For the bread bakers out there, fall is bringing us several new and exceptional bread books. From Ten Speed Press we have "Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Bread." It features a lot of new (for me) techniques and quite a few recipes for dark breads. If like me, you have been intimidated by rye, this may be the book we are looking for. An old favorite, his Struan Bread, is also there. Daniel Leader has a new book "Local Breads" that features a lot of regional breads from Europe and contains a lot of very good information on baking them. This book is a little more user-friendly for home bakers than was his classic "Bread Alone." Both books are meticulous in their detailed information. If you can't take a hands-on baking course from these great teachers, these books provide the next best thing.
Also, I discovered two very good recipes for sourdough Russian rye bread and blinis on the Weston Price Foundation web site (www.westonaprice.org). They were written by Garrick Ginzburg-Voskov. See the articles "Sourdough Rye Bread" and "Our Daily Bread," the latter co-authored by his wife Katherzine Czapp. Czapp also authors an article called "Against the Grain: The Case for Rejecting or Respecting the Staff of Life." This article cogently discusses the history of bread and the problem of gluten intolerance. There is evidence, both anecdotal and clinical, that sourdough bread (and noodles), that is to say grain products subjected to lactobacillic fermentation can be tolerated by people who suffer from celiac sprue syndrome. There are indications that the bacterial fermentation both denatures the phytases in the grains and "sever the bonds of 'toxic' peptides in wheat gluten responsible for the celiac reaction and neutralize them." It must be stressed that these are preliminary indications, but Czapp's own father, after suffering for more than thirty years from celiac sprue, is now able to eat her husband's sourdough bread but cannot tolerate at all even one ordinary pancake.
It looks like my grain mill is soon going to get a good work out.