Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gluten Free Daily Bread

I make gluten free bread from scratch. It’s a rice flour bread and the process is a departure from the usual one used in bread making.

Let’s start with the recipe.

Dry ingredients
3 cups brown rice flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons milled flax seed
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup dry milk
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Wet ingredients
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 1/2 cups water

Butter a 5x9 loaf pan and sprinkle with rice flour to coat.

Mix all your dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl, including the yeast. You don’t proof the yeast with this gluten free bread as you would with wheat-flour bread.

Put the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat lightly with the whisk attachment. Add the vinegar, the canola oil and molasses and beat again to mix. Add half the water to this and mix again.

Change to the dough hook. Add your dry ingredients to the bowl all at once.

Mix the dry ingredients at low speed. Add the remaining water one to two tablespoons at a time.

The trick here is to add the water slowly, keeping the dough moist. The dough will not look anything like wheat-flour dough. You want to add the water slowly and get the bread dough to the consistency of thick cake batter. You may not use all the water. You may need a little more.

Adding the water is the equivalent of adding the flour in traditional, wheat flour bread making.

Once you get the dough right, spoon it into the pan. Spread the dough out evenly and set in a warm place. Cover with a clean towel and allow the bread to rise. Once it reaches the top of the pan, it’s ready for the oven.

Bake the bread at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes, depending on your oven.

Allow the bread to cool completely, at least two hours. Now you have to store it.

Gluten free bread should be frozen. If you leave it on the counter in a plastic bag, it will dry out, crumble and go bad within a couple of days.

I slice the bread, place the slices in plastic sandwich bags (I put in two slices to each bag) and then put all the bags in a larger gallon-size freezer bag. I take out a bag or two at a time, depending on need.

Just set the bag with the slices in it on the counter and allow the bread to defrost. This takes less than an hour. You can also put it in the toaster on low, if you like.

Unlike wheat-flour bread, gluten free bread doesn’t get soggy when frozen.

This bread won’t taste like white bread. It’s denser, hardier, and has an almost nutty taste. It tastes great with homemade jelly, which we’ll talk about in an upcoming post.

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