Gluten free treats from Manna Dew

On Saturday I found myself in Battersea park for the Formula E racing . The extra bonus to a day out watching racing cars was that I remembered the Mann Dew was close by.

Manna Dew is a 100% gluten free Patisserie and Bakery Cafe serving breakfasts, lunches and afternoon teas situated on a classic London cobblestone street in Battersea. The Patisserie does not use refined sugar instead opting for sugars such as agave and coconut sugar. ( Macaron the only exception )

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I walked from the park following the directions on Google maps which took about 12 mins. Manna Dew was a smaller shop than I expected but once inside I was impressed with the quality of the interior, and the cleanliness.   A real little gem. The array of patisserie delights was mind blowing along with the aroma of freshly baked bakery goods and the smell of fresh coffee. The choice was a little overwhelming for me. I rarely find a shop where I can safely induldge in such amazing gluten free treats .

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The bakery goods looked great, the French baguettes, yes baguettes! looked Amazing , seeded buns and focaccia looked and smelt so tempting hard to believe they didn’t contain gluten.

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Due to having Crohn’s disease as well as being intolerant to gluten means gluten free grains are only for treat days. I find that too many gluten free grains affect me if eaten regularly. But for a Coeliac or someone who is gluten intolerant this place is a dream come true you !

I could see that the staff were very busy, a young family with three children were enjoying a pre booked afternoon tea, another group of people were sitting outside in the sunshine while a delivery for Deliveroo was being sorted and sent on its way.

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As I was short for time and needed to get back for the Formula E big race I made an order to take away. I chose a chocolate brownie, a mini carrot cake and a toasted Italian focaccia for my husband. I am intolerant to yeast otherwise I would have chosen the chicken focaccia which looked amazing.

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I had a short chat with Muhammed who kindly gave me a raspberry passion fruit tart to try as he said it was one of their signature patisserie tarts and I he wanted me to try it. A very generous gift.

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I dashed back to the Park to enjoy my picnic. My husband was very impressed with the toasted focaccia saying he couldn’t tell that it was gluten free. In fact he thought it was nicer than most regular gluten focaccia sandwiches. We shared the decadent chocolate brownie, an intensely chocolatey slice, gooey and very rich . A big hit and something I would order again. I enjoyed the carrot cake all to myself, again really delicious and light.

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The special patisserie raspberry and passionfruit tart was saved until we were home. Amazingly it survived intact.

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The raspberry passionfruit tart was indeed a triumph, a biscuity pastry with a tangy filling and fresh fruit. So glad I was able to try this. I enjoyed it and would order again. My husband said he would of preferred a more simple pastry case.

I would love to see added to the range some grain free treats too I think they would be very popular, I for one would be back in a flash to try them .

Do pay Manna Dew a visit if you live in London or are visiting London in the near future. Locals can also have delicious gluten free treats delivered to their door with Deliveroo and JINN . Places like this will not survive unless we show our support to indie shops like this delightful one.

Why not book a trip soon , there is currently a special offer on afternoon tea, check the website for details.

You can follow Manna Dew on Twitter @mannadew

Website mannadew.co.uk

Tuesday to Friday 10am – 6pm

Sat & Sun 10.30am – 6pm

169 Battersea high street SW11 3JS

 

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Norwich’s very own gluten free cafe and shop

Today we drove over to Norwich to visit The gluten free cafe and shop on Timber hill. We parked at the John Lewis car park but there are numerous places to park near the shop and cafe. The setting is perfect on a pretty street, one of the oldest recorded city streets in Norwich. Home to quirky shops , boutiques and beauty salons. Since January home to this exciting new enterprise from the Norfolk gluten free company. 

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I was blown away by the smartness and quality of the exterior and interior of the cafe and shop. Stepping into the busy cosy cafe I felt like a child in a sweet shop. To know that you can eat from the entire menu on the large black board was the most exciting thing ever. If  like me you have Coeliac disease or gluten intolerant  you will totally understand the wave of relief and calm you feel when you know you are safe to eat somewhere that is 100% gluten free with no worries of cross contamination. It offers a huge range of tasty savoury and sweet options for all the family including delicious looking soups and pies, quiches and ploughman’s. An enormous array of sweet treats from chocolate eclairs and muffins to beautiful cup cakes and flapjacks . You could have the biggest sugar high ! We all need a treat sometimes

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The staff were busy with lots of happy customers. Today Families , young couples and older people were sat around at tables drinking coffee and eating lunch. It was lovely to see the place so busy. We found a little table near the window where we could watch the world go by. I decided on hot cheesy balls with butter for lunch and Mr S choose a chicken pie with ploughman lunch, with coffee.

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After ordering at the counter I couldn’t resist a quick look upstairs at the gluten free shop where I was greeted by the lovely Louisa founder of the Norfolk gluten free company . I scanned the shelves full of everything you could possibly imagine, it really is like an Aladdin’s cave. I was beyond excited , far superior to a free from section in a supermarket. From an incredible selection of freshly baked bread goods from Wheat free bakery ( the best bread in my family’s opinion ) to pies and quiches and dry mixes , pasta’s, taco and wraps. Every gluten free flour, dough ball mix  I could go on.

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After doing a quick grab of goodies and paying upstairs I was down just in time for my Latte and hot yummy cheesy dough balls. These can be served with a selection of dips but I went for butter with mine. they were so scummy.

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With so many extra food intolerances I often find it difficult to order anything when I am out shopping. These were just what I needed. My husband was pleased with his flaky chicken pie packed with hearty pieces of chicken inside with a side salad, bread roll and cheese plus chutney, a feast.

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My coffee was so good I ordered a second and couldn’t resist a sweet treat.

 

IMG_9904 Its not often I can go out and order a pudding . After much thought I decided on the caramel choux bun and Mr S had a fruit and chocolate flap jack.

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I spotted some very pretty looking cup cakes made by the talented Imogen from Sugar buttons cakes so it would of been rude not to take one home for later . A toffee popcorn cupcake was popped into a little cake bag for me to enjoy later.

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Imogen made my son and daughter in law’s wedding cupcakes in August 2014 so I know just how good they are. As well as cup cakes Imogen makes the most stunning large gluten free Wedding cakes too, do check out her website Sugar buttons creative.

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Before I left I had one more quick look upstairs in the shop, It is a surprisingly good size space. So if you are in for a coffee don’t forget to take a look yourself. I choose some freshly baked bread to take home and some extra special chocolate hearts from Montezuma.

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The prices in the cafe and shop I thought were very fair and we will definitely return next time we are in Norwich armed with extra bags and more room in the freezer to take home lots of gluten free bread for the family.

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I do hope if you are in the Norwich area or visiting Norfolk this year you will make time to visit this fabulous cafe and shop. If we don’t support these brave enterprises they won’t survive . I would like to wish Louisa and her team all the very best for the future. I’m sure you have a real success on your hands. I could see just how much work must have gone into the last few months do get this venture off the ground in the centre of this beautiful city.

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You can find the Cafe and shop at the top Timber hill number 21 on the left hand side as you look down the hill.

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Website – Norfolk gluten free company

Twitter – @nklkglutenfree

 

Free From Christmas festival

Yesterday Sunday 14th December was the very first Free From Festival in London. Organised by Freefromfestival The venue was BL_NK in Old street, East London and had an entrance fee of £5 which could be purchased online or at the door. It was a cash only event with live music and stalls open from 10.30 until 5.30pm Offering all kinds of free from products, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, wheat free etc

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My gluten free purchases.

 

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Bread from Romeo’s Bakery.

 

I bought my tickets in advance and then also won a couple more just a few days before the event. When I realised where in London it was I nearly decided not to go, its quite a trip from Dorking Surrey! But my husband kindly offered to drive me as he was also keen to come along.

We arrived in east London at 11.30am on the most beautiful sunny day, extremely cold and blustery but a lovely day for a drive through the centre of London and over Tower bridge. I took in all the sights as if I was on a sight seeing tour bus.

Parking proved to be very easy, we found a free parking space in an adjacent road. BL_NK was quite easy to spot on Old street but there were no Free From Festival signage. There was though a welcomer who was on the door to make sure you didn’t miss the venue. It would be good to see a large banner next year. I’m sure more people would have come in, if it had been more clear what was going outside.

Outside were 3 stalls, I felt for them because it was bitterly cold. A stall selling the most delicious looking buckwheat pancakes with delicious savoury and sweet fillings available.

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A wine stall called L’ATYPIQUE

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Selling natural wines @LATYPIQUEWINES

and a Polenta stall selling hot sliced polenta La Polenteria  I didn’t explore the stall which I regret .

 

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The extreme cold and wind drove us inside quickly. After checking out the website today, I wish I had tried some. Maybe next year!

Inside in the warm were some interesting looking stalls. It was as I had expected, relatively small. But this was the first year and I’m sure by next year year there will be more stalls eager to be part of this exciting event so near to Christmas. A perfect opportunity to show off your Christmas products etc.

Freego  a gluten free online shop offering ‘the worlds best gluten free’ They search out the best gluten free products to offer on the site. At the festival there were mince pies, christmas puddings, bread mixes and posh chocolates that were also dairy free. There were samples of things to try including the mince pies which were very good. This is a site I haven’t used yet, but after chatting yesterday I certainly will go online and have a look.

 

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Romeo’s gluten free bakery The bread looked absolutely delicious there was an array of sizes and types of bread including onion, seeded, foccacia etc. I bought two small loaves for the family. Unfortunately I am also yeast intolerant so I couldn’t try the bread but my son and husband said it was some of the nicest gluten free bread they had tried. We wish we had bought far more to put in the freezer.

 

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Mini Magoos is allergy free award winning cereals . We bought some granola to try which looked very nice. The main ingredient appears to be toasted coconut flakes with blue agave nectar, almonds etc

 

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Conscious Organic raw chocolate had five new flavours to try and buy. with an offer if you bought 4 bars , So I did!

All chocolate is gluten free dairy and refined sugar free. some are sweetened with rice syrup some with agave nectar .

 

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Elvira’s secret pantry was an artisan italian bakery gluten free, dairy free and yeast free. Also some cakes were made using birch sugar ( xylitol ) I chose a selection of 3 mini cakes in a beautiful box . The pumpkin and chocolate cake I found quite dry and crumbly, I preferred the carrot and pistachio cake which was a little more moist . Elvira also sold quiches etc and other savoury products which looked very nice. All products were well displayed and presented.  The cakes contain lots of veggies, nuts etc . You can find Elvira at Crystal palace food market.

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Pistachio and carrot cake

Pistachio and carrot cake

 

Foodamentalists I have been following this company for a while now on Twitter but not managed to meet the man behind this exciting company so it was good to meet Steven and have a chat about the company and plans for the future. The company is 100 % gluten free . The stall was packed with delicious looking products from sweet christmas treats like mince pies and Christmas cakes, savoury pies and delicious looking pork pies. A selection of foodamentalists mixes to were for sale. Worth coming to the festival for this stall alone! We chose lots of goodies to take home for the freezer and Christmas goodies to eat over the next couple of weeks. Including a very lovely looking Christmas cake.

 

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Love bites A raw organic vegan stall, selling fresh salads, juices and chocolate tart. Can you guess what I chose!

 

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Antillia delights a stall selling a selection of well labeled wheat free, gluten free and dairy free bakes. My worry here was that the wheat free products were made using organic Spelt flour . I queried this at the time and checked again on twitter today. My understanding is that spelt flour is still considered a type of wheat ! I was also then concerned about the gluten free cakes being made in the same location. I was given a helpful reply on twitter from @antilliadelight ” GF items are prepared apart from WF items and as GF is a very serious concern extra caution is taken to prevent cross contamination”

I didn’t feel confident at the time to buy anything from this stall although everything looked very good and well displayed.

LiveSmart 360 chocolate with a purpose…. this was a stall selling chocolate with extra health benefits. This was very expensive. not really sure about this.

As with most gluten free and free from products all the stalls were quite pricey with the exception of Foodamentalists who were good value for money.

Would I visit again next year? Yes,  I think I would make the trip if I knew there were a few more stalls confirmed . I would be particularly be interested in a grain free low sugar stall. Possibly a bigger venue might be needed too.

 

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We queued outside for one of the buckwheat wraps. Mine had egg, cheese and spinach. Really delicious and thrilling to be able to eat out from a stall, with so many intolerances this Never happens.

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We took them back inside and listened to more live music. They were really delicious and perfect on a freezing day.

Follow Free from festival Twitter here > freefromfestival

Facebook > freefromfestival

Here’s hoping for an even bigger and better event next year

 

 

 

 

 

Gluten free and low sugar breakfast ideas

I really believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Since changing my diet I was surprised  and pleased to find I no longer felt hungry by 11am. I was always desperate for a mid morning sweet snack, now I have to remind myself to have lunch.

The key ingredient for my favourite Breakfasts is free range eggs, cooked in a good healthy fat . You just can’t beat them! healthy, reasonably priced and naturally gluten free. No need to just eat the whites, the entire egg is a healthy addition to your diet and contains good fat.

Embrace good fat, coconut oil, butter and cheese etc . All are great for breakfast and really fill you up! Avoid the sugar not the fat.

Here are some ideas

For frying I use either coconut oil or butter. you notice the taste of the coconut initially but we no longer can taste it in my cooking.

Cooked Breakfasts –

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

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Naturally smoked fish fillet with poached eggs

Bacon and eggs either fried poached, scrambled etc optional extras fried tomatoes, mushrooms

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Ham and or cheese omelette

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Veggie Omelette with cheese, I use courgettes but you could use peppers, onions , tomatoes etc

Scrambled eggs with spinach, onion and finely chopped bacon or ham

For a full english Gluten free breakfast Sausages, bacon, eggs, tomatoes. Maybe even some gluten free black pudding!

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Grain free bread or American grain free biscuit  ( a little like an english scone  ) with bacon

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Fried Eggs on grain free or occasionally homemade gluten free toast. Helen’s gluten free homemade bread  or Sukrin gluten free bread toasted

other ideas for occasional breakfasts – 

Porridge with no added sugar. watch out for added raisins as they have a very high sugar content. Serve with a little honey, dextrose or cinnamon. Good with a dash of double cream

Homemade grain free or gluten free pancakes served with fruit or a little honey or dextrose and lemon

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Homemade banana pancakes fried in coconut oil, these contain sugar from the bananas so best to eat in moderation.

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Grain free Muffin cinnamon or lemon and poppy seed or savoury muffin for a quick breakfast on the run

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Cold Breakfasts –

Full fat plain greek yoghurt ( We use Yeo valley ) with homemade Granola. oat free version, sugar free version with fresh berries

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Fresh fruit with or without full fat plain greek yoghurt. Better to eat fruit rather than drink as a juice or smoothie due to the high level of sugar

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Cold platter of cheese, ham or mackerel and boiled egg

Hope these ideas will inspire you.

Ditch all the sugar filled cereals and fruit smoothies, you will notice the difference very quickly.

 

What will you have for breakfast tomorrow?

 

Review of The Gluten Free Kitchen, North Yorkshire

The Gluten Free Kitchen is a bakery and shop selling in store and online. They also have a selection of products available in a number of Waitrose and Booths supermarkets and some National trust properties.

Chef Sue Powell and business partner David Fleming have been producing home baked gluten free products since 2005. The business is based in Leyburn, North Yorkshire. Products include ready to roll pastry, cakes muffins , savoury tarts, crumbles, bread etc

you can visit their website here to see more of their products www.glutenfreefood.info

Sue from The Gluten Free Kitchen asked if I would like to review their products, I was very happy to do so and I was sent a parcel containing a lovely selection of their products. I was very impressed by the packaging and chill pack inside the cold box. Everything had stayed perfectly fresh.

I also like their product packaging and leaflet very professional.

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My family of 5 gluten eaters who mainly eat gluten free helped me test all the products today. They had a great time!

Coffee and walnut muffin – gluten and dairy free £2.05 A good size muffin with a lovely coffee flavour.  Moist cake with a delicious frosting.

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Bakewell tart – £2.00 gluten and dairy free . A big favourite with us all. Very good pastry, even better than the ready rolled pastry. A good size tart easily shared.

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Apple crumble –  gluten, dairy and egg free £2.29 nice apple filling with a good crumble top, some thought the crumble had a slight floury taste. But overall good. Perfect for one.

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Lemon drizzle pudding – £2.29 A sharp lemon flavoured individual sponge, moist pudding easy to warm in microwave. very nice

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Ready roll pastry –  gluten and dairy free £2.25 was easy to use, rolled out well and cooked nicely. I made a chicken pie topped with the pastry. Rather broke up when cut into slices and some felt it left a slightly floury taste in the mouth. Overall all felt if you couldn’t eat regular pastry this would be a very good alternative. A convenient product easily stored in the freezer ready for use.

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homemade Chicken pie

Carrot cake muffin – £2.05 A moist cake with large pieces of walnut inside and delicious frosting , a little crumbly.

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Chocolate cake muffin – £2.05 gluten , dairy and egg free.  A big favourite with my tasters. One saying it was the best chocolate cake he had tasted! good strong chocolate flavour and a scrummy chocolate topping.

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Goats cheese and red onion tart – still to be reviewed . looks delicious

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The gluten free bread from The gluten free Kitchen is also dairy soya and egg free. There is an oven crust loaf, white rolls , seeded loaf and seeded rolls which have added sunflower and flax seeds.

If you live in North Yorkshire or will be holidaying in this beautiful area of the UK. It is well worth taking a trip to Leyburn and dropping into the shop and bakery for some gluten fee and dairy free homemade baked goodies. I would love to hear your views!

Dont forget you can order online too. Minimum order is £20, delivery charges are on the website.

We really should support our local gluten free bakeries and shops who produce virtually homemade products far superior to the mass produced products filling our supermarket shelves.

you can follow @glutenfreeGFK on Twitter

on Facebook The Gluten Free Kitchen

I would love to see some grain free and refined sugar free products added to the range possibly in the future.

These products were sent to me free of charge but this hasn’t effected my impartiality.

My review of Helen’s brilliant bread

I was pleased to be asked to test out some of Food by Helen’s mixes my review of some of her other mixes is available here. My final mix to try was the Brilliant bread I just needed to add water and oil.

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The instructions were very easy to follow I decided to make mine by hand but there are methods on the reverse for breadmaker or electric  mixer.

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All you need is water and oil

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Add the dry mix to water and oil

mix well and pour into greased bread tin ( 4.5in-9in )

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No kneading!

Leave to prove in a warm place or Helen suggests you sit the loaf tin in a tray of warm water for 40 mins and it doubles in size.

Then pop in the oven for 35-40 mins

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I was impressed with the crusty top and springy texture

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cool on a wire rack

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slice and enjoy with some good butter

The family’s verdict was “Amazing”  “delicious”   ” best gluten free bread I’ve tasted”

The cost of the bread mix  is £2.49 very good value I think.

I will definitely be buying this mix again, I think the family will demand it!

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You can follow Food by Helen on Twitter @foodbyhelen

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Food by Helen also has a brown bread mix and a seeded bread mix both costing £2.49  €2.95

and a scone mix for the same price

Cheese and herb bread, gluten free and yeast free

Tomorrow is episode 8 of The Great British Bake off , The theme is Grandad grains, the signature challenge is to bake a loaf using non traditional flour . This may include a gluten free loaf but we don’t know yet. It may just be Spelt, Rye etc.

I decided to bake along with a gluten and yeast free bread,

The recipe comes from the Gluten free baker by Hannah Miles. Her book is brilliant with lots of achievable recipes. Hannah now has a new book out called the savoury Gluten Free baker.

I have just tweaked this recipe slightly. Hannah’s recipe uses onion seed’s. I have chosen to use herbs.

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Recipe-

250g S R gluten free Flour

3tsp GF baking powder

1tsp Isabel’s baking fix ( optional )

3 beaten large eggs

50g melted butter

280ml buttermilk I used 140ml milk and 140ml greek full fat yoghurt mixed together

60g grated Gruyere

60g grated Cheddar

1 tbsp herbs ( thyme, oregano, rosemary ) or onion seeds

3 tbsp Parmesan

You need an 8inch springform cake tin lined and greased

Pre heat oven to 180c

In a bowl put flour, baking powder and baking fix if using, in a bowl

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add beaten eggs, melted butter and milk and yoghurt. mix together

Fold in cheddar and Gruyere cheese and dried herbs.

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This will look like a batter,

Spoon into lined greased cake tin and sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the top.

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Put in the oven for 50 mins, 180c

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cool for 5 mins in cake tin before removing and cooling on a wire rack.

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Slice and enjoy with some delicious butter.

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Great with salami’s cheese etc

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makes a delicious bacon sandwich!

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Happy gluten free baking!