Of all the things I was missing the most after 7 years of a gluten free diet, bread was chief. Closely followed by proper yeast-raised doughnuts, but that’s a work in progress, and if I crack it, you’ll see it here.
So, finally, I’ve got bread recipes I’m happy with. They’re a little time consuming, but if you’ve been missing your bread as much as I was, you may find the time well spent. There’s a white, a brown(ish) seeded, and a raisin loaf.
Some initial points:
This recipe gives quantities in Australian cups. 1 Australian cup = 250ml, or 8oz imperial. 1 US cup = 225ml, so if you’re using one of these, you may have to slightly increase quantities by a tablespoonful or so. Mostly I’ve found it makes no difference, so long as you’re consistent.
I like to use mini loaf pans to make large dinner rolls, and mini springform cake pans to make large round rolls. They cook more quickly and evenly in smaller pans too. However, you can also use commercial grade bread pans, which are made of heavier metal and will cook a large loaf evenly. A taller, slightly narrower pan is best. The smaller rolls also last well wrapped in foil and refrigerated – my last batch we took on a 3 day road trip in the car fridge, and on day 4 they were still quite soft and edible.
Both recipes are quite forgiving of substitutions. You can use besan (chickpea flour) instead of soy, but it has quite a strong taste. However, it’s also high in protein so it does the job. You can use a bit extra potato or tapioca starch if you’re short of either of them. What you can’t do without is the milk powder, xanthan gum, vinegar, yeast or oil. You can use chia gel instead of the eggs, use a large tablespoonful for 1 egg. Don’t attempt this recipe using baking soda as the raising agent.
Country style white loaf
In a jug, mix 330ml/11floz lukewarm water with 1 sachet/7g/2tsp dry active yeast. Put aside to let the yeast ‘bloom’.
In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons sunflower oil, 3 medium eggs and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the following:
1 tablespoon xanthan gum (don’t use guar gum, it’s too sticky)
1 1/2 tsp salt
½ cup milk powder
2 tablespoons raw or white granulated sugar
½ cup tapioca or arrowroot starch
1/3 cup soy flour
1 ¼ cups potato starch
2 cups white rice flour.
Mix all well together till fully blended. Make a well in the top, and pour in the egg and yeast mixtures. Combine with a spatula, and then mix on low speed for 5 minutes, using the dough hook. Don’t skimp on the mixing time, or the xanthan gum will not activate and the dough will not be able to hold air. Portion the dough out between bread pans. Fill the pans no more than 2/3 full, to allow space for the dough to tise. Smooth the top with a wet spatula or oiled hands if you like a smooth top. At this point you can sprinkle with the seed of your choice if you wish. Put in a warm, draft free place for half an hour to an hour to rise. My favourite winter place is on the car dashboard, in the sun. In summer, any room in the house where the air conditioning’s not on! Of course, in the northern hemisphere, you’ll have to be more selective! The dough should nearly double in size. Cook for half an hour, or longer – depending on the size of the loaf pan, how hot your oven is, etc.
You CAN do this without a mixer, but you have to do a lot of hard work beating it. My advice is: don’t. Buy a mixer.
Brown seeded loaf.
Ingredients as above, with the following variants:
Use brown rice flour instead of white, if you can get it. Not a problem if you can’t, you’ll just have a ‘blonder’ loaf.
Use soft dark brown sugar instead of raw or white
Add half a cupful of pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds blended to breadcrumb texture
Add another half cupful of whole sunflower seeds and a sprinkle of poppy seeds. Others you can use include black or golden linseed, millet or sorghum.
As for the brown seeded, but instead of seeds, use 1 ½ cups of raisins and cinnamon to taste. I love it, but lots of people don’t, so where I’d use 2 tablespoonfuls, you might not! This one’s nice brushed with a light sugar syrup when still warm to give it a glaze. And it’s almost worth letting it get stale for the hot buttered raisin toast…
OK, I promise the next post won’t be about food. Probably. Unless I’m growing it.