Here at ‘Home of the House Proud’, we’re delighted to introduce Karin Joyce’s latest blog post. As regular visitors will know, Karin is one of our wonderful coeliac ambassadors and she regularly shares details about how she copes living with the condition. This week, Karin’s been testing out a Morphy Richards breadmaker, which allows her to cook delicious gluten-free bread at home.
When I first was diagnosed with coeliac disease, a source of sadness for me was the loss of “normal” bread. I love bread. In every shape and size. When I lived in France in 2005, I got a baguette nearly every day. It exfoliated the roof of my mouth but I didn’t care! The pain was worth it. Bread was good.
Now I find out that bread is the enemy. And one of the worst parts is that the crucial ingredient that makes bread bread is GLUTEN. Making gluten-free bread is not easy. You seem to either wind up with something that weighs 37 pounds or tastes like wool. Neither option is overly appealing!
In the first few weeks of going gluten-free, I passed on the store bought gluten-free alternatives. Mainly because I couldn’t rationalise the price! Most store-bought, gluten-free bread is 2-3 times the cost of their “normal” alternative. £2.89 for a teeny loaf of moderately edible bread is not my idea of fun. For the sake of taste-testing, I did buy a loaf of Genius bread. It’s not too horrible but I still can’t justify the cost. When I received my starter kits from Juvela and Glutafin there were small loaves of bread and bread rolls included in the kits. Again, these samples were not half bad. I did find that they were best eaten toasted which was fine by me as toast and tea is my usual breakfast. I could have toast again! Rejoice!
Juvela and Glutafin are prescription only brands, however. I wanted to MAKE my own bread to not only save money but to be able to eat it fresh and warm and say, “I MADE that bread!” I gave the Juvela Fibre Mix a whirl without the use of a breadmaker and lo and behold…I created BREAD. It was light and lucious and didn’t cost a thing! (Well, I had received the mix for free in my starter kit) I will most definitely try this method again when I am able to fill my prescription.
But I’m funny. I like to make things with my own two hands (or my own breadmaker) by measuring and mixing, not pouring it from a mix. I guess I’m not funny…I’m a control freak with a need for constant reassurance!
Last week, I unpacked the Morphy Richards breadmaker that I received as a contributor to the Home of the House Proud site. I was so excited as I washed the baking pan and lovingly “seasoned” it for its first trial run. I used the following recipe for my first attempt in my adventures in gluten-free breadmaking:
- 300ml tepid water
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 120g Juvela white mix/120g Glutafin white mix/120g Doves Farm White bread flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
Add the water, oil and salt into the pan. Add the flour mixtures. Sprinkle the sugar followed by the yeast onto the top of the flour mixture. Place the pan into the breadmachine. Use the Gluten-Free programme. Wait, watch and hope for the best.
The gluten-free programme takes approximately 2hrs 35 minutes. I regularly kept peering through the window to check on the progress. It didn’t look promising for a while. There wasn’t much rising going on initially. In fact, most of the progress on it looking like a normal loaf of bread didn’t take place until the last 45 minutes or so. Doesn’t it look scrummy?
The finished product? Well, IT TASTED GREAT!!!!! I couldn’t wait for the requisite 30 minutes cooling time. I yanked the pan out of the breadmachine, turned the loaf out (it actually slid right out), placed it on a make-shift rack to cool and stared at it. I tapped it (sounded like good bread should) and then, after about 10 minutes, I cut off the end and had a taste! Very, very nice! Not at all like wool and quite light, thank you very much! Have a look!
Pretty huh?! I was rather proud of it! The hubby approved and Little Miss scarfed it right down. 2 votes of approval right there. Now, my recipe is slightly unorthodox. It was not perfect as it was a mixture of 3 types of gluten-free flour and I went off the rails to make that up. But it was tasty and went down a treat AND was gluten-free. It lasted the night with a few slices left for my toast in the morning. Result!
However, being the control freak that I am, I was not satisfied with this first attempt. I felt that I wasn’t doing my readers and any possible gluten-free readers, a service by relying on prescription-only mixes. So, I set up the bread maker the next day to make another attempt at gluten-free breadmaking using Doves Farm flour and the recipe on the back of their White Bread Flour package. A package that anyone (in the UK) can buy. Tune in later this week to see the results! In the meantime, enjoy this first attempt in adventures in gluten-free breadmaking. I know I did!
My name is Karin Joyce and I am a freelance writer and parent blogger. I am the author of Cafe Bebe, a parenting website where I share my adventures in motherhood, marriage, mealtimes and moi. I am the mother of an energetic and entertaining two year old and the wife of an Englishman who is fully supportive of my coeliac diagnosis. I will be a regular contributor to Morphy Richards ‘Home of the House Proud’ where I will share posts, tips, recipes and reviews.