Oh, the ups and downs of gluten-free life.
On the plus-side this week, I was in line at my local supermarket when this caught my eye:
After I laughed for a minute at “Pizza! Yes you can!” I picked the thing up and threw it on the conveyor belt. When I looked through it, I was happy to see the ingredients in many of the recipes are both less expensive and less hard to find than some more substantial gluten-free cook books and cooking manuals.
According to Celiac Facts, gluten-free expert Jean Duane and the Betty Crocker test kitchen collaborated on the magazine-style book to create GF recipes for sweet breads, dinner rolls, pizza (yes you can!), pies, muffins, cornbread, sugar cookies, waffles, scones and even gravy. Plus, it boasts that “The Sandwich Bread is sure to become a regular in every gluten free household.”
Well, I’m gonna have to check that last part out ASAP because, on the downside this week, I have gone through three unsuccessful loaves of sandwich bread in my beloved breadmaker (that’s $18 worth of mix). I have found that there’s nothing more heartbreaking than waiting for four hours, and even smelling delicious bread cooking, only to open the machine to see a half-risen, rock-hard ball of what can only be called breadfail.
I troubleshooted (troubleshot?) via the Internet for a little while, and at first thought it was a problem with the kneading blade coming loose mid-knead and causing the loaf to become malformed. But then I made two successful loaves of Cinnamon raisin bread for some friends and decided this couldn’t be it. After the third failed loaf (the one you see above, and actually the most successful of the three), I decided it must be a problem with the yeast activating. I bought some new ingredients and a bag of the mix at a different store and I’ll give it a go tonight. I’m also ordering some new kinds of mix to test out, but what I’d really like to do is make my own from scratch.
Which is why I’m very excited for my next interview, with Mary Frances of the Gluten Free Cooking School. I intend to find out exactly how one gets started creating brand new gluten-free recipes without going crazy (and with three kids no less!). I’ll also be talking about the e-book she wrote with her husband, The Gluten Free Survival Guide.
Look for that in the next couple days, along with an update of my loaf-baking success or failure. The next loaf that comes out wrong will be sent flying across the room.