Bread for those of us who can’t have Bread

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Last summer I got the Celiac Disease label slapped on me (along with some other allergies). It sucks, but it’s deal-with-able, so I deal with it. The suckier part is the at least 5 years (? maybe more? forever… I know that much.) that I was living with it, going doctor to doctor (to doctor to doctor) and none of them listening to me and simply being told I’m getting old, I have kids and that’s just how life is. No, seriously, they told me that.

So the menu at the house gradually became that of cooking everything from scratch (sadly, so many buried-at-the-bottom-of-the-label allergens in convenience items) with ingredients that were naturally gluten free (think … carrot! no gluten, ever!). But I will also admit flour-based foods are yummy and they still needed to be in the rotation of meals. (I’m one of those people that doesn’t believe carbs are some evil, never to be touched item.)

So I tried millions and millions of recipes and mixes and never finding one that actually tasted good. Most were flavorless, dense or dry, overly egg-y, full of over-processed starches and honestly just not worth eating. (I should put a disclaimer in here — I’m a bread snob. In my sourdough starter’s infancy, I took it to work with me so I could feed it lunch. My co-workers thought I was insane.)

Last month I heard of a new vendor at the farmers market — selling yet another !!!gluten-free!!! flour. (Why is this the fad-diet-du-jour?) I was skeptical, but since I still had hope of eventually finding something edible, I gave it a try.

They had samples. I ate. I liked. I bought. (Disclaimer: This is not a free-product-in-exchange-for-a-review. I have no connection to them other than buying the stuff at the farmers market.)

So who they are: Maninis Gluten Free. Seattle based. Lots of yum.

It’s rice-free (it’s ridiculous how much rice is in GF items). There are so many superior and tastier grains! The mixes contain multiple ancient grains, all certified GF and no GMOs.

Products I’ve tried (all of them, ahem):

Miracolo Pane Classic Peasant Bread Mix
Light colored bread, high fiber. I’ve had a couple problems getting this to rise and bake right (our oven sucks so I’m sure that doesn’t help!). My loaf yesterday is below and came out a million times better. One or two more tries and I’ll update this with the changes that worked for me. The crust looks a little dark, but I’ve found my oven needs about 10 extra minutes on these breads. It didn’t taste burnt at all, but if you like a lighter crust, you might want to tent with aluminum foil (or again, maybe it’s just my shitty oven… I’m saving my pennies for a 60″ Blue Star –in pink, with pink knobs! — drool…)

photo 1

And cut too early, but it just smelled so tasty!

photo 3

Avena Pane Country Oat Bread Mix
Super yum basic bread. Also really tasty mixed half-and-half with the Papa’s Pane. Ooh, and pizza crust (though figuring out a good pizza without the cheese is much harder).

photo 31

And again, cut too early. I have a severe inability to wait for bread to cool.

photo 41

Papa’s Pane Rustic Multigrain Bread Mix
Dark bread with lots of whole teff and flax. I’ve also mixed it with the Multiuso in King Arthur’s Soda Bread recipe (made with a dairy-free “butter” and soy creamer/lemon for the buttermilk). Honestly, it tasted *exactly* like the wheat version of the recipe we’ve had for years.

(sadly pictureless)

Multiuso Multipurpose Flour Mix
The everything flour. I’ve used it in soda bread and pancakes.

Trovato Pasta Mix
I’ve made pasta, pierogies and tortillas out of this. The tortillas are a-ma-zing. Better than the wheat ones I buy for the rest of the fam on taco night. If you are local, they sell ready-made fresh pasta which are, again, super yummy. They also sell fresh ravioli, but the ones they had last time I stopped in all had allergens-to-me fillings.

photo 21

Sorry if this sounds like a commercial. I don’t think gluten is evil so if you aren’t allergic to it, eat away! But for those of us who can’t eat it without being seriously sick, this stuff ROCKS! It’s more expensive than wheat, but in-line with all the other GF stuff.

Locals: The Wesseattle (no T, no space) Farmers Market in the Junction plus the other locations here. For everyone else, buy it online. Totally worth the shipping.

This concludes this bashing-on-wheat and nasty GF-breads post. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on “Bread for those of us who can’t have Bread

  1. Badlands Quilts

    Good info to know… my mom if GF too and probably a bread snob too. She still makes homemade regular bread for my dad, we never ever had store made bread growing up. I did just read an article that cooks illustrated tried some very pricey GF flour that is sold at Williams Sonoma that is highly thought of so I now have ideas for some birthday shopping for her.

  2. emily Post author

    I heard of the WS stuff but then looked at the ingredients — it has milk. I wish more people would realize the ridiculous % of celiacs who also have casein issues.

  3. kelly

    i’ve never been diagnosed, but i know i’m gluten-intolerant. it’s been rough, since before coming to this realization, i existed on bread and tortillas. i’m going to get some of those bread mixes. my bff gave me a huge bag of gf flour from a company in Montana called Gifts of Nature. it’s as good as the French Laundry stuff from Williams Sonoma (which is about $6.50/lb) and doesn’t have as much of a gritty texture. here’s their site: http://www.giftsofnature.net/Home.asp. i don’t know if they’re dairy free, though.

  4. Anita

    Oooh… thanks for the tip! My mom is allergic to gluten and she complains all the time about how nasty the stuff tastes. I’ve tried quite a few too and it’s crumbly cardboardy in most cases.

    And I hear ya about the hidden ingredients. I just found out that I’m allergic to eggs and I purchased some pesto. It had egg in it. Why? I guess it was used as a preservative? We cook a lot from scratch too.

  5. kristy

    Thanks for the information, my mom has been eating this way for 2 years and feels so much better, and also lost 20 lbs in the process. I’ll have to surprise her with some bread next time she comes over for dinner! I love your designs, I’m getting ready tonight to start making a scrap quilt in the sew-along with Stitches in Color scrap attack. I was really inspired with your interview and you quilts.

  6. jen

    Thanks for the great info. Half of my family has Celiac disease. Finding good food to eat is a real challenge. If you want a good gluten free pizza, try Extreme Pizza. They have a wonderful gluten-free crust. The website lists a store in Issaquah, Washington. I’m not sure far from you that is, but if you are in the area, I highly recommend it.

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emily cier.

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