Named after its co-founder, World Marathon Champion and Olympian Robert “Deeks” De Castella, Deeks Bakery & Café is located in Canberra (Australia’s too-often overlooked capital) and specializes in gluten and grain-free baking.
Deeks showcased several “breads” made from quinoa at this year’s Sydney Good Food & Wine Show.
Pronounced “Kee-nwah”, the recently rediscovered “grain” is actually an edible seed from a plant related to spinach, chard and beets. Being completely gluten-free, quinoa can be substituted for almost any grain making it excellent for those suffering from Coeliac disease, gluten intolerance, auto-immune diseases like arthritis or wheat and grain allergies.
Deeks prides itself on using only the highest quality seeds, herbs, legumes, nuts, and chocolate. They also use no preservatives, colorants or artificial flavors and their products are handmade using old-style baking techniques.
Deeks Bakery & Café has over 30 bakery items on its menu including foccacias, cakes, cookies and tarts and it's also quickly gaining a reputation for its organic coffee.
Favorites include the pumpkin and pepita loaf made with freshly grated pumpkin and quinoa; chocolate quinoa log studded with dark Belgium chocolate which melts when toasted; and, the fragrant quinoa fruit log filled with sultanas and apricots and infused with a hint of mixed spice and topped with flaked almonds.
The breads have an interesting texture – like a moist cross between an English crumpet and sourdough bread.
In its efforts to bring bread to those with immune-related conditions, Deeks Bakery has been assisted by co-founder, clinical biologist Bill Giles. Giles has spent years performing thousands of clinical trials in a search of products that don't compromise the immune system. Quinoa was chosen for this reason. Giles added, “[Quinoa] provides rich protein, iron, potassium and is a good source of dietary fiber. It’s also easily digested.”
Giles also stressed the importance of the fact that Deeks’ breads contain less than 10% fructose (other standard and gluten-free breads contain up to 80% fructose.
Fructose – the sugar in fruit – is less appreciated by your body when it comes from grains. It takes your liver longer to process and, in turn it takes longer for blood sugar to return to normal levels. Feeling full and satisfied also takes longer – leading people to over-eat.
The products available today are the result of much trial and error. Deeks admits, “It literally took years to produce the first acceptable loaf and even then it resembled more of a cake than bread.”
The hard work paid off. Deek’s loaves and other baked goods are quickly winning fans around Australia.For more information visit the Deeks Bakery & Cafe's website.