One of the main problems with gluten free baking is the sheer amount of ingredients required. Stocking up on all the recommended flours, starches and Xanthum Gum is expensive to say the least, and if you’re not all that confident in the kitchen to start with, it seems a hell of a lot of effort for something that probably won’t turn out as planned anyway.
I’ve written before about the best gluten free alternatives, and still have little problem maintaining a gluten free lifestyle. There’s a wealth of brilliant new products available and prices do actually seem to be dropping. However, bread is one area that I still occasionally struggle with and so I was pleased to hear that a Free-From Bread Mix was named a finalist for Best New Food Product at The Natural and Organic Awards 2014.
Sukrin are behind a whole range of all-natural cutting-edge health food products. Their low-carb, free-from whole foods, mixes and sugar alternatives offer anyone on a specialist diet the products and ingredients they need to eat healthily, with an ‘Eat Smart – Feel Good!’ mantra that lucky translates well into taste too.
Their prize-winning product is the Sukrin Sunflower & Pumpkin Seed Low Carb Free-From Bread Mix. Free from gluten, egg, sugar, wheat, yeast, soya and xanthum gum, it’s a wonder that this stuff actually works – even more surprising that it tastes good.
Containing just 1g carb per slice, you’ve got to ask what’s in it:
Seeds and kernals (Psyllium, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, flax), fibre (from sugar beet, chicory and peas, flax seed meal, whey protein, Sukrin Fibrefine (resistant corn starch), mineral salt (sodium chloride and potassium chloride), raising agents (bicarbonate, disodium phosphate).
So there’s no artificial colours, additives, preservatives, or GMO ingredients to complain about, and with no proofing or kneading required, this is all suspiciously easy. All you need to do is add water and bake. They’ve even provided the tray to bake it in.
The long cooking time (70-80 minutes) is the only slight downside. Although, as my boyfriend generously pointed out, no one’s actually asking you to stand and watch over it. And for the sake of freshly baked dough, it’s definitely worth the wait.
Taste-wise, the loaf has a nuttiness and pleasant seedy texture similar to Vogel’s. It’s small but filling, with a surprising amount of moisture and springy lightness that really does make it feel and taste like a proper bread.
Another great thing about this mix is just how versatile it is. On Sukrin’s website they’ve got a whole load of recipes to try, from breakfast rolls and burger buns to focaccia, scones and tortilla wraps. We decided to give the pizzas a go, largely because I was dubious at how such a seedy bread mix would work as a pizza base.
The instructions were just simple as before: stir 250ml of water into the bread mix and divide into balls. The recipe suggests three or four portions, but we made two (one slightly larger), and found this better sized to normal pizza/our greedy standards.
Using the back of a spoon or spatula, shape the balls onto a greased baking tray into a flat pizza shape and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes. Once lightly cooked, remove from the oven and top with whatever ingredients you want. (We used tomato puree, mixed herbs, mushrooms, tuna/bacon, onion and cheese). Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Even when the pizzas emerged from the oven slightly risen and golden brown, I was still a little apprehensive at the amount of seeds crammed into the crust and bursting through the doughy looking base. I needn’t have been. The sunflower and pumpkin seeds added a depth and texture that only complimented our more traditional pizza toppings, the spongy base and charred crust a delicious and pleasantly different take on your typical pizza. Overall this was another surprise hit from Sukrin, and I’m looking forward to putting some more of their recipes to the test.