When my baby girl was diagnosed with a myriad of allergies, the French girl (lady?) in me kept wondering how my baby could possibly survive without bread or cheese.
Straight after our first appointment with her dietician, I tried making ‘free from’ bread by simply swapping the flour for a ‘free from’ blend I had bought that day. I was under no illusion it would be that simple. It was not. The mixture I ended up with would not turn into bread any more than wallpaper paste would.
Our dietician was no help at all (just gave me a list of gluten-free flours…) so I turned to my friends Google and Pinterest to find a solution. I then found out that a lot of ‘free from’ breads contain eggs as a substitute for the elasticity of gluten (I might be oversimplifying here) in bread mixes. No luck there, then.
I then discovered gram flour, as well as a recipe for bread using no eggs or nuts. After I successfully baked a loaf, I started having doubts. Jumpy was allergic to peas and all seeds at that time. Would gram flour (chickpeas) be suitable? The dietician had no idea. A quick phone call to her paediatrician confirmed that it would be safest to give her a prick test for chickpeas rather than risking a reaction. The loaf went in the bin, untouched. I did not even want to try it. I was at my lowest.
More research led to this quinoa and chia bread by ‘The Healthy Chef.’ I made it and although the texture was really different to ‘normal’ bread, Jumpy loved it. The beauty of it was that once sliced and frozen, all I had to do was pop a slice in the toaster whenever I wanted to give Jumpy some bread. When she turned one, Jumpy started refusing certain foods, including her quinoa bread, but luckily, we managed to find a great substitute in Schär’s ciabatta bread.
Guess what? A few months ago, she stopped eating it and it seems the only shop-bought alternatives to bread she enjoys now are BFree pitta bread, or wraps used as pizza bases.
Then my friend Vicki, otherwise known as ‘The Free From Fairy,’ shared a recipe for gluten-free, wheat-free, egg-free, nut-free baguettes. They looked too good to be true, but I trust Vicki and ordered a baguette tray from Amazon.
Vicki’s recipe is easy to follow, full of tips, and most importantly, does not require a thousand ingredients you could not get your hands on. In fact, it just contains eight ingredients: Vicki’s Plain Free From Fairy Flour blend, fast acting gluten-free yeast, salt (I used Fleur de Sel), ground flax seeds, xanthan gum, filtered water, extra virgin olive oil and vinegar (I used white wine vinegar).
My little girl was fully involved in the process, from start to finish. She started by weighing the flour (with a bit of help).
She added in more ingredients.
She then mixed them all together and smoothed the dough into baguette shapes.
We added some sesame seeds and chia seeds on one of the baguettes and they went in the oven.
Watching Jumpy take her first bite was priceless!
It was still really hot but she loved it!
That evening, I sliced and froze what was left of our baguettes so whenever a slice of bread is needed, it comes out of the freezer and goes in the toaster. Ideal!
Disclosure: I included a few links to Amazon. As an affiliate, I might get a few pennies if you click on the links and buy the products.