Fresh, gluten-free bread. Warm, moist, springy, textured bread. Without gluten.
Baker Jean Brooks, who took us through two days of traditional bread baking, came back for a third day to show the Natural Epicurean students her gluten-free techniques. Jean has spent four years perfecting her bread and making it into something that people with gluten sensitivities can truly enjoy.
It’s Not Just Business, It’s Personal
Jean shared with us that she recently tested positive for gluten sensitivity (we went to the same nutritionist – Dr. Glen Luepnitz – and took the same Enterolab test). Not only that, but she is devoting her career from this time forward to gluten-free bread. It sounds like she may be giving up working with traditional bread because she had to have her bakery deep cleaned so she could convert it 100% to gluten-free. Given the demand of GF products, I think she is making a great business move. (Check her out on Facebook.) Jean has several close family members who are gluten-free, as well.
Below: Jean Brooks shaping her base gluten free dough into a baguette shape.
Below: Working hard on shaping the dough into a bread mold. :P
Below: Gluten free batter tends to be a bit on the sticky side, requiring spatulas to do the shaping.
A Word on Nutrition
Gluten free bread is pretty processed stuff, I’m just gonna say it outright. Finely milled grains. Lots of corn and tapioca starch. But Chef Jean wants ideas on bolstering the nutritive properties, so she had us send her our thoughts on how we could boost the nutritive elements. The way I look at it is that GF bread is a nice treat that reminds me of the “old days” when I ate regular bread and that kind of thing will always be in demand. Warm moist bread will always be in demand and it’s a sensory experience that is hard to get with any other food.
Below: Eating some quinoa-laced gluten-free bread Jean made. It was the best gluten free bread I’ve had, and it was warm and fresh. Ahh.
Below: Jean used Better Batter (http://betterbatter.org/) to make these fluffy biscuits. And Chef Rachel Zierzow used sesame oil and GF flour to make the gravy. Yum!
Below: Jean recommends Pamela’s bread mix for gluten-free bread.
Below: My Good Seed burger on a rosemary-garlic roll.
Below: I really liked the Good Seed burgers. They don’t have all the crazy ingredients normal veggie burgers have – no gluten, no soy isolates, etc. – and they taste great. And they’re made by Oliver Ponce, a former Natural Epicurean student.
Below: Our delicious work on display.
Below: Jean and her freshly made biscuits.