Fria frozen gluten and dairy-free brown and white breads, chocolate brownie and cinnamon rolls
Fria are Scandinavia's largest gluten-free manufacturer, so it is great that they are now bringing their products over here for us to enjoy. They use de-glutenised wheat starch so, although gluten free (well below the new Codex requirement for 'gluten-free' of 20 parts per million), their products are not wheat free – but they are all dairy/milk free. Most, but not all, are also egg free. Not all their products are yet available in the UK but, hopefully, soon will be. They are currently to be had from TotallySwedish (both the shop and on line) and from GFFDirect.
All Fria products are sold frozen so can be ordered in advance, kept in the freezer and just taken out as needed. They defrost quickly at room temperature and do not need refreshing – although, like all bread, gluten-ed or gluten-free, they taste even better after a quick blast in a hot oven.
The same basic basic ingredients are used for the brown and white rolls (Grov Minibaguette and Korvbrod) and the sliced breads, Grova and Vita – de-glutenised wheat starch, corn and tapioca starch and rice flour with locust bean and guar gum, yeast and psyllium husk along with various seeds (linseed, sunflower, and caraway and buckwheat flakes) depending on which bread. They are also the basic ingredients for the cinnamon rolls and the brownie although the latter also contains eggs.
Both rolls and sliced breads have a good texture – firm but soft. The Grova seeded breads are slightly malty and do have lots of seeds, which make them really tasty; the white Vita is much like a British 'white sliced' but rather less pappy, which is an excellent idea! The rolls looks great – just like the real thing – and would be excellent filled. The sliced bread, naturally, toasts very well.
The cinnamon bun or Danish (Kanelbulle) is seriously cinnamony with crunchy sugar crystals on top. It is flavoursome but quite a solid eat – it really benefits from a quick blast in a microwave.
The chocolate brownie (Kladdkaka) is a big flat cake – unlike a standard British brownie – but it has certainly got the message about gooey brownie texture! Dairy free (and of course gluten free) but made with a lot of eggs, it is moist, gooey, chocolatey, rich, yummy – in fact, pretty perfect as as brownies go! It also works brilliantly as a dessert, either cold or warmed, with whatever kind of cream, yogurt or ice cream that you can eat.
The Fria products are currently available from the John Lewis stores in Oxford Street (London) and the Bluewater Shopping Centre, from the Scandianvian Kitchen and on line from TotallySwedish and GFFDirect.
Depending on where you buy them, the sliced loaves cost around £3.50 for 500g/16 slice loaf, the rolls around £3 for 4 rolls, the cinnamon rolls £3.50 for 4 and the chocolate brownie cake around £5.00 for a 400g but very rich cake.