“Gluten, one of the most heavily consumed proteins on earth, is created when two molecules, glutenin and gliadin, come into contact and form a bond.” Any baker who makes bread have been trained to understand that these bonds (gluten network) have to be sufficiently developed enough in order for the dough to trap gas (CO2) during fermentation. This is the most crucial aspect for many bakers. Why? Because we are selling “AIR”. Yes, AIR, trapped in a network of gluten. This is our business, the more air we trap, the more revenue we will have! Let’s be honest, we love to eat soft breads. We are all raised by soft commercial sandwich loafs from the west. We love to eat AIR basically…
“The lighter the bread, the better I feel because the more I eat light the more I feel light!”
Here’s the question from the article:
“The most obvious question is also the most difficult to answer: How could gluten, present in a staple food that has sustained humanity for thousands of years, have suddenly become so threatening? There are many theories but no clear, scientifically satisfying answers.”
I am no scientist, I am a baker.
Everybody in business are trained to listen. To who? Especially to those who pay.
Who are those who pay? YOU! Yes, bakers listen to YOU! But have you actually listen to YOURSELF what you WANT from a baker?
Well, for that I can share with you since I am a bread baker, salesman for bread additives before and I am also a businessman now.
Below are some examples and what we do to gluten to achieve consumer’s demands apart from adding other ingredients or employing different techniques.
“I want my bread to be soft from the crust to the crumb” – ENFORCE the gluten, makes it STRONG, RESISTANCE and TOLERANT to hold as much gas as possible. (Asian eating profile)
“I want my customers to eat my sandwich and the bread would not crumb” – basically same as soft breads (Sandwich shop operator)
“I want my bread to be frozen for transportation to export markets” – LUBRICATE the gluten so that it will not break easily during freezing (Manufacturer)
“I want my bread to be partially baked and freezed for ppl who wants to own a bakery but is not a baker” – STRENGTHEN the gluten (industrial bakery for franchises)
“I want my bread to stay moist in the open display shelf” (donuts)
“I want my bread to stay crusty in a plastic bag” (Airline Caterer)
“I want my bread to be functional when I go toilet” (high-fibre)
“I want my bread full of bran, seeds and grains and still holds volume”
“I want my bread to look and taste the same all the time, consistency is the key!!!”
With all these stuns YOU want your bread to achieve to serve you, bakers need to look far beyond their limitations.
Dough conditioners, strengtheners & softeners that have been developed over the course of the past century as a way to speed up and reduce the variability in bread making. They result in more efficient and cost-effective bread-making processes, and produce breads with improved and consistent quality. New advances in science continue to increase the effectiveness of dough conditioners available to bakers.
“No time” dough processes, which require little or no resting, are a common goal. Some processes use high-speed, high-energy mixing to speed up the gluten development. Dough conditioners can offer similar results. Often dough conditioners and high-speed mixing are combined.
NOW, PLEASE ASK YOURSELF WHO HAS TURN THEIR BAKERS TO BREAD ENGINEERS?
I am accused all the time for not listening! But if I listen to YOU, gluten suffers.
Bread is like our body, gluten is like our muscles. When we work out, we need time to relax our muscles. When we strengthen the gluten, we need time to let it break down again. Preparing and breaking down before turning dough to bread is crucial for digestion. Complex protein (gluten) will strain our gut.
Manufacturers of machines for bakers and bread additives companies know all kinds of “so-called” problems YOU face with bread as YOU advance in life. And is in human-nature to advance. BUT BREAD IS NOT HUMAN, BREAD IS NATURE!
If you go back to social history about bread and understand the things we have built to construct our bread today, I don’t think gluten is the culprit villain, I think bakers are! AND YOU ARE TOO!
Beware what you ask from a baker.
Call me a medium if you like, and this is what I “hear from bread” : “you disrespect me all these centuries after your wars and industrialisation and modernisation. YOU alter my nature to fit in your life. As a bread, I can’t talk, so I manifest by making you sick.”