Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gluten Free Bread

I did a little experiment with gluten.  I did not eat it for three weeks.  I did see some changes in the things that were bothering me health wise.  But the most significant was the swelling in my joints.  I have heard people talk about this before.  I suspected they were right but was it true for me.  Well, that question is answered, the other day I had two pieces of bread.  It was like a meal, delicious, warm home made bread.  The next morning I woke up and my hands were aching.  My one hand was a bit swollen.  And I had my middle of the night stomach ache.  When I wasn't eating gluten those middle of the night stomach aches were gone.  Not a one.  I don't think I have Celiac disease, but I am not a doctor.  I do wonder if maybe I am allergic to gluten.  In any case, it doesn't matter, it will pretty much be off the menu for me.

All that being said, I have to have bread once in a while.  I like a slice with eggs in the morning and I do like a sandwich once in a while.  I am on the hunt for good gluten free bread.  This one was an excellent start to my search.  For some amazing tips on gluten, the ins and outs of baking gluten free bread, go here to Allergy Free Alaska.  There is a lot of great tips to be had.

Don't worry, my blog is not going gluten free, my kids and my husband are not, so, I will continue to make bread and all that other jazz.  But, I will throw some gluten free recipes in here from time to time.

Gluten Free Bread

4 cups Flour Blend (see below)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon gluten-free egg replacer
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup powdered milk
3 large eggs at room temperature
¼ cup butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
⅓ cup honey
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast 
2 cups warm water

First, use a cup of water and sprinkle in the yeast.  Let sit for about five minutes.  It will turn foamy.  In a mixer or with a blender in a bowl, combine eggs, honey, vinegar and butter.  In a separate bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.  Whisk the dry ingredients together.  Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer and add the cup of water with the yeast.  Refill the same cup with another cup of water to get the rest of the yeast out that may be lingering on the sides.  Add it all in.  Let mixer run for about five minutes.  This is real important because it incorporates air in to the batter.*  Pour into 2 sprayed or greased 8 1/2 x 5 loaf pans. Let this dough rise for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 50 to 60 minutes.  The loaves need to have an internal temperature of 200F and up to 208F.  Remove from loaf pans, onto wire racks and let cool completely.  They will finish their baking process as they cool.

Flour Blend
1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
1 1/3 cups tapioca flour
1 1/3 cups corn starch
1 tablespoon potato flour

*Normally, when you bake bread with regular flour, the gluten reacts with the yeast to form pockets of gas that make the bread airy and light.  Because there is no gluten in this bread you need to rely on the air that you incorporate into it.

April 1st: I just wanted to update here and tell you about the bread I made today.  Followed this recipe except I used 1 1/3 cups sorghum flour instead of tapioca flour.  I also used 2 tablespoons of egg replacer- not sure how much of an impact that had, probably was the change in flour.  It was texturally even better than this bread above .  Flavor- even better as well.  This will be a permanent change for me.  Will be using it as a pizza dough later this week.  Will let you know how that goes.

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