Just before Easter I was contacted by a lovely lady called Annika in Munich who asked me if I would be willing to sample some gluten-free cakes and bread and to let her know what I thought of them. She works in PR for Waechter & Waechter and came across my website. She explained to me that Huttwiler is a Swiss bakery company so after a bit of online research I not only found out they are the number one leading gluten-free specialists in Switzerland but they have also started selling their products in K&U bakeries across Munich and West Germany too! Excited? Of course I was! So how could I refuse! I waited excitedly everyday for the post to come and on Thursday 4th April my big white polystyrene box arrived by courier containing lots of yummy gluten-free goodies! So this is my Huttwiler gluten-free product review!
Once I got into the parcel (which didn’t take me very long!) these are the treasures I discovered! Four types of bread rolls and two sorts of cake accompanying a little booklet about Huttwiler and a lovely letter from Annika, the PR consultant who contacted me. My first impressions were
- great design
- great labelling and symbols
- interesting and unusual texture of packaging
- great looking products
On closer inspection I noticed that the red label on each of the products explained that the packaging is very unique. Huttwiler have created a plastic packet that you can bake which means you can pop the gluten-free bread rolls in the oven with other gluten foods and there isn’t a risk of contamination because the packaging remains sealed. You simply leave it in the plastic bag, bake it and then serve it to the gluten-free person still in the bag. How amazing is that?! It also explains why the packaging texture felt a bit strange at first touch but isn’t this such a novel design? And this design could prove to be really successful in restaurants and on flights in the future!
So within seconds on went the oven and in went the rolls! There were three white types and one wholegrain one. They took approximately 11 mins at 190°C and were piping hot and ready for lashings of Kerry Gold butter! You can freeze the rolls and cakes in their packaging as well so makes it easier for storage and maintaining freshness but I couldn’t wait to dive into these beauties!
I could smell the rolls before I opened the oven door and they smelled amazing! Like ‘real’ bread, like I remember when I was a child! I carefully opened the packets (watch out for the steam) and popped the rolls onto a plate, sliced them open and spread them with butter! They looked so attractive, golden brown, were warm and they felt like real bread rolls too. I know that sounds silly and I don’t know about you but I have tried other brands of gluten free bread rolls like Dr. Schaer and they just feel a bit rubbery and hard and totally fake. These however felt like the real thing!
By now my husband had stopped working on his laptop and had appeared by my side sniffing my gorgeous looking gluten-free rolls! We each took half of the brown seeded roll and took a bite. OH. MY. GOSH! I think I died and went to gluten-free heaven! It was amazing, I mean the texture was right on, the taste was exceptional and just like a normal bread roll and Andriy, who munches on ‘normal’ gluten bread all the time, couldn’t tell the difference at all that it was gluten free!
It had that crunch and crispy outer shell like any good roll should have and the centre was soft and light, not chewy nor rubbery. The butter spread elegantly over the roll and soaked in nicely not dripping out from the underside and it had a gorgeous seed flavour and I was completely speechless for about 3 minutes … that’s actually a long time for me lol! So one by one we devoured the rolls and they were just flawless! We tried to think of points to critique or where Huttwiler could possibly improve but failed! They were just too amazing! Whilst munching away I thought to myself, how can this be gluten free? I feel like I am cheating or being naughty but hey wait, it IS gluten free and it’s OK! I couldn’t believe how great these rolls were. They really don’t compare to others on the market that are dense and hard and pretty much turn to bricks when baked. So far these are the best gluten-free rolls I have ever tasted and definitely think Huttwiler is onto a winner here with these products! I haven’t tried their loaves of bread but I reckon they would be pretty spectacular based on these bread roll results.
Obviously we were a bit stuffed after chomping our way through bread rolls; they are certainly filling! So we baked the cakes at the weekend. I received a lemon cake and a chocolate cake. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the chocolate cake before my husband and I polished it off so we only have a picture of the lemon one lol oops! Got a bit carried away! But it looked just like this only, well, chocolate. I’m sure you can imagine it! The cakes took a little longer to bake, around 15 minutes at 190°C and again you just pop them straight into the oven from the freezer or cupboard in their special packets. The chocolate cake was much more aromatic than the lemon one, the chocolate scent dominated the kitchen! When we took them out we carefully opened the packets and sliced into them inside their boxes. First impressions were
- chocolate cake smells like chocolate cake, the lemon cake smells like fish and chips!
- looks like cake
- texture feels like cake
- colour is even and golden brown and very pleasing
Yes the lemon one smelled like fish and chips! It was a bit weird but also created nostalgic feelings as it reminded me of being back home on the seafront! Andriy could smell it too and I haven’t cooked fish and chips in a while so it wasn’t an old smell lingering in the oven! I checked the ingredients to see if I could see why it smelled like fish and chips (ie. the typical fried batter smell) but couldn’t really find anything. Its not a bad thing, especially as I love that smell but it was just a bit strange coming from a lemon cake! What did surprise me though was Huttwiler or JOWA use rice flour as their main flour. The bread rolls and cakes are created with a mixture of flours and ingredients but the main bulk flour is rice, which is interesting and different to many I’ve seen on the market where they use maize or buckwheat flour. Maybe that is their secret why the bread rolls were so amazing!
So anyways we tested the lemon cake first and it didn’t taste of fish and chips (phew!) but I have to be honest, compared to the rolls it was a bit dense and disapointing. It wasn’t as lemony as I thought it would be but maybe that’s just a subjective view because I love really lemony lemon cake. The texture revealed itself to be a bit clumpy and strange and reminded me of typical shop bought gluten-free cakes I’ve tried before. They look like cake but the end taste isn’t quite the same as a normal gluten cake and they stick around your mouth and on the roof of your mouth a bit. They seem to be a bit on the heavy side.
The chocolate cake though was much better. It was still a bit dense but a lot lighter and softer than the lemon one and was delicious. I would have liked it to be a little more moist or perhaps with a gooey chocolate centre in it but that’s just me. Andriy really liked the chocolate one too and we think overall Huttwilers strongest qualities are their gluten-free bread rolls. I think with a little tweaking here and there though their cakes have the potential to be outstanding too. If Huttwiler could make their cakes perhaps lighter and fluffier that would be pretty amazing and would totally take the lead over other gluten-free cake brands.
Personally I think Huttwiler is on a roll (pun intended!)! They have come up with some fantastic products, outstanding recipes, great innovative packaging design and really know what they are doing when it comes to gluten free. Huttwiler has plans and surprises up their sleeve to expand across Germany with more amazing gluten-free products and who knows they may even come across the waters to the UK and USA so this is definitely a brand to keep your eye on and look out for! I think they will have a lot of success here in Germany and I wish them all the best! I’m going to keep my eye out for them here in Chemnitz for sure!
A bit about the company: Huttwiler is based in Huttwil in the beautiful Swiss area of Emmental surrounded by pretty countryside, forests and lots of nature. Its very picturesque! The manufacturer JOWA actually makes the gluten-free products for Huttwiler and they are very strict on hygiene and safety in regard to contamination and specialise only in producing gluten-free products. The products are packaged in a special contamination free zone and therefore Huttwiler can guarantee that their products have not come into contact with gluten. Huttwiler is a company that is concerned with being environmentally friendly and really looking after coeliac patients by providing them with the best and safest products. The Huttwiler website is really informative; giving lots of information about coeliac disease, symptoms, statistics, food lists and tips on how to live gluten free and its also available in different languages so do have a browse! http://www.huttwiler.de/home.html
I hope you found this review useful, if so please like and join the conversation below! Have you ever tried ready-made / shop bought gluten-free rolls or cakes? What did you think? Have you heard of Huttwiler? Which brands or gluten-free ready-made products do you buy? Do you prefer to bake your own? If so why? Have you tried rice flour? What is your experience?