It’s a Saturday morning and I’m not shooting a wedding! I had to remind myself of what normal people do on Saturday mornings, and I got really excited to put things in a bowl, mix them, and then stick them in the oven. Also known as baking.
So I told you guys a while ago that Cole and I are going “wheat-free in 2014,” and we are! There are some cheat days we factor in, because after all, sometimes we are at the mercy of what other people prepare us and if we don’t have an actual wheat allergy we don’t want to be snobs about it.
But when it comes to our house and our refrigerator and our weekly meal planning, we have cut wheat out entirely! It’s gone so much better than I anticipated and we’ve seen a lot of health benefits already!
I’m sharing my bread recipe with you today since it has become a staple in our household. And y’all, it’s spectacular.
Listen, Cole loves sandwiches. I mean loves sandwiches. I realized very quickly that wheat-free would not be an option in the Gorman household if Cole had to give up his beloved sandwiches. He would eat the same cracked pepper turkey sandwich for lunch everyday if he could. Actually, he does eat the same cracked pepper turkey sandwich for lunch everyday if I’ve made this bread!
I went on a hunt for the perfect bread recipe and I found it! Most gluten-free/wheat-free breads are either packed full of junk carbs (like rice flour), too tough, or cardboard-tasting. A lot of what I found was full of rice flour, which is fine in small doses, but can raise sugar/insulin levels just as horribly as wheat-based flour can. Rice flour doesn’t offer the nutritional carbohydrates that other flour options do, so I kept snooping around for better breads.
You can imagine my delight when this bread came out just like the old wheat bread I used to eat. Actually, it’s better than the old wheat bread! It comes out warm, it can be toasted, and you can make different varieties of it. It also has only one “junk” carb (tapioca flour) instead of lots, and it’s balanced by other flours with lots of nutritional content. It doesn’t require tons of sugar, only a small amount of natural honey. And the real win is that Cole asks for it almost weekly!
So I’ve listed the ingredients and directions below. Know that it requires a few different types of flour, but the mix of them creates the bread-like consistency. For me, I had to purchase them all at once, which cost more than I was used to, however, once you have all of them, you only have to replace each one of them sporadically. It’s not a wallet-drainer once you have the initial ingredients. And after a few times of trying it out, the process of making it comes naturally.
The best part is that there’s no bread maker or kneading or jar-feeding required! It’s basically a quick-bread recipe that you let rise and then stick in the oven! I have enough to think about during the day, so it’s nice that I can whip this up on the day I need it without all the daily maintenance (those of you who make bread by feeding know what I’m talking about!).
*Note: I buy most of these at Kroger in the natural/gluten-free section. Whatever I can’t find there, I buy at Whole Foods.
1 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup blanched almond flour/meal
½ cup brown teff flour (amaranth flour is a substitute for this)
¼ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup golden flax meal
2 ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 ¼ cup hot water (between 110—115 degrees, though I usually don’t measure it :/ )
2 tablespoons honey
2 ¼ teaspoons dry active yeast (NOT instant yeast!)
1. Throw all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or your stand-up mixer. Mix till fully combined.
2. Create your yeast mixture in a measuring cup with a spout (or a separate bowl would suffice). Combine the honey and hot water. Sprinkle in the yeast and give a quick stir. Allow yeast to “proof” for 7 minutes (this just means let the yeast do its thing). SET A TIMER—NO more and NO less than 7 minutes.
3. While the 7 minutes are ticking, throw together your wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk all of them together until fully combined.
4. When yeast completes proofing and the 7 minutes are up, add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until it’s paste-like, as seen below.
5. Slowly add the yeast mixture. Use your mixer’s slow setting for 30 seconds as you combine the yeast, scrape down sides, and then mix on medium for 2-3 minutes.
6. Pour dough into a parchment lined and well greased metal loaf pan (I use a 9 x 5). You do not yield the same results with any other type of pan. It’s gotta be metal for some reason. Cover with plastic wrap.
7. Allow dough to rise for 45 minutes. I usually stick in a small closet with a space heater to allow a warm environment for the bread to rise.
8. Do other stuff for 45 minutes while it’s rising and set a timer. Watch a show. Make a phone call. Clean something. Answer emails. Don’t take a nap (I tried that and the bread failed miserably!).
9. When the timer sounds, take plastic wrap off and set the oven for 375, allowing the bread to rise a little longer while the oven preheats.
10. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove loaf and let cool on wire rack. Slice after bread has completely cooled, or store and slice as needed.
11. Try to not eat it all in one sitting!
Last notes about storage and getting the best out of the bread:
I either wrap it in Saran wrap or place it in a large ziplock. I keep it in the fridge and slice pieces as needed. This seems to keep the consistency perfect. I personally feel like it makes the best sandwiches when toasted. I have also made it in batches and frozen a loaf for later.
So that’s the bread y’all! Feel free to add cinnamon, nutmeg, and raisins for a breakfast bread. Or configure your own with pumpkin spice, banana, etc. Hope you love this bread as much as we do!
*all kudos and credit go to allergyfreealaska.com for this (shortened) recipe. A more thorough explanation can be found on their version of this recipe here.