A Word About Oats…

I wasn’t sure if I would say anything about this.  Oats have long been a controversial topic in the gluten free universe.  Which oats are safe for those of us with Celiac Disease?  Where to find them?

Read:  A recent statement from Gluten Free Watchdog states that they cannot currently recommend ANY brand of gluten free oats.

That’s right, Gluten Free Watchdog is saying that NO oats are safe.  Not certified gluten free oats, not purity protocol oats.  Too many of their recent product samples have tested above the limit (20 parts per million) for gluten.

Read:  Brief history of oats & Gluten Free Watchdog’s evolving opinion

So, what changed?  If oats are a naturally gluten free grain, why are they so vulnerable to contamination with gluten?  Here are a few ways that it can happen.

In the field, oats may be grown alongside gluten containing grains (wheat, barley and rye).  The farm may employ crop rotation, where the land used to grow oats may have been planted with gluten grains in previous years.

The oats may become contaminated with gluten grains during harvesting and transporting, when the same equipment is also used for wheat, rye and barley.  Exposure may occur during the production and packaging of the product.  The optical/mechanical sorting of grains and random methods of batch testing add yet another layer of complexity.

Even with so many opportunities for oats to become contaminated with gluten before they find their way to your bowl of oatmeal, I think many of us always believed that we had safe options, like purity protocol oats.  Now we are advised that there are no safe options, and I’m stunned.

And a little sad, actually that yet another food I love may be on the forbidden list.  Angry that companies whose oat products I trusted (and paid a hefty premium for) may not be gluten free.

And while I have faith that there are some very smart people out there who will eventually figure this out, right now this is our reality.  So, what to do?

Whether or not you continue to consume oats is a personal choice.  As we await more information, I have identified the recipes in this blog that include oats as an ingredient (thankfully, there are not many).  For now, I will preface each of those recipes with an alert and link to this post.  Moving forward we will see if oats are truly off the table for good.  If that’s the case, I will either remove or revise the recipes, with alternatives for the oats.  Hopefully, more updates will be coming soon with better news.

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Gluten Free Oatmeal Bread

A word of Caution- This recipe contains oats.

A recent statement from Gluten Free Watchdog states that they cannot currently recommend ANY brand of gluten free oats.

Whether or not you continue to consume oats is a personal choice.  As we await more information, I will preface any recipes that include oats with a link to this important statement from Gluten Free Watchdog, an independent, subscriber-driven gluten-testing organization.  About | Gluten Free Watchdog

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This bread needs to be in your breakfast rotation!  It is a hearty, dense loaf that toasts up like a dream.  I always have gluten free old fashioned rolled oats (not instant) in my pantry, so when I need oat flour, I can just process a little in my coffee grinder and voila, fresh flour!  This bread is so good, everyone in your family will love it, gluten free or not.

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The Lazy Gastronome

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Place a pizza stone on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat to 450º.  Line a 9 x 4 x 4″ loaf pan with parchment and mist with cooking spray.

Warm the milk for 30-45 seconds in the microwave.  Add to the bowl of your stand mixer then whisk in the honey and yeast.  Cover and let it proof for 10 minutes.

Whisk in the vinegar and psyllium husk and let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes to thicken.

Whisk together the dry ingredients (sorghum flour through salt).

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix with the paddle attachment for 8 minutes to form a thick batter.

Turn the batter out onto a lightly floured cutting board.  It will look like this and have a mashed potato consistency.  Sprinkle a tiny bit of flour over the top and cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, the dough will be much more workable so you can roll and shape it into a loaf.  Do not add more flour!  I used a dough scraper to help with handling and shaping.

Hint: Resist the urge to add more flour during shaping, or you may end up with the dreaded tunneling effect!  This happened to me a few times ????

Carefully place the shaped loaf into the prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap and proof for about 30 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and mist the top of the bread with water.  Sprinkle rolled oats over the top and mist with water again to help them adhere.

Place in the oven on the preheated pizza stone and bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, carefully grasp the parchment paper on either side and lift the loaf out of the pan.  Place it directly on the pizza stone, lower the oven temperature to 400º and continue baking for another 30 minutes.  When done, the internal temperature should be 210º.

Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes before placing the loaf on a cooling rack.  Let it cool down for 10 minutes then gently peel off the parchment paper.

This bread needs plenty of time to set, at least 5-6 hours!  Even better, leave it covered at room temperature overnight and slice in the morning.  Resist the urge to cut into it right away, or the bread will be wet and gummy in the center.

Your patience will be rewarded.  Here’s the crumb shot!

Notes ♪♫ I am one of those people with Celiac who is able to tolerate oats.  I realize that not everyone can and that this bread may just not be for you.  If you do consume oats, always be sure to choose brands such as Bakery on Main or Gluten-Free Prairie, produced under a gluten free purity protocol.

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