Now the muffins are gluten-less, too

Alternatives to muffins made with wheat flour have joined "gluten-less" breads and scones at Great Harvest Bread Co.

The Medford bakery rolled out an apple-carrot muffin early this year to complement a berry-lemon scone devised in 2011. Both contain a blend of rice and tapioca flours and are baked fresh every Monday.

"They're very popular," says Great Harvest supervisor Mark Sunderland.

Great Harvest adopted the term "gluten-less" because the bakery primarily uses wheat flour — even milling its own. While gluten-less goods are mixed as far as possible from other breads, then baked in new, disposable pans, there remains a small chance of gluten from other flours coming into contact with them, says co-owner Dan Allen.

Allen developed a wheat-free version of his popular Dakota bread in 2009. The loaves contain organic whole-grain buckwheat, brown-rice and tapioca flours. He later added another Great Harvest favorite, cinnamon chip, to the gluten-less roster available Mondays.

Wednesdays are Great Harvest's day for spelt bread, muffins and scones. Spelt flour is preferred by some customers with wheat allergies, but it contains gluten, a naturally occurring protein that can cause a life-threatening autoimmune reaction in sufferers of celiac disease.

The gluten-less muffins and breads cost more than counterparts made with wheat and spelt flours. One pricing factor is the bakery's lack of equipment to mill gluten-free grains. Gluten-less bread loaves cost $8.95 apiece. Muffins are $2.50 each, scones $2.95. Like all Great Harvest products, they are available in larger quantities by special order.

Located at 203 Genessee St., Great Harvest is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Sandwiches and soups are served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 541-245-3310 or see www.greatharvestmedford.com.


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