Since we have done extensive work to heal leaky gut, we’ve found that we can eat wheat in small quantities again! This is a great supplement to a nutrient-dense diet, but I still do not advocate eating wheat, especially white bread, products every day or at every meal. But it’s nice to be able to consume some wheat again, there is no arguing that it is an inexpensive and delicious source of calories.
MTHFR and Folic Acid
When I had first started introducing wheat again after coming off the GAPS diet, I noticed my children didn’t seem to do well with it. I suspect now that it was the folic acid that is in most wheat products that was causing the problem. Folic acid is the shelf-stable version of the natural vitamin folate (B9).
Since the mid 90s folic acid has been added to nearly all white flour products (cereal, bread, flour, pasta) in the US. More and more literature is coming out that suggests that folic acid is no absorbed and is actually harmful for people with MTHFR gene mutations (about 15% of the population) and eventually becomes a problem for those without MTHFR as well.
Folic Acid-Free Flour
There are a handful of brands of organic flour that is free of folic acid. The fortification program in the US is not required, only suggested, so with careful selection you can still find folic-acid free flour.
Be sure to double check the ingredients list before purchase or consumption, but so far I have found that these brands of all purpose wheat flour are not fortified and do not contain folic acid.
Making homemade bread can seem intimidating, time consuming, and labor intensive. This recipe takes the work and guesswork out of it. Using just 3 ingredients and the no-knead method made popular by Mark Bittman’s recipe on The New York Times, and you can easily make all the bread you need at home with very little hands-on time.
I adjusted the proportions of flour and water a bit, and I make a larger batch- one for a dozen rolls (perfect for sandwiches) and one larger loaf that we slice.
Folic-Acid Free No-Knead Artisan Wheat Bread
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, water, sea salt, and active dry yeast by mixing with a large spoon. Dough will be 'shaggy' but should not have large pockets of dry flour..
Cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise overnight or 18 hours at room temperature, or until dotted with yeast bubbles at the top.
Remove cover and stir or knead a couple times if there is still dry flour at the bottom.
Pour olive oil over your hands, and use oiled hands to pull out 1/2 cup portions for yeast rolls. Line rolls up on parchment paper, 2 inches apart, to rise.
Make a pocket of parchment paper using a casserole dish or other container, and place remaining dough in this container to rise. Alternatively, do a second batch of rolls on parchment paper and we can bake in batches.
Allow rolls and/or loaf to rise for 2 hours.
Thirty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450* F. Preheat stonewareor ceramic baking dishes (preferably with lids!) in the oven as well.
To bake, use parchment paper as a sling and transfer rolls to stoneware baking tray, dutch oven, or casserole dish.
Cover either with lid that goes to the dish, or oiled aluminum foil. The cover is key for trapping the stream and making the shiny chewy crust on the bread.
Return hot dish to the oven and bake for 25 minutes for rolls, 35 minutes for bread loaf.
Remove cover/lid for the last 5-10 minutes of baking to get your bread to be a rich golden brown.
Allow to cool for best results slicing, but if you want to enjoy bread fresh out of the oven I don't blame you.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freezer for longer storage.
How often should we eat bread?
I see bread more as a treat or supplemental food than a main staple in the diet. It should not crowd out healthy fats, proteins or vegetables. How much you can eat bread will depend on your unique dietary needs.
If you have been avoiding bread just because of the folic acid stuff, or eating wheat bread even though it has folic acid in it and you know you’re not handling it well, this recipe should help you make your own bread without folic acid easily.
More Bread Recipes
See all MTHFR/Folic Acid Articles