Boulangerie [bu.lɑ̃ʒ.ʁi] - A bakery, particularly one which specialises in bread

About Gluten-Free Boulangerie

"It isn't tradition that assures the survival of bread; it is bread that assures the survival of tradition."

This is the quote on the wall of a local artisan bakery & café, and it is what motivated me to start this blog. As I wrote in my first post, food can be so much more than just sustenance. It is what unites people at a table, what preserves heritage and family traditions. Bread, in particular, is central to countless food traditions, so much so that in some languages the same word used for bread also means food in general. The impact of gluten intolerance clearly is far more than just missing the taste of specific foods; gluten-intolerant people may end up feeling like they must relinquish the cultural aspects of food as well. 

I began to bake because I believe living gluten-free does not have to mean "giving up" anything.

That belief was not always there, though. When I first went on a GF diet, there were very few products available in nearby stores (and even fewer that actually tasted like food). Even as the gluten-free diet gained attention, I was dissatisfied with most of what was available, especially bread; I sometimes got good results baking sweet things from cookbooks, but the bread still didn't quite seem right. Many gluten-free breads are more of a thick, sticky batter than a dough, and they almost always included significant amounts of eggs, oil, and sugar and yet were still terribly lacking in flavor. I missed bread's simplicity. I missed kneading bread dough and shaping it with my hands - and I missed slicing into crackly-crusted loaves that were worthy of sharing at a dinner table. And finally, I began to get these things back.

The bread you'll find here is unlike other gluten-free bread - it has bread's characteristic complex, yeasty flavours from long ferment times, it requires hand-kneading, and all recipes (starting December 2010) contain no xanthan gum or guar gum! Put simply, it is real bread...just without the wheat.

About Me
My academic background includes study of food & nutritional science, organic chemistry, biochemistry/molecular biology, food history, and sustainable food systems. I love food (obviously) and enjoy using science to improve gluten-free baking as well as my cooking in general. I currently live in Durham, NC.

Why I am Gluten-Free:
I was put on a gluten-free diet in 2007 and I've never looked back. I'd dealt with unexplained digestive issues practically all my life, and had suffered from migraines with aura starting at age 10 along with various other distressing neurological symptoms. Every one of these issues resolved with the diet, along with more things I didn't even know were symptoms until suddenly they went away. (Turns out, it's not normal to have a stomachache every time you eat - who knew?!)

Though I was unfortunately not properly tested while still eating gluten, I believe I most likely have celiac disease based on personal medical history and a family history of autoimmunity, including CD. In any case, I'm definitely some form of gluten intolerant - so, although I may not have an absolute diagnosis, I'm not going to eat gluten for the several weeks necessary to get a biopsy done! If you want to learn more about gluten intolerance, living gluten-free, or supporting awareness, the Celiac Disease Foundation is a great place to start.