I don’t often miss bread anymore after our family has been gluten-free for almost two years. When asked by someone contemplating a gluten-free diet how we do meals without bread……well, we just do!
But at first it seemed agonizing.
We had pancakes or muffins for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and rolls with dinner.
I had mastered my homemade whole wheat bread, the smell of it wafting through the house, calling us to the kitchen with its intoxicating aroma.
But when Todd had to go gluten-free, we all went gluten-free. Since it’s not a necessary food for survival, we could all stand to do without. Plus we had been having some health issues with our kids as well and decided that it would be best for them to go without it for a time. (and while I remain 98% gluten-free, the rest of my family is still completely gluten-free)
Meals were tough at first, learning how to replace wheat with other flours in recipes seemed mind-boggling. And for the most part, we just go without breads now, save for some whole grain pancakes on the weekend. I just found that while eating gluten-free – replacing our normal foods with gluten-free options also meant that we were eating more refined flours than we had for a few years. So we added in more vegetables and some whole grain dishes made with rice or millet instead of the bread and rolls.
Every once in a while though, maybe once a month, I make a loaf of gluten-free bread. It’s not a health food per se (because of the ‘white’ flours/starches), but a great substitute for a light and moist loaf of bread. A facebook friend of mine gave me the recipe a few months back and we’ve enjoyed it ever since.
It’s not as pretty as a loaf made with whole wheat, but it sure is tasty!
Gluten Free Bread
(makes 2 loaves)
3.5 cups brown rice flour
2.5 cups potato or tapioca starch (you could also use arrowroot flour)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp xanthan gum
5 Tbsp whole cane sugar, divided
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup softened butter or lard
2 cups warm water, divided
1/2 cup whole milk
2 Tbsp yeast
4 eggs, pastured preferred
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Method of Preparation
1.Place the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water-1/2 cup milk along with 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for about ten minutes. (I use hot water and cold milk – hot+cold=warm)
2. In a stand mixer (or use your muscles) mix together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, 4 tablespoons of the sugar, and the salt together until well combined.
3. Mix together the yeast mixture, the softened butter (not melted!), the eggs, and the apple cider vinegar.
4. Add the additional warm water while mixing to get the right consistency. We’re looking for something like cake batter. It will be spoon-able, not knead-able like wheat breads.
5. Spread into two greased bread pans, about half full. One option I use regularly is to make a loaf of bread, a pizza crust, and use any leftover for breadsticks.
6. Let sit in a warm area for 20-40 minutes. Keep and eye on it as you don’t want the bread in the pan to get to high as it will bake over the sides and fall to the bottom of the oven. I like to run my stove on just enough to warm it, turn it off, and then place the pans inside for the bread to rise.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until 190 degrees in the center.
8. Let cool and remove from pans. Best eaten the same day or seal in airtight container and keep on the counter for another day or two. (refrigerating seems to make it dry out faster) After that you can chop it up to make bread crumbs or croutons!
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