“The Doctor has told me to eat a Wheat and Gluten free diet”. Now this comment from my husband may not seem a big statement, but for a prolific baker like myself, it suddenly meant that thousands of my recipes were unsuitable for him.
In the first couple of weeks we purchased ready made cakes and bread to enable him to eat. Whilst some were quite pleasant others were dreadful. We also discovered another problem in that to try and create a food similar to wheat based products, many manufacturers include Xanthan Gum as a binder. Lots people, including myself are intolerant to this Gum with some very unpleasant intestinal symptoms which I will not go into.
This set me on a path to try and bake, tasty but gluten free cakes the whole family could enjoy. I started off with ready mixed Gluten Free Flour from the Supermarket, but soon discovered that this was only suitable for a few recipes, mainly brownies and whilst we like brownies, there are only so many you can eat. I then tried cakes leaving out flour altogether. These were much more successful, but rather expensive for everyday as they use lots of chocolate and ground almonds.
Much trawling of gluten free sites made it quite clear that one flour cannot fit all and different flours should be used for different baking needs. Surprisingly, the local supermarket did not have many of these flours, but I discovered that Waitrose has a good range with Holland and Barrett selling some of the others. With the help of ebay, a local herbalist and many plastic tubs, I now have a cupboard full of a bewildering array of different grains (being gluten free requires a bigger kitchen it would seem). More to follow …..