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Friday, October 4, 2013

Gluten Free You and Me, guten free bread mixes...

Last week someone posted on my Face book page about how we should cater to local businesses in our areas. Seemed quite logical to me because if we purchase locally it is a win, win, situation. We grow as a community, keep our money locally, improve our neighborhoods, and make friends in the process. Besides I am a country girl at heart and don't like traveling on busy highways. As my husband always says..." You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl". Okay, so he wasn't the first to ever say it, but it never the less holds true in my case.

I was raised in the country where we had to catch a school bus to school. I never really got to join any clubs or participate in after school activities because we didn't have public transportation where I lived. Yet I did come home to fresh baked goods and breads every Friday after school. I am hooked for life...

Okay...I do agree that while living a gluten free lifestyle that never again will I have as good a bread as my mom use to make. Gluten free baking is more complex in nature because the flours used contain no gluten whatsoever, so the taste, rise, and texture will never measure up to what we were use to in our days before becoming gluten free. You will never find a loaf that even vaguely resembled that good ol loaf of homemade bread,  or even that of the famous "WONDER" bread many of us grew up on. Yet there are loaves that are just as delicious and satisfying!

I have been obsessed with finding that perfect loaf of gluten free bread over the past few years. I have tried many boxed mixes, some good, some just have made dozens and dozens of loaves from scratch using numerous different gluten free flours which I have purchased then mixed into different flour combinations. Many loaves ended up in the trash. Some were salvageable, but only because I hate to waste money!

I have bought the "frozen" loaves that many of us on a gluten free diet have fallen subject to as that final last resort. Some of which I couldn't believe had even made it to the market as they were almost inedible! Then I came upon a local company right here in Columbus Ohio called Gluten Free You & Me. Figuring I had nothing else to loose...except more money...I ordered three mixes. Italian Herb, Mock Rye, and French White. All you add is 1 1/3 cup water, 2 T oil, and mix for 3 minutes. Simple enough...

I received my mixes today in the mail, and as usual since I had no bread in the freezer I preset my oven and got to mixing.  Even with my arm aching, this I could handle! I decided to make the Italian loaf first since pasta is tonight's dinner choice with a fresh salad. I was purely flabbergasted to see that the loaf was actually LOADED with herbs. This I thought is going to be a delight to dip in fresh olive oil. Yum!

I let the loaf raise for the specified 40 minutes then popped into the oven. Another thing that impressed me was the rising and baking time. Most mixes I have used in the past have taken over a hour to rise, and anywhere from 50-60 minutes to bake. You only have to let the dough rise in the pan forty minutes and bake between 35-40 minutes depending on which variety of loaf you make.

I let the dough rise the 40 minutes as stated on the directions and found it had rose to perfection. I put the loaf in the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes at which time I covered  it with foil so it didn't over brown. After just 40 minutes of baking I pulled the loaf out and tested the center with a thermometer to make sure it had reached 220 degrees, to insure a perfectly done loaf. The smells of Italian spices filled the kitchen. I really had to struggle with myself to let the loaf  rest the allotted hour of cooling time on the rack!!! Oh the agony of it!!!

I was so excited by time dinner rolled around that I actually ate more bread than pasta!!! This bread was a true treat! My husband who is Italian, as you well know by now, didn't do too bad in devouring his share as well...Now that's a compliment in itself!

This is one of the easiest breads I have made to date, and probably the only one I will be stocking my pantry with from now on. You can order the mixes at their home site  if you would like to give them a try. I highly recommend them even if you don't live a gluten free lifestyle, as they are that good!!!

Well that's it for today's post. Until next time...have a great gluten free day!

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