Gluten is found in the endosperm of grass type plants. These plants include wheat, rye, spelt, etc.. any grain that you can use alone to bake bread that rises has gluten in it. The gluten fibers trap the carbon dioxide bubbles formed when the yeast and sugars work. They are like the rubber in a balloon, trapping the gasses and "inflating" as the bread rises. Straight wheat gluten is added to baked goods to get a high rise.
I have had many, many people ask me at markets for non-gluten bread. Up until this point, I have resisted going down that path.
Some of you with gluten allergies have more of a wheat allergy and can tolerate spelt as an alternative. Spelt is sort of a cousin to wheat. Spelt, I can do! I just take my whole wheat recipe and substitute spelt and it works well.
This winter, I have been experimenting with both sourdough and gluten-free breads. I have had more success with sourdough. Really, I have tried more often with sourdough.
I have a friend who is on a very restricted diet and yet she orders my honey-whole wheat bread on a regular basis for her family, so I try gluten free for her. Some work out fairly well and some are best left for the chickens to eat! One in particular which was corn based - blech!
But, I am a bread snob! So, maybe it was supposed to taste that way. If it was, then I have a new, deeper level of sympathy for my non-gluten friends. It may even be pity!
After that long intro, let me show you my latest attempt.