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"Made Without Gluten" Bakery

We have a new and improved catalog of bakery made without gluten that we began promoting in June. We had been fielding plenty of member requests for expanded offerings in this sector and we decided the best way to proceed would be to roll out a large new selection of products all at once with very clear placement and labeling. Life Molitor, our bakery coordinator, put a ton of effort into this project in the last month, researching and sourcing out products appropriate for the recipes, testing batches intensively (to the delight of the crew) to assess palatability and shelf stability and generally making sure that these new products were up to par with the rest of the “normal” bakery catalog. As a result, we are proud to be able to offer over a dozen new recipes made without gluten to add to the smattering of products that we have always offered which contain no gluten.

“Made Without Gluten”

So, you are saying to yourselves “Why are you using that kind of phrase to describe your product when everyone else seems to be happy with ‘gluten-free’”? So here’s why: one of the hot topics in trying to make and market bakery products for those with an intolerance to gluten is that the FDA has yet to define “gluten-free”—the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Committee on Nutrition and Foods for Special Dietary Uses have declared that “no more than 0.03% of a gluten-free food’s total protein can come from wheat, barley, rye or oats” (from www.celiac.com), but the FDA has not ratified that standard for labeling purposes in the U.S., so at this stage in the game it is incumbent upon the producer to establish and clarify their manufacturing process and the content of their product with total transparency. We at Willy Street Co-op do not have a physically separate facility in which to manufacture our glutenless bakery, a measure which has become more and more common for those businesses wishing to minimize or eliminate cross-contamination from flours or other products that do contain gluten. Because of this, we have chosen to label our products “MADE WITHOUT GLUTEN,” signifying that, to the best of our knowledge, the products that go into these recipes do not contain gluten. They are made using equipment that is used to make other bakery products with wheat flour. We hope that this full disclosure will help our members make healthy and informed choices for themselves.

The deal with oats

As those who have been pursuing a no-gluten diet for awhile will be well aware, whether or not oats are safe for those with celiac disease is another hot topic. Without going into it too exhaustively, the nut of the matter is that there are peptide sequences in oats which very closely resemble gluten and may have the same effect on those with CD. Additionally, cross-contamination from flours containing gluten has been a problem to the extent that oats, while not technically containing gluten by definition, have been largely ruled out as an acceptable ingredient in gluten-free bakery. We have adopted this approach and do not use oats or oat flour in our bakery made without gluten.
Based on the success of the recipes we’ve developed so far, we hope to continue broadening this catalog of products into holiday bakery and savory offerings as well as the year moves along. The trials we’ve done indicate that these bakery items hold their own with anything else on the shelf—so while we will make their location clear to make shopping easier, our goal is to have them settle naturally into the bigger picture and not remain “fringe” items. Here are some of the things you can expect to find in our bakery now, if you haven’t already—happy shopping!

  • pumpkin bars
  • banana bars
  • chocolate chip cookies
  • sugar cookies
  • banana nut bread
  • corn muffins
  • crumb cake
  • chocolate pecan brownies
  • pumpkin apple muffins