Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Some of my MANY BREADS

Quite a lot of Gluten Free people out there exist on a super-healthy diet involving no bread, dairy or sugar. I'll admit I've tried my best to cut down on these foods and have almost eliminated dairy alongside wheat but I draw the line at cutting out bread and cakes. I'm sure I'm not alone in this - I couldn't survive without sandwiches and countless rounds of toast, not just because I love my baked goods but also because being severely limited in my physical abilities, these are pretty much the only things I can manage to make for myself whilst my husband is out at work. A life without bread, for me, does not bear thinking about!

There's a reason why they use wheat in pretty much every mass-produced loaf and roll. Turns out it's pretty hard to make decent bread without it. Initially this left me in rather a quandary. Most of the products I sampled were either too dry, too small, or quite often both. Sandwiches simply weren't satisfying any more because they were either the size of a postage stamp or the bread crumbled into sawdust as soon as I took a bite. I like to call this my 'Nigel Tufnel Problems' phase.

 

After a bit of market research (eating a lot of sandwiches) I found out the following:

My favourite bread was Sainsbury's Free From brown seeded loaf. For me, this is the most similar to normal bread. Not only does it taste great but it has a good texture so even though it can still be a little on the dry side, it manages to retain its shape. The drawback was the slices were just too small for a decent sized sandwich yet too big to warrant making an extra round.


I also discovered Genius make nicely sized loaves that taste great, although they are a little on the dry size for me, especially as I don't use butter in sandwiches. To begin with, buying this was a bit of a lottery. I think there must have been issues with production as sometimes I would open the pack to find huge air bubbles that rendered half the slices useless. Often the dough would not have been mixed quite well enough, resulting in a spiral pattern on the bread. It still tasted fine though. Annoyingly, I would also find the loaf hadn't always risen as much as it was supposed to and I was back to dealing with small bread again. Nigel Tufnell would not have approved!


Luckily, the folks at Genius are a lovely bunch. They seem committed to improving and innovating their products as much as possible and teething problems in a relatively new industry like this are to be expected. My complaints about small bread were dealt with quickly and I was sent vouchers to cover the cost of a new loaf. Which of course, I keep forgetting to use - I expect they've expired now. Still, it's the thought that counts..........

Recently, the quality of my Genius loaves has been much more consistent. I'm taking full credit for this as its obviously my feedback alone that has helped them to iron out any problems in their manufacturing process (they can thank me later.) But whilst the bread is a good size, it's still a little dry and not as nice as the seeded Sainsbury's. There was however a solution to my sandwich woes and it lay in my toaster.

Whereas no-one likes a dry sandwich, toast is meant to be dry, yet can also gain added moisture from butter. Yes, weirdly I don't have butter on bread but I do on toast. It would, I feel, be a criminal offense to eat toast without it. So now, what I do is keep my MANY BREADS in the freezer to stop them going mouldy. I use the Genius bread (toasted first) for sandwiches and the Sainsbury's seeded for rounds of toast. That way I get the best of both worlds - nice, small bread for toasty snacks and a decent sized slice for my sandwiches. It works really well for me even if it does take up a fair amount of freezer space.

I attempted a product photo of the two breads which, as you can see here, went a little awry. Not only did both breads conspire to be exactly the same size (this never usually happens) thus making me look a complete fool, I have also managed to burn the Sainsbury's (on the right) because it is a little thinner than the Genius and clever-clogs here toasted them at the same time. This is why people with severe ME should not be let loose in a kitchen!



I have also been testing (stuffing my face with) pitta bread, rolls and lovely fresh products from an amazing local company called Batch #5. That's TOO MANY BREADS  for one blog post so I'll leave it here for now and get back to you with the rest once I've done a bit more 'market research'.........


Happy Snacking!

3 comments:

  1. It's been a lottery for me too, especially regarding the air bubbles. Genius brown bread is probably my favourite but I'll forever be pro-gluten bread. Suck it up tum

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  2. It makes me almost want to try your Gluten free loaves but may stick to my yeast free Soda bread for now even though Paul won't touch them. I still prefer the minimum of ingredients in my home made bread. Think tackling making a gluten free loaf would be a step too far for me and out of the question for you. Happy snacking. xx Don't know why your blog defaults to Paul even though I was on my facebook page.

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  3. Nice to see that you are emphasising how well bread you are. ;)

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