Gluten-free bread, but no one has to know
Buckwheat’s sells muffins, rolls, pizza crust too
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone who’s ever been on a diet knows the inevitable: When you are told you can’t eat a particular food, it is just what you crave. Now imagine being told you can no longer eat gluten, which is found in foods that contain wheat, rye or barley. No more bread.
That was the situation Jeff Brockway faced six years ago when his son was diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune condition triggered by gluten. Then, shortly afterward, he discovered he had it as well. Instead of stressing over what he couldn’t have, he came up with delicious gluten-free breads he now sells from his bakery, Buckwheat’s Gluten Free.
“I believed you had to be able to make bread with other types of flours,” Brockway said.
Brockway was not a baker. He worked for a large software company in the area. This meant his journey to create gluten-free breads started from scratch, and he learned the science behind baking and how the gluten in wheat flour behaves differently from the proteins in other types of flours. He would look up recipes and then he would make adjustments to come up with his own creations.
In the end, it took three to four years for Brockway to develop his bread recipes. What he came up with is more of a batter than of dough, but it proofs like traditional bread dough. He uses a lot of bean flours, which are a great source of protein, fiber and structure for the finished bread.
“It took some really bad bread to make really good bread,” he said.
Professionally, Brockway had reached a point where he wanted to try a different path. He missed working with his hands. In his mind was the idea to start a gluten-free bakery, but it was his son who gave him the final push. One day the pair had gone out to eat at a place that sold gluten-free sodas. His son was so excited to be able to pick out his own drink and make the purchase himself that he suggested his dad open a place where everything is gluten-free. Brockway replied, “What should we call it? Buckwheat’s?” — because buckwheat is a grain used in gluten-free cooking.
Last summer Brockway decided to give gluten-free baking a try, and he kept the name.
Buckwheat’s Gluten Free bakes only gluten-free food with verified gluten-free ingredients. Brockway offers six core bread items for sale:
• Everyday sandwich bread made from bean flour, whole-grain sorghum, tapioca and corn starch. Reminiscent of a country-style white bread, the soft, dense bread is also good for toasting and making French toast.
• Dark whole-grain bread made with whole-grain buckwheat, sorghum, and teff, with added sunflower, sesame, and caraway seeds. Similar to a pumpernickel or dark rye bread, it works well for Ruben sandwiches or topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
• Tuscan herb baguette is crispy on the outside, soft and tender on the inside, and made with a blend of oregano, garlic, basil, sage, rosemary, savory and thyme. It tastes great dipped in olive oil or can be used to make bruschetta.
• Muffins, with flavors that change with the seasons — blueberry, cranberry-orange, peach, strawberry, apple cider and pumpkin.
• Burger rolls, which are used at Amigo’s Mexican Cantina in Milford and Merrimack.
• Herbed pizza crust, topped with your favorite items, ready in 10 minutes.
“I wanted to make great breads that are fresh and local, and give people the experience they’ve always had with gluten breads. So you don’t feel you are compromising and you don’t mind serving the bread to your friends,” Brockway said.
For now, Buckwheat’s Gluten Free breads are sold wholesale at places such as Earthward Natural Foods in Amherst and Natural Choice Market in Hooksett, with more places being added (keep an eye on the website for the latest). Brockway plans to open his bakery on Thursday afternoons in June so customers can stop by, see the process and make purchases.