"Q: How has being a coeliac influenced your menus, cooking and life in general?
A: Before being diagnosed 100% coeliac, I was quite cynical of people with the disease as well as other intolerances and thought it was just an excuse to diet. Since being diagnosed, my perception has changed enormously. It also helped when my gastroenterologist (who is a foodie) assured me that the options for coeliacs are not dull and that I would feel a lot better for it. I now always make sure that I have 1-3 dishes that are gluten-free on the menu.
Q: Best piece of advice you would give others who are suffer from gluten sensitivity/intolerance (Coeliac Disease) yet can’t bear to stop eating all the foods they love?
A: I go through stages of abstaining from gluten and then have a week of submittal. As a chef, it is difficult to completely avoid gluten, but I always avoid inferior gluten products. I can never refuse a toasted crusty piece of sourdough, but I am very choosy and stay away from bleached, un-organic flours. I have also started researching buckwheat flour, which is gluten-free. And now, leading supermarkets such as Waitrose have introduced an extensive range of products free from allergens, wheat, gluten or nuts. The diet of a coeliac actually promotes good health."
I have a better idea for others with Coeliac Disease who can't bear to stop eating all they foods they love. Find gluten free alternatives. It is as simple and as obvious at that. We know the consequences of eating gluten, the pain, fatique, digestive problems (to put it lightly), anemia, osteoporosis, risk of bowel cancer... Why, oh why, would anyone with Coeliac Disease deliberately eat gluten? Yes, free from products in the supermarkets are expensive. No, gluten free doesn't have exactly the same texture as gluten-full. However, if you experiment, you can get it pretty darn close and making it yourself will be cheaper than shop-bought. Plus, there are so many naturally gluten free foods out there that you just don't need to mourn the loss of foods that, let's face it, make you ill. I've said it before, my diet has become more varied since being diagnosed Coeliac. I was forced to try new things, and it has been a benefit. I don't miss my old diet.
That said, I do occasionally crave gluten-full items. Recently I asked this question on Twitter; "what foods from your pre-gluten-free days do you miss the most?" and one response was "Cinnabon". For those who don't know, Cinnabon is a food chain in the USA who sell cinnamon buns and other similar products. After I received that tweet I was very much in the mood for cinnamon buns...
|You won't miss the gluten, I promise!|
These are a bit of a faff, lots of stages, lots of washing up. You might be cursing my name when you bake these yourself, but once you taste them all will be forgiven!
For the dough
300ml milk, at blood temperature (stick a clean finger in it, if it doesn't feel hot or cold then you're there)
75g butter, melted
7g dried yeast (I used Doves Farm)
100g caster sugar
550g Doves Farm Gluten Free Bread Mix
3 large eggs
1 tsp salt
For the filling
200g caster sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
70g butter, softened
For the glaze
50g cream cheese (check it's gluten free, I didn't once...)
25g butter, softened
100g icing sugar
- In a bowl, combine milk, butter, eggs, sugar and yeast.
- Combine flour and salt, then add to the bowl of wet ingredients and mix well into a sticky dough.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour.
- Cut 2 pieces of greaseproof paper, about 50cm in length. Put one piece on your work surface.
- Empty the dough on to the paper, then place the other piece of greaseproof paper on top. (The dough will still be quite sticky and this is the best way I've found to roll it out without losing half the dough to rolling pin, hands and work surface! Also, if you're handling the dough, put some oil on your hands to stop it sticking to you!)
- Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to about 2cm thick. Peel of the top sheet of greaseproof paper, but don't throw it away.
- In a bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon and sugar for the filling. You will end up with a kind of sandy mixture.
- Sprinkle the filling over the flattened dough.
- Now, (think swiss roll) pick up one edge of the bottom sheet of greaseproof paper and use it to start to roll the dough, if you fold the edge of the dough over then you can lift the greaseproof paper to encourage the rest to roll up.
- Remember that second piece of greaseproof paper? As you roll up the dough, place that piece on the work surface so you can drop your lovely rolled dough on it, thus saving it from sticking.
|(It should look a bit like this)|
- Oil a knife, and cut slices about 4cm thick and place these slices in a baking tin. If you need to you can squash them in a bit.
- Cover with cling film and put back in the warm place for a further hour, or leave overnight in the fridge.
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Remove cling film and bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the cream cheese, butter and sugar to a smooth paste.
- As soon as you take the cooked buns out of the oven, spread the glaze over the top, leave to cool slightly before you remove them from the tin, it is easier to remove then while they are still a wee bit warm.
(Phil Vickery, Coeliac UK National Food Ambassador has released a statement about the Demetre Debacle, you can read it here.)
I have received this response from the BBC Complaints department regarding Anthony Demtre's comments: