As most people following a Gluten Free lifestyle will tell you one of the hardships is the lack of tasty fresh bread. In the 7 or so years of my GF life I have rarely been able to enjoy the taste of fresh from the oven home baked bread as GF baking should be frozen due to lack of preservatives (which are found in gluten). I have gone through sessions of buying frozen GF bread, GF bread from Farmers Markets (for those GF here on PEI just a tip to tell you about YnotB at our Farmers Market on Saturday mornings. Yvette and Buffy make delicious GF foods from bread, scones, cookies etc to Lasagne and Pizza Crusts and you can pre order through their email if you like. This is a good idea as their yummy products sell out quickly), making my own from scratch bread and I even used Ezekiel (sprouted ancient grains) bread for awhile. Some people who are GF for various reasons find they can tolerate the ancient sprouted grains and I did for quite sometime until I got away from them for awhile and noticed a difference for the better so decided not to go back to eating them. Most GF breads require toasting to be tasty enough to eat as it has to be kept frozen to preserve it.
Some days I would have given just about anything to have been able to sink my teeth into a nice fresh sandwich of non-toasted bread!! (Here’s a tip for taking a toasted GF sandwich or burger to work or school if you have access to a microwave. I would make mine the night before or early in the morning and wrap in paper towels, even while warm, then in saran wrap and refrigerate. At lunch I would pop it in the microwave as is and nuke for about 40 seconds, depending on the thickness & contents of the sandwich. This kind of steamed as it heated up thus making it softer and fresher tasting. This also works well with wraps etc.)
Now that I am no longer working fulltime (but even if I were) I am back to baking my own bread. GF bread baking is not as hard as baking regular bread as there is no kneading involved and I can use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. I have also used my bread maker but prefer my bread made by the mixer and baked in my oven. I love the aroma of bread baking as it fills the house with a “homey yummy” aroma! The smell takes me back to my childhood when my Mother would bake bread and we would anxiously await it being taken out of the oven and cooling enough for us to slice off the “heel” and enjoy with molasses and butter, what a treat! I have made various GF breads from scratch but lately I have been using the bread mix from Duinkerken, a company I am proud to say is a PEI company.
For those of you who are not familiar with Duinkerken, it is a GF Company that does mixes for Bread, Muffins (or Cakes), Pancakes/Waffles, Pizza Crust, & Cookies, as well as Rice Flour, Potato Starch, and Tapioca Starch. I LOVE all their product and use them regularly (well, except maybe the Cookie Mix as I have yet to try it as I prefer to make my GF cookies from scratch when I have the time or craving for a cookie which is not often.) Duinkerken products are found at Sobeys and Superstore in the GF Section of the Health Food Department as well as at the Bulk Barn and The Riverside Market. I don’t know about you but I like to support “Island” products and prefer to purchase “Island” whenever I can. Their website is worth checking out as you can find some wonderful recipes there as well as information on the company and their products.
The Duinkerken Bread Mix makes a marvellous loaf of basic white GF bread that can be eaten fresh from the oven. It is the closest thing I have come across since going gluten free to my Mother’s home made bread of my childhood. Put butter and molasses on a slice, close your eyes and take a bite and you are transported back in time!! What memories a taste will bring! Personally I don’t think a better basic GF bread can be found, especially one as easy to make as the Duinkerken Bread Mix . Yesterday I baked up a Duinkerken loaf of bread and I also tried a Bob’s Red Mill Cinnamon Raisin Bread Mix for the first time. WOW!! This bread, again easy to make, will make you happy as it is so tasty and regular bread like. I couldn’t believe it! Even my gluten eating husband enjoyed it and I caught him munching a slice every now and then. I sliced both loaves of bread I had baked, wrapped 2 slices at a time in paper towels and then put in freezer bags and froze them. This way I can take out a slice or two as needed and enjoy my “freshly” baked GF bread. This morning I toasted a couple of slices of the Raisin Bread for breakfast and they tasted like regular gluten containing raisin toast! Another good thing about freezing your GF baking is that the temptation to eat more is gone!
So for all you following a GF lifestyle I hope you will check out Duinkerken and all their Island products as I think you will be impressed with the quality and ease of use. As well, for those who do not want to bake themselves, then visit Yvette and Buffy from YnotB at the Charlottetown Farmer’s Market on Saturdays but be warned, get there early if you don’t pre order as they are popular and their baked goods sell quickly!
Stay tuned for more of Karen Woods Gluten Free Adventures blog posts...yes Karen is my mom!