Product Review: Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix (it teases me)

On a note along the lines of the current weather (rainy), I am getting a cold. I blame Michael: while people who choose social work are generally kind-hearted individuals, they may also come in contact with many germy-children on a daily basis. And then come in contact with you.

But I digress – on to bread!

I heard through the grapevine that Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix is the best out there, so I gave it a whirl. Interestingly enough if you use a breadmaker you don’t use the GF setting (basic instead) and thus last week learned the value of patience – regular bread takes 3 1/2 hours to make versus the 1 1/2 hour for GF.

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Alright, so here’s the deal: this stuff is legit. Real, heavy and dense bread. Thick and chewy. And oddly enough, a 2lb loaf looks a lot like a 1 lb loaf. But there is one caveat: The Calories.

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Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I tend to consider bread as a side-dish, a complement if you will, not a meal. But at roughly 170 cals per slice plus a spread of some kind, well, that’s more like a breakfast. Not that two slices of this delicious bread couldn’t forma whole breakfast – it can fill you up. There’s a nice amount of fiber too. But man, do I feel a bit guilty. So guilty, I had to put half of the loaf in the freezer so it would stop teasing me.

Does it make me sad that the best bread mix I’ve tried so far that is both gluten and dairy free is not a prime candidate for becoming a diet staple? A little. Dang.

However, I will say; you must try this bread at least once. Cut it in small slices, save it for a special treat. Treat it like a pasty or a muffin. Don’t combine it with a box of Valentine’s Day truffles. image

And toast it. That will cheer you up.

Now, I need to stop thinking about the fact that this mix can be used to make bagels…

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Breadman Success!

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This post might have to be categorized as food porn, because I am very into the bread I just made.

The first try with my Breadman Pro was not so great, but I am happy to report success! Since the 1.5lb mix was a complete disaster (totally uncooked inside) I decided to halve the 2lb mix I had left and give it a go.

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I used Gluten Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread mix, bought at Whole Foods. The only issue with this mix is that it contains dairy (which I somehow missed while shopping) but since I occasionally eat dairy with the help of pills, it’s still ok. Halving some bread recipes will not always work, but this one gave specific directions that allowed for it (though there was definitely careful measuring!).

And folks, I might be in love.

The mix gives the option of using either water or milk (soy, cow, etc) but I chose water: less calories, easier to control temperature-wise, and I think it gives the bread a lighter, fluffier texture. With half the recipe I still got about 12 decent slices, and with only water and 1 egg needed, it actually makes gluten-free bread rather cheap! (The mix was around $4, if I remember correctly.)

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The resulting loaf was about half the size of the first try, and I put in on the same gluten-free medium-color setting, with the same amount of baking time minus about 5 minutes. And this time, I TESTED IT. The knife came out clean! (You can also text by removing the loaf and feeling in the space left by the kneading paddle.)

I knew it was going to work this time around when the house started to smell like real bread.

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The bread honestly could have fooled me as French Bread: it was soft but not to dense, fluffy, and golden brown on top. The bottom and sides have a chewy crust (which you could probably eliminate by removing a couple minutes earlier.)Ahhh, just look at it!

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It definitely deserves it’s own pedestal! (Especially the part that the paddle didn’t stick in.)

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I cut the loaf when it had cooled for about an hour on a rack, and stored it in a Ziploc bag.

This bread would be perfect for sandwiches, toast, or wonder of wonders, French toast.

Bring it on 2011, I’ve got bread!

Gluten-Free Dreaming Copyright 2011.