Editor’s note: Our area has many good doctors who are well educated on Celiac Disease and Gluten Allergies. Check with Anne Arundel Medical Center (contact Anne Caldwell). If you think your child is suffering from Celiac Disease or an allergy, you may want to talk to Dr. Rebecca Vickers, of Arundel Pediatrics who specializes in childhood treatments. I highly recommend her.
Tricia King was a professional pastry chef long before she opened her Gluten Free Bakery Girl cafe and wholesale bakery in Easton, Maryland. You may have seen her tarts, cookies, breads and other baked goods at Tastings Gourmet Market, Bean Rush Café, Leeward Market, City Dock Coffee and other spots around AA and Talbot Counties.
I recently caught up with her to learn more about her passion for food and her new business adventures. In between you can see some of her mouth watering creations.
FFF: So it seems like everyone is on the Gluten Free train lately.
Recently I overheard a parent insist their child had a dangerous gluten free allergy. Then she brought in a dairy free pie for the kids that had a typical wheat crust.
I also had a friend run out to get “Gluten Free” frosting for her cupcakes. FROSTING IS GLUTEN FREE! Its powdered sugar and butter!!
I feel like this is a fad that has gotten out of control because either people who do have a serious condition won’t be taken seriously, or people who are hyped about the marketing are forgoing nutritious whole grains for rice flour.
So lets talk about exactly what “Gluten Free” means:
GFBG: Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, even modified food starch. Basically anything related to wheat or made from wheat, including couscous, pasta and Ferro. Celiac disease prevents the digestive system from processing wheat proteins. The body starts to physically reject the unprocessed food. The small villi that line the intestine become damaged and nutrients can’t be absorbed into the body. The patient eventually suffers from severe malnutrition.
Gluten intolerance–Crohns disease, Lyme’s Disease, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome–causes inflammation in the body which usually presents as stomach pain, rashes, migraines, swelling and other arthritis-like symptoms. There is no miracle cure for these conditions, but research has shown that when patients eliminate gluten, it prevents little problems like aches and pains from becoming big problems like persistent migraines.
I want to provide people who suffer from gluten allergies a safe and delicious alternative for all those foods they wish they could eat, but sadly can’t.
FFF: You had a successful career at The Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels. Why open a Gluten Free Bakery? That’s a pretty specific business model.
GFBG: So I know gluten sensitivities exist and I know the only way to address them is to go completely gluten-free. Some Celiac patients can’t have even a drop of gluten without getting seriously sick. But we all want cookies and cakes and good bread. I wanted to use my pastry experience to make delicious treats for all my customers.
I started practicing, developing recipes, and eventually got into farmers markets in Kent Island, Annapolis and Easton. I came about my shop at the Easton Market Square and the wholesale side of the business serendipitously because Lehr Jackson, who owns the building, agreed to help me build a completely gluten free kitchen so that I could have a clean baking space and expand my business beyond the sandwich shop.
I just have a strong sense that this is what I should be doing. I do the wholesale because I can introduce new items frequently and I have control over the manufacturing. I personally bake, package, and deliver. I don’t have any wastage and my customers have happy customers. That makes me feel good.
FFF: Some businesses claim to have Gluten Free products but are actually selling contaminated goods because they have been shelved near or even touched conventional goods. This mis-labeling is such a peeve of mine. How do you maintain quality gluten free standards?
GFBG: No gluten whatsoever passes my threshold. There are no other bakers in the building. I do this for people that have celiac so I have to make sure there is no contamination at all. I am working to get an official gluten free certification. It is very expensive. Every single product I use is routinely tested to guarantee the certification. I never order gluten free mixes—everything I sell is completely from scratch.
FFF: What do you recommend for home bakers who want to go Gluten Free?
GFBG: For me it works great to make my own baking mixes, but for the home baker it means you have to buy 10 different flours and they are not cheap.
I really like Bobs Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour, which you can find at many area stores, or Cup 4 Cup, which is at Williams Sonoma. Watch out for mixes with Garbanzo Bean or Fava Bean flour or the mix called Garfava flour: these have a very beanie flavor which I only like when I eat hummus!
Tomato Peach Salad
1/2 pt of cherry or grape tomatoes sliced in half
2 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
6 basil leaves, torn in quarters
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons rich balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Put in bowl and lightly toss
Place on plate serve with gluten free baguette my favorite if I don’t have time to make it is, Against the Grain!
Sticky Toffee Pudding
- 6 oz of brown rice flour
- 6 oz of white rice flour
- 12 oz of medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tsp baking soda plus 11/2 tsp. to mix with dates
- 9 oz of butter, melted
- 12 oz sugar
- 2 pints of water
- 3/4 c plain full fat yogurt
- 3/4 salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 quart cream
- 1 lb butter
- 2 cups brown sugar
Bring to boil turn down and simmer till slightly thick. Set aside. Will separate a bit when cooling just give it a little mix before using
In pan place
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
Bring to boil then simmer till dates soften. When dates are soft cool slightly and place In a food processor, blend until a mushy liquid .
To make the pudding:
Pour in to mixing bowl, add butter sugar, eggs yogurt mix then add flours, baking soda, salt until incorporated.
Scoop in to greased Teflon cupcake pan for individual serving or a loaf pan, or cake pan depending on the size you are wanting.
Bake at 350 for about 30 min for cupcakes turn out and scoop sticky toffee sauce over.
To serve: if cold, reheat cake and sauce. Place in bowl pour generous amount of sauce over cake and pour cream over top and serve .
Potato Leek Gruyere Rustic Tart
For the tart dough
- Bobs Red Milk Crust Mix
follow bag directions to make the tart dough. Chill
- 4 red skin potatoes, boiled
- 6 oz of Gruyere, cut into chunks
- 2 small leeks, chopped and sautéed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tb of cream
Prepare as noted, place in a bowl and toss together.
To make the tart
Roll out dough the chilled dough
With a 6″ pastry round cutter cut out 6 rounds of dough. Place on cookie sheet with parchment between to stop sticking. Chill for 10-15 min.
On a floured surface set tart round down then add filling to center. Fold dough around the outer edge making a rustic pie-like tart. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 20 min at 350.Feel free to share...