Crusty Country French Bread

Hey all!

I’ve been doing lots of research on my stomach symptoms, and I’m 99% sure that I have some type of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).  This hit home when I read over the list of “trigger” foods (those that set off IBS) and totally did a – “THIS IS ME!!!”

For example:

1. Fatty and fried foods (I LOVE nut butters, but they make me feel bloated and terrible, most of the time)
2. Anything with artifical sweeteners or sugar subs (if you give me anything with splenda/fake sugar, I am running for the bathroom within 30 minutes of eating it)
3. Alcohol (beer makes me the most sick, though more than one glass of wine gets me, too)
4. Dairy products (this one should’ve been a no-brainer, seeing as most things with cream either make very sick or just feel crappy)
5. Insoluble fiber like wheat, bran, starchy veg, brown rice, bulgur, dark leafy veg… (of course, all of the things I love, but I have noticed that after eating less wheat-heavy things, I feel better)
6. Carbonation (if I drink a soda, I’m running for the bathroom or have horrible cramps soon after)

Bingo.

So, I’m going to really concentrate on not eating these trigger foods.  I’ve been doing this since only last night’s dinner and today’s breakfast and lunch, and I already feel 100% better.

I haven’t eaten bread in quite awhile because I was straying away from wheat, but most of the websites I’ve read about IBS say that French bread is pretty safe.  I’m obviously not going to eat the entire loaf (okay, this might be a struggle, so I promise I won’t).  I also love baking bread.  Perfect excuse to make this beautiful, crusty country French bread!

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I used one packet of active, dry yeast, mixed with 1/2 tbsp of white sugar in warm water.  Stir, then let sit until it gets foamy, like the above picture.  This usually takes about 10 minutes.

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Stir in about 2-2.5 cups of AP flour or bread flour, with 1 tbsp of vegetable oil and about 1 teaspoon of salt.  Mix with fork.

Confession: I hate getting my hands dirty.  I refuse to knead things.  This bread was made entirely by whipping the dough about with a fork.

Cover the bread with a moist towel and let it double in size.  I believe this took roughly 15 minutes.  Pour into bread tin and place in a 375F oven for 30 minutes.

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Ding Ding!

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Note: I added a handful of rosemary sprigs to mine, because I’m obsessed with rosemary.

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I couldn’t just eat bread for lunch (I totally would, but let’s be real, that’s not the best choice on my part…), so I whipped up some tricolor bell peppers, onions and spinach.

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Mixed with some basil, pepper and salt.  I made an open-faced sandwich with Sara Lee basil encrusted chicken.

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Bon appetit!

Workout note –

My TFL (both sides) is absolutely killing me, so I’m just suiting up for a 60 minute walk/fast walk interval around my country roads.  I checked out The Great Gatsby on audiobook from the library, so I’m excited to give audiobooks a try!  I already know that I love the story, so we’ll see if the narrator is any good.  I’ll also do some free weight upper body exercises when I return, as I have two 10lb dumb bells in my basement.

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Flaxseed Pizza Crust!

I’ve been greatly reducing the number of grains I’ve been eating, and my stomach/lower gut feel ten times better!

I’ve also had a mad craving for pizza.

Cue flaxseed!

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6 tbsp flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Mill)
1/2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp egg whites
sprinkles of your favorite spices: rosemary, oregano, garlic powder

Bake in a greased pan (I used a shallow 10×10 pan) at 350F for approximately 10 minutes.  Remove and place desired ingredients on top; place back in the oven until ingredients are warm and cheese is melted.

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We didn’t have any marinara sauce, but that’s totally fine – I’m more of a “white” pizza person, anyhow.  I’m that strange girl who likes “dry” things, too.  I topped mine with a few spritzes of butter, pepperoni and reduced-fat swiss.

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Delightful! 

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The crust has a nice, chewy texture, and a mild, nutty flavor.  If you want a crispier crust, bake 15 minutes instead of 10.

You could easily eat this whole pizza if you’re extra hungry (as I did, since I didn’t have breakfast).  This recipe (with my additions) came to ~440 calories, 33 grams of fat, 14 grams of carb and 27 grams of protein = damn good for a pizza.  The crust itself is ~270 calories, 19 grams of fat, 11 grams of carb and 8 grams of protein.