It’s been a busy week for the gluten free chef. Between packing, resting, and cleaning in preparation for my relocation back to Upstate NY; I haven’t had much time for baking. I’ve been meaning to introduce this regular feature to my blog where I review the latest and greatest in gluten free mixes and baked goods. We all love to bake from scratch, but even the best bakers sometimes need to reach into their pantry or freezer when life gets busy and time is of the essence. Sometimes we are lazy and just want to add a few ingredients, mix, bake, and take.
With so many products on the market it can be difficult to decide which products are worth the time, money, and effort. Living gluten free is expensive and when you have invested between $6-$8 on a mix, you want to be sure you are going to get an edible product.
My first review is of the Chebe Cinnamon Roll Mix. I stumbled upon Chebe many months ago through Facebook and was excited to try their products after reading the rave reviews found on their website and Facebook page. I ordered their multi-pack sampler which included mixes for bread sticks, all purpose bread, focaccia rolls, and cinnamon rolls. They arrived as scheduled and I was anxious to try out each product. I started with the cheese bread rolls. The first round gave me hard inedible lumps of baked dough that looked nothing like the fresh, light, and airy rolls depicted on the cover. I figured I had to have made some mistake so I analyzed the instructions and tried again with the all-purpose bread. Same results. The bread sticks were no better. I followed the the instructions to the letter, yet they failed to rise and were chewy, dry, and tasteless. I made several attempts to reach out to customer service via phone and email to voice my concerns; even sending in pictures and I was basically dismissed and never received a response.
After this experience I found myself feeling defeated with the brand, but ever persistent I decided to give it one last go and pulled out the Cinnamon Roll mix this afternoon. Again, I followed the instructions to the letter, rolled out the dough, spread my earth balance (in place of butter), coated the dough with the cinnamon and brown sugar mixture, rolled the dough, placed them in my pan, and set my oven timer.
My cinnamon rolls were a bust. Defeated once again. I am so disappointed. Another Chebe fail. To say they look nothing like the picture on the box is an understatement. These cinnamon rolls had absolutely no rise, were hard, brittle, and basically tasted like sweetened flat bread. The sugar and butter melted to the bottom of my 8×8 pan and little of it stuck to the dough.
I realize there are many who enjoy the brand and have found success; but for this baker Chebe gluten free mix is a no go. I look forward to developing my personal gluten free cinnamon roll recipe so I can once again enjoy their sticky sweet goodness. I will post those results and the recipe in the near future. For now, I will just have to dream of delicious gluten free cinnamon rolls.
the gluten free chef