Thursday, October 25, 2012

Product Review: Luce's Gluten Free Bread Mixes

I first met Charles Luce a couple of years ago at a Celiac Disease support group meeting.  That evening he was giving a talk on the techniques he had perfected for making a sour dough starter for gluten free sour dough bread (traditionally, sour dough starter is grown in a mixture of wheat flour).  He had brought along numerous loaves of fresh baked gluten free sour dough breads in various flavors.  These breads were good, hearty, crusty breads that didn't fall apart and are sorely lacking on the gluten free market.  He couldn't cut the sample loaves fast enough when it came time to try them!

Luce's Gluten Free Sour Dough
and Gluten Free Italian Breads
I next saw Charles at a gluten free dinner in Jersey City at Uno's Chicago Grill. At this point he was starting to work on pre-made mixes of his breads that you would bake at home.  He had brought along some test samples that we enjoyed with dinner and chatted about the hurdles of getting a gluten free business off the ground.

Well, I'm thrilled to announce that that business has now taken off.  Charles was at last night's Northern NJ Celiac Disease Meetup sampling his breads and selling mixes.  So far he's perfected two varieties: Classic Sour Dough and New Italian - both are amazing.  The breads have a perfect crust and aren't dry or crumbly like so many other GF breads.  The best part?  They couldn't be easier to make.

Each package comes with a pre-mixed gluten free flour blend.  Both are made in a gluten free facility, are dairy free, egg free, nut free, soy free and vegan with no added oil or sugar (the italian bread contains gf oats).  You simply add warm water and mix in a bowl, form the loaf on the included parchment paper, seal in the included oven bag, heat the oven and cookie sheet while the loaf rests, then bake for 85 minutes at 400 degrees!

For now the mixes are only available online at Luce's Gluten Free Artisan Bread.  Considering how good the bread is, it shouldn't be long before they start appearing on store shelves everywhere.

So just how good is the bread?  When the meeting was over and everyone filed out of the room last night, it appeared as if most were carrying a bag (or two) of Luce's Gluten Free Bread Mix home with them!