Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Breakaway Bakery

After constantly yelping, googling, and scouring the internet for local Gluten-Free options, I thought I knew all of them (and lack of them.)  This is why I am was in disbelief that I missed the gem that is Breakaway Bakery.  I can't believe this Los Angeles wonder escaped my radar for so long! 

There are so many things to love about this dedicated kitchen bakery.  To name just a few:  Gluten-Free, Organic and Kosher Pareve, no use of gums or transfats or preservatives.  Not to mention the wide selection of Vegan baked goods, which turned out to be my favorite of them all.  But most of all, I think the most lovable thing about Breakaway Bakery is the creator and baker, Janice.  Passion and love clearly fuel Janice's labors and flavors.  You can tell that she feels strongly about providing quality goods at respectable prices for a community of eaters that is more than often overlooked. 

Janice, GF herself, is one of those outcast eaters having allergies to many of the normal GF flours you and I would use for baking, which is why her bakery only uses Organic Whole Grain Brown Rice Flour.  Only using one flour is a feat in itself, but then add all of the other omissions and I don't know how she does it!  Further, it is a complete bakery also providing breads including loafs, bagels and challah.

 (clockwise from top left: Lemon Bar, Apricot Pinch, Picasso Cookie, Brownie)

I tried many of the items the bakery produces over a several day/several trip period, and I have to say I didn't find one thing that I disliked.  Some goods did jump out as my favorites though.  I am in LOVE with two of the vegan cookies:  The Apricot "Figaroll" and the Snowball.  Good G-d!  The Figaroll is play on what a Fig Newton would taste like if it were actually good.  The handmade gem, at a perfect dough to filling ratio, really just makes me go mmmmmmmmmm. 

 ("Figaroll" on the left, Snowball on the right)

Then there's the small vegan Snowball.  Visually unassuming, a small dough ball with a sprinkle of powdered sugar on top.  The second you bite into it, the sweetness and dough flavors combine perfectly for a foodgasmic result.  I LOVE the first bite of a Snowball.

I'm also a huge fan of the Lemon Bars and Cranberry/Cherry Crumble Bars, which are not vegan.  I enjoy the bagels which have been a treat when I take a break from baking my own bread or relying on Trader Joe's Brown Rice Wraps.

  (I recommend refrigerating the breads before cutting for an easier slice)

So many positives exist about Breakaway Bakery that I hate to reveal my two almost negatives:

-Even though special orders can be placed/picked up Monday-Friday, currently the bakery is only open two days a week for a few hours each.  Unless you working stiffs can skip out during lunchtime, you might miss out on the delicious goods that Janice is providing. 
-I feel like the baked goods, albeit scrumptious, are on the sugary side for me.  That's probably only because I don't use a lot of sugar when I bake, and I tend not to eat sweets on a daily basis.  Also, my use of milder sweeteners (i.e. Coconut Sugar, honey) have further mellowed out my taste buds.  I've shared the goods with several others who like the sweetness just where it is, so I think it's mostly my issue.  

I'll keep returning to Breakaway Bakery as long as I live in Los Angeles.  I encourage you to support such a loving endeavor by a conscientious baker who brings us delicious baked goods for almost every eater.  Angelinos rejoice!  This bakery will have you outcast eaters saying Hallelujah! in LA.

Breakaway Bakery (5264 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019, 310-968-9380)

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