Ultra-processed food

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IvanV
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by IvanV » Wed Mar 13, 2024 1:18 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:26 am
kerrya1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:30 am
... I'm fortunate to have the time and money to make my own bread most of the time (strong flour, yeast, salt, water, and a splash of sunflower or olive oil), if I don't then I buy it from the local "artisanal" bakery which uses the same five ingredients - they just have a bigger mixer and oven...
The packaged sliced supermarket own-brand bread I buy also only has those ingredients, but is "treated with ethanol" and that's maybe why it lasts for ages without getting either stale or mouldy in a way which fresh bread usually doesn't.* So yay for the ultraprocessing, leading to less food waste and a generally more pleasant experience all round.

* - no, I am not interested in freezing and reheating bread. I note the fresh bread from the supermarket says on the bag "you can freeze it" but what it doesn't say is that you can't defrost it without it being terrible.
The other thing about supermarket bread is that most of it is made by the Chorleywood bread process. The innovation in this 1960s factory method of bread-making is the very high shear, vigorous, mechanical processing of the dough. The amount of mechanical work done to the dough is sufficiently large that the dough actually has to be chilled to stop it overheating. Something very different from what you can achieve with your home cooking machinery. The CBP enables a lighter fluffier loaf, and a shorter fermentation time, than traditional bread making, with the same flour. British grown flour isn't very strong, and the CBP has facilitated the use of these weaker flours in making higher-risen breads.

The fermentation of flour is significant in the nature of the resultant substances in the cooked bread. There tend to be claims that more completely fermented flours are nutritionally better for you, but I don't know what the truth of that is. The mechanical processing will tend to have impacts on the fibrous structure of those substances.

So, even though it seems to have the same ingredients as home made bread, in practice most supermarket bread is ultra-processed in a way that home made bread is not.

I routinely make bread with sourdough, which has a range of cultures in it, bacterial cultures as well as yeasts. That will also have an impact on the nature of the substances that result in the dough. I include a substantial proportion of imported flour to get the outcome I am looking for, unfortunately, especially when trying to make things like ciabatta. Because British bread flours, even the specialist flours I buy, are not very strong.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by dyqik » Wed Mar 13, 2024 2:07 pm

IvanV wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 1:18 pm
The other thing about supermarket bread is that most of it is made by the Chorleywood bread process. The innovation in this 1960s factory method of bread-making is the very high shear, vigorous, mechanical processing of the dough. The amount of mechanical work done to the dough is sufficiently large that the dough actually has to be chilled to stop it overheating. Something very different from what you can achieve with your home cooking machinery.
It's hard to read this as anything other than a challenge.

How dare you impugn my home cooking machinery!

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by shpalman » Wed Mar 13, 2024 3:13 pm

Boustrophedon wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 1:04 pm
Tonight I am cooking processing home made pizza. I shall be using ground wheat, pressed olive oil, pureed and cooked tomatoes and fermented cows' milk.
And fish fingers.

So ultra processed?
fish finger pizza.jpg
In the sense that "ultra processed" is a negative value judgement, yes, for the f.cking fish fingers on a pizza.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by insignificant » Wed Mar 13, 2024 3:21 pm

And so it begins

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by nekomatic » Thu Mar 14, 2024 10:45 am

Nobody posts a picture of a fish finger pizza without knowing that someone will kick off about it, so YHBT.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Grumble » Thu Mar 14, 2024 10:59 am

Do you put the fish fingers on frozen?
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Boustrophedon » Fri Mar 15, 2024 10:50 pm

Grumble wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2024 10:59 am
Do you put the fish fingers on frozen?
Of course.
shpalman wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 3:13 pm

In the sense that "ultra processed" is a negative value judgement, yes, for the f.cking fish fingers on a pizza.

:D You wouldn't object to anchovies? Anyway the kids are pescaterian, it works for them.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by IvanV » Sun Mar 17, 2024 6:32 pm

Pizza al tonno - with tinned tuna, sliced onions, tomato sauce and mozzarella - is popular in Italy. I used to make it from time to time before my daughter was born, but she won't eat tuna except raw in sushi, would you credit it.

I like tiger prawns on pizza. I slice each raw prawn in two lengthways, and put them on about 3 mins before the pizza is ready.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by tenchboy » Sun Mar 17, 2024 7:50 pm

I missed that earlier - the fish finger pizza - maybe cos of the page change. Looks tres delish.
Moar ketchup!
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by shpalman » Sun Mar 17, 2024 8:38 pm

I've seen salmon on pizza too.

Truth is that in the north of Italy they put all sorts of crap on pizza (e.g. kebab) except pineapple, which they still lose their sh.t over.

Weirdly I don't think I've ever seen a "pizza bolognese" with ragù on it either. It probably just wouldn't cook in the right way.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Boustrophedon » Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:28 am

shpalman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2024 8:38 pm
I've seen salmon on pizza too.

Truth is that in the north of Italy they put all sorts of crap on pizza (e.g. kebab) except pineapple, which they still lose their sh.t over.

Weirdly I don't think I've ever seen a "pizza bolognese" with ragù on it either. It probably just wouldn't cook in the right way.
Sorry, so OK I may have been trolling just a little. Thing is it was just a solution to the problem of feeding three hungry little kids and fish fingers I had to hand.
Ragu pizza I have eaten, with a thin layer of ragu instead of tomato, Pizza hut circa 1990?
I remember when teaching cookery, trying to accomodate a girl who was allergic to onions and didn't like tomatoes. Making summat pizza like was a challenge. I think it may have had pureed pineapple instead of tomato. OK so by then it's not pizza, but if it's edible?
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Gfamily » Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:38 am

tenchboy wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2024 7:50 pm
I missed that earlier - the fish finger pizza
I got a 'rep' with my FIL as 'a cook' because I once thought a meal of Fish Fingers and boiled potatoes needed something more, so added a basic white sauce with black pepper to fill the plate.

ETA I wasn't 'a cook'
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by shpalman » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:40 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:28 am
shpalman wrote:
Sun Mar 17, 2024 8:38 pm
I've seen salmon on pizza too.

Truth is that in the north of Italy they put all sorts of crap on pizza (e.g. kebab) except pineapple, which they still lose their sh.t over.

Weirdly I don't think I've ever seen a "pizza bolognese" with ragù on it either. It probably just wouldn't cook in the right way.
Sorry, so OK I may have been trolling just a little. Thing is it was just a solution to the problem of feeding three hungry little kids and fish fingers I had to hand.
Ragu pizza I have eaten, with a thin layer of ragu instead of tomato, Pizza hut circa 1990?
I remember when teaching cookery, trying to accomodate a girl who was allergic to onions and didn't like tomatoes. Making summat pizza like was a challenge. I think it may have had pureed pineapple instead of tomato. OK so by then it's not pizza, but if it's edible?
Pizza predates, by some margin, the introduction of tomatoes to Europe.

There's a story from Napoli about the origin of the margherita pizza, but being from Napoli, the story is of course a lie.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by dyqik » Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:22 am

Boustrophedon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:28 am

I remember when teaching cookery, trying to accomodate a girl who was allergic to onions and didn't like tomatoes. Making summat pizza like was a challenge. I think it may have had pureed pineapple instead of tomato. OK so by then it's not pizza, but if it's edible?
White pizza is absolutely a thing - e.g. cream sauce, garlic, mushrooms, basil or rocket.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Gfamily » Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:32 am

dyqik wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:22 am
Boustrophedon wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 12:28 am

I remember when teaching cookery, trying to accomodate a girl who was allergic to onions and didn't like tomatoes. Making summat pizza like was a challenge. I think it may have had pureed pineapple instead of tomato. OK so by then it's not pizza, but if it's edible?
White pizza is absolutely a thing - e.g. cream sauce, garlic, mushrooms, basil or rocket.
Croma in Didsbury does an absolutely gorgeous Pizza Aglefino, with smoked haddock, leek and creme fraiche. No tomato.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by discovolante » Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:34 am

Yeah it is, I normally don't have it without a tomato base although I had an amazing one in Milan last year (ok it had cherry tomatoes on it but that was my choice). But possibly that's because really good pizzas with gluten free bases are - well let me stop myself actually they are much easier to come by these days, but there is still sometimes a sense that restaurants don't really respect their gluten free customers *sob* as they will wax lyrical about their beautiful pizza bases but provide a sh.tty supermarket style bought GF version. So er where was I, yes basically I possibly have slightly lower standards.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by bolo » Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:23 pm

discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:34 am
Yeah it is, I normally don't have it without a tomato base although I had an amazing one in Milan last year (ok it had cherry tomatoes on it but that was my choice). But possibly that's because really good pizzas with gluten free bases are - well let me stop myself actually they are much easier to come by these days, but there is still sometimes a sense that restaurants don't really respect their gluten free customers *sob* as they will wax lyrical about their beautiful pizza bases but provide a sh.tty supermarket style bought GF version. So er where was I, yes basically I possibly have slightly lower standards.
My local pizza place does a gluten free crust made of cauliflower. I haven't tried it, but the last time I was there, the person sitting next to me had one and it looked excellent.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by Bewildered » Mon Mar 18, 2024 3:04 pm

So is tarte flambé just a type of pizza then?

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by IvanV » Mon Mar 18, 2024 5:51 pm

discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:34 am
Yeah it is, I normally don't have it without a tomato base although I had an amazing one in Milan last year (ok it had cherry tomatoes on it but that was my choice). But possibly that's because really good pizzas with gluten free bases are - well let me stop myself actually they are much easier to come by these days, but there is still sometimes a sense that restaurants don't really respect their gluten free customers *sob* as they will wax lyrical about their beautiful pizza bases but provide a sh.tty supermarket style bought GF version. So er where was I, yes basically I possibly have slightly lower standards.
A traditional pizza base works because it is a high gluten flour, fermented slowly over several days. A gluten-free pizza base is probably going to be some kind of a pancake in reality. There are some very delicious traditional and naturally gluten-free pancakes, such as dosa, farinata/socca, and injera. Traditionally Staffordshire/Derbyshire oatcake includes a mix of wheat and oat flours, and rather similar to injera in a funny kind of way. But apparently you can make it with 100% oat flour, which would be gluten free.

Gluten-free bread works by taking some gluten-free flours - rice, potato, tapioca, buckwheat, oat, etc - and mixing them with some kind of gelling substance, such as xanthan gum, that will help the dough hold a network of bubbles within the dough, which is normally the job of the gluten. But basically it is an attempt to do something without the essential ingredient, so most attempts are going to be rather ersatz, and lacking the deep flavour of traditional fermented products perfected over centuries.

I wonder whether some kind of traditional pancake, that is naturally gluten free, might be a more successful base for an alternative pizza than the ersatz gluten-free "breads". Having a pizza topping on socca/farinata is a known thing in SE France. I wonder what it might be like on injera or Staffordshire oatcake? I've tried making socca, and it proved to be very easy. My attempt was a bit bland, but a friend who left the batter overnight to ferment made something tastier. I've not found making dosa very easy. It goes wrong at the point of putting it in the pan. Mine typically has to be separated from the pan with the kind of force that reduces it to crumbs. The recipes tend to assume you will know what the texture of the batter ought to look like, and instruct you to add "enough" water. But I don't know that. I've not attempted injera. I had a moderately successful attempt at Staffordshire oatcake, though by the traditional recipe with a mix of wheat and oat flour.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by discovolante » Mon Mar 18, 2024 6:46 pm

bolo wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 2:23 pm
discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:34 am
Yeah it is, I normally don't have it without a tomato base although I had an amazing one in Milan last year (ok it had cherry tomatoes on it but that was my choice). But possibly that's because really good pizzas with gluten free bases are - well let me stop myself actually they are much easier to come by these days, but there is still sometimes a sense that restaurants don't really respect their gluten free customers *sob* as they will wax lyrical about their beautiful pizza bases but provide a sh.tty supermarket style bought GF version. So er where was I, yes basically I possibly have slightly lower standards.
My local pizza place does a gluten free crust made of cauliflower. I haven't tried it, but the last time I was there, the person sitting next to me had one and it looked excellent.
It might taste nice but to be honest I prefer my carbs to be made of carbs...
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by discovolante » Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:40 pm

IvanV wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 5:51 pm
discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 11:34 am
Yeah it is, I normally don't have it without a tomato base although I had an amazing one in Milan last year (ok it had cherry tomatoes on it but that was my choice). But possibly that's because really good pizzas with gluten free bases are - well let me stop myself actually they are much easier to come by these days, but there is still sometimes a sense that restaurants don't really respect their gluten free customers *sob* as they will wax lyrical about their beautiful pizza bases but provide a sh.tty supermarket style bought GF version. So er where was I, yes basically I possibly have slightly lower standards.
A traditional pizza base works because it is a high gluten flour, fermented slowly over several days. A gluten-free pizza base is probably going to be some kind of a pancake in reality. There are some very delicious traditional and naturally gluten-free pancakes, such as dosa, farinata/socca, and injera. Traditionally Staffordshire/Derbyshire oatcake includes a mix of wheat and oat flours, and rather similar to injera in a funny kind of way. But apparently you can make it with 100% oat flour, which would be gluten free.

Gluten-free bread works by taking some gluten-free flours - rice, potato, tapioca, buckwheat, oat, etc - and mixing them with some kind of gelling substance, such as xanthan gum, that will help the dough hold a network of bubbles within the dough, which is normally the job of the gluten. But basically it is an attempt to do something without the essential ingredient, so most attempts are going to be rather ersatz, and lacking the deep flavour of traditional fermented products perfected over centuries.

I wonder whether some kind of traditional pancake, that is naturally gluten free, might be a more successful base for an alternative pizza than the ersatz gluten-free "breads". Having a pizza topping on socca/farinata is a known thing in SE France. I wonder what it might be like on injera or Staffordshire oatcake? I've tried making socca, and it proved to be very easy. My attempt was a bit bland, but a friend who left the batter overnight to ferment made something tastier. I've not found making dosa very easy. It goes wrong at the point of putting it in the pan. Mine typically has to be separated from the pan with the kind of force that reduces it to crumbs. The recipes tend to assume you will know what the texture of the batter ought to look like, and instruct you to add "enough" water. But I don't know that. I've not attempted injera. I had a moderately successful attempt at Staffordshire oatcake, though by the traditional recipe with a mix of wheat and oat flour.
Socca/farinata is nice but it isn't a pizza base. It's entirely possible to make a decent gluten free pizza base, I've had them, it's just a lot of places don't make the effort, which is what I was whinging about.

It's over a decade since I last had a wheat anything so I can't really compare the flavour, but in terms of texture the main issue is that you can't get the stretchiness that comes with gluten. Specialist bakeries etc get reasonably close but it can't really be replicated. It's more of a problem with bread than anything else really - really good gluten free bread is almost impossible to come by. It tends to be much better even lightly toasted, and some shop breads require you to heat them in the oven a bit first. Which does make them a lot better (I.e. they hold together and don't crumble apart as much) but it's not always hugely practical.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by IvanV » Tue Mar 19, 2024 6:52 pm

discovolante wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 9:40 pm
... It's entirely possible to make a decent gluten free pizza base, I've had them, it's just a lot of places don't make the effort, which is what I was whinging about.

It's over a decade since I last had a wheat anything so I can't really compare the flavour, but in terms of texture the main issue is that you can't get the stretchiness that comes with gluten. ...
I had a look around at recipes for gluten free pizza base. The great majority use commercial gluten-free flour blends, which contain xanthan gum. They are typically raised with packet yeast, sometimes pepped up with some baking powder. But of course many normal bread recipes you find are raised with yeast, as sourdough is a lifestyle rather than a recipe you perform occasionally. But the possibility of gluten-free sourdough is not obvious. Yeast bakery can be delicious, but proper delicious pizza bases come from the slow fermentation with sourdoughs. Mine takes 2.5 days.

Some people mix their own flour blend, having their own supply of xanthan gum to mix in. The use of xanthan gum, a polycellulose made by fermenting sucrose and glucose by a particular species of bacterium, doesn't strike me as really likely to be the way to a delicious alternative to slow-fermented sourdough pizza base.

One alternative to xanthan gum is to make a scone base. Scone is typically made with low-gluten flour, but you can't just substitute a gluten-free flour. You need something to hold the bubbles in the dough. And for that, they use starches - potato starch, arrowroot, though cornflour is not usually mentioned, I wonder why - and raise it with baking powder. Even for wheatflour eaters, scone bases are a trick for quick pizza. My mum sometimes did it. But again I doubt it's really the route to a delicious base.

And then I found psyllium husk. This is being described as a gluten substitute. Though it is not free from its own concerns about allergies and sensitivities. Gluten is a protein, and psyllium husk - well the 25% of it that does the job - is a polysaccharide, so somewhat more akin to xanthan gum. But they claim it gives something of the stretchiness that gluten provides, and xanthan doesn't really. And it's a milled plant seed, so a "natural" product like any flour, rather than the product of a reaction vat in a factory.

And apparently you can make gluten-free sourdoughs by fermenting wholemeal gluten-free flours like brown rice flour. So this is a recipe for gluten-free sourdough bread and a recipe for gluten-free sourdough pizza crust. They both use psyllium husk and no xanthan gum or baking powder or packet yeast. And being sourdough recipes, it's a lifestyle rather than a recipe you try occasionally. Like several of the gluten-free pizza bases, they recommend using the Argentinean pizza method, which is to cook the base before you put the toppings on, and finish off briefly under the grill.

Perfecting recipes like the above will take a lot of research, time and effort. And then continuity to maintain the sourdough starter. And so I am not surprised that you diagnose that not so many can be bothered.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by IvanV » Fri Mar 22, 2024 2:21 pm

shpalman wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:26 am
kerrya1 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2024 8:30 am
... I'm fortunate to have the time and money to make my own bread most of the time (strong flour, yeast, salt, water, and a splash of sunflower or olive oil), if I don't then I buy it from the local "artisanal" bakery which uses the same five ingredients - they just have a bigger mixer and oven...
The packaged sliced supermarket own-brand bread I buy also only has those ingredients, but is "treated with ethanol" and that's maybe why it lasts for ages without getting either stale or mouldy in a way which fresh bread usually doesn't.* So yay for the ultraprocessing, leading to less food waste and a generally more pleasant experience all round.

* - no, I am not interested in freezing and reheating bread. I note the fresh bread from the supermarket says on the bag "you can freeze it" but what it doesn't say is that you can't defrost it without it being terrible.
Along comes The Guardian to weigh into the artisanal sourdough vs supermarket ultra-processed sliced bread culture war.

They mention how in Russia they once had factories turning out 100 tonnes a day of what was essentially artisanal rye sourdough. You can, in fact, mass produce traditional sourdough bread at modest cost. I don't know whether they still do that in Russia, but I know they do in Czech. This is what ordinary, everyday, modestly priced, supermarket Czech bread looks like. And it is sourdough mixed wheat-and-rye bread with caraway. That link is a recipe, but the point is that the picture looks just like a supermarket loaf. You won't get something looking like that by following that recipe, unfortunately. Rye bakery, as performed by professional bakers, is very complicated. It is not much described in consumer recipes, as few home bakers would have the patience and equipment to do such things, which involve multiple fermentation stages, each at a different specific temperature.

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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by shpalman » Fri Mar 22, 2024 2:48 pm

IvanV wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2024 2:21 pm
This is what ordinary, everyday, modestly priced, supermarket Czech bread looks like. And it is sourdough mixed wheat-and-rye bread with caraway.
f.ck caraway.
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Re: Ultra-processed food

Post by sTeamTraen » Thu Mar 28, 2024 11:20 am

Bewildered wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2024 3:04 pm
So is tarte flambé just a type of pizza then?
Yes. The dough is rolled very thin and it should be made in a very hot oven. A good one will cook in just over a minute and already have slightly burnt bits. The best ones are to be found in the villages west of Strasbourg.

My sister doesn't eat meat and bacon is a vital part of a tarte flambée, so when she was over visiting us in Alsace one time she ordered a vegetarian pizza in the local tarte flambée place, which was made from the same dough, and pronounced it the best pizza she had ever eaten. And she has visited Italy quite a lot.
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