Although gluten-free products have sprung up everywhere, a lot of them tend to feel like they're lacking something fundamental. Texture is altered, flavor is bland and occasionally joyless, and many of them are not nutritious. Even as awareness and demand grows, it can still be difficult to find products that actually taste great. When we found out about Luce's gluten-free bread mix—an all-in-one package touting everything you need to make your own bread—it was difficult to believe. Then, when we made it, we were blown away by the ease, full flavor and fantastically crisp crust relative to the soft insides. The bread is extraordinary.
The recipes took nine years to develop by founder Charles Luce, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2002. Luce was inspired by traditional artisanal bread-makers and sought to bring that simple sophistication to the allergen-free market. His flour mixes also happen to be dairy-free and devoid of eggs, oils and soy. And without all those add-ins, he has managed to make a recipe that produces very tasty bread. With New Italian, Bold Buckwheat, Classic Sourdough, Flatbread and Winter Spice variations (all of equal quality) there's something for all bread lovers.
Each blend makes one 13 oz loaf. And the process is easy and clear: Add water, mix the dough—whether by hand or with a mixer—shape the dough on the included support sheet and then slip that into the paper baking bag, which you pop into the oven. We were a little afraid of putting parchment paper in the oven, even though baking paper has been used for ages and is completely safe. Maybe we were just paranoid that the bread would disappoint after such a simple set-up. The bag itself controls humidity allowing for the firm, crackled crust and a moist counterpart. The entire process took just 90 minutes and once the bread cooled, it really did wow. (And the next day it made for some delicious toast.) A comprehensive package that's undeniably quick, producing flavorful and allergen-free bread, Luce's makes clear that if you're leaving gluten behind you do not have to abandon hope for good bread.
Luce's Gluten Free Bread mixes are available online for $8 or $9 each, depending on flavor choice.
Lead image courtesy of Luce's Gluten-Free Bread, other photos by Josh Rubin