Friday, October 18, 2019

Hillbilly Farms Gluten Free Bakery

While on our way to Dade City (from Lakeland, FL) one day we chanced a stop at this little gluten free bakery we found along the highway ... next to nothing really. There's a nice lot with grass, and a little outdoor patio, but the fact that it was gluten free is what made us stop. I'd been trying to find a bread that was moist, and not dry like most in the stores.

A painted rendition of the Hillbilly Farms Bakery near Dade City, Florida.
Hillbilly Farms Bakery - our fave place to stop.

They had a variety to choose from, so I selected a half-loaf of "Mock Wheat"; and a half-loaf of "Sourdough". But we ended up buying several other things as well - donut holes (Apple Cider), and a couple of cookies (large ones - peanut butter, chocolate chip, and a ginger cookie).

When we arrived back home (our home in Florida), I opened and tried the "Mock Wheat" bread. Definitely moist - not dry at all and I DIDN'T need to toast it to make a sandwich (yay!!). That was exactly what I had been looking for.  It had a slight "wheat-like" flavour, but doesn't contain wheat. Mostly, it reminded me of the malt bread my husband likes.  My husband liked Hillbilly Farms bread as well.

Roadside sign for Hillbilly Farms gluten free bakery near Dade City, FL.He tried the bread, but because they come in half-loaf size and are home baked breads, he didn't want to eat all my bread.

Probably one of his most favourite things are the Apple Cider Spice donut holes (and donuts), but he eats ALL of their sweets.  I can't pick a favourite because everything we've tried is delicious, though out of the cookies, my favourite would be their sugar cookies.

You can see a list of products on their website (Hillbilly Farms) and find a more extensive showing of the variety they have in baked goods on the Hillbilly Farms Bakery facebook page. And if you're the type that likes to bake at home, you can purchase their product mixes from their Etsy Shop.

If you happen to be one of the folks whose lives depend on the food you eat having no exposure at all to non-gluten free ingredients then Hillbilly Farms will be one of the places you can go. They have a small lunch menu, and the bakery and it's ingredients are certified gluten free. For their family, absolute gluten free is a must.

I can't say enough about the food here - I've served many of their offerings to guests at dinner who had no idea they were gluten free, and they loved them all. My husband too, and he's pretty picky when it comes to the taste of his food.

Anyway, my post wasn't supposed to be a promo for them - I wanted to mention their package mixes. I brought a few of their single-serve mixes for cupcakes and muffins home, as well as a mix for the Mock Wheat bread.

I hadn't baked my own gf bread before, but Rhoda (one of the owners and the baker) told me it could be made in a bread maker - an ordinary bread maker (so it didn't have to have the GF setting).  I thought it would be wonderful to have some of her Mock Wheat bread back home in Canada.

Small fenced patio area at Hillbilly Farms bakery, titled "Garden of Eaten".
Outdoor eating area at the bakery.

I did make a slight mistake while making the bread, but it turned out fine.  I followed the instructions and added the ingredients that weren't included in the mix, and pre-mixed it in a bowl before putting it in the breadmaker. Once it was in, I set it for a standard loaf, turned it on (or so I thought) and went out to do some shopping.

A couple of hours later when arrived home, I expected the smell of baking bread, but nope. I checked and the dough was just sitting there in breadmaker.  Not having made any gluten free bread before I wasn't sure how that extra 'resting time' would affect it.  I reset the breadmaker for a standard loaf and hit the start button, this time watching the digital readout to make sure it had started. I got it that time.

When it was finished the house smelled wonderful, and the bread turned out beautifully, so even having made the mistake of extra rising time (though I didn't plan that), the mix produced a lovely loaf of bread. I sliced it, stuck waxed paper between the slices and froze it right away (well, except for the heels - my husband had one and I had the other).

It was so good, even though (by that time) I was no longer exclusively eating gluten free.

We'll still frequent the bakery when we get back to Florida early in 2020 and we'll still buy our favourites but Ken and Rhoda are worth stopping to have a visit with.  They're what people call "nice folks" and  the little bakery is a great place to spend an hour and have a treat.

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