Do you spend your time in the free-from aisles of supermarkets? You may want to read our Zero Gluten Baker from Imetec review
For anyone not in the know, gluten is the name given to the proteins found in wheat – like durum, semolina, spelt, rye, barley, etc. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that we might not expect, however, we mostly associate it with bread and other baked goods, pasta, cereals, soups and beer. However, some of us can have a bad allergic reaction after consuming gluten. Not great news for those who love a cake or sandwich. Luckily there are lots of products on the market now that are safe to eat, but if you fancy a little baking yourself, a gluten free bread maker is just the equipment you need!
Why is gluten so bad? Well for those who suffer with celiac disease it can attack the digestive wall and cause immunity problems, others have a much milder form of gluten sensitivity, and this often goes unnoticed. But, there are many studies which suggest gluten is just bad for all of us and we could all benefit from a gluten-free diet…
What!? Life without bread? I know, I know, but not feeling bloated, sluggish and lethargic after eating gluten-rich foods also has its benefits, beyond the taste of bread and butter! So when the Zero Gluten Baker from Imetec landed in the Living offices, I was more than ready to test it out.
Gluten free bread maker vs a bread maker
I have used a bread maker before so it wasn’t alien to me as I unpacked the bits from the box – things like the kneading prongs, the various bread tins and stands all seemed fairly usual for a bread maker. There is a variety of tin shapes included in the Zero Gluten Baker which is great, as it gives you the option to make loaves as well as rolls and even ciabatta breads – all gluten-free.
A recipe book is provided with 30 easy bake gluten-free recipes, as well as traditional ones too, everything from classic loaves, to sweet bread, brioche, Italian breads and even a lemon drizzle cake – all gluten-free. This is a great selection and if certainly makes the transition to gluten-free easier if you are new to it all.
I spent approximately £5 on gluten-free flour, sunflower oil, fine salt, and easy bake yeast. A gluten substitute is also included in the box which is necessary for most of the recipes in the book. The instructions suggested sticking with a classic white loaf for the first time, but I went for crusty white rolls with a roasted sesame seed topping instead.
The recipe was simple to follow using just five ingredients plus water to create six rolls. I began by adding water, sugar, and yeast to the loaf tin and clicking the appropriate settings laid out in the method section of the recipe.
The functionality of the baker is very easy to master – there are not too many buttons and each one does what it is supposed to do! The trickiest part came just two minutes into baking when I had to add the flour, gluten substitute, and salt because I was unsure if I should stop the process or just lift the lid and pour it in. It wasn’t exactly clear in the recipe book or baker manual what to do, however, I just opted for lifting the lid and pouring it in and it seemed to do the trick!
Then it was time to leave it alone while it worked its magic – forget kneading for hours like in traditional bread baking as this does it all for you! There was minimal mess to clear up which was very much to my liking!
About an hour from the end of cooking I transferred the mixture from the loaf tin to the individual roll tins and then put it back in the baker to finish.
The rolls were different in taste from ordinary bread rolls, but they looked just the same. Crunchy on the outside but nice and fluffy on the inside. They tasted great and even the kids liked them!
Cleaning the loaf tin and utensils was easy and fuss-free. They are all non-stick so as long as you grease the bottom of the roll tins, the bread will just pop out when done. However, if you have any spillages into the baker itself, cleaning is a bit of a nightmare as you cannot remove any parts. It’s best to keep everything in the loaf tin to avoid having to do this.
If you are thinking about following a gluten-free diet, please seek advice from your doctor beforehand to ensure you do it the right way without losing all the vitamins, minerals and fibre in your diet.
The Imetec gluten free bread maker is available from Amazon.