We chew the crust with Glutafin Product Development Manager, Vincenzo Schimmenti, to learn about the gluten free baking process.
Vincenzo Schimmenti works in the product development kitchens at the Glutafin Bakery. He’s been with Glutafin, refining and improving our gluten free recipes, for the past 10 years.
How has gluten free baking improved over the years?
“It’s changed a lot. The standards of gluten free food are continually improving, and this means consumers have ever increasing expectations They have more choice. We have to keep up with what they want and provide them with the best quality gluten free bread. We have to work quickly, and innovatively, to provide a product that’s better than the rest.”
How does gluten free baking differ?
“Traditional bread can be made with four ingredients: water flour yeast and salt. But with gluten free baking it’s much more complicated – there can be up to 20 ingredients. The goal is to replace the gluten; it’s the gluten that gives elasticity and texture. We do this by adding different vegetable fibres, all natural, to improve the structure so that it will rise in the oven.”
What are the challenges you face?
“The biggest challenge is to create a good formula. The bread itself should be soft and chewy, nice looking, a good colour and have a fine structure of the crumb. It should make a good sandwich. And of course, the taste – the taste must be very, very close, in fact identical, to bread made with wheat. Of course, to be a good gluten free baker you need to be very patient. You need to make many trials and errors before getting the formula just right.”
What’s your passion?
“I love to work on the recipes. In my job the biggest satisfaction is to see the product getting good feedback from the consumer. When I see the product available to the consumer, it’s satisfying to know I started working on the finished loaf before it existed, when it was just an idea.”
Describe the process.
“We develop our recipes just like a traditional bakery would. The process is the same. Mixing, proofing, baking, packaging… when we’re making new recipes we mix them in the same 5kg mixer you might use when baking at home.”
How do you choose the ingredients?
“Sourcing the best ingredients is key to making good products. We are highly demanding of our raw material suppliers. We insist on the best quality cereals and we implement tight controls across our supply chains. We work directly with the farmers and the mills; we select the cereals and control the whole process, even how to flour is made.”
As you can probably tell, from our bakers to our flour buyers, everyone at Glutafin is passionate about making the best gluten free bread. So passionate you can practically taste it. You can add the new Glutafin loaves to your prescription today, just speak to your GP or pharmacist, and we have a handy prescription request for for you to download here.