“Slightly Unusual. Unusually Good.” is the motto at Chebe, and I must say, they are right on the mark. Chebe Gluten Free Mixes are free of gluten, dairy, yeast, soy, corn, and potato. With this profile, it would be near impossible to expect “typical” results, but what you do get is relatively addictive and tasty.
Tasting Notes for Chebe Gluten Free Mixes
All of the Chebe Gluten Free Mixes have the same taste and textural vibe, because they’re made with the same light base of tapioca flour and starch. They realistically differ only in their additions. That said, one of the mixes isn’t dairy free as it has cheese added. But at last check, the rest of the Chebe Gluten Free Mixes were made without any milk products.
The preparation call for a little oil, 2 eggs, and milk substitute or water. They also say to optionally add cheese to the savory varieties, but we simply omitted it without a problem.
No one could get enough of the fantastic little rolls we made with this mix. In both texture and taste, Chebe bread is rather unique, but it makes an amazing substitute for traditional yeast breads. We found both the flavor and the ease of preparation to be incredibly addicting. From dry mix to freshly baked bread, takes 40 minutes or less; a near impossible feat for yeast based breads.
Our first batch came out a bit chewy, but we quickly discovered a few tricks that optimized our results:
- Using large (not extra-large) eggs
- Waiting to turn on the oven, giving the shaped dough a good 10 to 15 minutes to “rest” while the oven was pre-heating
- Cooking the rolls a few minutes longer than instructed, this made for a crunchy outside and a melt-in-your-mouth center.
The finished product is somewhat difficult to describe. It isn’t particularly flaky or doughy, but it has that perfect consistency of a crusty French bread. The rolls were tasty on their own, with a very neutral flavor, not overly sweet or salty. As well, we enjoyed trialing them with a buttery spread, honey, and jam. For smaller households, the bread keeps well for a day or two, and can be reheated in the oven in just 5 minutes.
Ingredients: Manioc (tapioca) flour, modified manioc starch (100% manioc), cream of tartar, iodine-free sea salt, sodium bicarbonate.
To make this mix special, Chebe added sea salt and a blend of pizza-worthy herbs (basil, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme). As with the others, preparation was a cinch, and we didn’t find the dough challenging to shape.
The crust has a great flavor that we all enjoyed. The texture is crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside, with a slight emphasis on chewy. Since Chebe mixes do not rise significantly, I thought pizza crust was a natural fit – the result was not too thin, but not too puffy.
Ingredients: Manioc (tapioca) flour, modified manioc starch (100% manioc), iodine-free sea salt, oregano, onion, garlic.
Both the flavor and smell of Chebe’s Focaccia Bread is a wonderful experience. But alas, we had some difficulty in getting it to rise to traditional focaccia levels. Our first trial resulted in a truly flat experience, dense and quite chewy, yet tasty. Fortunately, round two did yield bread that was doubled in side. I also found, that baking the bread for the maximum time recommended led to a slightly less chewy loaf. It was a touch more airy, and would easily qualify as a flatbread or thick pizza crust. We decided to utilize the second focaccia as a base for smoked salmon, which turned out to be a very flavorful combination. The bread itself had a traditional focaccia taste, mellow overall but with well-noted flavors of rosemary and basil.
Ingredients: Manioc (tapioca) flour, modified manioc starch (100% manioc), cream of tartar, iodine-free sea salt, sodium bicarbonate, rosemary, basil.
As you may have guessed, this mix is basically Chebe’s All-Purpose Bread mix with garlic and onion added. Though not a monumental twist, it produced a perfect everyday bread option. When served hot, the breadsticks make an excellent accompaniment to any salads, soups, and dips. Both my husband and I found the flavor and chewy texture of these breadsticks to be intriguing yet tasty. As an added bonus, they were very simple to prepare. Shaping them into breadsticks may even be a fun job that kids can take on while the main meal is being prepared. We received the best results when we shaped them into 5 large breadsticks rather than 10 small ones as the serving size suggests. They rose to about double in size, with several air pockets throughout. These breadsticks were definitely a different experience than the Olive Garden variety, but a good alternative for gluten-free consumers.
Ingredients: Manioc (tapioca) flour, modified manioc starch (100% manioc), onion, iodine-free sea salt, garlic.
Within minutes you can have 15 little cinnamon rolls ready for the oven (shown prepared below), but I was amazingly impatient, and went for the (even easier) “toast sticks” suggestion. Basically rolling the dough thicker and cutting it into slices, they were almost like cinnamon inspired breadsticks … but oh how delicious they were!
Knowing that Chebe’s breads like to undercook in the middle, I cooked them for the maximum time of 35 minutes. This made for a crispy, almost biscotti like “stick.” Just the very center was soft, forgiving, and “glutinous”, but the thick outside shell had a pleasant crunch. As mentioned, this wasn’t an overly sweet treat, but it was certainly cinnamon roll material. The rolls or sticks as you choose, could easily be indulged with a drizzling of icing or a quick dip in some maple syrup. Nonetheless, both my husband and I liked them for a cinnamon toast-like snack as is. When I offered my husband the suggested maple syrup or douse of brown sugar to go with his first to sticks, he responded “No, they’re good,” as he continued to munch away.
Ingredients: Manioc (tapioca) flour, evaporated cane juice, modified manioc starch (100% manioc), cinnamon, iodine-free sea salt.
More Facts on Chebe Gluten Free Mixes
Price: $2.81 per 7.5-ounce mix
Availability: Chebe Gluten Free Mixes are sold at select Whole Foods and Albertsons / Safeway stores. You can also order them online from the company’s website below or via Amazon.
Certifications: These Chebe Gluten Free Mixes are Certified Kosher Pareve, Non-GMO Verified, and Certified Gluten Free.
Dietary Notes: By ingredients, these Chebe Gluten Free Mixes are dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. The mixes are technically egg-free and vegan, too, but they do call for eggs in the preparation.*
For More Product Information: Visit the Chebe website at www.chebe.com.
*Always read the ingredient and nutrition statement prior to consumption. Ingredients, processes, and labeling are subject to change at any time for any company or product. Contact the company to discuss their manufacturing processes if potential allergen cross-contamination is an issue for you. No food product can be guaranteed “safe” for every individual’s needs. You should never rely on ingredient and allergen statements alone if dealing with a severe food allergy.
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Strange, but good
This bread is beyond unique and difficult to describe, yet highly addictive. The texture is crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with a pleasant mellow flavor. But take note that this bread does rise as well as you may expect and the results can be finicky.