I've been baking bread since I was a teenager.  First, simple white flour loaves and buttermilk rolls, for Thanksgiving dinner.

my first loaves in Quebec this winter
Soon, I gravitated to whole-grain loaves, as my family was definitely in the Adelle Davis, healthy-eating orientation, even if my mom wasn't much of a cook.

So, as I was studying French today by watching an episode of Netflix's Cooked, about bread (dubbed French with French sub-titles, or English, with French sub-titles),  I was reminded of the differences in flours, grains, and how we approach our bread.

It's really helpful to watch something I'm interested in, with periodic translations via Google Translate.

In recent years, I've done long overnight slow cold "no-knead" breads, as well as sourdough again after many years.  I've ground my own flour occasionally for Irish whole-meal bread or for special whole-grain loaves.

But it was interesting to crank up Chez Lisa's bakery in Quebec with regular supermarket whole wheat flour and find my loaves rising amazingly. What the heck was that about?  It turns out that conventional Canadian "whole wheat flour" doesn't have as much bran and wheat germ that is specified for whole-wheat flour back home.  Producers are allowed to filter out much of the germ and bran, even though the flour looks perfectly just like regular whole wheat flour at home in the U.S.

Of course, I can buy organic "integrale" flour which is equivalent to my regular whole wheat flour, but we're rather enjoying the light fluffy loaves that result without the gluten-slicing bran in the mix!


  1. Love fresh baked bread. Judy bakes it sometimes, it's so satisfying. Maybe one day I will learn how.

  2. I am always afraid to try bread when it is cold. Does gluten-free bread not need to proof?

    1. I've taken in recent years to letting my dough rise overnight in the refrigerator -- essentially part of the no-knead method. When it's colder in the house, it just takes longer for the second (or third) rising. This Canadian bread isn't gluten-free; it's just whole-wheat flour that has less bran in it , so is much springier than I'm accustomed to back in the U.S. (Bran cuts the gluten strands, so makes heavier bread with "regular" ww flour). I sometimes add wheat gluten to compensate for that.

      I've not tried to make any gluten-free yeast breads, but it takes some interesting options to capture the CO2 bubbles (gums, etc.), apparently!


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