Wheat is Chewing Gum – Double Your Fun

Back in the old days, before there was chewing gum in the store, farmers made their own with grains of wheat. And you can, too. It’s simple, satisfying, and good for you. Follow these easy steps:

(1) Place about 50 grains of wheat in your mouth, (2) crunch down slowly, and (3) start chewing. Your jaw and teeth will turn into a stone grinder, and you will immediately begin to taste the nutty flavor of whole wheat. If you continue chewing for a few minutes -- swallowing the excess saliva but not the grains -- there will be a little mound of dough right inside your mouth. Keep chewing, and it will get smoother and soon turn into old-fashioned farmer’s gum. Farmer’s gum is pure wheat gluten. It has a pleasing texture and will last and last.

Gluten is a stretchy sticky protein in wheat that allows bread to rise. Here's how it works. When baker's yeast is mixed into dough, the yeast cells divide and give off tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide. The gluten in the wheat traps the bubbles produced by the yeast, forming little balloons that expand and make the dough rise. If you look closely at a slice of bread, you can see a cross section of the bubbles. So, in a way, bread dough is a form of "bubble gum". And a loaf of bread is a mound of baked bubbles. Kneading dough (like chewing farmer’s gum) helps to develop the gluten. This makes the gluten strong so the bubbles can stretch without tearing as the bread rises. Strong gluten helps the bread dough rise higher and produces a lighter, fluffier loaf.

Are you still chewing?