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Blackbird Bakery on Bainbridge Island Gluten Free options and a Recipe for Gluten Free Rolls

Posted Apr 30 2010 12:00am
I woke up this morning from the most unusual dream.  In my dream I was working at a food counter – preparing salads and clearing dishes.  It was rather vague but I remember that the food counter was very, very busy and I was having a hard time keeping up. All of a sudden, my Grandparents showed up at the counter – I am pretty sure they ate something, and then my Grandfather asked me to follow him because he wanted to show me something.  Like dreams are, we magically left the chaos of the busy food counter and were walking down this paved road surrounded by dry canyons.  I could tell it was getting late in the day as the canyon walls were reflecting that golden color of twilight.  I momentarily lost my Grandfather in the smallish and quiet docile crowd of other people gathered around to see whatever it was my Grandfather had brought me to see.  It was somewhat like the scene out of the original Race to Witch Mountain when all the people are gathered on the road looking for the aliens.

Anyway, I found him sitting on a small incline and he told me this was his favorite spot.   He invited me to sit down and watch the sunset with him.  Realizing that he had brought me here to view the beauty of the sunset, I told him I’d be right back, that I wanted to get my husband and kids so they could see the sunset too.

I ran to get them, but by the time we returned the sunset had already gone down and my Grandfather was gone.  I was looking around for my Grandfather and my family was asking why I had brought them here, as they were turned looking toward the east when, as we know, the sun sets in the west.

I woke up from this dream Sunday morning on our boat, Sound Waves, at Winslow, WA on Bainbridge Island.  

Bainbridge Island, WA  


I love Bainbridge and once upon a time we dreamed the dream of moving here, opening a small coffee shop where we would have live music on the weekends and I could sell my art, and living more of an Island life.  

Home on Bainbridge Island  


That dream appears to be gone, as we are most likely too engrossed in our current lifestyle to leave it all behind.  Oh, I would love to have the bravery to just check it all in and go live a more self-serving life.  But my kids love their school and, thankfully, my husband has a good job that he loves. 

So, In the meantime, I try to bring as much of the quiet and peacefulness of an island life as I can to my current life.  The goal is to live in this world but not of the worldly demands/idols.  In keeping up with and taking care of the demands of my family, I can remember to stop, chat with my Grandparents and take a look at the sunset.  

What does this have to do with eating gluten free?

While we were on Bainbridge, we had to stop in at the very well known and incredibly busy on a sunny but brisk Saturday afternoon, Blackbird Bakery.

Blackbird Bakery, Winslow, WA

I had heard that the bakery offered up gluten free treats so we decided to check it out for lunch.  As I said, they were extremely busy but I got a server to stop for a few minutes and talk to me about their gluten free options.  Their soup is usually gluten free.  They also serve gluten free bread and a few desserts.  On Saturday it was a decadent looking chocolate tart and an apricot cake.   They also had the most tempting looking gluten free rolls. 


Blackbird Bakery, Winslow, WA

She assured me that they keep the gluten free flour separate from the wheat flour and the GF bread was placed on the top of the cooling rack above the wheat bread.  She also said that “celiacs eat here and do not have any reaction.”  

While all of this sounded great, I can’t imagine some cross-contamination not happening in that place.  The GF bread was directly next to the wheat bread in the display case with absolutely nothing separating them but an inch or so of air.  Same for the desserts.  Moreover, she admitted they were about “400 miles away” from being a dedicated GF bakery.

We had the soup which seemed safe.  If you are following the diet of less than 20 ppm, which all celiacs should do, then I would not eat here.  Just too risky.  

Of course, seeing those yummy GF drop rolls made me want to come home and make my own.  Here is the recipe.

Mulit-Grain Gluten Free Drop Roll

Gluten Free Multi-Grain Rolls
1/2 cup White rice flour (I am sure Brown would work fine)
1/2 cup Sorghum flour
1/4 cup Millet flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 TB flaxseed meal
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 package active dry yeast 
1 tsp salt
2 eggs at room temperature
2 additional egg whites at room temperature
1 cup warm water 
2 TB vegetable oil or canola oil
2 TB honey
2 TB apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 200 F.  Turn the oven off as soon as it reaches 200 F.

Combine flours and all other dry ingredients together in a medium bowl with a wire whisk.  Whisk in flax meal.  

Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl using a hand mixer on low or medium speed.  The mixture will get slightly frothy.  

When fully combined, slowly add dry ingredients mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl.   Miix until fully blended, with no lumps.

I used a large spoon covered with olive oil to drop the dough on a cookie sheet which has been lined with parchment paper.  

Cover with a piece of saran wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Turn off the oven and immediately place the cookie sheet in it. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes.  No peeking!

Remove the saran wrap, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and increase heat to 350 degrees.   

Bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is a golden-brown.  For great dipping, try it with tomato soup .

One more photo from Bainbridge.  As we were eating our dinner, we looked over and saw this sea otter enjoying his on the dock:

Sea Otter on Bainbridge Island

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