the ingredients in a bowl and your soaker and mix either by hand kneading or with a mixer first slow for 5 minutes, then faster for another 5 minutes. Ideal dough temperature should be 28 degrees C. Cover to proof for 2 hours - stretch and fold twice (1st after 30 min then another 30 min) Put on a floured work surface and scale it in two or leave as one. Pre-shape and leave to rest seam down and covered with a kitchen cloth for 15 minutes. Shape either to a round loaf or oval loaf and put in a floured proofing basket. Let prove for 60 minutes or check with your finger if ready. Preheat the oven to your highest setting fan 250 degrees C and bake with steam for 12 minutes. Release the steam, lower temperature to fan 210 degrees C and bake for another 20 minutes or until baked. Let