KYF #047: Listener Questions

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In this episode of Know Your Food with Wardee, I’m taking listener questions, including:

  • sprouted grain bread with commercial yeast
  • getting families used to sourdough
  • gluten-free flours
  • dairy kefir v. water kefir


  • Tip of the Week: How we’re storing and preserving winter squash

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Listener Questions

Here are the questions I answered in this episode, in the order they’re answered (in case you want to skip around). The podcast contains my answers, plus if I mentioned any additional resources, they are linked here along with the question.


Laurie asked: I’ve learned so much from your website and I’m grateful for all of the time you’ve put into creating it. I know it was a lot of work. I’m especially enjoying both the of the kefirs, the water and the dairy and then the yogurt, my family really likes that. I do have a question for you. My sister-in-law and I are trying to convince the family to embraces the sourdough bread but are having a hard time convincing them to eat it. There’s been a lot of complaints and even crying. We know the health benefits are very important so our question is whether or not making the bread with a sprouted flour and a commercial yeast is as healthy as that with a sourdough starter. I’m assuming that what makes sourdough so good for you is that it has time to reduce the phytic acid and improve the nutrition due to the longer rising time. Is it the rising time that makes the difference? Or is commercial yeast itself bad for you? We are wondering if it’s equal the sprouted bread with the yeast would be the same as doing the sourdough.

Kim asked: You mentioned consuming probiotics with each meal like kefir, lacto ferments etc, does drinking raw apple cider vinegar like Braggs (1 tablespoon in water) count as a probiotic? Also is drinking milk kefir better than water kefir in terms of good bacteria and yeast? My son refuses to drink milk or water kefir but will eat the water kefir grains in a little juice. How much of these grains can be consume and how often? Is eating the grains just as good as drinking kefir?

Leanne (or LouAnn?) asked: Hi Wardee, this is Leanne from Georgia. I’m trying out a gluten-free habit for thyroid health for my hypothyroidism. But I was wondering if you could help me find a source that doesn’t use a bunch of flour substitutes — because they’re expensive and there’s not a lot available where we live in Georgia. So if you could point me in the direction of a source that didn’t call for lots of substitutes? Thank you very much.

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  1. Kim says

    Thanks Wardee. The commercial yeast question was also right on my list. But i was thinking of soaking the flour for 7-8 hours to get rid if the phytates then adding the commercial yeast for a higher and quicker rise. Do you think that would be ok too?

      • Kim says

        Hi Wardee

        I experimented with the commercial yeast. I baked two batches of bread with freshly ground whole wheat flour. One batch was soaked overnight with water and milk kefir before adding in the commercial yeast to rise. The second batch was not soaked but had yeast added at the same time when I added yeast to the soaked flour. The rise and texture for both were as good as normal bread I thought but with the soaked flour the bread was so much softer and tastier. So soaked is definitely the way to go and it is healthier too! Incidentally kneading was much easier with the soaked dough too but no surprises there I guess :)

  2. Laura says

    Thank you so much for all of the information about the yeast and sourdough. I actually did try using the baking soda but I put it in at the beginning and then my bread never rose at all and I pretty much had to scarp it. So hopefully adding the baking soda later I can get it to rise.

    Also one more thing. I have been using a sourdough start I got from Azure standard called Bread for Life which is the same technique as sourdough except you feed it every day and keep it in the fridge. Do you know anything about that? It is less sour too and my kids eat it pretty well without too much complaint. My son has noticed differences in my loaves when I did the sprouted flour, but he eat most of my bread pretty well. Is it basically the same thing as a traditional sourdough? Do you what the different is, if there is any? I have had a couple of batches that never rose at all which was pretty frustrating even after 2 days in Arizona.

    • says

      Laura, I am not familiar with that sourdough starter but I have heard of cool temp sourdough and this is probably what Bread of Life is. Yes, I have heard it is less sour. I think the difference is organisms that work at lower temperatures. I think you should keep it up! :)

  3. Rhonda says

    To make sure I’ve got this correct: how much baking soda to your sourdough bread do you recommend adding per loaf? it’s added and mixed in right before shaping, correct?

    • says

      Rhonda — I’d start with 1/2 teaspoon per loaf and go up from there. Yes, kneaded in right before shaping. It’s fast acting so knead it in as best you can in as short a time as you can, then shape and let rise and bake.

  4. Lydia says

    Hi Wardee, I recently discovered your podcast and have really enjoyed listening and learning with you! iTunes only has episodes 38-47 available. Is there any way to access the older episodes? Thanks!

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