When you are eating a gluten free diet, for health reasons, due to allergies or intolerance, bread and what you can and cannot eat, and what substitutes are available, is a touchy subject…
It’s hard to find good substitutes and replacements for bread and it can be a staple in many diets.
I have been feeding my family (first my husband, then my children) a mainly gluten-free diet for a long time now, and because my husband is gluten intolerance, I try to stick to a gluten-free diet for all of us, because it’s easier to stick to and cater for than buying different foods for everyone. Bread is something we have experimented with over the years. I have bought many loaves of gluten-free bread and even attempted to make my own, and we have become very picky about what works for us. Bread is thing my husband missed most when he was told he needed to stop eating gluten and it’s hard to find replacements for.
So when we were sent some bread and rolls from Warburtons, from their Newburn Bakehouse gluten-free range, we were quite excited. We do have a couple of brands we like, for gluten-free bread and I had heard they had a new range out, specifically gluten-free, but we hadn’t tried it yet. We were sent some White Farmhouse loaf, Seeded Farmhouse loaf, Brown Farm House Loaf and Soft seeded rolls to try.
The main problem with gluten-free bread is texture and taste. Gluten in traditional bread is what makes bread “bread” and finding ways to make gluten-free bread resemble that is challenging. Also sometimes the ingredients used to replace the wheat in bread can make the texture of the bread very dry and tasteless and not something you want to use for you sandwiches or lunchbox.
Some brands get it almost right, and some brands don’t quite get there. Having been trying out gluten-free breads for 14 years we kind of regard ourselves as semi experts in what works.
We were very pleasantly surprised by both the quality and taste of the bread loaves. Warbutons non gluten-free bread is a brand I have used before and quite like, so I did have high expectations, which were not disappointed.
The bread was sliced well, and the texture was firm but not too dry, some gluten-free breads can have an almost cardboard like texture. They worked really well in sandwiches, and toasted beautifully. I have to say my taste test for gluten-free bread is how well it goes down with just plain butter, on it’s own. I am a girl who likes her bread and if a glute free bread passes that test, with no frills but just butter, then it’s a winner for me. The children didn’t notice that I had changed their bread brand in their lunchboxes, and if the children don’t complain (and children notice everything) then that is also a good sign. We didn’t really have any preferences as to which breads were our favourite, I personally prefer a seeded, brown loaf but the children liked the white loaf toasted. We even tried the bread on a friend who came over for lunch, I didn’t tell her it was gluten free (I am so used to using GF bread I forget it’s not “normal” bread) and she commented on how nice it was, and was surprised when I did tell her it was gluten-free.
The real taste test was the rolls though. Gluten free rolls are very tricky to make so that they are as good as their gluten based counterparts. I don’t usually buy gluten-free rolls, and have tasted a few brands that really have been dry and as my husband says “rock like”.
The Newburn Bakehouse rolls were soft and not dry at all. We decided to try them with soup, and they worked really well, and actually I wouldn’t have noticed they were gluten-free if I was offered one, and wasn’t told they were. They worked well filled with salad and cold meat as well. They were not at all dry, and their texture was really soft and fresh.
The team at their gluten-free bakery have used their expertise to come up with their range of gluten-free breads and other products and it shows in the results. They have come up with gluten-free breads and rolls that are not dry, indigestible and that don’t resemble cardboard. The Mad House of Cats & Babies gives them the big thumbs up, and we would recommend them to anyone wanting gluten free bread or rolls.