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Alamo Celiac Article- Adventures in Gluten-Free Baking

August 13, 2007

Adventures in Gluten-Free Baking

Let me start by telling you my history with cooking and/or baking. I can’t. That’s it. That is the bottom line. I have messed up Mac and Cheese (pre-diagnosis). I have boiled eggs for so long (making hard boiled eggs for deviled eggs) that there was no water left and the eggs started to burn on the bottom of the pot. See? I am really, really not good at this stuff. That is why when you have read something by me before, it was about eating out!

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Maybe fear is the mother of experimentation. I will be making Thanksgiving dinner for my husbands family this year. My sister-in-law is getting having everyone together, and to ensure that I am “safe” I suggested that I could help her cook (meaning-I will watch everything she does, and substitute gluten-free stuff where I can). The more she and I talked, the more I realized that I could probably make the whole thing gluten free!

I have the Turkey, the stuffing, the yams, the peas, the broccoli/cheese/rice casserole, the glazed carrots, and even the turkey gravy- made with cornstarch, all figured out! So far, a totally gluten-free Thanksgiving meal for everyone! And then, while running all of this by my Mother-in-law, I am reminded of rolls and/ bread. I don’t eat those on a daily basis, as I guess you might not either. Anyone else just happen to forget about bread from one day to the next?

So, in an effort to make an entirely gluten-free Thanksgiving, I am going to try to bake bread. My friend (I would say “good friend” but I don’t know if she wants to claim me after I say this) would laugh at me because she is going to cooking school, and I burn eggs. I am NOT a cook, or, uh, baker, I guess would be the term for someone who makes bread. See! I don’t even know the word!

I am Not a cook (just incase you forgot) so I started with a bread mix. I started with Pamela’s bread mix………(To Be Continued)


(Continued from last month)…….I started with Pamela’s Bread Mix. The reason I started with this mix, and not another, like Gluten Free Pantry’s Bread Mix, is because I have all of the ingredients needed for this mix! (I am not a very good shopper either, when it comes to food, that is, because I always forget something!)

I was reading the ingredients list needed for the bread, and just below that, on the package, is the ingredient list for the “Sweet Bread” version of Pamela’s Bread. Sugar! Yum! Who doesn’t like sugar?! But since I almost never cook, I only have brown sugar, so that will work too, right? I started with a bowl that turned out to be way to small, and had to pour all of the ingredients into a bigger bowl. I added the brown sugar when the ingredients listed called for the regular sugar (again, what difference can it make, right?).

I am not the best at following directions either (again, only when it comes to cooking) because I always think “what if I try this?” and then it goes all weird on me…..So instead of pouring the mix into the 8X4 bread pan, I divided it up into the individual muffin cups of my muffin pan. (I know, you are thinking “Why does she have a muffin pan if she doesn’t cook or bake” but let me explain. Pre-diagnosis, my favorite breakfast was blueberry muffins-the kind you just pour out of the packet, add milk, and bake. See, even then I didn’t really want to “work” for my food!)

There must have been a lot of batter, because it kind of overflowed out of the muffin cups, but just a little, so I wasn’t too worried. (This is where I usually burn the egg…..) But, alas, all turned out ok! I watched the batter rise as it baked (opening the door, as I hear that I am not souposed to….).

And in the end, I had the coolest rolls, with really big tops, and a nice, almost whole-wheat-looking-color because of the brown sugar!!! I was so impressed with myself! Then I ate one……it was ok, but a little mushy inside (not “uncooked” mushy, just….really moist mushy) so maybe next time I will cook them just a little bit longer? Guess I better ask my friend, the one that is going to cooking school. Though I hate to tell her I messed up another “easy” recipe! (Did I mention she was also gluten-free?)

So….final verdict? Cook a little longer, I think, but otherwise, I love the brown color (because I used brown sugar) and the mix was easy to use, to two thumbs up from me! Maybe I will try the “Herb Bread” recipe, also on the same package, before thanksgiving, and see how that one comes out…..more to come!


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