Chebe focaccia

chebe focaccia

I first tasted this lovely gluten-free focaccia on a bitter cold night in Breckenridge, Colorado. Lovely as the Chef’s small hometown is, it didn’t strike me, at first, as the hotbed of gluten-free eating. How wrong I was. Even the tiniest grocery store stocked items new to me on their spare shelves. We picked up a package of this and took it to the Chef’s sister’s house to make with dinner.

I’ve been buying packages ever since.

Chebe makes wonderfully decent mixes of gluten-free bread products. Their main flour is manioc, and the bread is meant to remind us of the Brazilian “pao de queijo” (the little cheese puffs I first encountered in New York, at Puff and Pao). With a slightly coarser texture than most gluten-free flours, manioc has a distinctive taste: slightly nutty, with a tiny tang. I love that Chebe has dedicated itself to only making mixes with this flour. They’ve cornered the manioc market.

I like the breadsticks. I haven’t had the courage to try the cinnamon rolls yet, but other people have told me to stop being so silly. And the original bread mix, the one that makes the cheese puffs, works every time.

But I like the focaccia best. Yesterday, I spontaneously stirred up some batter from the package sitting in the cupboard, on the shelf above the coffee. When I pulled it warm out of the oven, the Chef remarked how good this chewy bread with a solid crunch on the edges would taste with a couple of eggs over easy. But we never made it that far. We just ate the entire little focaccia bread over the time it took us to read the newspaper, tearing off hunks of the fragrant herby snack and talking slowly. “This reminds me of good sausages,” he said.

He’s right.

I might just make some more tomorrow.

20 comments on “Chebe focaccia

  1. Katie

    I discovered some amazing products just today made with the same manioc flour, and it’s DELICIOUS!!

    http://www.quejos.com will ship to anywhere in north america. I can’t have sugar or dairy either, the sundried tomato is my favorite, toasted with some avocado and sesame seeds!

    I’m going to keep my eyes out for this chebe too, thanks for the info! Looking forward to all the posts to come!

  2. MrsMama

    We love Chebe. They make a pizza crust so yummy that my GF teenager feels like she’s not missing out on her favorite food. The rest of us keep sneaking little bites — it’s that good.

    I also love that you can buy Chebe in bulk from their website.

  3. Jessica

    I also buy Chebe in bulk — cases at a time! We use it for pizza, calzones, pasta, dumplings, pretzels, turnovers, pita, naan — you name it.

    My favorite method right now is to simply roll it out and grill it!

    Chebe is the celiac’s best friend!

  4. CeliacChick

    Just in case you didn’t know…Puff & Pao closed. :(

    I guess that is another reason to celebrate having Chebe mixes readily available.

  5. Anonymous

    drat there are only 2 locations selling this in Canada (one in BC and one in Windsor — both too far from Toronto) and they don’t ship to Canada.

  6. MaryG

    Sorry, going against the grain here.

    I haven’t tried these mixes in the past because I read labels and saw that they contain no nutritional value other than calories (except for added ingredients like eggs). At the time I did some research and discovered that the exotic sounding manioc flour is really just tapioca flour–same plant source (Manihot esculenta). As a whole food, the manioc root lacks protein but has some calcium and vitamin C and thus has value. But as a processed flour it is essentially just a thickener, like tapioca starch (although I have to say I love tapioca pudding–I’m just not fooling myself that the tapioca itself is anything but a vehicle for sugar, milk, fruit, and whipped cream).

    I hate to see a site like this promote a product that costs almost $4 for less than half a pound of something that can be had at an Asian market for pennies.

    1. Jenni

      Only four years late…
      This is great for people who are sensitive to grains in general. The doctor who diagnosed my family with Celiac and gluten intolerance has done studies and is convinced that gluten is in rice, corn, and other “GF” grains. Until I see irrefutable proof however, I’m not willing to give up rice. GMO corn, yes. We have family friends who have been severely sick for years and recently discovered celiac disease and how gluten has detrimentally affected their health. They are choosing to stick to the very strict “NO GRAIN” diet that Dr. Osborne has suggested. As a result, their health and demeanor has greatly improved. So if they want to splurge and have a treat, well it’s just that. A splurge and treat. Pair it with a kale and sweet potato salad.

  7. michel

    Can one of you answer a question? At my local store, I was told it was safe for me to eat bread with flour once it was sprouted. Being new to the GF world and living where my options are very limited, I am not sure if this advice is true? Thanks and I appreciate every comment and blog!

  8. glutenfreeislife

    We love the Chebe mixes, especially the Foccacia and the roll mix, which I make buns out of. DS, Jon, likes when I use the leftover foccacia to make pepperoni sandwiches the next day. I split open the pie shaped slices and slide in some marinara, pepperoni, mozzerealla and parmesan. Then I wrap in foil and bake until warm & melty. :)

    Kim

  9. Sho

    A comment up there said that this flour is good for dumplings. Maybe now I can start making matzo ball soup again.

    Shoshannah

  10. Annie

    The mixes are good and interestingly difficult to duplicate, although they have few ingredients. The pizza mix did inspire me to make my own pizza dough out of plain old tapioca flour (2 cups) mixed with italian herbs and salt, then add the ingredients the package calls for (first, two eggs and a tablespoon of oil. Then, about two cups of parmesan cheese and a splash of milk). It may take a few tries to get the perfect, not-runny dough. But it is worth it!

    The unique thing about the crust is you can make it thinner than any other gluten-free dough. I roll mine out between a sheet of parchment (to bake on) and saran wrap. Last night, I made a crust that was cracker thin. I like it better than crusts made from wheat!

  11. Anonymous

    I LOVE the Chebe products… especially the garlic and onion breadsticks. I just follow the garlic rolls recipe on the back and then top it with Zahtar (or Zat’r) and sometimes a slice of Port Salut cheese. YUM! My husband, who doesn’t have Celiac, begs me to make these rolls at least once a week. It’s nice to be able to enjoy bread products again after avoiding most gluten free mixes we had deemed to dense and tasteless.

  12. Shirley

    I am always reading about how wonderful Chebe products are, but hadn’t heard of this one. For the most part, I don’t miss bread (I occasionally make corn bread and muffins though), but I’d like to try this.

    Michel-IMHO, I would not eat that bread. Often times, the same people that say sprouted bread is safe also say spelt is safe. Neither is safe for celiacs. Some people don’t have a reaction, but they still are ingesting gluten.

  13. Sho

    I have to mention that I went to the Latin American section of my grocery store today. I purchased tapioca starch (manioc starch,) rice flour (harina de arroz,) and extra fine yellow corn meal (harina de maiz.) If it were not for your sites and this post on the manioc flour, I never would have thought of this!!!!!

    Thank you and “YES!”

    ~Shoshannah

  14. Dale

    I use chebe for pizza crusts and like it (tho now I’m into the Mariposa crusts). Yesterday I made the cinnamon roll mix…and wasn’t impressed. I didn’t dress it up much so I could see what the base taste was, and it wasn’t bad, but I won’t be running out to get the mix again. I’ll just make my own!

  15. asiajane

    I just found your web site so I’m a little behind the times but I wanted to say I LOVE LOVE LOVE Chebe! I live in a terribly deprived region of the US at the moment (MS Delta!!) so I must order most gluten-free items on line. I just ordered a case of the Chebe and now pizza night in my family is fun for me again!

    I can’t wait to read more of your site and look forward to acquiring your book as well.

  16. maddy

    Re the cinnamon Chebe, I use the regular Chebe mix and add cinnamon etc to taste. I just make the little rolls like the cheese Chebe and always bury some walnuts inside. I also always add 1 TBS baking powder — that used to be in the directions on the packages, but I don’t know if it’s still on there. When I make a batch, I freeze them raw — when I want a couple, I pull them out and bake (add a couple of minutes).
    Their website has a lot of recipes.
    If you’re trying to duplicate, there are different types of manioc (sweet, sour etc) and they may be milled differently.

  17. maddy

    Oops! 1 teaspoon of baking powder not 1 TBS! I think the regular Chebe has baking powder in it (check it out). The other “flavors” might not have it?