I'm just wondering if there are any bakers who personally have Celiac disease here?
I have been slowly working on creating my baking business...inspectors, rented kitchen etc. In the midst of all this, I find myself at the doc being poked for Celiac testing.
My mother and son both have it..I haven't been able to gain weight in the last 2 yrs (even with all the cupcakes and cookies I eat) so my mother suggested I be tested.
Is it possible to even be around gluten if I come back positive? Do I have to rearrange my entire dream to GF to protect myself? This seems to be a huge nightmare/life change that doesn't gel with my future goals
I don't have Celiac myself, but many of our customers do -- I run an allergy-friendly bakery and we get lots of gluten-free orders.
Most people with Celiac can still be around gluten without a problem, although if you were baking with traditional flour the airborne particles might be an issue. Luckily gluten-free baking has become more mainstream in the past few years, so you may want to take this opportunity to focus on gluten-free items. There is a lot of demand for high quality gluten-free goods that is not being met in most areas.
There are also many Celiac support groups around the country, so joining a local group can be a great resource even if you aren't positive.
Do I have to rearrange my entire dream to GF to protect myself?
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease: and tends to run in families. Coeliac disease is a condition that manifests itself if you eat it. When you eat gluten, your body produces antibodies that attack the lining of your intestines. [I can give you the scientific blurb, but this is close enough]
People who react to gluten on the skin etc are allergic [which you are not] or sensitive/intolerant[which you are not].
It is entirely up to you as to whether you bake exclusively GF or non-GF, or both ...
If you are going to bake non-GF as before, just keep going: unless you sneak a taste, it won't make any difference to you.
GF baking is a chemistry unto itself. It takes practice and practice: and guinea pigs to eat the "experiments". It does not come easy, but it will come ...
If you intend to bake GF, you will have to check all baking and decorating products for glutenous ingredients. Manufacturers change their formulae regularly, so this will be on-going.
The problem arises if you are going to bake both ways. Non-coeliacs can eat GF: but a coeliac cannot eat gluten at all [as you know].
The biggest problem for people is cross-contamination. The food-preparation area must be gluten-proof - the slightest trace of gluten on equipment, counter-tops, hands etc is enough to contaminate any/some/all food-products.
Baking Notes: not complete and not limited to -
1. No wooden utensils: they are highly absorbent [no rolling pin, no cake board]
2. No wooden and plastic cutting boards: nicks, grooves and scratches can retain particles
3. No Plastic storage containers (absorbs gluten just like food odours and colours).
4. Dont use the same flour-sifter for gluten-free and regular flours.
5. Dont prepare gluten-free foods on the same surface used to prepare foods with gluten unless the surface has been thoroughly cleaned.
6. "Dip and spread" products, eg peanut butter or honey, could be contaminated from previous usage.
7. items [eg piping tips, cookie cutters] , and baking pans that are made with "seams", "rivets", or crevices, may accumulate gluten and runs a risk of contamination.
Flour dust [containing gluten] can stay airborne in kitchens for many hours after use. When it settles, it will contaminate surfaces, utensils, and uncovered gluten-free food.