This is me in one of my happy places—the eucalyptus steam room at Ste. Anne’s Spa. The only thing I was more excited about at my most recent visit to Ste. Anne’s was the bakery. Whether sweet or savoury, there were so many delectable gluten-free baked goods! Ste. Anne’s, an inn and health spa, has been a popular getaway for relaxation and rejuvenation for years. Now it’s also become a destination for people who are gluten free because of its delicious and celiac-safe gluten-free offerings (however, not all of the meals are GF, so be sure to tell the staff about your dietary needs). And it’s all thanks to Ste. Anne’s Bakery. To find out more about this little bakery in Grafton, Ontario, read our interview below with Ste. Anne’s Bakery manager David Salazar.
“Our facility is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Program, so everything in the bakery is 100% gluten free. It’s been a dedicated gluten-free facility for a couple of years now. We use organic certified gluten-free flour, a formula we developed that we still work with. Some of the baked goods are also vegan. We’re trying to offer more vegan options because we’re getting a lot of requests for this now. The bakery is like a lab because we have to try one product several times until we feel it’s ready to share it with the rest of the world. There’s math involved, too, because you have to make sure to have certain ratios of protein to starch.”
“The bread is the most popular product we offer, then the granola, the cookies, and the rest of the cakes and desserts. We offer fresh-baked gluten-free bread every day. Our most popular varieties are the multigrain, which we call five-seed bread, the almond milk bread, and the herb and cheddar cheese bread. We also bake vegan bread and cinnamon raisin, which goes over so well with the kids! Many stores have gotten into the habit of only selling frozen gluten-free breads. Ours is sold fresh. We don’t use any preservatives, so we recommend keeping the bread on your counter for three to four days and then putting in the freezer if you want to keep it for a longer time.” [Click here to see where to find the bread in Toronto.]
“And focaccia! They serve the focaccia in the restaurant at the spa. [Editor’s note: I asked for seconds with my lunch.] We also create products for the spa—for breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner. When the executive chef comes up with an idea and says he’s looking for a new dessert and he saw this cake in Italy and can we do it gluten free, I meet with my team and we develop something. Right now we’re working on a recipe for puff pastry. It’s a huge challenge.”
“The granola is a real part of the Ste. Anne’s experience: a high-quality organic mix of GF-certified seeds and nuts seasoned with Ste. Anne’s honey butter and spices. That’s all we use. We let the ingredients speak for themselves.”
“Our baked goods have a unique taste because we use ingredients that we grow on our own property. A lot of flavours used in the bakery are from our garden, including the extracts—rosemary, rose, lavender. We try to use a farm-to-table practice, and we’re lucky that we have this property and the staff to help us produce a lot of fresh ingredients. The honey used in our bread is also from our property.”
“This is where the magic happens. What we have here is walnut-almond banana bread.”
“This devil sponge cake with chocolate buttercream and vanilla buttercream writing will soon say: Happy 50th Michelle!” [Editor’s note: Lucky lady!]
“Customers come to the bakery from all over the place, it’s not just spa guests. We offer lunch here—quesadilla, panini, empanada, quiche. We like to follow the requests of our guests when it comes to developing new products. Interestingly, a lot of them are not gluten free, they’re just looking for healthy choices.”
Ste. Anne’s Bakery is a Silver sponsor of #GFG17 and a new vendor we’re excited to welcome!
Find them opposite Neal Brothers Foods at the Wychwood (east) side of the Barns on May 28th.
Fill out a ballot at Gluten Free Garage to win an All-Inclusive Day Spa for Two at Ste. Anne’s!
This deliciously relaxing getaway includes (per person):
$120 spa allowance, 3-course lunch, afternoon tea and complete use of the facilities. Approximate value is $542.40