German Engineering Feat: Gluten-free Bread-in-a-Box
Now that the Germans have perfected the driving experience in the form of BMWs and Porsches, their world-class engineers turned their collective attention to solving a more vexing engineering problem: namely, how to deliver the perfect, fresh-baked gluten-free bread?
The elegant answer can be found on the shelves of German health food stores in the form of Bauckhof’s organic, gluten-free “Schnelles Helles (ohne hefe) Box-Brot,” which for the uninitiated, literally translates into “Quick Light bread in a box, (without yeast),” and figuratively translates into “Easy Bake Bread Mix with Golden Linseed.” In this case, “light” refers to the color (as in, not dark)… not to the calories, as is common English parlance. Linseed is European for Flaxseed.
The bread itself is made from brown and white rice flour, cornstarch and cornmeal, whole quinoa flour and ground flaxseed. One slice, assuming each loaf yields 16 such slices, has just over 100 calories, 21g of carbohydrate (of which 1.5g is fiber), and about 1.5g of protein. Like most rice-based gluten-free breads, it’s slightly higher in carbohydrate and total calories per one-ounce slice than a standard, conventional bread.
My box-brot was brought to me by my German future brother-in-law and digestive doppleganger: a fellow gluten-intolerant, lactose-intolerant soul who dreams of opening up a gluten-free cafe in Hamburg one day. (Couldn’t you just picture our Quinoa Kneidlach and Chickpea Spaetzle on the menu??) The bread was super-easy to make (and, rest assured, the instructions are printed in English on the box): just preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, pull back the orange protective panel and unplug the hole, pour water in the hole and re-plug, shake the box well, remove the lid and stir the batter once more to make sure all the corners have been mixed. Then, you bake the uncovered bread box in your oven, accompanied by a bowl of hot water to provide steam, for an hour. Voila! Fresh baked brot!
The bad news: I have not been able to locate this product online for purchase in the US. (If you have, please let me know in the comments section!)
The good news: The next time someone you know is heading to Germany and asks if you’d like them to bring something back for you, you can say: “Ja! Bauckhof Gluten frei box-brot, bitte!”
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