Bread… it’s one of the things that many gluten free people learn to live without. Some of us miss it and others have gotten used to it not being part of their diet and can either take it or leave it. Having lived without wheat for over eight year now I have learnt to live without bread. There are days when I crave the soft and stodgy goodness of it, but they are few and far between now. I will always remember the first slice of gluten free bread that I ate. I pulled such a face of disgust and remember chewing this dry, cardboard tasting product. It was one of the reasons that I eventually vowed to try and make great tasting gluten free food.
I want to show people that we don’t have to put up with it and gluten free food can be just as nice and wheat based food. Saying that, over the past five years in particular, there are now some great gluten free bread products available not only in the UK, but also in Europe. This makes me very happy indeed. I have not yet been able to make a successful gluten free loaf, but I have bought and eaten several great gluten free breads.
One of my favourites is Genius. I love the range of breads that they have and my favourite is the multi-seeded loaf . The texture is soft and taste is not too far off what I remember of wheat based seeded bread to tasted like. There is a nice subtle nutty taste to the bread. I remember cutting into my first ever loaf of Genius bread and the massive smile it put on my face when I cut a massive door wedge slice from it. Over the years I think that they have improved their original recipe and I have not yet had a bad loaf. But if you don’t fancy ready made, why don’t you try a bread mix instead.
One of my favourite bread mixes I discovered not too long after I had to give up eating wheat is made by an Australian company called Laucke. The flour is available to buy in most Lakeland shops in the UK. They did stop selling it for a period of time, but I am pleased that they bought it back. I love how easy it is to make this bread – warm water, the bag of flour and then mix together, leave to rise and then bake. You can be eating your delicious homemade bread in about an hour or so. The loaf always has a nice firm crust to it, but I have found that no matter how I store it, it can go soft with 24 hours. I tend to cut it up into slices and freeze what I am not going to eat immediately. It defrosts well and is great either as bread once defrosted or makes great toast.
Over the past few months I have been trying some local gluten free/wheat free bread products. A local farm has recently stopped selling this gluten free sour dough bread, but if you live in the Newark/Grantham area of Lincolnshire it might be worth investigating Pauls gluten free sourdough breads. They make a small range of gluten free and wheat free breads. I tried a small gluten free sour dough bread and having never tried sourdough before I was not too sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. It is quite a heavy bread, but had a nice flavour and I thought it was better once toasted. I felt it was better toasted because for me it was a little too dry. But this is common problem with a lot gluten free breads. Toasting gluten free bread really improves the texture and the taste. Lots of supermarkets are really improving the range of the gluten free bread that they sell and the range of bread products is expanding on a monthly basis.
I popped into my local Tesco the other day and was really surprised at how many free from bread products they now stock. I stopped shopping there because they did not have a good enough gluten free range, but seeing all of the products on offer has give me some food for thought and I am considering changing my allegiances once again. There you have it. These are some of my gluten free bread spots over the past few months. I hope that one day I am able to make a great textured and tasting gluten free loaf that might even be good enough to sell.