Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cookbooks and What it Means to Be Gluten-Free

Yesterday, I got a late Christmas gift from my mother and in the box was a gluten-free cookbook. It was a thoughtful and wonderful gift.

I immediately started thumbing through it and found bread recipes. Yippee!  Maybe I can have some sort of bread!

But I was surprised that one of the recipes was for rye bread. It calls for rye flour and barley extract. Okay, that's weird. The other weird thing about the cookbook is that it is gluten-free, wheat-free and dairy-free. I'm not certain why but a lot of places assume that if you have a gluten sensitivity, you likely have a dairy sensitivity too. I don't.

The weird part about the recipe for rye bread is that most people who have a gluten sensitivity avoid rye and barley as well as wheat. The proteins in rye and barley are virtually identical to wheat and are a form of gluten. The lesson?  Gluten-free may not always be gluten-free.

I guess the issue here is whether you are sensitive to gluten in general or wheat gluten in particular. Since my allergist confirmed an allergy to barley and malt, I'm going to go with gluten in general is bad for me. So, no using the rye bread recipe.

On the other hand, the potato bread recipe sounds yummy and I'm putting making some on my weekend agend. We hated the other breads that we could buy in the store. Seriously, tapioca bread is gross!

I'm hoping that the potato bread is tasty. I'd really like to be able to have things like garlic bread and cinnamon toast again and the hubby really missed PB&J.

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