What is Gluten and is it bad for you?

September 06, 2022

What is Gluten and is it bad for you?

Many people shy away from pizza or bread altogether as it gives them digestive issues and causes their stomach to hurt or trigger sensitivities. But, we’re here to tell you the good news, you DON’T have to miss out on yummy pizza in fear of getting a tummy ache, and we’re about to tell you why. (Disclaimer: Ceoliacs should never eat gluten and this only applies to those with concerns about gluten content rather than Ceoliacs.)

 

Firstly, gluten is a protein found in wheat products. Think of gluten as the miraculous net that holds bread together; it helps dough rise by trapping gas bubbles during fermentation and gives bread its unique texture. Gluten itself is rarely the problem, however the manner in which it is processed can play a large part in causing digestive issues.

 

Sourdough is naturally a low-gluten bread. It also contains lower levels of fructans, another substance that can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms in some people. This can make sourdough a better option for people with IBS, gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity; meaning more pizza and less Pepto-Bismol, if you know what I mean…

 

According to Jane Varney, senior research dietitian at Monash University, a large proportion of people are actually sensitive to the fructans in the food they eat, as opposed to the gluten, so the sourdough process is much more suitable for them.

 

Our sourdough pizza bases are also left to ferment for longer than your typical bread, resulting in a much more digestible end product. We leave them to ferment for 48 hours before being baked meaning they have not only developed great flavour, but are also easier to digest than commercially made bread, which is often baked after only a few hours of being made. The longer the dough is fermented, the easier it is to digest due to the gluten becoming more relaxed over time.

 

When it comes to our dough balls we have two options. The sourdough and the Pinsa. Both products are frozen immediately after making, so the fermentation process is down to you at home. Our top tip for the tastiest and most digestible dough is to ferment it for 2 to 3 days in the fridge before using. The Pinsa dough is made with a combination of rice, soy and wheat flour and is therefore naturally lower in gluten than the standard wheat dough balls, so by choosing this option, you have the extra benefit of less gluten which can help with digestion!

So, to sum up what should be good news for all pizza lovers, sourdough pizza bases are your best bet when it comes to those of you with a sensitive stomach. Using a longer fermentation time improves digestability even further, so always try and give your pizza dough a long ferment, which should mean no bloating or digestive issues.

Whether you make it yourself, or buy it from suppliers like ourselves, you should find your pizza eating experience much more enjoyable, and of course, extremely delicious!


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