Focaccia – How can such a simple food taste so amazing? If the traditional gluten focaccia is known as The King of Italian Breads, our gluten free version is definitely The Queen! Two times winner of The Tiptree World Bread Awards (Yes Folks! You’re looking at “The Best Gluten Free Bread in the World”) along with 28 other medals over the last couple of years, we must be doing something right.
Davina Steel - baking the difference
Davina is a scientist and nutritionist. As a young child she hid bread under the bed, toothpaste in the freezer, a fresh egg in the back of the pantry and a collection of worms in an old jam jar, to name but a few. Why? To find out what would happen to them. In the case of the latter it was to see which end mud went in and other stuff came out (or, indeed, whether that mattered to the worm).
She read everything she could get hold of and was often found curled under the stairs writing up her experiments. It was the perfect way to find space in a house containing six children, various friends, long-suffering parents, two dogs, a budgerigar and a couple of gerbils.
Following cancer treatment, Davina became severely intolerant to gluten. Missing the beautiful, artisan breads she had always loved, she embarked on a quest to create a replacement for gluten that would allow her to make amazing breads just like the ones she’d always eaten. The only gluten free bread she could find was dry, sweet, crumbly and tasted of chemicals.
Davina quickly came to realise the reason for this: it was just too difficult to make gluten free bread without adding fat, sugar and an array of additives to recreate the structure of “normal” bread. Or was it? She tried every recipe, read any paper and book she could find and finally went back to basics to discover the structure and function of wheat and gluten in order that she could emulate it using only natural ingredients.
After a few months of intensive research and baking … creating things even the birds wouldn’t eat … she had finally discovered the Holy Grail of Gluten Free: beautiful bread that tasted so good you wanted to eat the whole loaf … and then ask for another.
Winning The World Bread Awards twice and gaining 25 medals to boot, filled the team with a desire to share these artisan beauties with the world.
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