If you’ve heard of the Mayr regime to promote digestive health then you will probably have heard about the stale bread and the chewing.
The preconception that guests at the various clinics spend their days chewing stale bread isn’t entirely accurate: whilst the Mayr regime very strongly encourages advances mastication of all food to aid digestion, the bread served to guests isn’t exactly stale in an Oliver Twist-type scenario.
Firstly you need to know that rather than serving up bread made from wheat flour, rolls are made in-house from gluten-free buckwheat flour. They are baked the day before they are eaten, so that they firm up enough to provide a good resisting chew, which will produce plenty of saliva which in turn aids digestion.
Opinions are mixed as to whether or not these are palatable, but I’ve always really enjoyed them. And, frankly, whilst you are on the Mayr regime, your food intake will be reduced to such a point that anything that has a bit of resisting chew is highly welcomed as it will make a meal, always a very, very tiny meal, last that much longer.
When I returned home I looked up a recipe online, found some buckwheat flour in my local Morrison’s supermarket, and made my own. It turns out that they are ridiculously simple to produce, even more idiot-proof than soda bread.
It takes less than five minutes and just three ingredients to knock up the basic mixture and then about 15 to cook the rolls. I try to get a batch in the oven before I take my shower, so I can have warm rolls and butter for breakfast. Then the next day I can have a traditionally chewy roll in the echt Mayr style. (The rest go in the freezer.)
Traditionally The Original FX Mayr chefs will add what they call bread spice to the mixture, which could be fennel, aniseed, or crushed caraway seeds. I can’t abide any of the above so I don’t bother, but you could always experiment with flavourings of your choice.
These two pictures were taken at The Original FX MAYR when I visited the summer before last. Whilst the scoop of herbed goats cheese, and the jar of homemade sheep’s milk yoghurt – all food is gluten and cow dairy-free – were delicious, I’m afraid that back in London I have a boiled egg and butter on my breakfast plate along with my roll.
Preparation time: Approximately 15 minutes
This recipe makes approximately 25 portions. (You can always halve it if you need fewer rolls.)
500g Buckwheat Flour
560 ml Soda Water
1 Teaspoon salt
Heat the oven to 180C, and line two baking sheets with greaseproof paper or a silicon sheet – I use these.
Mix all the ingredients together with a large metal spoon. The mixture will be very wet, and you will not be able to turn it out. The best way to transfer it to the lined baking sheet is with the same serving spoon, using it to shape gently the rolls on the sheet.
Bake for 15-17 minutes. You can check for doneness by tapping the bottoms, which should sound hollow.
I usually freeze at least half the batch once they have cooled to no ill effect.