Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Sensitive Baker -Review

We visited L.A.'s only gluten free bakery last weekend, The Sensitive Baker. It's located at
10836 1/2 Washington Blvd in Culver City. There is just street parking so bring change!
When we arrived at the store we saw pickings were some what slim - its not like a regular bakery. They had plenty of samples and frozen stuff though. If you want something in particular you should definitely call ahead. The people behind the counter were very nice and helpful. It is great to see an all gluten free bakery that is also %100 Casein-Free and %100 Kosher. Those are a lot of challenges to work with. They met the challenge well, as everything we tried was very tasty.

If you are gluten free or vegan ( there a bunch of vegan options just call ahead) and just need a baked goods fix, and if you aren't worried about eating fat (don't worry no trans fat here), or sugar you will enjoy this place I am sure. Plus sometimes you just need a treat. If you have any worry about specific ingredients you can easily check their website for product ingredients.

Ok, so I am a freak and in general avoid regular sugar at all costs, but I made an exception here because I knew most of these baked goods had sugar. We mostly got bread products- focaccia, bagels and kaiser rolls. We also tried a muffin and a peach tart. We skipped the other sweets but there were cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and brownies.

Even after being gluten free for around 3 years now I still have not gotten used to the price of pre-made gluten free products. I am sure I flinched a little when I heard our total for 4 frozen kaiser rolls, 4 frozen little bagels, 4 big fresh foccacia, 1 tiny muffin and 1 tiny tart- $45. Oh man I remember those pre-gluten free days in New York. A dozen, regular bagels are about $10 and sooo tasty.
We took our goodies and headed to the beach in Playa Del Rey...
Here is the inside of their Vegan Morning Glory muffin. It was delicious. Maybe there was a little undercooked batter section, but hey.... batter is good. The only thing is I checked the ingredients just now on their site and the first ingredient is brownsugar. But, that is like most muffins parading around in their muffin mask giving people excuses for eating cupcakes for breakfast.

Here is the peach tart, it was yummy, very sweet. I would of liked it much more if it had more peach and less brown goo stuff ( do you like my technical terms? )

The focaccia was very good- very moist and chewy. Even gluten eating people like Wes would enjoy this bread.

So they called these (on top) kaiser rolls. I asked for these before I saw them. I am from NY and enjoyed kaiser rolls with butter very often growing up. You can get them at any bakery and many a gas station deli. I used to love them- crispy on the outside and light and chewy on the inside. I am probably asking for a miracle expecting a gluten free kaiser roll that is similar. They did taste good, as did the bagels. The bagels were small - Lender's bagel-size, but crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. Like homemade bagels if you have ever made them.
I am thrilled to see a gluten free bakery in Los Angeles, you should check it out if you live in LA.
10836 1/2 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA, 90232
(Between Overland and the 405)

If there was one thing I would suggest to them to consider changing is their use of palm oil in many of their products.
So maybe I sound like a tree hugging crazy Californian but I've heard that the production of palm oil is harming the rainforest and creatures who used to live in them.
Here is part of an article from The Center for Science in the Public Interest

"Cruel Oil" Report Exposes Palm Oil's Impact on Health & Environment

Plantations Clearing Rainforest, Threatening Already Endangered Species, Says CSPI

Palm oil has long been known to promote heart disease, but a new report from the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says that palm oil production also promotes destruction of the rainforest, particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia. Further loss of forest may push endangered animal species, including orangutans, Sumatran tigers, and Sumatran rhinos, into extinction.

Production of palm oil is spiking upward, partly because some food manufacturers are seeking alternatives for partially hydrogenated oils, which promote heart disease. CSPI strongly urges manufacturers to replace partially hydrogenated oils, but to switch to the most healthful oils possible. Companies that must use palm oil should use as little as possible and obtain it from environmentally sustainable sources, says the group.

Palm oil is the world's second-most-produced and internationally traded edible oil, according to CSPI's report, Cruel Oil: How Palm Oil Harms Health, Rainforest, & Wildlife. More than 80 percent of the world's palm oil comes from Malaysia or Indonesia—where it is mostly grown on land that once was rainforest or peat-swamp forests. When those forest areas are cleared, habitat for endangered animals is destroyed.

"We applaud food manufacturers for moving away from trans-fat-laden partially hydrogenated oils, and happily, many companies are switching to such heart-healthy oils as soybean, corn, or canola," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, who co-authored the report along with wildlife ecologist Ellie Brown. "Consumers and food processors should realize, though, that palm oil still promotes heart disease and that producing palm oil has a devastating impact on rainforest and endangered wildlife."

Read the rest of the article here.


Anonymous said...

Hello Jill and Wes,
I, too, am gluten free and also need to limit my carbohydrate intake, but sometimes I really miss bread.
Whole Foods Market has great gluten free cream biscuits, very pricey, but great with yolky eggs.
On the alternative grains front I have settled in nicely with Teff, also available at WF. The world's smallest grain, dark in color with molasses undertones I add goat milk butter, bourbon vanilla and agave nectar and eat it with breakfast.

The Sensitive said...

Hi, Jill! & Hi, Wes! I'm sorry I just got here (a little slow on the uptake, I am!) and I want to thank you for the nice words but in September you should not have paid that much for that list -- it's possible we overcharged you!! Four slightly larger bagels NOW cost $10 (prices have gone up.) Please come back and let us fix that!!

Also, if I may add, we use only Spectrum Organics Shortening, from palm oil which is sustainably produced -- see for more details. Thanks!

The Sensitive said...
This comment has been removed by the author.