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well I have yet to find ANY wheat free bread, that can actually be eaten as 'bread' and not toast. I found I had a reaction to the multi-grain bread in particular, as it gave me indigestion. However, it is ok for toasting, but the slices are so small, you need a wooden tong to get the toasted bread out of the toaster! I do not know why the wheat free bread has to be so small, it is not just this one - all the wheat free bread is this size. I would rather eat cardboard than this as 'bread', it crumbles as it comes out of the packet (even a problem with toasting), and is so dry it sticks in your throat. Personally I use the white bread, but only for toasting - have never used any of the 'breads' as actual bread. Something needs to be done about the bread on offer to wheat and gluten free dieters.
My wife is a coeliac, she can't eat Wheat or Gluten (Any eating of it would cause swelling and sharp pains in the stomach along with sickness and other horrible symptoms), so she can't eat normal bread and she hates it because she used to love Sandwiches etc.
On the plus side the lack of proper bread in a diet takes away a lot of bad things from your diet, but also a good amount of fibre.
So instead of bread, she (And by definition me) have to eat gluten free bread. This is one of the best on the market, created by 'Dietary Specials' a company who have a wide range of Gluten Free products. The bread proclaims to be Brown Multigrain, unfortunately it doesn't taste much like Brown Bread, because its Gluten Free it lacks many of the ingredients which cause elasticity in bread, therefore it is very solid and if eaten alone is like eating cardboard.
The bread is tiny, therefore sandwiches are out of the question, the bread has to be grilled to have any taste at all, even then its not great but i've found that by toasting it with cheese and ham and making a Croque Monsieur it can taste something like bread.
While we appreciate any gluten free products on the market, there are still steps to go to make gluten free bread as good as some of the cakes and pastas on the market. This is not really recommended to non coeliacs but if you have to eat it, be creative and add as much as possible to give it some taste.
It is quite hard to swallow so have lots of drinks with it.
This product is available on prescription to Coeliacs or at Asda, Sainsbury's, Tesco and Somerfield for anyone else.
Water, Maize Starch, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Wholemeal Rice Flour, Soya Flakes (4.9%), Sugar, Stabilisers: (Guar Gum, Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose), Millet Flakes (3.5%), Vegetable Fat, Buckwheat Seeds (2.1%), Soya Protien Isolate, Yeast, Salt, Apple Juice Concentrate, Calcium, Flavouring, Acidity Regulator: (Tartaric Acid), Folic Acid.
I stumbled across this bread when I was doing an online shop. I've liked the idea of trying this type of bread, due to all the reports of bloating and such, from wheat (found in ordinary bread)...problem being, I LOVE bread...so this seemed like the perfect option...I can eat bread and not feel the guilt or that my work down the gym is in vane (yeah right). I've never seen this bread in the supermarket, as bizarrely it isn't kept in the bread section (well, not in my local Tesco anyway), it's found in the 'speciality diets' section...and not having any speciality diet, I've never spent long browsing those shelves. So...that's where to get it...on with the tasting:
Taste and Smell:
This bread and the ingredients are supposedly from Italy - which to me, evokes feelings of 'ooo well it must be nice, because Italy is famous for it's ciabattas and all other culinary lovliness'. How wrong could I be? This bread is FOUL! It is branded as 'Welcome back to real food...real taste.' If this is real taste, well, you can lump it! The first thing that hit me was a waft of strange smell once the packet was opened. This stuff is pungent! I'm not sure how to describe it, it's not a bad smell as such, but it doesn't have the smell of deliciously baked fresh bread. It's more like the musty smell of old health and nutrition shops (on a not particularly nice day)...it's kind of yeasty with a hint of old socks? I didn't let the smell put me off trying it, so made myself a sandwich. One thing I noticed, was that it was very dry to touch. Well, all bread is dry, but it is general soft to touch, this bread was hard and almost brittle. Again, ignoring the signs of this-stuff-hasn't-impressed-yet...I carried on. So, came the moment when I put it in my mouth...my suspicions confirmed...this stuff was very dry and the taste was far from anything like 'normal' bread. It tasted old and musty (and no, it hadn't passed it's sell by date), and quite frankly, even if I had licked the floor of old factory, I'm not sure there would have been much difference. I had trouble swallowing the stuff and almost choked a few times. This can't be right, I thought, I must have just had a bad slice, so I kept going, but no they were all like it. I felt a sudden sense of sympathy for the poor gluten and wheat intolerant people that actually eat this stuff (although, I have to say, I know a few gluten/wheat intolerant people, who just don't touch gluten/wheat free stuff due to it's rank flavour and reputation). Not wanting to feel that I had wasted my money...I tried another way to have the vile stuff...toasted. BINGO! Now, toasted, it isn't all that bad (...provided you have butter/jam/marmite on it), as the odd flavour is considerably less apparent once heated. The pack gives instructions on how to 'refresh' the bread...but assumedly, you would only need to do this if the pack has been open for a week or so??? The instructions read as follows:
Conventional Oven--- Wrap two slices of bread in foil and place in a pre-heated oven at 200ºC, 400ºF, Gas Mark 6 for 4-5 minutes. (For fan assisted ovens, reduce baking time to 3-4 minutes.)
Microwave Oven--- Place two slices of bread on a piece of kitchen paper and microwave on full power for 15 seconds.
I would advise everyone to do this, instead of eating it straight out of the pack. Even though this is doesn't explicitly recommend that...I would, so there :)
Oooo controversial...do I dare include the ingredients in this review?? Well, I'm not sure I can be bothered, however, it is interesting to note, that instead of flour and the usual wheaty gubbins...they use Rice Flour, Maize Starch, Potato Starch, Wholemeal Rice Flour and Apple Juice Concentrate (!!). As well as other ingredients. Soooo, it would seem apparent that the rice flour is the culprit from it's vileness...or would that be the rather randomly, seeming placement of Apply juice concentrate??!!
Nutritionally, this bread doesn't differ amazingly from 'ordinary' bread...but here are the stats for those lovely people, that are (rightly so and like me) anal about these things.
Per 100g: Energy: 947kJ, Protein: 3.4g, Carbohydrate: 41g, Of which sugars: 5.2g, Fat: 5.2g, Of which saturates:2.5g, Fibre: 9.4g, Sodium: 0.42g
Per 250g: Energy: 2368kJ, Protein: 8.5g, Carbohydrate: 102.5g, Of which sugars: 7.75g, Fat: 13g, Of which saturates:6.2g, Fibre: 23.5g, Sodium: 1g
This bread is sold as a 500g loaf. It comes in a packet, divided into 2, containing 2 small loaves, that are kind of vacuum packed. Looking like to malt loaves side by side. I like this idea...as if you are a slow at using up your bread (I always end up with mouldy bits at the end of a loaf) then you can store one half and make it last longer - magic!
According to the packet, the bread can be stored at room temperature until Best Before Date and once opened use within 2-3 days. As long as you 'puncture' the pack before hand, you can freeze it for up to 6 weeks.
The bread is a staggering £2.49 at Tesco. I certainly won't be spending this much on it again. The packaging tries to justify the cost, using descriptions like: 'Ready sliced, Gluten-free, Wheat-free, Egg-free, GM-free, free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives'. You would have thought that making it WITHOUT all this stuff, would make it cheaper, but alas, it doesn't work like that...how annoying!
My 'brainwave' to try and get that little bit fitter for summer by cutting out wheat, wasn't as fulfilling as I thought it would be. Many people talk about 'cutting out wheat and watching the weight drop off'...but that only works if you can put up with going without the delights of bread. Unfortunately, as I have discovered, this wheat free variety simply doesn't match up to the expectations of 'o well, it says bread, so it must taste the same' ...BIG FAT LIE, THAT IS! I felt like one of those neurotic characters from 'Smacking the Pony' as I tried to come up with alternative ways to make the sufferage of this vile invention, that little bit more bearable. But who am I trying to kid? If you want bread, eat bread. If you want to lose weight, get to the gym. It's not worth cutting anything else out to try and make this equation a bit more effective...eat the normal bread, that's what I say. And for those that CAN'T eat bread, don't eat this bread...stick to other things, the pain to your tastebuds just isn't worth it for this horrible stuff. However, I've given this product 2 stars, as whilst it is rank - it can be a useful alternative for those that can't have bread due to the vicious beasts that can be wheat and gluten:
Thanks for reading :)
© MarcoG 2008
(similar version also on ciao)
Dietary Specials gluten & wheat free multigrain bread.