Warburtons have launched their new range of gluten and wheat free foods. They are making white and brown sliced loaves, crumpets, fruited teacakes and sub-rolls. All of these are made in a dedicated gluten-free factory, so we don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.
The breads are lactose-free as well as gluten and wheat free but don’t advertise this on the packaging. They do have an allergy advice box on the back to make a safety assessment easy. The range does contain xanthan gum to help hold the bread together, so anyone with sensitivity to this product will steer clear of these breads.
The bread compares well with its closest rivals, Genius and Marks & Spencer’s, and having the might of such a large bread bakery company behind it should manage to avoid some of the issues of availability and shelf life that these others have had.
I tried the bread fresh; it is soft and slightly powdery as expected. It toasted well, and made excellent French toast. To make this I used and egg and some milk, soaked the bread briefly and then fried. The bread soaked up the liquid well, went crisp when cooked, and the interior was soft and moist with no hint of the bizarre texture changes you can get with other gf bread – granulation has been a problem with some other breads.
Overall I was very impressed with this range. It will make serving coeliacs and others with a wheat or gluten intolerance or allergy much easier. It should mean that cafes and restaurants will no longer be able to say they have nothing to serve – provided they remember to use clean hands, clean surfaces and, if toasting, have a dedicated toaster or toaster bags.
The launch was held in collaboration with the Coeliac Society and Phil Vickery. Phil has produced a range of recipes using these products to show how a simple slice of bread can turn into many different foods.
By Lois Parker