Understanding Gluten-Free Breads

If you’re trying to eat gluten-free or have no choice, the hardest food item to miss out on is bread. And bread comes in many different forms from your typical loaf of sandwich bread, to artisan breads, bread sticks, pizzas, muffins, cakes. The list of bread items is seemingly endless, especially when you can’t have the gluten that is in anything made with wheat, rye or barley.

Gluten is simply a protein incorporated in the grain and is what helps make that bread light and soft. It’s kind of the glue that holds the bread together when you are eating it or even when it sits on the shelf for a day. But gluten is the insidious protein that also causes some intense havoc with people who have celiac disease or are gluten sensitive.

Today we are fortunate in that many bread makers are well aware of the growing number of people with gluten intolerances and are working diligently to produce more palatable breads for us. The texture, taste and aroma are still a bit different than the bread we grew up on, but most importantly it does not contain wheat or any other gluten containing grain such as rye or barley.

Gluten-free breads are generally made with grains such as corn, rice, and tapioca to name a few. These grains are naturally gluten-free. A few of the most popular gluten-free bread makers are Udi’s, Glutino, and Kinnickinick. There are several other very good gluten free bread makers around and stocking your local grocer’s shelves with their product. You’ll find that you’ll need to try a couple different brands to find the taste and texture that most suits you.

You can find your gluten-free breads in specialty stores, and health food stores. Your local supermarket also carries a fine assortment, though you may need to look in the organic food area’s freezers. Since gluten-free breads are made without preservatives, it is common practice to freeze the bread to prolong its shelf life.

Eating gluten-free takes some getting used to and can be very frustrating. There are some good alternatives when it comes to having your bread and eating it too. Take the time to ask questions of other people with gluten intolerance to find out their preferences, and hopefully you will find a bread maker that makes that almost perfect bread just for you.

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