Sunday, 28 June 2015

Bread, Cows milk protein allergy and food labelling

Finding dairy and soya free bread is hard work - made all the harder when brands change recipes with no publicity. This post is a plea to all allergy parents to check the labels, even of things you've been buying for a long time - every time to make sure the allergy information is the same. I've included a bread recipe at the end as that way you know exactly what's in it - it's breadmaker friendly for ease/ laziness (if you're me!)

Useless fact of the day - I'm a glasses wearer -  only for close up things, so blogging, reading, sewing, knitting - that kind of thing. Oh and now shopping. One of the things I've come to realise about having a baby with CMPA is that you have to read the blooming labels. All of them. Every time.

Case in point - Aldi bread. We love Aldi in this family, their Super 6 fruit and veg form the basis of our meal plans. As does the special offers they run on meat (M is particularly happy on the weeks they include bacon). As a rule we don't buy much that has labels per se - we eat a lot of fruit and veg, rice, quinoa, coucous, lentils etc and of course fish and meat. We do have pasta but normally that's fine ingredient wise - although I never buy fresh pasta.

Bread products on the other hand are a minefield. Most of the time I make my own bread. I think I'm the only person still using their breadmaker on a regular basis. Lately though I'm having a break from it as I was eating waaay too much and also I've been really run down of late (that's a post in itself). Sometimes though it's nice to be able to pick up a loaf, fling it in the trolley and get on with the shop safe in the knowledge that my carb loving bubba can have his toast and fruit spread. But. Of course there's a but. A massive one. BUT... then Aldi changed the recipe for their breads. No fanfare, no publicity - just walloped soya flour in them. I get it, wheat is expensive - soya flour is cheap. There goes all our bread. Of course it's labelled properly, but I didn't think to check as I 'knew' it was dairy and soya free.

So a quick plea to stores and brands - if you change your recipe to include known allergens - please, please please can you pop something on the packaging or something for the shelf edge. Allergy parents are meticulous at checking, but sometimes - just sometimes we think we're safe in the knowledge that something is safe for our babies and suddenly it's not.

Alternatives I've found thus far are: 

Hovis seed sensations Update 9/7/15 Hovis have changed the recipe of the original seed sensations to include soya flour. However, they have updated their packaging to reflect this. Please double check before purchasing. I got a loaf this week that was fine, others have got new loaves.
Sainsburys Basics crumpets
Sainsburys white pitta bread (wholemeal has soya flour)
Sainsburys Morning rolls (other breads in storedo contain dairy and soya so these are a may contain)
Sainsburys white wraps
Jacksons bloomer loaves
Waitrose essentials white loaf
Waitrose hot cross buns (how did I not know this at Easter?!)
Waitrose rosemary foccacia (pack of 4 mini breads)
Morrisons garlic flatbread

Tesco finest seeded loaf
Tesco wheatfield wholemeal batch
Tesco plain tortilla wraps
Iceland burger and hotdog buns
New York bakery bagels (Harry loves the mini ones) 

Obviously please check these if you're sensitive to 'may contains' and for any recipe changes.

Here's our incredibly simple 50/50 wholewheat bread recipe that I do in the breadmaker...

50/50 Wholewheat bread - dairy free, soya free, breadmaker friendly

200g wholewheat flour
200g strong white flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 teaspoon/ 5g fast acting yeast
1 tsp sugar
Half a teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (or a big glug) olive oil (plus extra to oil the worktop)
280ml warmish water

As I said, I use the breadmaker and pop it on a Sandwich loaf cycle - leave it be and go about my day, but if you were to do it by hand it's super simple just a bit more input from you.

Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and water together until you get a dough.
Knead on an oiled surface for 10 minutes
Lightly oil a mixing bowl, pop your ball of dough inside. Cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for an hour to rise
Tip the dough out onto an oiled surface again
Knead for another 10 minutes
Shape into a loaf shape - be that a round cottage loaf, or pop into a loaf tin - if using a tin, flour it. If cooking free form, then dust your baking sheet with polenta or flour
Leave to rise somewhere warm for another hour
Bake at 180 for 30 minutes or until the top is nice and golden and the bottom sounds hollow when you tap it.
Resist the urge to eat warm, slathered in almond butter and banana. Just me then? OK...

Huge thanks to the mums and dads in the Cows Milk Protein Allergy support group on Facebook for helping me track down a comprehensive list of alternative bread products. Especially Christine Kelly who was fabulous!


Ciara @ My Fussy Eater said...

Gosh, it must be such a nightmare having to constantly check the packaging every time you go shopping. Agree that brands need to do more to inform you when they change their ingredients.

Made with Pink said...

I think to myself every day how lucky we are for my son not to have any allergies. Shopping much be a nightmare for you. It's great that you're able to make your own bread - and you are the only person I know who uses their bread maker on a regular basis. I've used mine once!

Munchies and Munchkins said...

I feel your pain, we have been dairy free with Chloe for nearly a year and we are now also gluten free as she's been diagnosed as coeliac. Hoping to reintroduce dairy over next few months but hard knowing we will always have to avoid gluten. Great to raise awareness of this issue.x


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