Gluten free products manufactured by Melbourne company Well and Good are the best discovery I have made as a result of blogging. Before this discovery, I accepted the fact, that as a coeliac, I would never be able to have proper, real bread, or dumplings, or bake complicated yeast dough pastries, I was so fond of in my early years.
Little did I know, that accidental image search of gluten free pasta dough, will lead me to Well and Good gluten free Pastry Flour, that allowed me to create the recipe for an easy and reliable dough, in fact, so easy, that making dumplings or ravioli is a routine task now.
The dough is a joy to work with, it tastes actually better than I remember wheat dough tasted, it freezes well without any cracks appearing. To me, this dough for dumplings and ravioli, made with Well and Good gluten free Pastry Flour, is the true testament that the most difficult tasks can be achieved when working with perfectly formulated gluten free products, designed with specific properties of the product in mind.
After this first success with Well and Good gluten free pastry flour, I decided to try their bread mixes. The timing was perfect. Manufactures of the bread, I was buying in supermarkets since 2000, changed their bread formula to include soy flour, which I don’t tolerate. I was left without bread options in my menu and I had to either bake my own bread, or try different bread mixes in a box. The first bread mix from Well and Good I tried was Chia bread, which I still, after so many bakes, consider to be in the basket of the best breads I ever had, and it does include wheat bread in my pre-coeliac times.
My review of this bread mix is quite unusual in its emotional excitement. But even now, I am not going to tone down my complete delight with the taste and texture of this bread. I bake it as a regular size loaf, as bread rolls of different shapes and sizes, and as baguettes. My favourite bake of Chia bread now – is 2 long baguettes, baked in special baguette baking tray and 3-4 small round rolls to have fresh from the oven.
This bread is too good to put anything on top, it tastes amazing with perfect crust and wonderful chewiness, which survive freezing intact. Defrosted in a toaster, Chia bread feels like it is fresh from the oven.
It is perfect for canapés, smoked salmon on avocado with sour cream and horseradish and dill sauce, on top of my preferences. Simply try this bread, you will never be able to say, that as a coeliac you are deprived of a proper bread.
The second bread from well and Good I tried was Crusty bread. It is a good bread and I use it for sandwiches. But, the beauty of this bread for me, is in its flexibility.
With some minimum additions to ingredients when mixing the dough, I like to make sweet pastries and scrolls, poppy seed and chocolate scrolls my favourite among them.
With very little modifications to dough preparation I also make savoury pastries from the ingredients in Crusty bread mix box. I make mushroom pastries and bacon and onion pastries, but any type of your favourite filling will go with this dough.
The most resent bread I baked, was the latest addition to bread variety mixes from Well&Good – Rye Less bread. It is completely different to any gluten free bread mixes on the market, and I liked it as an excellent option for sandwiches. I have to say, that both Crusty bread and Rye Less bread come in value packages with an option to bake 2 loaves simultaneously, which is handy.
It is well-known that gluten free bread mixes and flour mixes contain plenty of nutritionally inferior ingredients. These products are low in protein and high in starches content. Well and Good gluten free flour mixes, however, stand out with their improved nutritional value of their products. They, on average, have higher protein content, have reasonable amount of fibre and, comparatively, are not that loaded with starches.
From all the variety of other gluten free products, I worked only with plain and self-raising flour. It is not because I dislike other products, I simply prefer to use almond meal, soft cheeses and fruit purees to make cake and muffin batters. If I need some dry component to add, I use plain individual, naturally gluten free flours, depending on the goal I want to achieve in terms of texture.
Well and Good gluten free Plain Flour is my absolute favourite for crepes. Before the discovery of Well&Good products I was quite happy with OrgraN plain flour for crepes, but Well&Good flour makes soft, but not fragile crepes, perfect as desert with any toppings, as well as a component for different crepes parcels with dairy or meat fillings. After my first try, I only use Well and Good plain flour to make crepes.
Another excellent result with plain flour was the adaptation of Tuile biscuits to gluten free option. They have intense vanilla and almond taste, are very thin, baked perfectly crunchy and stay crunchy in air-tight container indefinitely. They are not a healthy biscuits, but they are so delicately delicious, that as a treat for special occasion would be very appropriate.
It took me a long time to try Self-Raising Flour. I am usually reluctant to use baking powder, baking soda or self-raising flours. So the package of self-raising flour stayed unopened for a long time. Finally, I wanted one interesting recipe to make, so I made the first attempt to use self-raising flour to bake jam biscuits from French recipe, which ended up as mini scones. I liked them and baked them several times again.
But it was another recipe, that made me a complete convert. Simplified recipe for apple and cinnamon raisin cake did this instantly. We couldn’t get enough of this loaf cake, I baked it for other people, just for the sake of enjoyment and simplicity of this recipe, wonderful aroma of cinnamon and vanilla, lingering in the house for several hours. I have to warn you – this cake is addictive, we had to make a pact, that I am not to bake it any more until after Christmas. It is that bad for us.
Considering that you need only 150g of self-raising flour, 2 eggs and a tub of SPC pure apple puree from supermarket; some sugar, vanilla and cinnamon to make this beauty to happen, it is a difficult task to stick to this pact.
I went through all my recipes with Well and Good gluten free products and only now remembered biscuits recipe, adapted from authentic Genovesi pastry recipe. It is a tricky pastry to work with, but the results are worth the effort.
As a conclusion I can say, that all the products I used, manufactured by Well and Good Company, have exceptional qualities and I can’t fault their performance in any dough or batter. As for bread mixes, in my opinion, they are the best available. Using these products allowed me to achieve anything I wanted in gluten free cooking and baking, and more. I also share the philosophy of the company, not only to create good quality, reliable products, performing well in terms of taste and texture, but to improve nutritional value of gluten free products, which is not an easy task to follow.
I can only wish all imaginable success to Well and Good in their future development of gluten free products. My gluten free life became richer with new experiences because of their products. It has also broaden my horizons in what is possible to achieve gluten free. Anything, anything you want! I also wish Well and Good gluten free products were more readily available in supermarkets, though it is possible to buy them online.
On a final note, I want to add, that I have no any financial or commercial arrangements with Well&Good company. I buy their products, which fit my objectives in gluten free cooking and baking, I create recipes using these products and publish my own, personal opinions of the products and their possible use. I was provided with sample box of Rye Less bread before it was available to purchase on the market. I have bought this bread after that for regular use. Sometimes Well&Good publishes the link to the specific recipe in my blog on their Facebook page. As I do not participate in social media, I do not follow it, and do not take part in any discussions.