How to separate the wheat from the chaff. (Gluten-Free bread)

Gluten-free, but not without additives.

Accused of many evils and more and more industrialised, the daily loaf of bread is now “dans la panade” – in a sticky situation.

Some consumers are turning to gluten-free breads, seduced by “well-being” marketing campaign despite unrestricted regulation of ingredients. Consumed by personal needs or by fashion, these represent a potential market of more than 10 million consumers.

A team of researcher from consumer magazine <<QUE CHOISIR- What to choose>> has this to share:
Their test shows, quality of Gluten-Free breads are variable. Using the reference of The Country Bread, which is the most consumed behind the baguette, is defined with a slightly tangy, based on sourdough starter, commonly made with wheat flour or semi-wholegrain flour, with or without rye flour.
But many gluten-free breads (ie. without wheat or rye flour) display the names “countryside”, “country”, “farmer” or other names referring to the same ideas of rusticity and authenticity. To compensate for the absence of the texturing properties of gluten; like a framework of proteins, to avoid a flat and compact loaf of “bread” – gluten-free “bread” manufacturers add oils, gums, emulsifiers, bamboo fibre, beetroot or potato … A bric-a-brac non-traditional ingredients and additives that move the Country Bread away from its original recipe.

Because of special “modern” diet or intolerance to gluten (un-denatured protein), consumers of gluten-free breads opt out gluten, however, they are introducing additives, replacers and other unnecessary ingredients into their body.   



Drop pre-packaged industrial bread.

With or without gluten, the prepackaged industrial breads of their selection do not shine by the simplicity of their recipe. But they see that the number of gluten-free bread ingredients (18 on average, including 3 to 5 additives) is even greater than that of conventional prepackaged bread (around 10 and little or no additives) and some gums used to reproduce the effects of gluten (including the starch gelatinisation during baking) can cause intestinal discomfort in case of high consumption. In addition, emulsifiers are to be avoided, as some studies suspect them of promoting inflammatory bowel disease or diabetes. However, it is found in 9 of their 14 gluten-free breads and in only 1 of 11 conventional breads (La Boulangère). Finally, if the levels of salts and pesticides are satisfactory, almost all pre-packaged breads, whether with or without gluten, contain hidden sugar and added fat!

In conclusion

Although conventional breads are not without flaws, it is clear that the composition of many gluten-free breads does not live up to their healthy image. Celiac people, who will have no choice but to go gluten-free, will find some good products in their selection, including fresh breads made in bakeries that are exclusively gluten-free. For others, it is better to opt for a conventional bread with simple ingredients and often much cheaper!




“Bread Is No Longer Like How It was” (in France)

I bought an e-magazine (QUE CHOISIE – What To Choose) yesterday and came across an article I felt strongly to share. I casually translated it…


Behind this professional term call “BAKER”, hides a multi-faceted craft skills whereby many of them depend on large milling companies/ groups who directly contribute to the standard consistency of the bread market and a technical system that weakens baker’s professional baking skills. For consumers, this is extremely difficult in identify and to make choices when it comes to buying bread.


In France, for the past twenty years, the term “bakery (boulangerie)“ has been protected and is reserved for craft entrepreneurs who knead, shape and bake bread on the spot. This definition is among the most stringent in Europe whereby it prohibits any form of freezing the bread dough or freezing during its development process of the bread (Bake fresh from scratch).

Despite these safeguards by legal definition of the term “BAKERY”, the situation has turned bakers foolish.

With 35,000 establishments, the artisanal bakery remains the leading food retailing business in France, but every year nearly 1,000 independent bakeries shut the door due to rural desertification and the competition of industrial bread, which today accounts for 43% of the bread market in France. Therefore, today, independent bakeries who manages a single store is no longer sustainable. A new model among the competition has surfaced: the chain bakeries.

Particularly sprouted in urban areas, chain bakeries like Marie Blachère, Louise and Ange (around 300, 120 and 60 shops respectively) play on two levels: bread made from scratch on-site, which allows the legal use of the terms like “BAKERY (BOULANGERIE)”, “HOMEMADE” and even “ARTISAN”. (In France, all these labels are legally defined to serve and protect traditions).

However, chain-bakeries also use recipes offered by industrial premixes whereby they just need to mix, shape and continuously bake-out, proposing special offers “buy 3 get one free” and also danish pastries (croissants etc…) made partly in industrial factories whereby the chain-bakeries would thawed, proofed and baked on site.

Sole proprietor bakers from the countryside and small towns are the first to suffer from these new breed of chain-bakeries, since they no longer have the appeal of yesteryear. The chains are strategically located in shopper traffic zones with ample parking lots, whereas the bakery in front of the sacred church has lost its flock.

Many sole proprietor bakers have also developed a subordinate relationship with their suppliers: the millers; as some are now much more than flour suppliers. While flour groups share more than half of the market (see opposite), these companies have taken a dominant position that Marie Astier, author of the book <<What bread do we want?>>, Is largely responsible for consistency.

Initially, however, everything started with a good intention: “In the late 80s, while the dominant model was the ultra-bleached white baguettes made mechanical, some millers wanted to enhance the quality of bread. It was the birth of the Banette milling group who offered bakers recipes combining a hand-shaped dough with so-call a more upscale flour, of which were promoted via local television ads. But, little by little, the bakers were deprived of their know-how. Until becoming, for some, as the technical operators of the millers more than of a craftsmen!

In March 2018, <<Que Choisir Magazine>> came across on the grand booth of the <<Grands Moulins de Strasbourg>> (own by the group Egast) in an exhibition. The Fourth largest French miller, which has a partnership with Banette, owns eleven mills and the brand “Le Pain Boulanger (The Bread from the Baker)”. At the exhibition, they presented a concept bakery store in search for potential business partners.

Like the practices of all major millers, the layout of the sales outlets, marketing and technical support, and even start-ups financing are now part of the services offered by the milling company. The latter also offer training to master the so-call “Home (Maison)“ recipes. “Turn-key” breads such as “Banette n ° 07”: a “well-being” bread with gluten-free leguminous flours, “Bousco”: described as “authentic bread with a good regional flavour… … One of those breads from yesteryear revealed by master bakers knew how to perpetuate the secret from generation to generation … “.

Behind these concepts are “pre-mixes” – flour pre-mixes with additives (bread improvers, conditioners and inactive bread flavours) and, if necessary, various ingredients (seeds, dried fruits, goji berries or chia seeds …) – which the baker having signed a contract for such supplies could brand and create its own recipes.

A double-edged sword for Gérald Brochoire:

“Mixes simplify processes, saving time and saving labor. But these recipes, perfectly balanced to meet the regulations, lead to a seamless of supply of bread. “Marie Astier adds:” The phenomenon of miller’s brands is not new, but the products are multiplying because of ferocious competition to somewhat “assist” craftsmen: baguettes with recipes and various forms, mixes for healthy breads, farmer-style to flatbreads etc. That brought the profusion, but the comparison of the catalogs makes it possible to note that they are repeated from one mill to another. “


Today, an elite of bakers are raising the alarm. Among them, researchers, historians and associations study the virtues of natural leavens (sourdough) and ancient grains. Lovers of good bread list good bakeries (eg. blogger “Painrisian”, for example) and of course bakers, often from reconversion.

Louis Lamour is one of them. A former financier turned baker in Bordeaux for ten years.

“Without mix, with flour without additions and natural leaven,” he summarizes.

For bread that tastes really different comes with a cost. Because making bread “the old way” is more expensive. As “Buying flour from a small miller costs three times more than that of an industrial miller who bleached and reconditioned the flour,” says Louis Lamour.

Seeking to strike the right balance, big-scale industrial bakeries and chain bakeries today would portray the baker as a “guardian of traditions” but insisted that he “is nonetheless an artisan of today.” The symbolic power of (good)will bridged the chasm between theory and practice. Central bread factories awash in wistfulness for “the rediscovered bakery [la boulangerie retrouvée]”, placed its ambitions in the same tradition of sensible marriage, evoking “a happy balance between the utilisation of perfected matériel and a perpetuation of certain gestures of “autrefois“. The evocation of l’ancienne was more often a “coup du décor” – a decorative ploy –  than the harbinger of better bread. The original bread does not exist…. The fashion for the authentic is governed by the “authentoc” – gaudy imitation. Yet our confidence in the past as a guide to primal virtues seems boundless.




The first bread I learnt to bake was the recipe called “Le Pain Courant” (The Daily Bread).

The Ingredients of Recipe were:
1 Farine Panifiable (Bread-making-abled flour)
2 Water.
3 Salt
4 Fresh Yeast
5 Ameliorant de pain (Bread Improver)
Because of my language acquisition, and precision of french word employment, I would naturally be captured by the technicality of the words in the recipe.
“Farine Panifiable”; naturally I would think is a flour that has been conditioned to make bread.
“Ameliorant de pain”; something to improve the bread…
I did ask my trainer, what is “ameliorant de pain”? His answer, a typical french boulanger was, IS A BAKER’S INSURANCE. To ensure what? I wondered. And one day i had a chance to work in an “Ameliorant” company and I was selling bread additives. The sales argument was “consistency”. For decades and generations, many baker’s fear was inconsistency in their baked goods hence the dependency of baking aids and improvers.
To expand my knowledge on the field inwhich I am interested, Food Safety, I read a lot and extensively. Here is an extract of one publication written in February 1956 by The Food Protection Committee of the Food Nutrition Board, Washington D.C. (Some of the intentional additives mentioned in the report have been banned).

Wheat flour, in its natural, freshly milled state, has a yellowish tint due to the presence of small quantities of carotenoid and other natural pigments. when such flour is stored it slowly becomes whiter and undergoes an aging process involving reactions with oxygen of the air which causes it to yield a satisfactorily elastic, stable dough of enhanced breadmaking quality. Until about 40 years ago it was necessary for the miller to age flour so that the baker could produce the type of loaf demanded by the consuming public. It was then discovered that certain oxidising agents incorporated into flour in very small amount would bring about rapid improvement in its colour and breadmaking properties, thereby lessening the storage costs and the hazards of spoilage and infestation with insects and rodents associated with long storage. Some of the permissible agents, such as the oxides of nitrogen and benzoyl peroxide, exert only a bleaching action and are without influence on baking properties. Others, such as chlorine dioxide, nitrosyl chloride, and chlorine, have both bleaching and maturing or improving properties. Potassium bromate has only a maturing effect.
The maturing of flour is of much greater economic and practical significance than bleaching, which is practiced today chiefly because of the consumer preference for bread with creamy-white crumb. The flour milled from some threats requires very little oxidation, while that milled from wheat pf different varieties, or grown in other areas or in different crop years, may require substantially more oxidation to yield dough of satisfactory handling properties for mechanised baking and to produce bread of consistently goof quality. The maturing and bleaching agents help to smooth out the wide variations encountered in bread wheats and enable the miller to produce a standard and relatively uniform product.
Bread improvers employed by the baking industry contain a small amount if a solid oxidising substance, e.g., potassium bromate , potassium iodate and calcium peroxide, and inorganic salts such as ammonium chloride, ammonium sulphate, calcium sulphate, sodium chloride, mono or diammonium phosphate, and mono-, di-, or tricalcium phosphates which serve as yeast foods and dough conditioners. Their use helps assure vigorous and even fermentation of the dough and enable the baker to produce bread of uniform quality.
The use of maturing agents and oxidising improvers is of great economic value. It eliminates the costs and hazards associated with natural ageing and enables the baker to produce uniform baked goods with flour from new-crop wheat as soon as it is available. The widespread acceptance of these agents is illustrated by the fact that most of the bread and cake flours produced today are treated by the mills to improve their baking performance. In the production of quality cakes, highly refined, finely and uniformly granulated flour made from specially selected low protein wheat is required. This flour is bleached and matured with chlorine to produce tender cakes with colour, volume, and fine grain demanded by the consuming public.
The quantities of these oxidising agents required to obtain the desired improvement in baking performance are small, and if more than one is used, correspondingly less off each agent is necessary. Excessive treatment gives inferior baked products; thus the treatment is self-limiting.

Oh yes…the training institution where I was, is owned the miller.

Human Eat Bread, Birds Eat Seeds.

I do not bake multi-seeded or multigrain breads.

240°C is the temperature of my bread oven.

According to the article below, seeds cannot be subjected to heat and yet many continue to recognize these breads as premium and the healthiest! There are introducing toxins into their body, especially digesting seeds and grains encrusted on the surface of a loaf, now try and discover bread through their taste of fermentation…is like beer, wine, cheese…

“…There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds and that is to eat them raw. Once they are exposed to heat, they produce toxic substances and the vitamin, mineral and essential oil profiles are denatured…”


Gluten, Is Also Sick Of You.

“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.


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.”


Bread To Kill An Asian Dog

“When I first started my bakery, people said… YOUR bread is so hard it’ll kill the dog if you throw it or they asked, can old people eat this as my mother has no teeth? They always think of texture, texture, texture.” See more at:…/tommy-wants-us-to-break…

Many people have forgotten that they are given teeth to chew. The more they don’t chew when they eat, the LEAST their sense of taste is being activated … therefore many people just swallow. And this has become a social mental illness as one would say “wow this bread is so soft & light!” (because no need to chew … many like to “eat air” (makan angin)!! But mind you, AIR is free!!!)…and their mental would translate that to “eat a few m2013-08-29 12.05.19ore also won’t get fat!”

But do you know…
Soft bread and hard-crust bread are both “carrier”. Carrier of what?… ;carrier of other things to your body! Soft breads carry hell of a lot of other things to your body other than just flour, water, yeast and salt (which what Hard-crust bread are made of)

SO, is chewing (mastication) really important for eating MY bread?
Yes! It is a sign and a signal. A promising and satisfactory chew of a piece of bread requires good combination between its crust and crumb. If the bread is done well, chewing it gives a pleasant sensation that becomes almost melodious. Salivation is quick, chewing is not sticky; swallowing is easy. Yeast leaven wheat bread offers almost no resistance in the mouth, except in the case of some sourdough bread, which has resistance, not torn up immediately and will only reveal gradually the power of flavour.

“By ingesting bread, the eater incorporates it into his body as nourishment. At the same time, the bread incorporates the eater into its own universe” Revive your sense of taste and discover the universe of fermentation.

And do you know? MasticIMG_2250ation is a form of exercise!!! If your mother got no teeth, cannot chew, do some dunking exercise with milo, kopi O, or teh O