Back to Basics

After my blog Recipe for Success in which I shared my gluten-free bread making disaster,  I wanted to share an update with you about how I got on.

After my initial false start, I applied some method and went back to basics.

I remembered that when I first made regular bread, I used a ready-mixed packet of dry ingredients, so I applied that thinking to gluten free. As if to confirm my thinking was correct, I found this brand at my local supermarket, waiting for me on the shelf, with MY NAME ON IT no less!

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And guess what – it worked like a charm! It still wasn’t perfect, for future reference, it will need cooking for slightly longer (note to self – used the dark option on the breadmaker) but I got it pretty much right, and my friend was delighted with her yummy treat.

Gluten – free success! photo (2)

So when you’re trying something new and it doesn’t work out, it may be time to go back to basics. It’s not “cheating ” to use somebody else’s formula for success – people do it all over the world. Think network marketing!

It’s nice to be original, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.

Growing up, I was taught that using a packet mix for bread or cake was unacceptable, that it was tantamount to “cheating” and somehow dishonest. My attitude towards business was very similar for many years. I felt that my way had to be completely new and original or I was somehow a bad person and not really a success.

I now see that limited thinking for what it really is. A load of old cobblers.

To be good at anything, you’ve got to start with the basics, whether it’s baking bread, riding a bicycle, or running a business.

Using a packet mix may be the bread baking equivalent of riding a tricycle, but that’s all I’m ready for right now. I seem to remember having great fun on my tricycle as a child, and I’ll move on to the gluten free “bicycle” in due course (with stabilisers to start) as and when I’m ready, and more confident with my new skills.

But until then, I gotta new set of wheels and I’m going to enjoy whizzing around on my new trike!



  1. I am a gluten-free eater, but more than anything I loved your points here about what matters when we’re trying to learn or improve on something.. and where we get so hung up that we often find ourselves paralyzed in perfectionism craziness. So cool that it literally had your name on it.. Hope it was delicious.
    Love to you,


  2. Great story Helen! When we were strictly gluten free we tried just about every from-the-package option for making our own bread we could find. Then we started experimenting with mixing our own flours, using recipes we found online. You’re so right, when you’re working with something you have no context for (how gluten-free flour is so much different than wheat flour) it’s so much easier to NOT try to reinvent the wheel. But sometimes we have to learn that the hard way, right?


  3. Hells-to-the-yeah on this!! YES! This is a HUGE reminder for me, so thank you! It’s easy to get caught up in all of that thinking about starting something totally new and unique to avoid “copying” someone, but I find it sends me off into tangents, and makes me miss the whole point of it all! Also, I truly *heart* that you said, “A load of old cobblers.” Makes me like you even more…and I may borrow it (giving you full credit, of course!) Thank you for this!! 🙂


  4. Using someone else’s recipe is a great way to start. I really like how you used it as a starting point and then reviewed the results to see how you could tweak them to make it work even better for you.

    I think that is the key to everything…especially your business. There are tons of people offering to teach you how to succeed, but really what they are doing is sharing their way of doing things. It might not work for you. I think it’s super important to recognize other people’s advice as a starting point and to give yourself permission to experiment and add in different flavors until you create your very own recipe for success that works perfectly with the unique set of talents and tools that you bring to the table.


  5. Great points Helen!

    I have been attempting to Gluten way of life, and as per usual, I try and go for the whole pizazz and try and do home baked stuff, which is ridiculous because I’m just not a home baker at all lol- not even using gluten. You are very right, start from the basics. After all, 1/3 of a mile is not a mile, but it’s better than sitting on the sofa! 🙂


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