The Ultimate Gluten Free Flour Blend?
People always ask us what makes our bread so special. The real answer is that there isn't just one thing.
It starts with our recipes. Every one of them has been developed through hundreds and hundreds of hours of trial and error. Mostly error. To be honest? We love errors! Because we've found that they are, by far, the best way to learn how to bake. By studying your mistakes and figuring out why they happen, you can learn how to stop them from happening again and how far you can push things. Want to learn how long bread needs to proof for? Experiment and see what happens!
Which brings us to technique. How we shape the loaves, how we proof them, where we proof them, how to tell when a product is ready to go in the oven and how to tell when its baked. Every little bit of knowledge and experience we have as a team at Wildcraft is put into every single bake.
But even the best technique is useless without the right ingredients. The most crucial of these is the one we can't use; Gluten! Gluten is a marvellous protein. Super strong and stretchy, it lifts your bakes in the oven and buys the starches time to solidify in the heat. It is like the scaffold to your baking. Without it, you're doomed to have loaves that rise beautifully in the oven then collapse into a sad mess as they cool. Or if they do turn out ok, they'll be lovely on day 1 but a brick by day 2.
To overcome the lack of gluten, Wildcraft turned to science!
We started with a list of demands. The bread needed to:
- be soft
- Have no ingredients that we couldn't easily buy from our local supermarket or ethnic food shops.
- be strong enough to spread with butter without it disintegrating
- have a deep but neutral flavour
- be freeze-thaw stable so we could pop it in the freezer and defrost just what we needed
- hold together when we made sandwiches so we wouldn't have to wrap it in cling film to keep it in one piece
- be delicious!
Basically....what we *really* wanted was to be able to have the same bread experiences that gluten-eaters had and nothing that we could buy in the supermarket was good enough.
If you've ever tried to bake your own gluten free bread at home, you'll know just how impossible a task we had set ourselves. But we refused to give up. Hundreds of failed experiments later (including at one point...bread that wouldn't toast no matter how long you left it in the toaster!) we cracked it!
The ingredient list for the flour blend was simple. rice flour, tapioca (also known as cassava) flour, potato starch, cornflour, golden linseed, psyllium husk and xanthan gum. The magic is in the proportions! Each of these ingredients brought something new to the table and together, they became the Wildcraft Bakery White Bread Flour Blend that goes in everything from our cinnamon buns to our doughnuts and loaves.
We source the ingredients from companies that share our values. Our rice flour is milled for us by a wonderful family-owned mill in Bradford. Our cassava and brown rice flours are whole ground and organic. We mill the golden linseed ourselves and blend the flours in house to a very precise formula. We add a tiny bit of sugar to feed the yeast and a bit of salt to help hydrate the dough. When we come to mix the dough we add our millet sourdough starter that Mina started in her home kitchen with Water Kefir and locally ground millet flour. All this makes bread that we are proud to put our name to.
Over the next few months, we're going to share loads of our baking secrets with our wonderful customers. You'll learn how to make loads of our old classics like our garlic tear & share loaf and our large chocolate babkas, starting with our Focaccia. How? With our amazing Gluten Free White Bread Flour which is now available in our shop.