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HopefulMama23

Breads & Baked Goods- Any Tips On Keeping Costs Down?

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Hi! My son and I both are gluten-free. I don't eat a lot of baked goods myself but he's six and LOVES his bread, toast, sandwiches, bagels, etc. I am spending a FORTUNE on Udi's- they should give me some stock. I'm wondering if you all have any tips on baking my own bread that would be cheaper than $5 per loaf? With the costs of gluten-free flours, I don't know of an economic way to make my own bread. I do have a bread maker. Oh, and did I mention he's six? So it has to taste decent. Thanks!

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My best advice would be to purchase your ingredients on the Internet, or in an Asian market. I bake from scratch, and the cost is certainly less than the prepackaged stuff. My favorite place for baking ingredients is Barry Farm.

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Almost anything you make from scratch will STILL be cheaper than store bought, commercially made gluten free breads. Most of them use a lot of rice flour, you can customize your bread to have more protein, by adding different ingredients such as buckwheat, nut meals, quinoa, teff, amaranth, garbanzo bean, millet, sorghum etc, so you will be trading nutrition for cost.

Speaking of cost, I was surprised to see that over in Asia, the source of most of our tapioca, they are starting to use this root to make biofuel ( :angry: !!! ) so now people who want to use it as a foodstuff have to compete with that need. (food stuff staples' prices are rising all over, this is also a problem with corn, as bio- engineered corn is subsidized by the government to make really expensive alcohol for ethanol, which means farmers plant more of it for cost incentive, and we have to beware of how they are engineering it because they want to plant a new kind that would be really bad for foodmaking, "Industrial biotech corn, Syngenta's Enogen" which has an enzyme which will make food fall apart, http://blogs.desmoinesregister.com/dmr/index.php/2011/02/11/vilsack-clears-industrial-biotech-corn/ then you have the cross pollination problem again, but it would take a novel to explain it. )

I buy flours and nuts, when they are at a good price, and then freeze them to kill any bugs, then store them in a spare refrigerator, and then pull out what I need, as we live a good distance from the store. I grind the nuts for nutmeal in a dedicated blender for about a third of what nut flour costs. I also will just combine what I need into my own basic gluten-free flour blends by dumping a bag of each into a big heavy ziplock bag, and mixing it. Sometimes I'll use smaller ziplock bags and measure out several batches at once of mixes, to save time later, then store those in the refrigerator.

If you really wanted to go cheapest, you would be either doing mail order of really big bags of base ingredients, or investing in a grain mill and grinding your own.

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Thank you both for replying. I can't even tell you how excited I am about the Barry Farm link- what a cool store that is! I ordered like $75 worth of stuff the same day I read your message. I've also passed it on to a few of my friends.

I think I need to become more comfortable as a baker now that we're gluten-free. I know there are better ways to do this than buying a premixed "baking" flour, but the sheer volume of other flours and combinations overwhelms me. I'm getting there....

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I've seen a few sites that offer discounts on bread and cereals if you order online. I think it's a little inconvenient, but since the price and selection are better I'm thinking about giving it a shot. Anyone had a good/bad experience buying products online?

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I order from the Grainless Baker... you have to call them, but the products are shown oline. I love their baguettes. They are a little pricey and the shipping adds up. I usually order several things at once to save on shipping. They only ship on Tuesdays, so I usually order on Monday and get my order by Thursday.

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This probably isn't the kind of reply you were looking for, but you might also want to think about gradually phasing most of those bready foods out of his diet. You can eat sandwich fillings with your fingers (lunchmeat) or a spoon (tuna salad) and no bread, you don't have to have toast frequently, or muffins or bagels. Eggs and yogurt are good for breakfast. Hash-brown patties are actually a pretty good base for tiny pizzas. Eating more fruit, veggies, meat, etc and minimizing the processed/bread group will give him a healthier diet in the long run and cost you less in substitutions of gluten-free starchy carbohydrates for wheat starchy carbohydrates. I know kids are picky and we hate to disappoint them or make them unhappy, but gluten-free can be easier when you avoid flour based foods in general, and saves you the cost of gluten-free alternatives.

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Note that I am copying this recipe. This was posted to alt.support.celiac some years ago. Makes a quick, cheap, good tasting bun.

"Hi All

It's been quite a while since iI posted but I just had to post a very

simple delicous bread recipe I have developed. Like my mother used to

say "necessity is the mother of invention". We travel a lot for Ken's

work these days and I was forever running out of bread. Then I

developed an allergy to yeast and eggs and that blew all my gluten-free recipes

out of the water for me so I began to experiment with a baking powder

recipe called "lazy man's bread." I found most rice breads have a

tendency to rise beautifully and then drop just before they are done.

I decided to try my own version of this recipe in the microwave

reasoning that since the bread always drops when almost cooked the

microwave might fix this and it worked really well. The recipe I

developed works really well in the corningware plain open stock bowls.

A large soup bowl (not the ceral bowls that come in the sets) makes a

small loaf and two rice bowls can be used instead for buns. I use the

rice flours from the Asian isle in the supermarket. My brand is Ivory

brand and since it is imported from Thailand it is not likely to be

cross sontaminated with wheat flour. The secret to the nice texture is

the sweet rice flour AKA glutenous or sweet rice flour.

Here is my recipe:

Microwave Rice Bread

1/2 cup rice flour

1 heaping teaspoon glutenous rice flour (also called sticky rice flour

and yes it glutten is free even though the name implies

otherwise)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (according to taste)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 cup soda water ot carbonated spring water

If I am baking this in the bigger bowl I just put dry ingredients in

the bowl and mix them then I mix in the carbonated water and put it in

the mocrowave immediately for 3 minutes and in a total of 5 minutes

or less I have a soft delicious loaf of bread. This is best eaten

fresh but it is so simple I don't mind baking one whenever I am hungry

for bread. It also makes a delicious hamburger bun it you bake it in

two rice bowls instead.

I have also addapted this recipe to a strawberry shortcake by adding a

bit of sugar (about 1 tbsp) and vanilla. It can also take a bit of

margarine added to it to make it richer. I just go a bit heavy on the

flour or a bit light on the water.

If I have to stay in a hotel I just put the dry ingredients for one

recipe in a ziploc bag and when I get there all I have to do is put it

in my bowl and add 1/2 cup of carbonated water. this is so great since

most hotels have a microwave. This also works with plain water but

since rice flour is hard to make rise using carbonated water makes it

lighter.

Just hink this is a great one for kids who hate crusts since it is

crust free. Hope you all enjoy the fresh bread as much as I and my

other celiac friends have. Betty "

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i'd invest in a bread maker. Flour however can be a bit costly. But if you have a way to make your own flour from rice it would be much cheaper.

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