Thursday, June 23, 2011
You may have wondered to yourself why I never post bread recipes on here. I mean, it’s taken me almost a year to do so! And what is a world without bread?! It’s what every newbie gluten-free person craves and tries to replace right? It’s not that I don’t like making bread, I actually love it and in my pre-gluten-free days it was one of my favourite things to do at home, at work, where ever. I was even known on the odd occasion to pop over to my mother’s house and whip her up a batch of cumin flat breads, roll them out and freeze them; stacked neatly with baking paper between all ready for her to cook when the urge took over.
But here’s the thing…
When my body decided (during my first pregnancy, but it took a lot longer before I figured out what the problem was) that it no longer agreed with me eating gluten and dairy, it also decided that it would no longer tolerate me eating yeast also. Yup. Awesome right? So not only was my body telling me I couldn't eat gluten and dairy, along with my vegetarianism and breastfeeding diet (which went something like this; strictly no wind causing foods, broccoli, cabbage, onion, garlic, beans, chickpeas and legumes. No sugar and no stimulants, yep you guessed it, no chocolate) there really wasn't much left to eat. I had a new born (screaming in pain) to deal with and there was no way in hell I was going to be found baking bread. Full stop.
Lucky for me though, as mentioned in my favourite gluten & dairy-free goodies there are two companies in New Zealand who produce amazing gluten, dairy and yeast-free breads. I was sold. Easily. I didn’t even attempt to make my own gluten-free bread until the kids were way past the baby stage (i.e sleeping more than 1 hour stretches at night) and even then I was never that happy with the results. And for the amount of money spent on ingredients I could have easily just gone to the shop and brought what I still think is the best gluten-free bread out. Making gluten-free, yeast-free, dairy-free bread ain’t easy. I have often thought how great it would be to do "work experience" at Dovedale or Vernerdi just so I can learn their gluten-free sourdough recipes! It's one thing I really want to master. One day. If only it was as easy as regular sourdough.
Since moving to
however, I have had to re-think my gluten-free bread buying ways. The bread here, really really stinks. We made do, for the first month or so, buying this hideous chalky crap from the supermarket. It still contained yeast and dairy, but was at least gluten-free. We got sore tummies, all three of us (remembering Si can eat anything!). I got over it real fast, but as we were still living with family and had no spare money to invest in my usual stock of gluten-free flours (it costs a lot to move countries!) I did what chefs would call the most shameful of crimes… I started buying gluten-free bread mixes, in a box! That took a lot for me to admit and the chef in me has been tossing up whether or not to admit to this one at all. But here’s the thing. When faced with the decision to feed myself and the kids chalky white starch-filled nutrition less Australia bread cardboard or swallow my pride, get over myself and buy what looked to me like the best bread on offer; gluten, dairy, yeast and sugar-free made with wholegrain sorghum flour, you know which one I went for and why. (And no I haven't been payed to promote their product, just so you know).
We mostly just eat that bread still, but every now and then I like to make a loaf of gluten-free bread, yeast and all. Just to see how our tummies react. I’ve made this one a few times over the past few weeks, first in the bread machine my sister-in-law gave to us but I wasn’t so happy with the results. (I might just use the bread machine to make Si regular wheat bread). The flavour was great but it sunk in the centre once cooked making the slices look like they had cat’s ears (Ada loves this bread and affectionately calls it “cat bread”). My guess is it over-proved in the machine, or maybe it didn’t like the fact that I left it to cook, alone, while I picked up Ada from kindy and then stopped at the park on the way home for a play, leaving it sweating away in the machine? Anyways, whatever the initial problem was I wanted to try this recipe out in the oven, knowing most people don’t own bread machines and all. Our tummies are still not 100% happy with the yeast, but not so bad that I wont be making this at least once every week or so. The texture is amazing; light, fluffy but with a good spring. Moist and not in the slightest bit chalky. It’s perfect to eat on the day of baking, the large air bubbles throughout beg to be filled with melted butter and honey. (Yes, I still have crumpet withdrawals). Or a simple smear of ripe avocado, sea salt and freshly ground pepper. It stores well in the fridge for 4-5 days and toasts up beautifully.
So, even though our tummies aren’t 100% when eating yeast, I thought it was about time I shared some of my trials with you all. And I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, if you too can’t really eat yeast. What bread, if any, do you eat?Recipe loosely based on this one, from Karina @ gluten free goddess (who has just made gluten free wholegrain olive bread that looks a lot like focaccia, if your'e interested!)
Update! I've finally started making my own gluten-free sourdough bread, the recipe's in my up-coming book.
gluten-free multi-grain bread
Feel free to play around with the flours to suit what you have at hand, but substitute them by weight not cups to get the most accurate results. If you find your bread is browning too fast and is not fully cooked, simply turn your oven down a little and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
Makes 1 loaf.
- 1 packet (7g/2 teaspoons) instant yeast
- a pinch of raw sugar
- 1/2 cup (125ml) rice milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 3/4 cup (185ml) water
- 2/3 cup (115g) brown rice flour
- 1/3 cup (60g) cornmeal (fine polenta)
- 1/2 cup (62g) millet flour
- 1/2 cup (85g) potato starch
- 1/2 cup (56g) ground almonds (almond meal)
- 2 teaspoons guar gum
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar or lemon juice
- sesame seeds or other seeds to sprinkle on top
In a small bowl combine yeast and sugar. Pour rice milk and water into a small saucepan and heat to blood temperature (check this by dropping a little milky water onto the inside of your wrist, it should feel neither hot nor cold. You are aiming for a temperature of between 35-46 C/95-115 F). If you accidentally heat the milk too much, rather than using it hot and killing the yeast, simply set aside to cool to desired temperature. When you have the milky water at the right temp, pour over the yeast/sugar and mix to combine. Set aside covered with a clean tea towel for 5 minutes to ferment.
Place all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to fully combine. Once the yeast has done it's thing for 5 minutes and is starting to bubble away, add this to the dry ingredients along with remaining ingredients and whisk to form a smooth batter. This will not look like regular wheat bread dough that you can knead, more like a pancake or muffin batter. Continue whisking for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens ever so slightly. Pour into a greased loaf tin, scatter the top with sesame seeds or others of your choice and set aside to prove.
Once the dough has nearly risen to the top of the pan (around an hour) turn your oven to 220 C/425 F. When the oven is hot place the bread onto the middle shelf and cook for 10-15 minutes until golden brown, turn the oven down to 180 C/350F and cook for a further 20-25 minutes or until cooked. To test, you can turn the bread out of the pan and tap the bottom of it. It should sound hollow. Remove the bread from the oven if cooked and cool on a wire rack. Slice once completely cold and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
This post is linked to: slightly indulgent Tuesday @ Simply sugar and gluten free
: sugar free Sunday @ flip cookbook
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apt. 2 baking co