Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Does Bread Make You Say "Ouch"?

I love bread. It seems to touch, and satisfy, my very being. Like many people, I've tried my hand at baking it. I've enjoyed using an automatic bread machine -- I'm not a bread snob. I've relished, even when flour-dusted from head to toe with muscles screaming from kneading, baking bread from scratch. I've made the well-known New York Times-published no-knead bread recipe -- it works, see the photo above.

But many people are not so fortunate. Gluten sets their bodies to reeling. We see an increasing number of gluten-free products in the grocery stores. And some of them are better than others, not only in taste, but in ingredient content and preparation. I suspect that often, these gluten-free products are the result of necessity leading to invention. Nothing inspires one quite so much as finding a solution for the health problem of a loved one.

And that is exactly the case in the development of a range of new gluten-free products by a company called Gluten Free Treasures. Based in Menasha, Wisconsin, this young company is moving forward quickly in meeting the gluten-free needs of its community. And with the power of the Internet (with customer testimony on Facebook and Twitter) and nationwide shipping, the mail-order needs of an expanding customer base.

These products, from bread and rolls to muffins and cakes and cookies, go a long way in taking the "ouch" out for people who, like me, love their baked goods. Bravo!

And for simple fun related to breadmaking, and to help you lose your fear of flour, check out the recent book by William Alexander titled "52 Loaves: one man's relentless pursuit of truth, meaning and the perfect crust." It's a great memoir about one man's attempt to create the perfect loaf, in his spare time. When that man is highly-creative, a bit compulsive, slightly devil-may-care and a gifted storyteller, the fun can't be far behind!

Update, May 2016

Unfortunately, as is the case with  so many small, start-up businesses, Gluten Free Treasure in Wisconsin no longer exists.  But, as I am sure you all know, the gluten-free movement has taken off in a big way and there are many alternatives available today.  For those who need this alternative, what a great development!

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