Foolproof…

The thing about gluten free bread is that it’s cranky.

By which I mean that results are variable, the ingredients expensive, the taste can be…odd, and the process time-consuming.  I also don’t want to make a whole loaf, and then only manage to eat half of it before the remainder goes as hard and dry as an old brick, which happen pretty quickly with GF bread.

Since my back problems 6 months ago, I’ve put on weight. Being unable to walk for more than a few minutes and unable to stand up straight will do that for you, and I haven’t managed to lose the extra lard since. So I decided it was time to revisit what, and how much, I eat. Cutting back hard on sugar, hugely increasing the amount of vegies I eat and greatly reducing the carbs is working nicely, and I’m showing a slow but steady decrease in the tightness of my clothes!  But sometimes, I want a bit of bread. And here is a recipe which combines the virtues of being low(ish) carb and gluten free, and tasting good and being very quick to make. It makes a small loaf, two large rolls or 3 or 4 small ones.

Ingredients:
1¼ cups almond meal, either bleached or natural, whichever you prefer
5 tablespoons psyllium husk powder
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 egg whites
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1¼ cups boiling water
¼ cup of sesame seeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds or linseed (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. Mix the dry ingredients, and whisk together with a hand beater to ensure the baking powder is well distributed. Mix the egg whites and vinegar, and add to the dry ingredients. Beat in, then add the boiling water. Beat well for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, till the mixture starts to thicken, turning from a slightly wet and lumpy batter to a dough. Don’t over-beat, or the bread will be gummy. Put whole into a small oiled bread tin, or divide into rolls with oiled hands and put into the oven on a baking sheet covered with baking parchment. Bake for 50 minutes for small rolls or 1 hour for large rolls or a loaf. Cool well before cutting.

You can double the quantities for a larger loaf, but you’ll have to adjust the cooking times upwards  a bit. You can also add a tablespoon of dark brown sugar, half a cup of raisins and half a teaspoon of  cinnamon for a raisin bread, and can brush the crust with melted butter if you want a bit of a shine. It doesn’t have the yeasty flavour of true bread, but it’s not as odd tasting as some GF recipes, and it is wonderfully substantial if you’re hungry!

This is based on an original recipe by Maria Emmerich.

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32 thoughts on “Foolproof…

  1. anne54 says:

    Fantastic that you have been able to reverse the weight gain, Kate. It is a very tricky thing to do, and takes a lot of determination. You must be feeling good about it.

  2. Sound really interesting Kate. I will have to give this a whirl for the Yak one day but the idea of baking gf bread makes me cranky! 😂 We do get some very nice stuff from the farmers market and I guess I do so much other gf cooking. Well done on the weight, I injured my back a few months ago and it’s very frustrating not to move easily. So have to really watch what I eat at the moment. Oh well, things could be worse, as we all know!

    • katechiconi says:

      The chief charm of this recipe is how very quick it is, and how few ingredients there are. It doesn’t make a huge batch of dough, and I can see I’ll be happily slinging some more together later today. Perhaps I’ll get round to a photo after all! The Husband, not coeliac, found it pretty good and tasty too, and the roll I had on day 2 was still soft and good.

  3. lucyannluna says:

    I haven’t tried marking bread yet perhaps I might give it ago over the Christmas school break.

  4. Gluten free bread is full of healthy fats, but still fats. I suspect with this being a common trend right now, it will get a bad wrap in the future. Moderation is key. Thanks for the recipe!

    • katechiconi says:

      I hope it works for you. Since I’m reducing my carb intake greatly, I need to get energy from somewhere, so fats is it for now. I find fat intake is self-moderating; I can’t eat that much without feeling full 🙂

  5. dayphoto says:

    On Dec 4th of last year I went off sugar. I have not had (knowingly) a drop of sugar since. I had been battling a horrendous condition for a very long time (two years or more) and after talking to a specialist in New York City she assured me sugar was the main culprit. I also had help in the way of medication, but the sugar thing was huge. I can always tell the second I eat something that has sugar in it—I am immediately sick all over again and have to go back on the medication.
    I eat no sweetener of any kind…none. And I’ve lost 20 pounds! I need to lose 20 more, but I haven’t made that yet.

    So thank you for the recipe. Since Terry has Celic’s I’m always on the lookout for yummy recipes. And no sugar involved!

    Linda

    • katechiconi says:

      The recipe is very quick and easy, and I find the bread very filling and satisfying. I’m having trouble breaking my sugar habit. What I’m doing is making very small helpings of chia pudding made with coconut cream, a little cocoa and a dash of vanilla essence. No added sugar or sweetener, but the cocoa/vanilla hit makes my brain think it’s getting some!

  6. cedar51 says:

    because I can’t dedicate an exercise regime, I mostly have adopted a portion control type of life – especially when I can cook at home or eat the smaller sizes…

    a few weeks ago someone commented on my small apple – I just said I like small pieces of fruit which is true I do but I also would rather have a small mandarin and a few grapes…

    then when I’m faced with a large bit of something for dinner, or other, I know I can have a smaller potion – with 2nds if I want.

    it doesn’t take long to cut back on certain things…and you can always have something bigger as a long as you tailor back, the next day…

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve reduced our dinner plate size by 2 inches! I mentally divide it into quarters. One quarter is meat or other protein, the other 3/4 is vegetables. I buy small fruits or berries or larger things I can cut up and portion. Like you, I can’t exercise regularly, but my process seems to be working 🙂

  7. Finding that right balance is pretty tough, especially when you have limitations on both the exercise and eating sides! I usually don’t eat much added sugar, and fortunately don’t have much of a sweet tooth. Over our Thanksgiving holiday (Thursday was the official day, and Son left first thing Sunday morning) I had 3 days with some extra sweets. I feel it! Good luck with your eating change. It takes an extra effort, for sure.

    • katechiconi says:

      Sadly, I have a sweet tooth, especially for baked goods. However, I think I’m a bit ahead of the game, precisely *because* I always have to think about what I’m eating, and what’s in the ingredients. The inability to take ‘impact’ exercise has had me eyeing the swimming pool again, reluctantly – I’m not a good or strong swimmer but I know it fits the bill…

  8. This sounds like it has potential. I’ve tried various gluten-free breads, some of them are inedible. xx

    • katechiconi says:

      I ate the rolls warm, with butter. It’s not wheat bread, but it is tasty. And I agree with you; lots of the commercial brands are dry, crumbly and peculiar. I also like that you can make a small batch so the stuff doesn’t get stale in 5 minutes.

  9. tialys says:

    I can’t resist a baguette straight out of the oven I’m afraid – but then you have to eat those in France, it’s the law.

  10. kathyreeves says:

    Good for you Kate! I do think that for women over 40, maybe younger carbs are really bad. For me, both carbs and sugar can be almost addictive, so I have to pull back often! If you don’t like swimming, you might want to try water walking…burns more calories than regular walking, but your joints are supported by the water. I am NOT a swimmer, so this would be my solution. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I did a bit of it before surgery. It’s better than swimming but I find it a bit dull, certainly not something to look forward to! And with daytime temperatures around 32°C/90°F right now, going for a walk outside isn’t a whole lot of fun. I’ll get there, probably later rather than sooner, but I’m determined to shed some of the excess.

      • kathyreeves says:

        I forget it is summer where you are…we had a blizzard today, so walking in a heated swimming pool sounds kind of nice! Of course, you would just walk in ocean there….duh! Silly me!

      • katechiconi says:

        Um, not really! It’s coming into bluebottle (Portuguese Man O’War jellyfish) season, and a fair bit of caution is required. I’d go to the pool. Thing is, given our climate, the pools *aren’t* heated :-/

      • kathyreeves says:

        I am learning something every day from you Kate! I knew about jellyfish, but ugh, didn’t consider how that changes a quick little outing to the beach!

      • katechiconi says:

        It’s the time of year when they wash up onto the beach and lie in wait, and they have yards-long stingers trailing behind them. Not deadly, but certainly very painful. We have the highest percentage of venomous creatures of any country in the world, a dubious distinction…

  11. I’m going to give this loaf a try. Thanks!

    • katechiconi says:

      I’ve tried it with both bleached and natural almond meal (with and without the skins), and I prefer natural, it gives it more flavour and texture, I find. Hope you like it!

  12. Conor Bofin says:

    Great to see you making progress after the op. Keep at it my dear.

  13. Kirsten says:

    I may have to give this a go. When you make rolls do you use a muffin tin or are they freehand? Also, does it freeze?

    • katechiconi says:

      The dough is self-supporting and doesn’t need a muffin tin. I oil my hands a little to make the dough stick to them less when I form the rolls. I haven’t yet tried freezing, but the rolls stay usable and still tasty for at least 4 days. I have one in the fridge right now which I made on Wednesday and I think it’ll be fine for my lunch today. The crust goes soft in the fridge, but the bread is still tasty.

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