Gluten Free bread baking is way easier than you thought.
For years I avoided baking gluten free because it seemed difficult and unknown. I used gluten-filled flours because they were familiar and cheap. However, with gluten being a probable allergen for Tessa, I finally decided to dive into the world of rice, sorghum, and other gluten-less flours the other day; and I emerged a happy, new man. It feels wholesome and basic to bake bread. It is enjoyable and satisfying to provide a healthy bread for my family, free from preservatives and additives; and still less expensive than the store-bought gluten free breads. This bread has gotten rave reviews from Tessa’s whole family:) Also, I found that I can even make a tasty gluten-free pizza that can rival my brief past professional endeavors in mobile wood-fired catering (check out some fun photos from my old business, The Whole Pie Pizza here).
I ultimately discovered that gluten free baking is not difficult!
Im not big on following rules in the kitchen, and this is partly because it makes doing things more simple, easy, and less complicated. When it comes to baking, it is true that exact measurements lead to good and expected results. I cannot deny that this rule largely applies.
Nevertheless, if I want to bake bread and I want to bake now… I dont have time to wait for a trip to the store, or my online order from Azure (which is a great, easy way to get great deals on getting your food pantry “staples” delivered) for specific ingredients. I use that which I have in the cupboard.
This means I take a recipe and I improvise. I break the recipe rules and I encourage you to do the same.
Predictable results are boring. Switch things up and enjoy the outcome; and adjust next time if need be.
3 cups gluten free flour (I use brown or white rice flour primarily with others such as teff, sorghum, tapioca, potato, millet…) And feel free to add in .25 cup ground flax meal for some added omega 3’s
1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp xantham gum
1.25 cups warm water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice
2 eggs or 3 eggwhites
Mix yeast, warm water, and honey together. let sit 5 minutes
Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl
Combine all wet ingredients in a second bowl
Add wet to dry. Add tbsp. flour or water to reach the right consistency (there are too many variables for measurements to be accurate(such as density of flour, humidity, etc) so be flexible and experiment.
Mix vigorously for 5 minutes. You want a sticky consistency. Thicker than cake batter, wetter than regular bread. (In stand mixer, you want the dough to stick to the bottom of the bowl a bit as it mixes.)
Transfer into a greased and flour-dusted bread loaf pan (wet fingers with water to handle dough without sticking), oil the top and cover with wet towel
Let it rise for 30 minutes in a warm environment. Preheat oven to 375
Bake for roughly 45 minutes. Internal temp needs to reach 200
Air cool on rack.
Cut, serve, and enjoy.
FYI… If you really wanna have a fun night, take this recipe and speed it up a bit by cutting out the 30 minutes of rising time, flatten it out on a pan to .25 inches thick and bake at 500 until golden brown. It is delicious as a flat bread with olive oil, salt, pepper, and an herb of your choice. Or pull it out after browned, top with pizza toppings and throw it back in the oven. Keep an eye on the bottom and top. If bottom is getting too brown and top isnt melted enough, just turn it to broil for a few minutes and youll be grubbing delicious pizza in no time.
Back from my mobile woodfired pizza catering days… everyone loved and raved about my simple raw pizza sauce. So, here ya go:
Combine 1 large can crushed/blended tomato (no added salt or herbs, just tomato!) with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp dry oregano and red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Bright and tomato-y!
Maybe I’ll share my simple and outrageously delicious pesto recipe another day…