Humble gluten free bread loaf a Queensland-first

TWO Ipswich region bakers have concocted a tasty, gluten alternative bread recipe and health nuts can't get enough of it.

The new gluten free sourdough loaves barely have time to cool on the shelves at Old Fernvale Bakery before people with gluten intolerances and bread lovers wanting a gluten free alternative snap them up and take them home to load with avocado or honey.

It's the first recipe of its kind in Queensland and among a few nation-wide.

The concept became popular in Australia after West Australian business owners, Strange Grains Gluten Free Bakery, revealed their recipe on TV show Shark Tank in June.

Old Fernvale Bakery's new gluten free sourdough loaves.
Old Fernvale Bakery's new gluten free sourdough loaves. Contributed

Old Frenvale Bakery expert pie baker Bradley Gordon and expert cake baker Matthew Brown met on common bread ground a month ago to formulate the recipe after growing demand from their hungry customers.

The bakery is already known for gluten free biscuits, muffins and lamingtons but the tricky skill needed to perfect sourdough loaves meant the gluten free alternative was for a long time left undiscovered.

"It came from the fact that we realised the gluten free market was growing and ours alone is growing a lot also," Mr Brown said.

"We started off with normal sourdough, rye and olive and we do plain gluten free bread, fruit, banana bread, muffins and lamingtons that are all gluten free.

"Brad said to me let's make a gluten free sourdough and I though why not. We make every other kind of sourdough. We've been testing it for about a month now and the customer response has been incredible."

Mr Brown said gluten free food was often associated with cardboard or a brick but new advancements in baking ingredients and technology meant he was able to create gluten free bread that tasted, felt and looked exactly the same as normal bread.

"Gluten free baking has come a long way since I started. It used to be a horrible sticky swear word 20 years ago but now there are so many products out there. They used to taste like cardboard but products and ingredients have come a long way since then.

Old Frenvale Bakery expert cake baker Matthew Brown and expert pie baker Bradley Gordon met on common bread ground to formulate a gluten free sourdough bread.
Old Frenvale Bakery expert cake baker Matthew Brown and expert pie baker Bradley Gordon met on common bread ground to formulate a gluten free sourdough bread. Emma Clarke

"You need skill, it's not just taking it out a bag and putting it in the mixer. It requires a bit of time, especially the sourdough, its produced over two days."

He said gluten free food often had a higher price point to normal baked goods as the speciality ingredients were more expensive.

"It's awfully hard to manufacture in bulk in a bakery of this size however under the circumstances we have. Everything has to be sterilised before we do it so we try and set a day or two aside to be able to make it," he said.

"We sterilise the whole bakery and make gluten free product for the whole day."

What makes sourdough a bread an art form?

A loaf of sourdough bread on the shelves of a bakery has been two days, years of training and plenty of practice in the making.

Mr Brown said sourdough bread was developed in a different way to ordinary bread which changed its texture, taste and shelf life.

"Cultures are the most important part of a sourdough. It's taken to make a starter dough and then in the next stage the sponge is used to make the dough. If you don't remember to feed your starter when you take some out of it, you're going to be left with an empty bucket so every time you take some in, you must put more back in so your culture is always growing.

"That gives you the texture and the flavour. The longer you can bulk ferment bread, the better flavour you'll get out of it."

Topics:  gluten free ipswich business old fernvale bakery

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