Genius gluten free bread and bagels are a tasty, affordable and high quality product for those who are unable to eat gluten
Ed and I are fortunate not to have any food intolerances or allergies. We have friends who do, and I am always acutely aware of their needs and that I could cause them serious harm if I get it wrong when I cook for them.
Coeliac UK estimates that 1 in 100 people in the UK have coeliac disease and need to avoid gluten in their diet. Symptoms range from discomfort and bloating to ulcers, weightloss and anaemia. The disease is caused by an autoimmune to gluten, a protein found in wheat that allows dough to have its stretchy properties. The only treatment for coeliac disease is simply not to eat any gluten, or products containing it.
Genius Gluten Free is the number one gluten free bakery brand in the UK, and was founded by professional chef Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne in order to provide good quality gluten free bread for her son. Just because someone cannot have gluten it does not mean they should miss out on a sandwich, hot buttered toast or have a restricted diet. Although I’d not want to cook for someone who needs to be gluten free in my kitchen – we bake bread several times a week and however hard you clean, there are always some specks of flour on the work surface and in the cupboards. I would be happy to prepare a sandwich on the kitchen table, using utensils and crockery fresh from the dishwasher so there can be no chance of cross contamination.
We tried some Genius gluten free products – bread and bagels and were really quite impressed. The bagels, both plain and cinnamon and raisin, had a close crumb and were nicely chewy and slightly sweet. They toasted well – I made a Greek Salad inspired sandwich in one, crispy salad leaves, juicy tomatoes, slices of courgette (in place of the traditional cucumber) topped with salty feta. Delicious! We did not notice any real difference to regular bagels – possibly a little less chewy, but still very good.
The cinnamon and raisin bagels were just as good – crisply toasted and smothered with the traditional American combination of PB&J – ideal for a snack or breakfast.
The seeded brown loaf had a nice firm crumb, and toasted well – crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle of the slice – just as we like it. Linseed, millet and flax seeds add texture and flavour to the loaf, as well as some omega 3s.
The ingredients list is longer on these products than regular baked items – mimicking the effects of gluten is a complex job requiring a mix of many different types of flour, all the products contain (free range) egg white. All are dairy free.
If I could not have gluten then I’d be very happy to have the Genius products as a substitute and I suspect that the bagels would become a staple on my shopping list!
Genius Seeded Brown Farmhouse Loaf, £2.80 from Tesco
Genius Plain and Cinnamon & Raisin Bagels, £2.00 from ASDA
Review post with photography commissioned by Genius Gluten Free. All opinions our own.