I met the amazing Sadie from Bread Srsly at an event in California’s Bay Area – but in truth, I was read to NOT be amazed. When Sadie offered my friend Kyra (of Kyra’s Bake Shop) & I a sample slice of her Vegan, Gluten Free Sourdough bread, we both politely refused. We’ve tasted enough disappointing GF Sourdough to write a blog series just on that topic. When Saide insisted that we “just try it” – we were stunned. If I recall correctly, I asked her who the hell she was, and how the hell she did this with bread still in my mouth. Kyra didn’t hear me, because she was trying to get Sadie to move to Portland and bake bread at her shop.
This bread is THAT good. (there’s an order link & discount code at the end of this article. You’re welcome.) XOXOXO – KC
How did you personally get started with baking & making Gluten Free products?
I started baking gluten-free when I moved to San Francisco, in hopes of wooing my college crush who was newly gluten-intolerant. I spent hours every day experimenting and making some pretty terrible things before I finally got the hang of it – and got the boy – a year later.
How did your business get started, and where are you headed?
Bread SRSLY started after an afternoon reading about other folks selling bread to their neighbors. I had been practicing bread recipes after learning about my own gluten-intolerance, and decided it was time to start selling it! The only problem was I didn’t have a recipe I liked yet. Now, 2 and a half years in, we’ve got our signature sourdough loaf, and are selling 700 loaves every week to Bay Area grocery stores and to customers nationally. We’re working on expanding our stores into the whole Northern California region, and (finally) moving into a gluten-free kitchen this summer.
Do you prefer to bake or cook? Why?
It’s all the same to me. Before I started spending my time in the kitchen, I would walk around the city with a sketchbook and draw buildings, people, whatever I saw. I loved my drawings, but never adventured outside of observational drawing. When I started experimenting with food, I realized that I was cooking the way I wished I could draw – coming up with new ideas and combinations and feeling totally inspired. When I bake, it’s no different in my mind than when I cook.
What are your biggest challenges for Gluten Free baking, and how do you get around them?
The biggest challenge for me is trying to bake without eggs. With bread, you don’t need many ingredients, and we are lucky that our recipe is fluffy and long-lasting without eggs. But for baking sweets, sugars crystallize very very quickly in gluten-free flours, and without eggs a baked good becomes stale within the day. When I bake with eggs at home for myself, my muffins last more than a week (if I don’t eat them all).Since my boyfriend can’t eat eggs, this isn’t the best workaround, but we’ve got a few dessert tricks up our sleeves that we can both eat.
What tips & tricks do you have for anyone wanting to learn how to cook or bake Gluten Free?
Cooking gluten-free shouldn’t be daunting. Almost everything you cook is probably already gluten-free, or can at least be converted with a few crafty ingredient swaps. Just be creative, read ingredient labels like a nervous mother, and don’t be too self-conscious. You are your own biggest critic, and chances are everyone else will think it’s great. With baking, keep the same open mentality. Forget about all that baking-is-science mumbo jumbo. If baking was such a precise science, do you really think all the measurements would divide into such nice fractions of cups and teaspoons? Take some creative liberties and play around. You’ll get to know your ingredients better and faster than you will with a cookbook, even if the first few batches don’t come out.
Can you give the G-Free home cooks a tip to get bakery-quality flavor?
Good bread takes time. I’m serious. The difference between an artisanal loaf of bread with a crispy crust and a divine aroma and a mass-produced loaf out of a bag is… about 10 hours. Whatever your bread recipe, try letting it rise overnight. You’ll be surprised how much the flavor can improve.
Got a food or beverage you can’t live without?
I like to think I could adapt to any dietary necessity, but from experience I think I’d be pretty useless without meat. I buy grass-fed meats from local farms, and try to only eat meat at restaurants if I trust their sourcing. During my years as a vegan I was anemic, shaky, and always doubled over with a belly-ache (although this was before kicking gluten), and I never want to go back.
After a long day, what’s your favorite easy meal?
A can of black beans, garlic, chopped kale, melted cheese, hot sauce. If I’m feeling inspired I’ll chop up a sweet potato too. This meal saves me almost weekly from extreme and urgent hunger. If you’re practiced, this takes about 8 minutes to land on your plate (and without the sweet potato, 4).
Pick one: Chocolate, Lemon or Pumpkin?
Well, I’d say chocolate, hands down, except that if I eat chocolate after 4pm, I’m up all night. Literally. So chocolate before 4, and lemon after that.
Are there any products you’re particularly excited about right now?
I’m pretty jazzed about Kuli Kuli bars (they’ve got a superfood called moringa, and have helped me out of many a lunch-time crisis). They’re grain free too, and they’re local to the Bay Area. I’m also smitten with Mamma Chia juices. Totally delicious, organic, and supporters of Slow Money USA, an amazing organization dedicated to helping small responsible food businesses make it.
If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?
It’s always better if you make it yourself.
What else would you like our readers to know?
To get the bread – squareup.com/market/bread-srsly. Use the code GFREEFOODIEFAN for $5 off until 4/1/14