Local baker whips up gluten- and dairy-free treats
“Kneadlessly Delicious” is the term Tisha Brown coined to describe the gluten-free (GF) and dairy-free baked goods she makes at Tisha’s Delicious Bakery, which she opened in January of 2021. Brown specializes in making artisan gluten-free (GF) and dairy-free (DF) breads, along with a “growing menu” of GF and DF treats, including brownies, donuts and cookies. She also makes pizza crust and dinner rolls.
“I am gluten and dairy intolerant,” said Brown. She explained that she had a lot of digestive issues in her early 30s and eliminated dairy at that time at the recommendation of her acupuncturist, which she found to be helpful. However, she started having more symptoms in her early 40s, including aches, pains, inflammation, and bloating. After eliminating both gluten and dairy from her diet, she noticed a big improvement in her symptoms.
Making dietary changes is what originally prompted Brown to do more of her own cooking and baking. Although eliminating gluten and dairy from her diet improved how she felt physically, she often felt like she was missing out because eating gluten-free meant not being able to eat the delicious breads she so desired. She didn’t enjoy the store-bought GF/DF bread options, so she decided to take matters into her own hands.
“During the [COVID 19] pandemic...I started experimenting with recipes,” said Brown. “
“After many experiments, a number of failed attempts and almost giving up a couple of times, I finally found a recipe that was delicious, consistently beautiful and nutritious,” she continued.
Excited at her success, Brown began sharing her baked goods with her gluten intolerant friends, who not only liked her creations, but also encouraged her to open her own business. Her original goal was personal: to create a bread recipe for herself to enjoy. The fact that her discovery spring-boarded into a business selling a variety of breads and desserts was icing on the cake, as that was never her original intention. She credits the extra down-time she had during COVID for her success. “I might not have tried if it wasn’t for the pandemic,” she said.
Thrilled with her creation, Brown shared, “After years of mostly avoiding bread products, I began to reincorporate them into my diet… Bread is such a core staple of our diets...I’m so glad to be able to not only enjoy bread again myself, but to offer it to so many [people] whose story is similar to mine.”
Brown’s philosophy goes beyond GF and DF ingredients, as her business is guided by three principles: JOY “in baking, in life, [and] in deliciousness;” SUSTAINABILITY “for the planet [and] for our bodies, minds, and souls;” and COMMUNITY, whether it be “contributing to, forming, [or] expanding [it].”
Tisha’s Delicious Bakery is a “cottage” bakery, which means Brown can run her business out of her home on South Second Street in Mount Horeb. Because of a Wisconsin court ruling in 2017, home bakers are allowed to make “non-hazardous” baked goods in their own kitchens and sell them directly to the consumer. Customers place their orders online, then pick them up in the “breadbox” in Brown’s driveway.
“All of the products I provide are baked in my home kitchen on equipment purchased for this purpose and used only for this purpose. While I cannot guarantee that my products are completely free from gluten contamination, I do everything I can to minimize the risks of contamination including using separate equipment (except the oven) and purchasing ingredients that are certified gluten-free whenever possible. I also avoid other known allergens such as cow’s milk, peanuts and soy... My bread is fully vegan but I do use eggs in my other baked goods (brownies, cookies, etc.).”
Brown, who already has a growing list of online customers, was excited to report that she’s looking forward to expanding her business with the help of a loan she recently obtained through Kiva, a “micro-lending organization that provides loans to small businesses all over the world.” She plans to purchase a second oven, a larger mixer, and other supplies for use in growing her business, and she’s looking forward to participating in the Mount Horeb Farmers Market and other events in 2022.
“Gluten-free, dairy-free, and delicious?...Yes, really!,” says Brown. “My hope is that my products touch that place of joy and create a feeling of inclusion and community around food...I want everyone to enjoy my products, not only people who have no choice.”
To learn more, visit www.tishasdeliciousbakery.com.