KOSHER RECIPES FOR GLUTEN-FREE LIVING
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Gluten-Free Bread That Just Might Make You Cry [For Joy]
It is hard to believe that something as ordinary as a loaf of bread could nearly bring tears to my eyes - But that is what happened the other night when I sliced into the loaf of fresh-baked bread I had just pulled from the oven.
I had adapted a recipe that was shared on the Celiac.com forums by a woman named Laurie. I certainly won't take full credit for it, as the basic structure was her creation. I owe her many thanks.
I didn't want to get my expectations up about this bread. I figured it couldn't possibly be anything more than satisfactory, at least by the standards of someone who still remembers the taste and mouthfeel of real, gluten-loaded bread. The first thing I noticed when I sliced it was that the slices were pliable. I was certain that I was hallucinating. You know what I'm talking about - Lacking the rubbery properties of gluten, even good gluten-free bread will usually break if you try to bend one of the slices. But this slice was like an acrobat, gracefully bending nearly in half without any crumbling whatsoever. It had the appearance of wheat bread. I poked at it tentatively with a finger... It gave, and bounced gently back. It was soft as a pillow. When I bit into it, all I could think was "Holy sh*t!" I got a little farklempt. At that moment I realized what I had been missing since gluten began making me ill.
There is not a single thing about this bread that tastes or feels different than a wheat loaf. This is bread I could serve to a gluten-eating guest without shame, and feel confident they would never guess that it is gluten-free.
So, about those flaxseeds: I am not a big fan, generally, but I truly could not taste them in this bread. They play a big part of giving it the wonderful texture it has, as well as the high fiber content, but thankfully they do not contribute to the flavor. It is dairy-free, which makes it a good choice for all you GFCF (gluten-free casein-free) folks. It has more protein, more fiber, less sugar, and more whole grains than most breads which makes it a perfect fit for my increasingly healthy diet.
The next morning I woke up for work, and stumbled to the kitchen. I accepted that the rest of the slices, which I'd left in a ziploc bag on the counter, would have become dry or gummy (or that special combination of both that is apparently unique to gluten-free bread). I was blown away by the fact that the bread had the same exact texture as it had the night before. This is bread that you can make a sandwich on without toasting it first. Bread that you can take to work or pack for your kid's school lunch. Best of all, it's not one of those breads that has a mediocre flavor or texture that needs to be obscured by peanut butter and jelly in order to be edible. It isn't just good - It's wonderful. This is a loaf that stands alone.
GLUTEN-FREE MULTIGRAIN MIRACLE BREAD
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot starch
1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 additional egg whites
1 cup water, room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 200F.
Sift the flours, yeast and all other dry ingredients together into a medium bowl. Stir in flax meal and combine.
Combine the wet ingredients in a separate large bowl using a hand-mixer on low or medium speed. When fully combined, slowly add dry ingredient mixture and mix until fully blended, with no lumps. Scrape the sides regularly.
Grease a 9x5" bread pan, and pour the dough into the pan. Turn off the oven and immediately place the pan in it. Do not open the door again, if possible. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes. It should rise to the very top of the pan.
Increase heat to 350F and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The crust should be golden-brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing it from the pan to finish cooling. Do not slice until the bread is no longer hot.
This loaf does not need to be frozen, but if there are leftovers after a few days, place slices in airtight bags and freeze.