Gluten Free Guerrillas
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Gluten free bread

It's wonderful to think that most of the larger supermarkets now offer Gluten free bread. Usually there are branded versions: Genius, Warburtons, their own branded versions .... long-life types, etc. What isn't (at least I haven't found any as yet) available is Gluten free breads that do not contain potato starch. Why the need to add root starch? It would taste so much better without it as it leaves a powdery after taste even when bread is toasted!!

8 Replies

Potato starch has some amazing properties if it is cooked and cooled, it becomes much more elastic, I have made some amazing gf pastry with 1/2 pastry mix and 1/2 mashed potato's left overnight in the fridge.


I know that potato is useful. It was used years ago during and after both world wars when there were food shortages especially in flour. I just wished they would keep root starches out of breads as I feel that they are inclined to make bread especially powdery in flavour.


I agree Lynxcat and if you read about the process of making potato flour it is very processed instant mash.

It's interesting what you say about potatoes during the 2 wars as that shows how our societies attitude to food has changed since the 1950's and 1960's.

Just after I was diagnosed I bought a cook book from 1953 and it said about using rice flour to help eek out the ration of wheat. And the recipes were very simple with basic ingredients. Rationing ended in 1953.

I was also surprised when there was a shortage of potatoes a couple of summers ago and it was exacerbated by the fact that the rubber industry adds potato starch to rubber to make softer more pliable tyres etc. And this shows it's elastic properties.

I also think that it's a shame that the food indusrty uses such highly processed foods when there are so many naturally gf grains out there and even flours made from lefumes like chick peas (Gram flour)



I am not sure it is potato starch which is the culprit. I find that most of the store bought gluten free breads, have a chemically aftertaste. due to all the additional preservatives, colourings and flavourings added. It might also be the high fat content, which tends to leave a coating on the roof of your mouth.

I've just checked the labels of a few of the store bought breads and DS Ciabatta Rolls- are free from potato starch. These are not bad and happen to be one of the only store bought breads my daughter will eat. I also recommend trying Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix which is available from Lavida (mail order) or from Waitrose branches. This mix is incredibly easy to make and the results are wonderful. It does contain potato starch, but there isn't any of that residue on the palate, that you get with store bought breads. The pack is expensive but it makes two large loaves, so you can bake, slice and freeze the bread so that there is no wastage and flavourwise, it is miles above anything else avaialble on the shelves.

If you are interested in learning how you can make your own really tasty and healthy bread, then let me know as I do run workshops which focus on bread and pastry making. These do not require any special equipment apart from a bowl and a wooden spoon, and all the ingredients are easily purchased from a supermarket. I am running a workshop in February and the details are on my website so please come and have a look.


Hi Jerry and Adriana,

Thanks for coming back with such useful information. It may well be an idea to use fresh potatoes in with flours or bread mixes, etc and giving that a try.

I have tried many of the fat free recipes which often advocate using dried fruit that is soaked over night and these have always worked out well.

I will look out for Bob's Red Mill Bread Mix. I've not as yet tried the DS Ciabatta but was disappointed with a DS standard loaf. I try and find breads that have a high content of seeds as I find that they are more filling and keep the hunger pangs away for longer.


I have recently tried the DS ciabatta rolls and in my opinion they are the best, off the shelf, breadI I have tried.


Good morning Lynxcat, just to add to my rather geeky report, there is also a difference between potato starch and potato flour. If you are substituting potato mash, you will get a very different effect. And to add to the confusion, when you purchase Potato flour- it is more then likely potato starch (it will say on the label Potato Flour and in brackets potato starch) not flour. Potato flour behaves in a completely different way from potato starch and is made from ground up potatoes which are dried and milled into a flour. Potato starch is the starch extracted from the potatoes and this is used in lots of eastern european baking adding lightness to cakes and baked goods. Potato flour is difficult to get a hold of, but potato starch (labelled as Potato Flour argghhh! ) is available from Tescos and Holland and Barret and from Innovative Solutions. Good luck with your baking and let us know how you get on


Thanks for this information, Adriana .... we live in a country where wheat is king and the more you look the more items it appears in. I remember many years ago when I first worked with someone who had been diagnosed as a coeliac (when it seemed far less common) she advised me that she couldn't even eat Mars bars and said although it wasn't listed they did contain wheat. At this time, the only available breads came in cans and were solely available on prescription. I baked her a large mince pie made of cornflour pastry (very difficult to make .. but it turned out very light). Never in a million years did I think that twenty years later I would be also scruitinising my shopping lists in case they contained anything that had gluten in them!!


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