All lined up and ready for the onslaught of the judges! And what an amazing array they are – just like ‘normal bread’. And these are just the sliced loaves – yet to come are the rolls, the wraps, the baps, the pitta breads, the flat breads….
Gluten-free bread is one of the most difficult foods to make in your own kitchen, let alone to manufacture on an industrial scale. So it is truly amazing how the quality of the offer has improved since Genius (this year’s sponsors of the category) broke the taboo on edible supermarket gluten-free bread back in 2009 when they won our Innovation Award. If you ate a slice of any of the breads in our picture on their own and really thought hard about it, you would probably realise that there was something a little different about it – texture slightly drier or sandier, taste slightly unusual. But if you were eating it wrapped around sandwich fillings or toasted and covered in marmalade or Marmite (or Vecon spread if you are coeliac) – you would never know. How great is that for all those coeliacs who, when faced with brick-like rice breads or Valpiform in a round tin, had more or less given up on eating bread altogether!!
When she saw this line up, as a bread-obsessed coeliac of some years standing (see her diary post last week), beer-expert / FFFood Awards judge Sue Cane seized the camera out of my hands and went to work to record the wonderful things that had happened in ‘freefrom’ bakeries across the land!!
Judges who were a little more objective also noticed that a number of these breads had not only managed to exclude wheat and gluten but dairy, soya and even egg – the ingredient that, much to the frustration of those who were not only gluten/wheat intolerant but egg allergic, many of the earlier GF breads had used to hold them together. This is somewhat of a manufacturing triumph, so those bakers do really need to be congratulated.
I am afraid that Sue was so enthused about the plain, ordinary everyday breads on offer that she did not get round to photographing the more exotic offerings but they did include Tiger Bloomers, soft and crispy white rolls, bake-in-the bag rolls (perfect for food service), buckwheat rolls, pitta breads and even Focacette!!! (Mini focaccios for those who, like me, had never heard of them….) Just hang on in there to see what made it through to the shortlist…
* The Bread category was sponsored by Genius Gluten Free.