This year, one of my girl's presented me with a serious food challenge. She is the first girl I have met in my time here who has a gluten allergy due to a disease called colitis. I flipped out when I heard that! How on earth do they manage to stay away from all things bread?! I may only allow myself bread on weekends and holidays, but to have to go without bread forever??? To me, it's inconceivable but if it improves someone's health and quality of life.... I also felt bad that while everyone else can eat my baked goods, she can't. And so, I decided that I would make her some gluten-free goodies. Not all the time, but as a special treat, now and again. And so I conducted a ton of research and found out a lot of fascinating things about celiacs and gluten free baking. I became possessed by the research, scouring blogs and various web sites for promising recipes, finding many promising leads. So I went to the health food store in search of xantham gum, the one ingredient without which all of this gluten-free baking couldnt be done. Lo and behold, there in the Israeli health food store my eyes spotted the words (in Hebrew) "ksantam gam" and below it in English, xanthan gum. Bingo! I then proceeded to stock up on some gluten-free flours. The first thing I made her were brownies, as they are simple and chocolate- a good gluten-free choice. They were not only simple but well-received, if a bit fudgy and gooey. Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever heard anyone complain about that.... My next challenge was bread. I remembered seeing a blog on the KAF Baker's Banter and went back to theirs. It looked really good and so I set out to make it having all of the ingredients on hand. Let me just say- gluten-free is a whole other ball game! It was refreshing not to worry about over beating the flours but it was also oddly goopy but didnt really stick to much. It was a really cool experiment. I gave A, the girl I'm baking for the loaf with the warning that gluten-free is not my niche and it's not my fault if it's bad. She took a piece off while it was hot and said that it was pretty good for gluten free. Afraid to taste it, I declined but then thought better of it later. I had her bring me a piece and I thought, that was it really good. I wouldn't even say good for gluten-free. I liked it! It was kind of nutty and a bit sweet... I was a fan. I would definitely make it again. The only changes I made were to use a bit of white rice flour instead of all brown, margarine instead of butter, and soy milk instead of regular and I used a hand mixer. This is impossible to make without some sort of electric mixer. Consider yourself warned. This bread is off to Yeastspotting!
Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
adapted from KAF's Blog
The Flour Blend- you will not need all of it
32 ounces brown rice flour- I used half white
10 3/4 ounces potato starch
4 ounces tapioca starch
3 cups Flour Blend
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup soy milk
4 tbsp soft margarine
3 large eggs
Place the flour blend into a large bowl. Add the sugar, yeast, salt and xanthan gum and mix to combine. Slowly pour in the milk and beat until thoroughly combined. It will be crumbly at first but then come together. Add the margarine and beat to incorporate. Add the eggs one at a time and beat THOROUGHLY after each addition. After all the eggs are incorporated, beat the batter for another three minutes. Allow to rise for an hour.
Here is my risen dough. Gently deflate it,
and scrape it into a greased 8x4 inch loaf pan. Smooth out the top.
Allow to rise for about another hour or until the dough rises to the top of the pan.
Here is its side profile. Towards the end of proofing, preheat the oven to 350.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown and looking ready.
Cool completely on a wire rack.