The Easiest Way to Make Spectacular Gluten-Free Bread at Home

by | Oct 20, 2014
Gluten-Free Girl's baguettes

Gluten-Free Girl’s baguettes

I’m currently in the air at 35,00 feet flying from Austin to Detroit. I had the honor this past weekend to speak about how to Eat Clean at the Prevention R3 Summit, and am on my way to speak at Brand Camp 2014.

It’s difficult not to be inspired by all the brilliant people in these two worlds––health and tech––putting all their energy and talents into making the planet a better place to live.

In the health world we are already lightyears ahead of where we were when I was growing up. Instead of talking about fat, calories and carbs, this weekend I was on stage with a farm-to-table chef and a RD talking about the pleasures of eating Real Food and how there really is no benefit in depriving yourself of foods you love.

At Brand Camp I’ll tell the story of how I was able to use free online tools (thank you WordPress, Twitter and Facebook for supporting this starving grad student) to share my passion for eating well and change thousands of lives for the better. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

Today I want to introduce you to my friend Shauna Ahern, aka Gluten-Free Girl, who is working on a project that embodies the progress that has been made in both of these realms.

Gluten-free may seem like the latest health fad, but for those with Celiac disease and real wheat intolerance gluten-free isn’t optional. Shauna has Celiac disease, but hasn’t let it stop her from enjoying food and baking for her beautiful family.

Shauna and her husband Danny have been working for years to perfect the ultimate gluten-free baguette, the best gluten-free pie crust, and even springy and delicious baked goods that are 100% grain-free (yep, grain-free sourdough exists). And now they are working on making their signature flours available to you.

If you or anyone you know loves baking but can’t tolerate wheat or gluten, head over to the Gluten-Free Girl Kickstarter campaign and back her project. You’ll be able to pre-order her specialty flours and get access to some amazing special gifts she and Danny have put together for supporters.

Even though I’m personally not gluten-free (or even much of a baker), I backed this campaign because I’m such a fan of her work. Shauna truly lives and understands what it means to be a foodist, and I want her and people like her to continue sharing the healthiest, most delicious food with the people who need it most.

I think it’s wonderful that the internet makes this support so simple and easy to share.

If you’ve ever struggled with your health and couldn’t figure out why, Shauna’s story will speak to you. To give you a better sense of who she is and why she’s so special I sat down with her to talk about her personal health journey and her mission to bring the best gluten and grain-free flours to you.

I hope Shauna’s story inspires you and that you will consider backing her campaign.

Gluten-Free Girl Kickstarter for gluten-free and grain-free flours


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33 Responses to “The Easiest Way to Make Spectacular Gluten-Free Bread at Home”

  1. Barbara says:

    Seriously: I have seldom seen a KickStarter campaign with less inspiring rewards. $150 for a few cookies and a doomed-to-fail recipe? NO, THANK YOU.

    Is the general public so gullible?


  2. linda says:

    I have a major problem with kickstarter campaigns that ask for other people’s money to start a business meant to make money for the business owner, with no discernible value offered to the people funding the business. The projects I’ve backed have all been pre-orders of products, often sold at prices lower than the expected retail value. $50 for a box of flour? $125 for a dozen cookies? This campaign is no better than begging for charity.

    • Eileen says:

      I wished there had been more straightforward product offered, too. I agree that makes much more sense than to only have experience-type offers. That would appeal to a broader range of folks, for sure!

  3. Eileen says:

    These negative reward-related comments are really sad. Why would y’all think the promised rewards wouldn’t be delivered? Anyone doing a Kickstarter is trying to raise money. Rewards that’re too elaborate cost more and make the needed total higher. These folks’ve done several daily special rewards with all sorts of variations. They’ve delivered 3 outstanding cookbooks (the latest one a Beard award winner), multiple articles, classes and an Ipad app all on time & with many satisfied customers. I’d say they have a high likelihood of delivery, if and when their campaign succeeds.

    • Cathy says:

      Eileen, Shauna has had trouble in the past getting stuff to people, like giveaways offered on her blog, recipes via email, copies of books, etc. That’s probably where that comment came from. Shauna tends to be slow to followup on promises.

    • Sharon says:

      As someone who purchased their thanksgiving iPad app, let me tell you that I am no longer contributing to the coffers of Shauna and Danny Ahern. They delivered a shoddy product that was full of typos, bugs, and recipes that did not work. They promised an update to fix all the problems, but never delivered. I was very disappointed in the product I paid good money for, and they made no effort to to remedy the situation.

      • Eileen says:

        Wow- I didn’t know that. What a shame! I can’t speak to the all but I’ve had good results with her recipes & methods. I wish they’d turned out better for you! :/

  4. Dee says:

    Anyone who donates to Shauna really is making avery big mistake. The flour will never be produced and she and her husband will never honor their agreements. She and her sidekick/ husband are grifters plain and simple. I would be seriously concerned about where that money ends up.

  5. sara says:

    I’m just not impressed with Gluten free girl. She has written for other recipe sites. Those recipes were huge flops because she forgot to add things or some how deleted a step from the recipe. I have glanced at the cook books and again not impressed. Why would I want to read dribble and sap in a cookbook. There are a handful of other flours on the market for Gluten free flour. That have done a great job in my book. The whole kick starter looks very sloppy.This is not something I would back
    Plus to be honest Shauna doesn’t look like a healthy person to me.

  6. Susan says:

    I’m very disappointed you would back this in hopes of increasing your readership by sucking up to Shauna. Shauna claims to be the picture of health due to her gluten-free lifestyle, but she has NEVER been properly diagnosed NOR has she magically become healthy by following a gluten-free diet. Her flour blends are overpriced and pale in comparison to the wonderful products already on the market. The whole thing is a sham. Shauna will not give rewards because Shauna has no follow-through and is well-known as a grifter—take her out to dinner, 9 times out of 10 she’ll “forget” her wallet. Just look at that filthy kitchen, those filthy pans, and those filthy fingernails, and tell me why I’d want to eat anything those people make.

    • P. Benson says:

      To be fair, we don’t actually know whether or not her flour blends will be overpriced. They’re not yet commercially available, and–as far as I know–she hasn’t posted anything about retail pricing of the final product.

  7. Eileen says:

    I meant, I can’t speak to the *app*. I need a universal edit button, LOL!

    • Rebecca says:

      The whole tone of this post & comments is disappointing. Darya, I love what you’re doing here at Summer Tomato – it’s great information, very straightforward, and has always struck me as 100% trustworthy. If there were just one negative comment, I’d put it down to someone out there with an axe to grind. But that’s not the case here. We trust you enormously as a resource, and this kind of thing gets in the way. Please take a closer look, apply your science-geek skeptical filter, and give us an update. (Everything else aside, there is nothing ground-breaking about yet another gluten-free baking mix. Kickstarter is at its best as a incubator for innovation – not as an ATM for me-too products.)

  8. Cathy says:

    Sticking to the issue of follow through, a few other things came to mind. There was all her talk about doing road trips all over the US to talk to people about their favorite family recipes for the cookbook that is in the works now. They did “New England” and then were going to do the Midwest, the South, and the West. Then there was only a truncated California trip and she was done. She never really addressed the issue of why the other trips were not done, though people did ask when she would be coming to their area.

    She has also promised blog posts on various subjects many, many times and never followed through or been weeks or months late after saying “new post tomorrow about this”. And that’s just a blog post.

    A couple of years ago she promised one new GF Christmas cookie recipe per day for the month leading up to Christmas, then about halfway through she began being late. A few days would go by with no recipe, then by the end she was complaining a lot about how exhausting the project was and how she was sick and tired of dealing with cookie recipes.

    I could go on but those are typical examples of how it goes. I hope for the sake of all her investors that she will follow through on these KS rewards but she just doesn’t have a very good track record.

  9. Angie says:

    I feel like this is a few years too late in every aspect. Perhaps there would be more enthusiasm had the production of a paleo friendly gf flour coincided with the popularity increase of paleo.

    As for gluten free people like myself who don’t necessarily subscribe to the paleo lifestyle, there are so many other well done store bought flours and mixes. How will this compete? I haven’t used it myself, but I’ve also heard many glowing reviews for the America’s Test Kitchen gluten free cookbook, and those have proven results. No offense to Gluten Free Girl, but one look at her food photography and the results of my plate from King Arthur, Pamela’s, or Cup4Cup, and I can’t see why I would even bother with a Gluten Free Girl mix. It’s not proven, the market analysis is lacking, and I’d be hard pressed to understand why I should fork over $50 dollars for something that may not even fare that well if it does see the light of day.

  10. Lisa says:

    Darya. I’m sorry your post has become a beacon for a small but vocal group who seem to be obsessed with projecting many of their own neurosis onto Shauna.

    This video was posted at their watering hole so naturally some of them could not resist a chance to spread their hatred (their word, not mine).

    They spend an immense amount of energy working each other into a frenzy and ignoring any evidence that contradicts the story they’ve created.

    It would be wise to ignore them.

    • Angie says:

      I’m confused. What neurosis?

      I remember coming across Gluten Free Girl’s blog when I first got my gluten free diagnosis several years ago. The substitutions necessary for edible gluten free goods was overwhelming to me. When I found ready made gf mixes I tested which ones I liked until I found my personal preference. I find it a bit steep but necessary to pay 5-7 dollars a package for gluten free mixes without the hassle of tweaking recipes to work. However, I find it absolutely astounding in 2014, several years after gluten free has become ubiquitous, for a supposed pioneer in the GF niche to ask for 50 dollars for a startup we have no idea if it can perform against the big guys of Bob’s Red Mill, King Arthur, and the like.

      I would hope a well known successful blogger, author, and businessperson would have the wherewithal to work with a bank to secure successful backing of a project. I feel it detracts from Gluten Free Girl’s success she has to ask for donations (and 80,000 dollars at that!). I don’t understand how expressing doubt about this business venture makes me a “hater”.

  11. Cathy says:

    Lisa, I know the site you’re talking about and yes there are a some crazies there whose hyperbole and conjecture are completely wacky. But there are also people, there and on plenty of other venues, who have legitimate complaints about this woman. You can pick up on her issues just from reading her blog regularly, if you’re paying attention.

    The nutjobs are pretty easy to weed out. The rest are worth a listen before investing hard-earned money, whether it’s Shauna Ahern or anyone else. Do your research.

  12. Greta says:

    It is unfortunate that the ladies of a well-known snark forum choose to come here and *repeat* (in most cases word-for-word) their own forum snark in the comments there, then go *back* to their forum and talk about the negative comments here. These ladies live to snark on blogs like Gluten Free Girl. It takes up the majority of their free time which the spend 1) reading said blog; 2) combing the author’s FB, instagram, and Twitter accounts; 3) Googling anyone who may have a connection to the blogger and then searching for the friends’ and family members’ blogs, FB, etc.; and finally 4) spending the rest of the time snarking on their forum about it. And when things aren’t spicy enough, they bring their negativity straight to the blogger. Since Shauna clearly makes sure her own comments are vetted, the snark ladies came to this blog and if you go to their forum, they are using the negative comments here as “proof” that they are right to hate Shauna so. They do it with many blogs. It’s pathetic. I sincerely hope Darya deletes the negative comments here because they are not organic comments from regular followers. They are contrived, planned, and gleefully executed by a small core of pathetic trolls with little to do in life that is real.

    • mama says:

      Absolutely – what a bunch of angry little inches. I am amazed at the time they spend on their hate site. At the blatant lies and inaccuracies, pure stupidity and meanness that they go to great lengths to put out there. They speak as if they actually know the person they are demonizing. Not that I think any of them would ever consider enlightenment of any kind but I will say that empowering people rather that tearing people down will make you a happier person. It is rather hilarious how they can’t stand to see the success and admiration that so many obviously feel for GFG.

      • Chip says:

        Both of you seem quite familiar with this alleged website. It seems as though you also have a lot of free time to browse it. There are a lot of commenters there. Hundreds, if not thousands, some who personally know Shauna or have had a negative experience with her. The forum does not exist for no reason.

  13. Heather says:

    Hi there, I appreciate you mentioning this kickstarter. However, I have read Gluten Free Girl off and on for a few years, and I have to say, I do agree with the general negative consensus in the comments.
    Personal feelings aside, Shauna Ahern simply is NOT a picture of health. Period. She’s extremely overweight, I am guessing clinically obese, actually. Not to mention, she has never been clinically diagnosed as gluten-free. I actually underwent a surgery, while fully asleep, to have a piece of my intestine biopsied to determine my gluten allergy. Shauna sends so much misinformation out to the world. It’s quite alarming!

  14. Bev says:

    I was looking for a recipe – not an advertisement. disappointing.

  15. eeee says:

    Darya (what a lovely name!),

    I am new to your blog, and not a follower of Glutenfree Girl either, so I don’t have much to base an opinion on regarding this post. Therefore I’ll keep my thoughts on Kickstarters – as a whole and in particular – to myself.

    What I will comment on is how impressed I am by what I see in this comment section. Even if a commenter objects to/disagrees with your position, or even criticizes you outright, you are gracious enough to let their comments stand. Too many bloggers these days weed out all the comments that question the blogger, disagree with her (or him), criticize her, or challenge her way of thinking or her comfort zone.

    I can’t know what your actual reaction to these comments has been, but the fact that they remain posted here says a lot about your integrity, your commitment to your readers, and your self-confidence. A woman less secure in herself would be trying to whitewash the comments section, or even take down the post entirely for fear of public disagreement. It’s refreshing to see this example of dignity and class. (c:

    Much the same can be said about the majority of your commenters, too. Most of the comments appear to have been based on personal experience, good or bad, and their views may be expressed unflinchingly but they are mostly respectful all the same – certainly respectful towards YOU and each other, if not to the other blogger.

    I was particularly impressed by the comment that asked you to research the negative things being said and update your readers (if necessary) – not just saying, “Change your mind and start thinking the way I think/they think!” I am a firm believer in independent fact-checking and debunking where appropriate, so I’m off to do just that. Just wanted to take a moment to give you an “Attagirl” – for what it’s worth from a total stranger!


    • Darya Rose says:

      Thank you. Criticism is always welcome here. These posts (most not by regular readers) came very close to crossing the line into personal attacks, which I do not tolerate. But as usual my readers have done a good job of balancing justice. I’m not worried about Shauna’s follow through on this project.

  16. Chip says:

    Washington State has a requirement to apply for a permit to make home food under its cottage laws. The requirements on the application are pretty strict and detailed. Given that Shauna will soon be sending out home-made food as pledge rewards, starting with her pies, I would like to see a scan of her cottage food permit from Washington State.

    • Diane says:

      Its also illegal to mail food out of Washington state.

    • Eileen says:

      Cottage Food regs only apply if someone is selling home-made food, not if they are giving it away. I’d expect the Aherns would prepare any rewards in their commercial kitchen lab, so that is a moot point anyway.

  17. Laura says:

    So it’s no surprise to me that Shauna is not following through on rewards , as predicted .

    The recipe pdf due in December? Nope, she keeps telling people ” next week”. Flour finally went out to some people, but she packed it badly ( to save some $$$) and the boxes were smashed and dented. Cookies still MIA, lots of excuses of course. Her local Vashon backers are told they have to pick it up at her studio but only between 10 and 3 because life must be lived slowly.

    Darya, I hope the next time you endorse a product/ seller to your audience it works out better .

  18. Jenfullmom says:

    Laura–Shauna explained how busy they were, being sick, and going to New York, on her blog.