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Baking bread the gluten-free way – Take 1

Is there anything better than to wake up to than a freshly baked loaf of (gluten-free) bread? I was lucky enough to find one in the kitchen last Sunday, when my lovely new flatmate baked a delicious doorstop of a loaf while I was sleeping.

The Bread

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Baking gluten-free bread is a trickier beast than baking normal bread, as gluten is the ingredient that primarily gives normal bread its texture and stretch; when you take it out you are often left with a crumbly cardboard mess.

A blend of flours tends to give better results than using a single flour, and this time K used the readymade Dove’s Farm Brown Bread flour blend, following the bread recipe on the back of the packet. (Ingredients : Flour Blend (Rice, Tapioca, Potato, Buckwheat and Carob), Sugar Beet Fibre, Xanthan Gum.)

Taste Test

Quite a heavy, cakey texture, a nice crunch on the outside, best toasted. Very tasty with a little butter, honey or jam. It is quite different to supermarket Freefrom gluten-free bread; I would say the closest comparison would be with the bread baked at the WAGfree bakery (no bad thing!). It is a little crumbly, but slices can be cut carefully. My non-coeliac testers K and D agreed that it was cakey, quite unlike ‘normal’ bread but lovely with a hot cup of tea and a spread of something sweet.

The Verdict

I think for a first attempt, my flatmate K did a marvellous job at baking the eternally tricky gluten-free bread. The bread was tasty and a great shape and size, if a little crumbly and dense. I think getting it perfect will be a process of experimentation, and I look forward to hopefully trying a few different recipes.

Do any of you bake your own gluten-free bread? Which recipes have you had the most success with? I would love to hear any recommendations.

3 Comments

  1. I’m an American staying in Clapham in June for Wimbledon. Diagnosed celiac (our spelling) a little over a year ago. Sounds like I unknowingly picked a good spot for grub? I see two pizza places, and a burger place, rather close! Plus Whole Foods!?

    In general, are Indian takeaways safe?

    • Lucky you going to Wimbledon! There are a good few places to eat around Clapham/Battersea; so far I have found the aforementioned Pizza Da Vinci for takeaway, Pizza Express for a sit down meal, and many independent eateries that I still have to investigate. For buying GF supplies, there is Wholefoods, and several supermarkets within a few minutes of Clapham Junction station (ASDA, Marks and Spencers and Waitrose) which all stock great FreeFrom aisles. Indian takeaways and restaurants are generally a good bet, as they rarely use wheatflour in their cooking. Curries should be fine, best to check poppadoms. I will be adding more posts about the area in the coming months so be sure to check back :) Issi

    • Oh and if you have a spare few hours, take a bus to Brixton and visit Vozars in Brixton Village (in the market), they have a stall selling WAGfree bakery-produced bread and cakes (which are the best I have EVER tried) and the restaurant is ENTIRELY gluten-free, even serving GF beer!

      See my previous blogposts for details – http://glutenfreeinlondon.com/2013/10/10/food-porn-honest-burger-wagfree-brixton/

      http://glutenfreeinlondon.com/2013/10/03/brixton-gluten-free-haven/

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