October 21, 2021
I have always loved to eat sandwiches. They were my go-to lunch every single day, and also part of my dinner and breakfast occasionally. I think that sandwiches make up a significant portion of my blood content at this point. When I was diagnosed with celiacs, I didn’t really put two and two together to realize that I could no longer live the same sandwich fantasy I was in at the time. Once I went to the grocery store and the realization set in, the hunt for good gluten-free bread had begun.
Opening up the packaging to pop a couple slices into the toaster, I noticed the strange size of the bread. Why is this bread so damn small? I could eat two sandwiches with these. The next thought I had is probably something that every gluten-intolerant or celiac has thought the first time they had gluten free bread: well, that’s annoying. However, after two years of eating this bread, I still haven’t answered the question I posed to myself since day one. Why is gluten free bread so small? Therefore, I thought that for my first blog post I can solve this mystery for myself and for you reader, just in case you were wondering the same thing I was.
Finding a credible answer took a lot more digging than I expected (and a wikipedia rabbit hole but we won’t mention it) however on Schar’s official website, I did find an interesting answer. They explain that wheat breads are able to rise more than gluten free breads- gluten helps with the sponginess of the bread and helps to maintain its light consistency. Gluten free bread obviously lacks these qualities most of the time, causing the bread to be denser, hence smaller.
So basically, at least this makes sense in my mind, it’s the approximately the same amount of bread, but gluten free bread is just more efficient when it comes to space? You would guess that the answer to this problem is just to make more dough so the bread can be bigger. However, I also read that because of gluten free bread’s density, creating a bigger loaf runs the risk of the insides not cooking or the outside crust burning before heat can even reach the core of the loaf. Gluten free bread needs lots of extra ingredients to compensate for the attributes of gluten that make normal bread have a light texture and a longer shelf life. Therefore, more ingredients + less rise = less space for things to go = smaller bread. Boom. Questions have been answered.
So does bread size really matter? Well, I guess that we have to come to the realization that it’s probably the best that these gluten free bread companies can do at the moment, unless some new ingredient that is exactly like gluten but still not gluten… so I guess us celiacs and gluten free people gotta just take what we can get.
I hope y’all enjoyed the first article, stay tuned for more :)