There are bakeries keeping it real for the gluten averse amongst us. And while these baked goods are indeed made without gluten, they remain moist, rich, and ever satisfying.
Walking into Flying Apron Bakery’s original location is like tumbling down a rabbit hole into the cheerfully tattered Fremont of hippy-dippy yore. Lined up along the entryway is an impossible variety of pastries—all not only gluten free, but vegan to boot. Making pastry without the aid of flour, butter, or eggs—one bows before that formidable achievement, which, in 2002, these folks were the first retailers in Seattle to attempt. Taste the peanut butter–chocolate chip cookie and marvel at a flavor and texture nearly indistinguishable from its standard-bearer.
It’s the former home of North Hill Bakery, and Nuflours founders Amanda Bedell and Phebe Rossi are continuing the building’s 80-year tradition of housing a purveyor of baked goods. But this time, there’s no wheat. Nuflours (the business that began life as D:floured) makes a range of pastries, cookies, and cakes that are entirely gluten free. The baked goods are a familiar site at farmers markets in Ballard, the U District, and Capitol Hill. Nuflours sells breads (focaccia, garlic parmesan loaf, sandwich breads, etc.) and breakfasty things like quiches, scones, muffins, and cinnamon rolls. The lineup of cookies brownies, and bars should look familiar to anyone who has encountered Rossi’s baking talents before. Which is to say: desserts with a richness that's known to leave diehard gluten lovers groaning for mercy.
Toby Matasar is gifted. Her Eats Market Cafe in West Seattle gained a huge following with cinnamon-swirl french toast, upmarket egg mcmuffins, a matzoh ball soup to make bubbe cry. But two years ago, Matasar closed Eats and started a new lifestyle of the paleo variety. Now, the French-trained pastry chef of 20 years is entirely gluten free, as is her hot spot cafe and bakery across from Seattle University. Niche carries gluten-free daytime foods—including the spinach salad and the veggie burger beloved at Eats—along with panini and baguette sandwiches and, oh my, waffle-ini, Belgian waffles pressed into sweet or savory panini-styled sandwiches.