Since March 23rd I have been making a new, and in my opinion, a true Anthroposophical bread. The leaven I use which is based on sprouted barley is neither a yeast nor a sourdough. I believe this reflects the Resurrected Christ, and thus is bringing the Christ Impulse back into the bread. I also use the Ascension Day dew drops for the same purpose.
Modern grains have degenerated since the introduction of chemical fertilizer. This was first noticed by farmers in the 1920's, and as many of you know, lead to the start of Bio-Dynamic farming.
Through the use of chemical fertilizer yield has increased, but also increased the carbohydrate content with a decrease in nutritional value including protein, Omega 3 oils,and minerals. This has affected the quality of bread. Gluten is part of the protein in wheat and is the part that holds the gas that makes the bread rise. With less protein a more powerful gluten was needed to still make bread rise, but this gluten also became more difficult to digest which is causing the digestive problems for an increasing number of people.
Last year I went to Germany in search of a non-degenerated grain cultivated from a wild grass. This is now growing Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville NY. In the mean time I am using spelt for my bread. Spelt does not respond to chemical fertilizer and because it has a protective husk has no need for herbicide or insecticide. It has a light gluten which is very different from the gluten in wheat. Furthermore the gluten is pre-digested by the the bacteria in the leaven. This makes it easy to digest.
One of my next projects is to create a bread that people with severe gluten allergy can eat. In the agricultural course Rudolf Steiner mentions Light Root (Dioscorea Batata) as an important food to help the transition to a New Age, to strengthen us with Light Force. Flour can be made from Light Root and would be an excellent base for a gluten free and nutritious bread.
I believe there is a great future for this kind of bread made with the Light Root. Right now I am looking for a source for the Light Root flour, even to experiment. I am anxiously looking for farmers to grow this root. Experience has been made at some farms in Germany. If anyone has information or interest, please get in touch with me:
Koen van der Meer