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Jan 15, 2024

Have you ever gone to a restaurant and asked for a gluten-free menu, only to be told that the GF items are marked on the regular menu? Have you ordered a gluten-free beer from a bar and when it's served, you see that the bottle is marked gluten removed? When is gluten free not gluten free?

There are various reasons for people to follow a gluten-free diet. The reasons to avoid gluten range from celiac disease to gluten intolerance to avoiding gluten to reduce inflammation in the body. The level of sensitivity and reason that people avoid gluten is important when considering what you are comfortable eating.

When it comes to alcoholic beverages, there are gluten-free and gluten-removed products on the market and in restaurants. The actual threshold where your body has a reaction to gluten is 20 parts per million, and gluten-removed beer falls under this level. But is it safe for everyone following a gluten-free diet?

Gluten-free beer is brewed from grains other than wheat, rye and barley in a dedicated gluten-free facility. It can be certified as gluten-free. So how is gluten-reduced beer produced, and is it safe for people with celiac disease?

Gluten-reduced beer is not produced the same way as gluten-free beer. The process for making gluten-reduced beer uses gluten-containing grains, and then a protein is introduced that breaks down the gluten molecule to create a beer that falls below the legal threshold. This is the reason it must be labeled as gluten removed.

Breaking down the gluten molecule may not be enough, however, to allow people with celiac disease to drink it without an adverse reaction. A study posted on the Gluten Intolerance Group's website gives a great explanation of how the process used to produce gluten-removed beer can liberate certain residual proteins that may induce an antibody response in people with celiac disease.

While my digestive system can't tolerate gluten-reduced beer, my brother who has celiac disease can drink it without a reaction. He is, however, allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, and since some GF beer is produced using chestnuts, he reads the ingredients on the label very carefully. If you’re one of those techno folks who love using an app to find GF beer, check out The Gluten Dude's app which has a section called "Let's Drink" that list places to find GF beer.

In my opinion, gluten free should be gluten free, as in zero gluten content. While I understand the lure of gluten-removed beer tasting more like traditional wheat-based beer, I believe that the more we support GF brands, the more the chance that better tasting products will be created. As previously stated, it's only my opinion, but I feel that gluten-reduced beer skirts the legal definition and threshold for gluten-free products. For those of us who have to live completely gluten free, here's hoping that research goes into producing even more safe and delicious brands of beer.

Event cancellation notice

Posana's Summer Sparkle wine and food event originally scheduled for June 11 at 6 p.m. has been cancelled. |

Cookie tastings

When I receive sample cookies from manufacturers, I like to hold Cookie Tastings to get feedback. If you’re interested in attending a cookie tasting, email me. | [email protected].

Free e-book available

Asheville registered dietitian nutritionist Denise Barratt is offering a free download of her "Spring Gluten Free Vegetarian Cookbook." |

GF expo and event calendar online

If you like attending gluten-free events and tastings, you can view a schedule of upcoming expos on the "Gluten free and More" website. There's also a link if you want to sign up for a subscription to the magazine. |

Yield: 12 rolls

Recipe courtesy of Chef Patrick Auger, product development chef at Better Batter Gluten Free Flour

This recipe, perfect for the holiday dinner table for relatives and friends who need gluten-free food, was designed to use one-to-one gluten-free flour blends. Chef Auger highly recommends utilizing a kitchen scale for this recipe as well to get exact measurements for baking.

Dry Ingredients

490 grams one-to-one gluten-free flour (see below for recommendations) 20 grams whole psyllium husk or 7 grams glucomannan powder (don't add husk if using Better Batter's Artisan Flour) 14 grams instant yeast (bread machine yeast or Fleischmann's instant yeast) 46 grams sugar, maple sugar or Swerve sweetener 9 grams table salt or kosher salt 100 grams/2 eggs or egg substitute (Aquafaba or Just Eggs egg substitute)

Wet Ingredients

400 grams milk or dairy-free milk heated to 110°F 30 grams vegetable oil or avocado oil 30 grams apple cider vinegar or white vinegar


Mixing: Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add in one-to-one flour. Then add all remaining ingredients. Mix with the paddle attachment. Begin on low to combine, then increase to high speed for five minutes, until the dough is cohesive and fluffy. It will be wet at this point.

Shaping: Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add a small amount of gluten-free flour to the parchment. Next, lightly flour your board, and put the dough onto the board. Roll the dough into a rectangle (about 1-inch thick). Use any sharp object, such as a knife, pizza cutter or 3-inch square biscuit cutter, to cut the dough into squares. You can also use a round, 3-inch biscuit cutter if you want round rolls. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, and brush the tops with milk or vegan milk. Let rise until doubled, about 25 to 30 minutes, in a warm place and lightly covered with Saran wrap.

Baking: Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Bake to an internal temperature of 210 degrees on a digital thermometer. Brush the hot rolls with melted butter or vegan butter after they come out of the oven.

Recommendations: *Chef Auger's recommended sources for flour blends include,,, or King Arthur's Measure For Measure. Better Batter's products are free from the top eight, most common allergens (milk, egg, peanut, tree nut, wheat, soy, fish and crustacean/shellfish) in addition to containing no alcohol, fennel, onion, garlic, chives, or artificial dyes or flavors. For the psyllium, Chef Auger uses Himalaya's Organic Psyllium Whole Husk for Daily Fiber and Cholesterol Support while the glucomannan (Amorphophallus konjac) powder is from NOW Supplements. Both items can be found on Amazon and at health food stores.

Chef Patrick Auger, from Pepperell, Massachusetts, has been a professional in the baking industry for more than 10 years. Patrick has had a passion for baking since he was very young, and to this day – even on his days off – he is always in the kitchen perfecting new recipes. He is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, where he received his baking and pastry degree. In recent years, Patrick has developed a passion for gluten-free and allergy-sensitive specialties and has won awards for his gluten-free recipes. Patrick is also responsible for formulating Better Batter flour's new product development lines. | [email protected] |

Notes Event cancellation notice Cookie tastings Free e-book available GF expo and event calendar online Patrick's basic gluten-free dinner rolls Chef Patrick Auger Dry Ingredients Wet Ingredients Directions