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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Perfect Gluten Free Bread

Pinterest Recipe Review: * * * * * (An enthusiastic 5/5 stars)
Picture courtesy of the Baking Beauties Blog
 Gluten free bread was one of the first things I tried to make when it became obvious I needed to embrace the celiac lifestyle. I figured I should start there since bread would be the thing I knew I'd miss the most. I unknowingly took on the most daunting of tasks in my most fragile, clueless state. The result? Epic fail. The spongy, bland, disgusting recipe convinced me that I would never again eat bread. So here we are, over a year later, living in a household completely converted to gluten free living, and we couldn't be happier. Or could we? I found out my husband was cheating on me. Yes, you read that right. He was having delectable affairs with subway sandwiches. Wheat bread, white bread, honey oat, Italian herbs and cheeses, flat bread... you name it, he enjoyed it! Alright, so he missed bread. So sandwiches make a tasty on the go meal. But knowing he was eating this amazing bread made me jealous, and frustrated too since I know all about how the wheat causes inflammation in his arthritic back. 

So where does a girl turn to for help in these dire circumstances? Pinterest of course. I scoured pictures and recipes of gluten free bread until I found one that looked promising enough, checked my cabinets and freezer for all the right ingredients, and set to work making my first loaf of bread in a really, really long time. The bread didn't rise much tucked beneath the towel in front of our heating vent, so I had my doubts as I slid it into the stove, but it came out of the oven completely beautiful. Our kitchen once again filled with the aroma of fresh baked bread. I sliced off a heel and smeared butter on the piece of bread, tentatively took a nibble... and then gobbled up the whole thing! Bread! I was eating bread! Bread that tasted great, that had an acceptable texture. All I can say is thank you to the Baking Beauties blog for creating this bread and saving our marriage! I'm also grateful that this delicious treat is healthy as it consists of brown rice flour, a whole grain, and ground flax, a miracle seed. (Click here to read more about how wonderful ground flax is.) 

Here is the recipe for perfect gluten free bread, as posted on The Baking Beauties blog. 

* I left out the powdered milk as I did not have it, and exchanged a cup of warm milk for the cup of warm water that the recipe calls for.
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup skim milk powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
Directions:
  1. Combine warm, yeast & sugar in a glass bowl. Stir & let sit 5 minutes. This allows the yeast to proof & shortens rising time.
  2. In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine dry ingredients. Mix well and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, using a heavy-duty mixer with paddle attachment or dough hook, combine remaining ingredients until well blended. Add water/yeast mixture & combine.
  4. With mixer on lowest speed, slowly add dry ingredients until combined. Scrape bottom and sides of bowl with rubber spatula. With mixer on medium speed, beat for 4 minutes.
  5. Spoon into prepared bread pan or mini-loaf pans. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm, draft-free place for 30-40 minutes, or until dough has risen to the top of the pan.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom of single loaf.
  7. Slice and wrap while still warm in airtight individual sandwich bags, then place these in a larger freezer bag. Freeze up to 6 weeks.
  8. Bake 12 minutes for 11 mini loaves. Freeze 2 loaves/sandwich bag.
NOTE: Unlike the recipe, I let my loaf cool totally before slicing & packaging. LOVE the new electric knife we got for Christmas, it makes such wonderful, even slices. Perfect!
Nutritional Value: Based on 16 slices per loaf it comes out to : 131 calories, 4g fat, 19g carbs, 3g protein and 1.5g fiber.

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