It's hard to believe, but the time has come for another Asheville Artisan Bread Festival, this Saturday, March 24th. Seems like just yesterday we were there, that I posted some photos here on Pizza Quest, and that we had a chance to celebrate with artisan bread bakers, cheese makers, and other Asheville area craftspeople in the lovely foothills of the Smokey Mountains. This is our 8th annual event and I've been to every one, usually presenting a demo on whatever my latest obsession is. This year, I'll be presenting the first sneak preview of recipes from the new book that Denene Wallace and I just finished called The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking, published by Ten Speed Press. The book goes to press in a few days and won't be available until mid-August, but the folks who come to Asheville will get to taste two of the recipes from the book and learn how to make these unique products. I'll write a lot more about the premise and methodology of the book in future postings but, suffice it to say for now that the recipes are not only gluten-free but also sugar-free and, essentially, carb-free, with zero glycemic load.
We use no starches like rice flour, potato starch, tapioca, or any other grain. The main ingredient is nut flour (or sometimes seed flour, or a combination of the two), usually almond flour (aka almond meal) but also pecan, walnut, hazelnut, flax seed, garbanzo bean, sunflower seed, and sesame seed flour shows up in many of the recipes in various combinations. In other words, we've pioneered a new way of baking breads, muffins, cookies, and even pizzas and it's pretty exciting stuff. As regular readers of this blog know, we've been working on the book for nearly two years, some of you were even recipe testers for us, and we're finally nearing the finish line. We even put up a website (with very little content at this point but with plans to use it for Q&A forums and more recipes after the book comes out) at: www.thejoyofgluten-freesugar-freebaking.com
Anyway, the demo in Ashevlle will be the first of what we hope will be a nationwide tour of demos and classes, and I'll post those dates as we have them. In the meantime, if there's any chance of joining us this Saturday, the 24th, the festival will be held at A-B Tech, inside and outside of the Magnolia Building (their culinary program is top notch, located inside the Magnolia Building). A-B Tech is an amazing community technical college, sitting on some of the choicest land in Asheville. I've been told that this was the property the Vanderbilts actually wanted for their Biltmore House, but the owner, probably someone named Buncombe, I'm guessing, refused to sell it to them so they built it a couple of miles away; kind of a fall back Plan B, which turned out pretty good for them after all, and all of us who have visited what turned out to be the largest private home ever built in the USA -- but that's another story). Anyway, for more info on the bread festival, go to the official website: www.ashevillebreadfestival.com/
I hope to see some of you there and, if you do come, please let me know that you are a Pizza Quest follower. I'll bring my camera and take some new photos for next week's posting, including some of any fellow Questors. I've got to go now and gather my seed grinder, ingredients, baking pans, etc., and start packing up for the drive. Hope to see you there....