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Arts and Crafts Market # 5 + my first Gluten Free adventure

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Mebake's picture
Mebake

Arts and Crafts Market # 5 + my first Gluten Free adventure

It was time for the much anticipated Arts and crafts market – Times Square, Dubai.  On Friday, the 9th, I had prepared my display gear, packed and loaded my bread, and head to the Market.

A w eek earlier i had been baking  5 sandwich loaves (600gr each) of “Many seed bread”  from Peter Reinhart’s (Whole grain breads), and 5 boules  (600 gr) of “Roasted Garlic Levain “ from Hamelman’s (Bread).  The whole grain bread was packed in plastic freezing bags and frozen, while the garlic bread was baked fresh on the eve of the Market day. I could not bake larger quantities, as I was suffering lower back pain. In retrospect, however, I could have baked and frozen more in advance; I realized that whole grain breads retain freshness even when frozen! Some hope for me :) 

  

Upon arrival, I unloaded my gear and bread, and marched across the parking lot to the mall entrance. I arrived at the registration desk at 10:30 am, and there I saw  a queue of some 12 Artisans lining up already! Wow, this has become popular, I thought to myself.  Finally, I registered for July Market (I’m going on a vacation to see the family on June), and picked my table number.  Table No. 395 it was; positioned on the sunlit second floor. I made a trip around the tables, and there are none that sell bread! I believe that most vendors think that bread making  is too much trouble for too low a profit margin.

I prepared my table for display, and sat there waiting. This time, I brought some olive oil for a taster’s dip, as against butter. My first client was a neighboring vendor, an Indian lady, who happened to like my previous market’s garlic bread and bought one immediately. I was delighted to learn that she and her husband absolutely loved it.  Some familiar faces showed up every once and a while, notably my regular enthusiastic bread client who happens to be also a vendor. He bought a loaf of each, and went on on how he loves the bread and that it is alone worth the trip from his home hundred tens of miles away! That felt really heartwarming.  Finally, I had sold all the bread, with Roasted garlic flying off FAST; It was utterly delicious, and intensely aromatic.

I had also printed some handouts on A4 highlighting the advantages of Artisan bread, and gave those away with my business card. I offered many visitors and clients baking them bread on order, but I have yet to hear from any of them. Thus far, I have only 1 client who orders a few loaves bimonthly, and  another prospective client is in the making.  I also noticed again and again, that many ask for gluten free bread, and so felt the urge to learn how to make it.

I happened to visit a multi commodity store earlier this month and as I walked down the food aisles, I noticed that there was Psyllium husk, marketed as a health drink powder. Packed at 100gr each, they were quite cheap !. I also found cheap tapioca flour from the same store.  It was good enough reason for me to seek gluten free flours, so I bought some sorghum and millet flours from another food store.

The recipe that I followed was that of (The bread kitchen) on YouTube. Her gluten free recipe is also dairy and egg free. I weighed the ingredients, and mixed them up with a spatula into a thick batter and poured it into my lined tin. The batter was proofed for 1.5 hours at room temperature, and a thin coating of olive oil was carefully brushed on top prior to baking. I baked it without steam for 40 minutes at 210 C with fan, as directed. I only substituted the potato flour with rice flour.

  

  

2 hours later, I sliced the loaf hoping for bread like texture. I was surprised  that it sliced, looked, felt, and tasted like a good 50% whole grain bread, with a hint of spice owing  to the sorghum, I think. I had few slices with my wife for dinner, and it was delicious! Quite hard to imagine that it contains no wheat flour at all.  I shall try substituting millet for roasted chickpea flour, or corn flour in my future GF bakes, or even try leavening it with a GF sourdough starter.

Khalid

 

 

 

 

Comments

yozzause's picture
yozzause

Well done Khalid everything looks top notch your GF  looks particularly good it seems that you have the touch my friend well done again

regards Derek 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Derek!

I appreciate your kind words, my friend.

Khalid

isand66's picture
isand66

Great job Khalid!  So happy to hear you sold out and by the looks of your breads it is no surprise to me.

Fortunately I don't have to worry about gluten, but I do have to say your GF loaf looks about as good as any I've ever seen so I'm sure you will get a nice following once you start offering it for sale.

Regards,
Ian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Ian!

Gluten free breas is easy to make, and i can't take any credit on this one as its not my recipe. The result has motivated me to try other varieties.

All the best,

Khalid

 

 

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Bread has been made with any available grain long before wheat became available and yet some feel that wheatless bread cannot be good. I am heartened to see such a fine baker try his hand and so beautifully!. Your loaf looks wonderful! Psyllium makes for a much better texture in GF bread than the gums, in my limited experience. BUt beware! Too much and you can have a rather wet,doughy crumb.

The consistency of many of the GF breads I have made is in the same class as batter breads. I made batter (wheat) breads when I had surgery on both hands (sequentially) and could not handle the dough and mixing bowl very well. I was able to tip and pour the batter into pans and actually found the bread to be quite delicious. A slightly different texture but delicious, nonetheless. 

Wonderful write-up and pictures. Thank you!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

True, most batters can turn into "bread" if some sort of a binder is present. Actually, batter breads do taste great. Thanks for the advice on physllium. 

How are your hands post surgery now? I remember your post on batter breads. I hope  you have recuperated.

Khalid

 

Syd's picture
Syd

Excellent breads Khalid. That roasted garlic levain has my mouth watering. Will have to try that soon.  So glad to hear that you sold out of your breads this time. Hope your back feels better now. 

All the best Khalid,

Syd

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I'm better now, thank you. If you intend to bake the recipe, plan to roast more garlic than what is states in the recipe. Garlic loses much of its weight during roasing.

Good luck, Syd!

Khalid 

CAphyl's picture
CAphyl

Khalid:  I have been experimenting with gluten-free with limited success.  Sweet breads are fine, but yeasted breads are another story.  I will have to try the recipe you mention.  I have also made a GF starter, but I think it needs some work!  All the breads you made look great.  Hope your back is better!  Best,  Phyllis

 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Phyllis

Its actually pretty straight forward Imho. Basically a baked batter, but you need to get the ratios right: 4 parts whole grain : 6 parts starch (any starchy flour) by weight. The lady in youtube explains how to make mixture in another video of hers.

All the Best,

Khalid

bakingbadly's picture
bakingbadly

Once again another set of stellar breads---it's no wonder that your breads sold out! Your GF bread caught me off guard, though. Looks very enticing. I haven't sampled GF bread yet, but if you say it's good then I won't argue. :)

Cheers and wishing you all the best,

Zita


Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Zita!

The GF bread doesn't seem to freeze well, as i just had a slice that thawed and it tasted crappy. Probably it is best not to freeze batter breads.

Glad you liked the breads,

Khalid

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Nice to sell out.  Many breads freeze well and the more whole grains the better they freeze it seems.  Sounds like a new quest for GF is in order too. Your first attempt was a stellar one.

Happy Baking 

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, DA!

Love the Indian Wheat you'vw bought off the reserve recently. With a mill, and a state that produces its own wheat, you are bound to be busy for sometime ;)

I'm playing around with GF breads, and when i get them down, i might begin selling some.

Khalid

emkay's picture
emkay

I haven't done much gluten-free bread baking, but the recipes that I have tried so far did not produce anything remotely bread-like in texture. I guess I haven't found the right recipe yet.  Baking with a back pain is such a pain (excuse the pun!). Hope you're feeling better!

:) Mary

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Lucky me!  I've only searched youtube once and found that recipe almost instantly. I'm sure there are great recipes out there.

It is difficult to bake bread while suffering back pain. Baking bread to me is a labor of love and a relaxation, so i guess this creats some balance and tolerance. 

Thanks, Mary!

Khalid

golgi70's picture
golgi70

Good to see it's picking up for you.  I'm sure in due time you'll have to turn down orders due to limitations.  I'm very impressed with your successful GF Bake on your first go.  It looks pretty darn amazing.  Although I wish people wouldn't buy into the "gluten free" fad so much.  

Cheers

josh

Wanna laugh?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdJFE1sp4Fw

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks for the kind words, Josh!

If you bake bread often, baking a cake batter should be easier, right? Same goes for this GF recipe. The hardest part was lining the narrow tin with parchment paper.

That video was hilarious! Thanks :)

Here in Dubai, there are quite a few market visitors market and vendors that claim to be genuinely gluten intolerant. If it were true, i feel sorry for them.

Best of wishes to you,

Khalid

R.Acosta's picture
R.Acosta

For a gluten-free bread. I'm pretty amazed! Looks tasty too :).

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, R. Acosta!

varda's picture
varda

about what is happening Khalid.   I admire your diving into GF breads.   You are getting yourself out there, and I'm sure the customers will follow.   Right now I'm banging my head against the wall trying to get a couple more wholesale customers.   It seems really hard and then you get it.    Or at least I hope so.   Your bread looks great.  -Varda

Mebake's picture
Mebake

You will get wholesale customers, i know it. Sometimes, when you've you done everything right, you only have to wait.. and the magic will Happen.

It helps to make new recipes and test them; for instance, i've found that many here prefer flavored breads. But, i'm sure you know that. It does help to be flexible and to offer the market what it needs, not what you think it wants, and a key way to knowing that is by trying different breads with a single or group of clients at once.

Best wishes to you, varda, and thank you for the encouragement.

Khalid

 

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Hi Khalid,

I am pleased you are enjoying the market and all that entails - Very interested to hear how your venture into Gluten free bread goes as I have never had any success with it in terms of customer satisfaction.

I am UK based and also enjoy markets - I note that in your original post you say, 

 "I believe that most vendors think that bread making  is too much trouble for too low a profit margin."

How does it work for you Khalid? Am I right in thinking you made/sold 10 loaves?

I find that, if I have to pay about £40 for the stall, I need to sell 40 loaves to break even on the day - Any number over and above that 40 will allow me some profit.

Obviously I/you will have spent the best part of a day preparing/baking/storing the breads ready for sale and then there is the actual time travelling to/from and selling at the market.

Best wishes for your future bakes, and looking forward to your posts on them.

 

Brian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Hi, Brian

Good to hear from you again. As regards the bread pricing, well yes i made 10 loaves only.  I pay around the same amount to reserve a table (£ 40)  but i can break even if i sell only 13 loaves @ 600 gr each. Do you sell your breads for a pound each? How much does a loaf weigh?

In comparison to other handmade crafts sold at the Market, my bread is reasonably priced. Many stalls sell pastry at outrageous prices, and many visitors don't seem to mind that. Bread is bread, afterall, and i would sell for less were i not required to pay for the table.

Thank you for the nice words,

Khalid

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Your success comes from pleasing your customers and all the hard work you have put into your baking.

I'm able to eat gluten containing products but have quite an interest also in the GF products and breads.

I love that you care enough about your customers to take interest in their requests.  Well done, Kalid!

Sylvia

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thank you, Sylvia!

I'm Glad you liked them. I owe my lovely colored loves to your steaming towel technique; thank you!

All the best to you,

Khalid

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Not much difference here in uk Khalid, apart from sizing which allows (At present) dispensation from recent labelling regulations on unwrapped loaves of 400/800gm.

Small loaves weigh 400gm and large ones 800g - Selling price depends on ingredients but ranges from £2 for plain small sourdough loaves to £4.50 for large loaves with expensive ingredients (Nuts, seeds, fruit, vegetables and herbs etc.) A 2Kg "Poilaine style" miche can sell for £10 whole, or proportionately less if I sell it in quarters or halves.

I have to take into account all the other costs, over and above stall hire, eg bakery equipment, fuel and material costs as well as motoring expenses. Additionally, if I want a weekend off to play golf or go out with my wife (That's nice!), I will have to pay someone to attend the stall for me.

Like yourself, I see many stalls sell pastry and cup cakes at what seems outrageous prices for  products that are gone in less than a minute and are a lot less healthy/beneficial to the customer's digestive systems.

Like you I started doing this for fun but after a few thousand loaves I now get most of my fun (And almost all my thanks and appreciation) by baking for my friends and family for no payment. No one at a market has ever thanked me for selling "Cheap" bread but plenty have told me it is too expensive compared with the local supermarket.

Of course for many folks (Including myself) this bread baking lark is harmless good fun, and I would heartily encourage everyone to bake for their own family consumption, for many reasons - I also recognise that every time I sell a loaf at a (Cheap) price, which I can choose to do as this is not my main income stream, I may be affecting a professional baker's ability to earn an honest crust which may be his/her only source of income, as well as that of any staff he/she may employ. 

I wish you all the luck in the world for your future baking/selling, particularly in the development of your Gluten free range, and look forward to hearing about your experiences.    

Keep having fun,

Brian

Mebake's picture
Mebake

I admire you for baking (thousands) of loaves! , it takes much dedication and devotion to the craft to be able to consistently produce so many loaves. What type of oven do you have? and for how long have you been selling bread at the market?

I like the spirit with which you bake bread. You do not expect to be commended for you efforts, yet you continue to happily contribute to the revival of real bread. 

I shall continue to experiment with Gluten free breads, and share my results on this forum.

Thanks,

Khalid

 

 

 

rossnroller's picture
rossnroller

It takes guts to throw your hat over the fence as you've done, but your lovely-looking breads are evidence that you have talent and vision to back up your courage.

Watching on with interest as you explore gluten-free breads. That's a surprisingly good-looking crumb, and your taste test report has me intrigued! Fortunately, I have no problems with gluten, but I have a friend who does.

I'm going to PM you re back pain.

Cheers
Ross

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Thanks, Ross! that is so kind of you.

Do try the recipe. You can source millet flour, and sorghum flour at many Indian grocery stores, in Australia. Millet goes by the name: "Bajra" and Sorghum: "Jawar". They are quite cheap, being non organic. Rice flour, potato flour.. are all easily obtained commodities. Now, Psyllium husk is harder to find, but the brand that i bought was also Indian made, so it is possible to source it from Indian food stores. Can't wait for you to try it.

Khalid

 

 

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Hi Khalid,

 Re your request for news/info – You may be interested in the attached newspaper article from the Newcastle Journal (17th Feb) telling of the involvement of The Artisan Baking Community (Which I have been involved in as a head baker since its conception) in an attempt to widen the audience for “Artisanal” breads.

 I have been enjoying helping in the process of getting Geordie Baker staff (Robbie and Ian) up to speed with the recipe formulation, as well as coaching in the production requirements for an initial range of 8 breads, all of which rely on long fermentation methods, three of which are pure sourdoughs with no added manufactured yeast.

The most we have made (In one shift) so far is 600 loaves which we sold at a local market to great public acclaim.

 Geordie Bakers ordinarily produce thousands of dough and pastry products (Including the NewZealand Pie company products) on a daily basis from their factory unit on the outskirts of Newcastle upon Tyne and now wish to offer new and existing customers the opportunity to become familiar with a taste of s-l-o-w-l-y made bread, the likes of which they may not have tasted for many a long year.

http://www.thejournal.co.uk/business/business-news/geordie-bakers-secures-jobs-after-6715744Hereunder some subsequent comment from Mike Henderson, the leading light of Geordie Bakers, indicating how well things are going.

We at GB are more than pleased with progress and excited about opportunities ahead. Here’s a summary of life in the slow lane:

  • · We have defined the range of 8 breads. Brian has done a thorough job of providing definitive recipes/process instruction , participating in the first 3 or 4 production trials and assisting with fine tuning of the finished breads. We now feel capable of letting Robbie and Ian flying solo on future production runs.
  • · One product -- Pain Rustique -- has morphed into 3 products from one dough 1 a ciabatta loaf (classic size and shaped flattish oblong with rounded corners) 2 ciabatta buns at 7-8 inches long (great for sandwiches) and 3 Pain Rustique , similar in length to ciabatta loaf , but skinnier and irregular , and probably floured.
  • · Jon has defined the size/shape/appearance of the breads and we have fixed names for each product. Presented together as a selection in a basket the look stunning and irresistible. Jon is developing POS selling aides which will probably contain a reference to “NO ADDED SUGAR”
  • · Samples from very recent runs have achieved our targets on taste , texture and appearance. There are no significant problems to resolve.
  • · Jon has shown samples to quite a number of existing customers . Probably the most demanding was the executive chef/food development manager at the Sir John Fitzgerald Group of public houses  (Darren Lawton) -- he was , along with every other existing/potential customer very impressed and excited.
  • · Our first real commercial selling effort will be this weekend with real orders from about 5 customers plus Sunday (16th) at Tynemouth Station Market. ABC friends are welcome at Tynemouth as observers or servers.
  • · I think the Journal newspaper will give us (GB/ABC) a nice spread and good PR early next week -- and will refer to a launch the following Sunday (23rd) at Tynemouth.

We’re excited and optimistic , and between us so far we’ve done a great job. What is clear to us is that there is a real demand for hand-crafted traditional breads with pubs and restaurants upping their game along with high-end delis and farm shops in addition to the boom in market selling direct to discerning consumers …………………….. AND THERE IS NO SIGN OF ANY CREDIBLE COMPETITOR AROUND TYNESIDE !!!!!! Jon just needs to turn up with his basket of goodies and take the order.

Hope this answers most of your questions Khalid - You never know, you may end up in a similar situation yourself one day - I started off just like you, baking a few loaves at home.

Happy baking,


Brian Hodgson         

Mebake's picture
Mebake

This is pretty Inspiring!

You really are deep to your ankles with this. It Looks promising indeed. Rescuing jobs, exposing the public to Artisan breads, .. This is so ethical, and will ultimately reciprocate with infinite financial reward. 

You may already know TFL member Andy smith (ananda); he lives in powburn in the north east , and is a member of the real bread campaign. He is so enthusiastic about organic bread made from locally sourced ingredients , and baked in a Wood fired oven.

Thanks for sharing the article, Brian, and my best wishes to ABC and GB.

Khalid

sandydog's picture
sandydog

Well spotted Khalid,

Andy lives not far from me and we have helped each other from time to time with our respective baking activities.      I first met Andy when I was a student (Andy was a tutor) doing an advanced baking course at Newcastle College and I certainly respect his abilities as a baker - Andy is a great advocate of natural fermentation, is brilliant with Rye breads which are often a wonder to behold, particularly impressive when he bakes in either his own, or his friend Nigel's large WFO.

You may have noticed that Andy has been quiet on this site for a little while - There is a very good (Really pleasant) reason why.                                                                                                                                                       I do not wish to deprive Andy of the pleasure of telling everyone what he has been up to, but can tell you I spent a little time with him last week and everyone will be pleased with his recent activities - I hope he has time to tell everyone of them soon.

Kind regards,

Brian