I’ve thrown out more finished loaves of gluten free bread than you can shake a stick at. Like lead, they landed in the trash while I watched dollar bills float off in the air.
But this time, with unbridled determination and a decision to keep at it day after day after day, I read and I studied bread recipes in the cookbooks I own, and I read and studied bread recipes online at different blogs and other websites (gluten free and those with gluten). I wanted to learn as much as I could about the science and art of gluten free bread baking. I suppose that watching the movie Julie & Julia inspired me just a little. A girl can dream, ya’ know:).
And then I put on my apron and rolled up my sleeves. And I often stayed up way past my bedtime or got up with the birds, just to keep baking. And I often ran to the market because I ran out of potato starch or yeast or eggs or something I couldn’t do without. Our beautiful kitchen counter hasn’t seen the light of day, covered though it’s been with recipes and cookbooks and pretty much everything from our cupboards! I lived, ate, slept, dreamed, and talked gluten free bread. The science of it, the smell of it, the taste of it, the texture of it, the everything of it. We’ve been all things gluten free bread in this house. And I baked and I baked until I found a gluten free loaf I could call my own.
I also tried making the recipe subbing in flaxseed meal and water for the eggs. It came out ok, but I wasn’t thrilled. It was much shorter in stature and a bit too gummy for my liking. If you want to try it, use 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 6 tbsp hot water instead of the eggs. Or you might try Ener-g egg replacer. Maybe you’ll have better luck than I. If so, please let me know in the comments.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally in favor of packaged gluten free bread mixes. And I mean totally. There is definitely a time and place for them. Especially Breads From Anna. Anyone who reads my blog knows that I am a huge fan of Anna’s bread mixes. They’re delicious and healthy. Stop the presses. It doesn’t get much better.
And I also have the utmost respect for the pioneers in the field on whose shoulders all contemporary gluten free bakers stand. People who have been in the field testing and trying recipes and different combinations of gluten free flours and grains. People like Bette Hagman and Annalise Roberts and Breads from Anna and the myriad of others who are making our gluten free lives easier. Kudos and hip hip hooray to all of them.
I suppose you might find yourself thinking that you’d never make a bread with so many ingredients. If you’ve had any experience with gluten free baking, you know that it’s par for the course to have to combine numerous flours. In my opinion, it’s worth the extra expense and effort. I had me one mean tunafish sandwich today. And the bread – soft and pliable and tasty, just like I want my gluten free bread to be.
I wanted a gluten free bread that came as close to whole wheat bread as possible. In taste and texture and mouth feel. I wanted no nasty aftertaste. I wanted soft but not wonder-bread-stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth. I wanted a bread that tasted good without having to toast it. And I’m proud to say, this bread meets my critera. I still have to do a little work on it. I’m not sure why one side of the top of the bread sank. It might have to do with the fact that I put it on our porch to cool. The quick temperature change might’ve shocked the bread and caused it to sink a little. Anyone else have any thoughts about this?
If you decide to try this recipe, follow the directions exactly!!! If you substitute any ingredients or change any of the procedures, it’s quite possible that your bread will not come out as well as you might hope.
Multi-Grain Gluten Free Homestyle Bread
created by Ellen Allard
(Please note that today, April 26, 2010, I’ve edited the recipe instructions.)
Â½ cup water, 105 – 10 degrees
2 tsp active dry yeast
pinch of sugar
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
Â½ cup potato starch
Â¼ cup teff flour
Â¼ cup cornstarch
Â¼ cup ground flaxmeal
2 tbsp garfava flour
1 tbsp rice bran
1 tbsp soy milk powder
2 Â½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sure-jel, optional
Â¼ tsp agar, optional
2 egg whites
1/2 cup soymilk or water, 105 – 110 degrees
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Grease 9×5â€ bread pan. Combine yeast mixture ingredients, mix and cover with saran wrap. When it develops a head of foam, it is ready â€“ should take 5 â€“ 10 minutes.
Combine dry ingredients from millet through agar. Whisk well.
Put wet ingredients from eggs through vinegar into bowl of mixer (or free standing bowl). Mix on medium speed, combining well. Leaving mixer running, slowly add proofed yeast. Mix well. Then slowly add dry ingredients. Scraping the sides as needed with a wet spatula, mix for 3 Â½ minutes.
Pour into pan, cover with tea towel or saran wrap and let it rise for about 60 minutes or until it reaches top of pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, then check to see if top of bread has gotten too dark. If so, tent with foil. Bake for 20 more minutes. Use thermometer to see if inside of bread has reached 208 degrees â€“ if not, return to oven for a few more minutes.
Remove from oven and sit on cooling rack for five minutes then remove from pan and let cool. DO NOT CUT bread until thoroughly cooled off.
Yum. What’s your favorite gluten free bread recipe?