Last year I was given a bread machine by my mother in law. The whole family, when catering for Zac, has experienced the frustration of spending £3 on a tiny loaf that falls apart before you can do anything with it, and has great big holes in the slices. My mother in law had a bread machine of her own and suggested I borrow it and see if I could make something more usable and tasty. A lot of the gluten free breads taste pretty rough. So I had a go and the result was pretty disastrous. I blamed the machine! It didn’t have a setting for gluten free bread and I guess that is pretty crucial as the process is quite different.
A while back I promised to work my way through recipes and ideas for feeding an intolerant child (or grown up). I promised to keep it simple – with minimal steps and ingredients. I worked through breakfasts, have a fair share of ‘dinners’ but still ‘owe you lunch’. So here goes. Time to look at ‘what’s for lunch’.
My two children have packed lunches at school and pre-school. Zac is due to start school in September and the option of school dinners will be there. He may decide he wants to try them, as Sophia did when she first started. The menu provided by school looks excellent and it is very highly rated by all parents, staff and the children, so I was more than happy to let Sophia switch – but I will need to have a chat to the caterers before I consider letting Zac give it a try.
Our school is a ‘healthy eating’ school and the menu certainly is nutritionally very balanced, with many naturally gluten free and dairy free foods – BUT – as many of you know and may have experienced, it is cross contamination that is the biggest issue for those with allergies, so I will need to get a better understanding of how this is managed.
I have tried to make my own gluten free bread – and the results were far from good. I can see why it is difficult. It is kind of like a meat free sausage. What makes it good is the thing you can’t use. So the results are never going to be great. However, you would think a company that calls itself Genius would have cracked the case by now. It would appear that they are finding it as much of a puzzle as me. – judging by the last few loaves I have bought. Full of holes and mostly unusable. Very frustrating – especially as it costs almost £3 a loaf.
I know they have had this problem before. Genius bread disappeared from the shelves of our local supermarkets for quite a while and I saw a message on their Facebook page about it. Apparently it was to do with the improvements they are trying to make to the bread. I have to say that I had noticed that the texture of the loaves is much better – and the taste too. It is definitely softer and more like bread. But something is not quite right, because I am still getting several slices that have huge great big holes in them. Perhaps they are working on a bagel recipe – if only!
Clearly there is something going wrong in the baking process and air bubbles are blasting holes through the centre. I know baking is a science, but if you claim to be ‘Genius’ you should be working harder at finding the solution. I really feel they need to improve their quality control too, because sending out, what I can only imagine is batch loads of unusable bread is totally unacceptable.