The lovely Sue from Pollinate has been gluten-free for a while now and I asked her if she could share some of her tried and tested recipes, product recommendations and insider knowledge to anyone who finds themselves now leading a gluten-free lifestyle.
Here is the first in her series:
Making your own Gluten Free Bread
One of the first things people ask me, when we are talking about being intolerant to gluten, is about bread: what is gluten-free bread like, and is it easy to make?
It's almost 20 years since I cut gluten from my diet for medical reasons; gluten, of course, is the protein that is in wheat, rye, barley and a few other grains. So it's far to say I can't really remember what 'normal' bread is like, though I am happy to prepare it for others to eat.
Gluten free bread is nowadays a million miles from the, frankly, WEIRD stuff that used to be on sale: I remember going to Sainsbury's specifically and buying a strange loaf that was about £4 in a thick plastic wrapper that contained a sachet of silica gel (you know, those little sachets you get in new handbags or shoeboxes to keep them fresh!) and had to be kept in the fridge. Looking back, it was sort of rubbery and foamy and not very nice, but toasted with lots of peanut butter on it was a bit of a treat!
There are plenty of options available in all supermarkets now, and the leading brand Genius is definitely one of the best. But because going gluten-free for can be a bit pricey, I tend to keep bread as a treat rather than something I have every day.
Many people go gluten free for medical reasons or simply because they find they feel bloated, sluggish or have skin problems such as eczema after eating too much normal bread or pasta. I'd always say check with your GP if you're concerned but many people find simply cutting down on normal bread, pasta, cakes etc and having the occasional gluten free alternative is helpful.
My favourite gluten free bread recipe is from the FREEE range by Doves Farm which we sell here in Pollinate, and the recipe is on the pack.
You whisk (with a fork is fine) together 2 egg whites, three tablespoons of oil (I grab whatever is to hand, usually olive oil or rapeseed), 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 2 tablespoons of sugar (again, whatever you've got – for me its usually golden caster sugar), a teaspoon of salt and 400ml warm water in a bowl, then add 500g of the flour and 2 teaspoons of quick yeast and simply stir together.
It'll look more like a cake batter and there's no forming it into a dough or kneading it. You then add three more tablespoons of your oil, another quick stir then pour into an oiled loaf tin and cover (the recipe says to cover with clingfilm but trying to be eco I would use a beeswax wrap or even a teatowel) and then leave it to rise in a warm place for at least an hour. In the summer these means leaving it on a sunny windowsill but today I left it by the radiator!
Then you simply cook in hot oven of 220 degrees or Gas 7 for 50-60 minutes and that's it! Sometimes I scatter the top with seeds (again, whatever you've got, I like pumpkin and sunflower seeds) before I bake it. Having it warm from the oven with some soup or even a hunk of cheese is SO yummy and everyone in the household will enjoy the scent of fresh bread wafting through the house too! I tend to slice and and freeze the rest (if there's any left!) which is perfect if it's only yourself that is trying out the bread.
So see how you get on - happy baking!For the ingredients to Sue’s gluten free bread take a look at our gluten free range and our nuts & seeds