A lot of lovely Friends of Rex tell us that their bodies are sensitive to what they eat. That they would like to eat food free from yeast, gluten, wheat.. because they worry that bread can cause them bloating, digestion & gastro-intestinal issues, weight problems and so on.

We were really excited to have Dr Sarah Schenker visit us at Rex Artisan Bakery this week!  Dr Schenker is a renowned British dietician & expert food writer who co-authored the 5:2 Fast Diet, and a Friend of Rex.  We asked her what she would recommend to our customers:

So we learn that it’s probably not yeast, gluten, wheat or bread per se that people’s bodies are sensitive to. Instead, it’s poorly fermented bread with unconverted gluten & unconverted flour starches that are hard to digest.

D0 you know why we even need Yeast in bread? The first answer that springs to mind, is that Yeast is what magically makes bread rise. But that’s just a useful side-benefit of Yeast. The real reason we need Yeast in bread is because if given enough time & the right conditions, Yeast naturally works on wheat flour to make it digestible.

So it’s not just what bakers use, but the way that they do it:

 Comparing:Rex sourdoughMost chain bakery & supermarket bread
Flour:High quality organic, whole-milled flour so naturally occurring vitamins & mineral elements stay in the flour, no additives at all.  We choose Shipton MillOften highly processed milling; bleached white; bred for extra gluten; with multiple additives & accelerators to make the dough rise artificially quickly & strongly
Dough development time:Slow – developed carefully over 3 daysFast – can be just a few hours to mix, bake & pack
What happens to flourWell fermented

  1. Wild yeast converts the flour starches to sugars
  2. Wild yeast feeds on the sugars, to lead to slow release of CO2 tiny bubbles and alcohols
  3. These react to rise the bread dough naturally
Poorly fermented –The additives in the flour artificially power the industrial yeast used, to rise dough quickly
Not enough time to convert the starches, they remain in the dough
What happens to gluten:Gluten proteins are thought to be denatured by the yeastGluten proteins don’t have time to break down & are left in the dough
Bread’s impact on digestive system:Well fermented means naturally low GI, “good” bacteria, benign to the gut & bread crumb that’s easy to digestPoorly fermented can mean nutritionally void, high GI bread, hard to digest, may lead to bloating etc


In short, healthy bread just needs a healthy flour, water, salt, yeast…. and time.  Nothing else added to the flour or loaf, so plenty gained.

And besides… all good things take time and bread made this well just tastes delicious!

At award-winning Rex Artisan Bakery we specialise in sourdoughs and always have plenty of samples on offer, so if you’re not sure if it’s for you, stop by and try some.  We have many, many customers who come especially for our sourdoughs, delighted that they can eat bread again at last without any health repercussions.  So hope to see you soon!