Swirling Mutant Ninja Glutens

I am not a person who sweats every crumb. I do the best I can in a household that contains 2 celiacs and 4 regulars. Put another way, I do not own two colanders for pasta. I use it first for gluten-free noodles and then for wheat pasta and then I trust that my dishwasher will take care of any sticky gluten particles.

I try not to be paranoid about my kitchen, except for two weeks ago when I had regular flour everywhere. Then I had the freaked out vision of little mutant ninja glutens with fangs settling on every appliance, cutting board, knife and gluten-free product in my house.

My 4th grader, one of my “regulars,” had this incredible Life Skills Bread Baking Program by King Arthur Flour come to his school to teach the kids how to make bread. Baking is incredibly scientific. Bubbling yeast is a chemical reaction that will not work effectively without the right temperature water and the sugar. Kneading the dough creates the “stretchiness,” measurements and temperatures must be precise in order for the gas to form air pockets in the dough. Baking bread is a tactile, and delicious, science lesson!

Part of the Life Skills Bread Baking Program included a home project. King Arthur Flour gave each child flour and yeast in order to make a recipe to showcase the skills learned at school. Their recipe made two loaves, one loaf for the family to enjoy and one loaf to bring back and give as part of an outreach project for people in need.

My son enthusiastically, and sloppily, dove right in. We had spills. We had plumes of flour dust rising from the bowl with his vigorous stirring. We had spoons and bowls and splatters everywhere. All of that was on the kitchen counter, which we decided was too high so we moved the process to the kitchen table. More spills, more plumes and more flour everywhere.

Normally, as I said, I am not paranoid about a crumb or two but this was a stage 4 gluten contamination of my kitchen, a “red” alert on the discarded color-coded terror chart. I scrubbed, I swept, I spritzed, I swabbed and I continued to find lightly flour-coated things in my kitchen.

The bread was beautiful and my son felt a huge sense of accomplishment from his baking project. He proudly brought in his second loaf for a local shelter with several cans of tuna and a jar of peanut butter.

I sent my marketing contact at King Arthur Flour an email telling him how much most of my family enjoyed the program. He informed me that they include gluten-free bread mix if it’s requested for the kids who need it.

Ugh, if only I had known that before…..