Best Gluten-Free Vegan Bread EVER!!

I’ve been away from this blog for a long time.  After I was in a car accident in January 2013, I had whiplash, headaches, and dizziness that was aggravated by using the computer . . . so I cut back.  I kept track of my allergen-free cooking in a handwritten journal (and will try to find time to go back and post a few of those recipes).  Today I made a loaf of bread that turned out so great I just had to share the recipe!

GF Vegan Bread

 

Lucinda’s Best Yet Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free Bread

baked on October 4, 2013

Now that the summer is over and the house is rather chilly (haven’t turned on the heat yet), it’s time to start baking again.  After several dismal failures in the GF bread department last Spring, I gave up.  Most days I have a chef salad for lunch, so I don’t need bread for a sandwich.  But tomorrow I’m going somewhere and need to take a sack lunch . . . so a sandwich would be convenient.  I decided to combine the best aspects of several recipes and try again.  It turned out GREAT!!

Ingredients

  • 3-1/2 cups GF flours (the combination I used is listed here):
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup teff flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup Superfine Brown Rice Flour
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar (I used organic coconut palm sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon guar gum
  • 3 Tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 3 Tablespoons oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-7/8 cups warm water (105-110°F), divided

Directions

  1. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Grease a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the GF flours, brown sugar, and guar gum.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flax seeds and 1/2 cup warm water.  Stir.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens and becomes the consistency of beaten eggs.
  4. In a separate small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water (105-110°F).  Let sit 5 minutes or until frothy.
  5. Add the yeast mixture and flaxseed mixture to the flours.  Stir.  Add oil and 1/4-1/2 cup warm water.  Stir.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.  (The mixture may still be rather dry.  That’s okay.  It needs to sit to allow the guar gum to start absorbing liquid and the yeast to start growing before you add the final ingredients.)
  6. Add 1/4-1/2 cup warm water, salt, and baking soda.  Stir.
  7. Add 1-2 Tablespoons more warm water as needed to get the dough to come together.  It will be very thick, but no longer dry. ( I used a total of 1-7/8 cups water, but the amount you need may vary.)
  8. Spoon the dough into the prepared pan.  Smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with oil, cover, and let rise in a warm place until it almost reaches the top of the pan. (40-60 minutes)
  9. When the loaf is almost risen, preheat the oven to 350°F.  (If the loaf was rising in the oven, remove it to the top of the stove and uncover it.)
  10. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the internal temperature of the loaf is 200°F.
  11. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

©2013 Lucinda DeWitt

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Testing Slideshow with Two Months of Baking

Two months since my last post!  Sorry about that.  It’s not that I haven’t been baking, working on sorting out my food allergies, etc.  I just haven’t had the time or energy to write about it . . . Here’s a slideshow of some of my baking efforts.  I will try to add a few posts to summarize the highlights.

 

And a second slideshow of non-baking efforts:

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Quinoa & Sesame Bread

Quinoa & Sesame Bread

gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free

Inspired by the recipe for “Quinoa Sesame ‘Wonder’ Bread” (in Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson, 2011, DaCapo/LifeLong/Perseus Book Group, Cambridge, MA) I bought some quinoa flour and sesame seeds this week. I had no interest in the “Wonder Bread texture” mentioned in the recipe, so rather than using equal parts quinoa/cornstarch/tapioca starch, I added fiber with sorghum and millet flours, and cut back on the starches. (I believe this will also be the first loaf I have made containing NO arrowroot starch, the typical replacement for cornstarch.)

I also noticed that the ingredients and method (of Hillman’s recipe) were very similar to the High Fiber Bread I made a few days ago, so I decided to play a bit with my hand-mixing technique (still no stand mixer). (1) I mixed the yeast in with the other dry ingredients and added slightly warmer water (rather than proofing first) and (2) I borrowed a method from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible: mixing the dough without salt and letting it rest a bit before adding the salt and additional water. (Salt is known to interfere with the yeast action, so giving the yeast a chance to start working before adding the salt helps with the rising.) I really liked the texture of the dough going into the pan. Finally, to try to avoid the “holey sunken middle” problem, I worked more at smoothing the dough in the pan to remove any possible air pockets.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 Tbls sesame seeds
  • 1-1/4 cups quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 3 Tbls brown sugar
  • 3-1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 2-1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbls oil
  • 1-1/8 cup water, warmed to 120°F
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  • Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. [I usually measure out my flours into a large bowl, take the eggs and any other refrigerated ingredients out of the frig, and let them sit on the counter while I do something else for 30-60 minutes.]
  • Grease one 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan.
  • Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame seeds and stir continuously until they begin to brown. Remove from the heat and cool.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, sorghum, and millet flours, tapioca starch, potato starch, brown sugar, guar gum, and yeast. Stir/whisk together until everything is evenly combined.
  • Heat the water to 120°F (if you haven’t done that already—see NOTE).
  • In a separate medium bowl, beat together the eggs and the oil.
  • Add approximately 1/2 cup of the water to the dry ingredients. Stir well. Add the egg/oil mixture. Stir well.
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the dough. [I reserved about 1 tsp of sesame seeds for the top of the bread, but the original recipe didn’t do this; we’ll see if they burn in the oven.] Stir everything together. At this point you should have a very rough dry-ish dough that almost holds together. If much loose flour remains in the bowl, add a bit more water and stir. Cover the bowl of dough and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. [This will allow the gum to absorb water and the yeast to start working.]
  • Sprinkle the salt and 1/2 the remaining water over the dough. Stir together. Decide if you need the rest of the water. Add and stir if necessary.
  • Spread the dough into the prepared pan. Use a silicon or oiled spatula to press the dough down and spread evenly in the pan. Spritz the top with a bit of oil and sprinkle any reserved sesame seeds on the top. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 40-60 minutes or until the dough comes almost to the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the interior temperature of the bread is 200°F. Turn onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Note

  • There are a number of common methods for heating the water to the correct temperature (110°F if proofing the yeast separately; 120°F if mixing the yeast in with your other dry ingredients). If your hot water comes out of the tap at 120°F, you can use that; some folks prefer to use filtered water and heat it in the microwave (60 seconds is usually enough to get from room temp to 120°F ; if the water is over 130°F, let it cool before using) [I’m in this camp]; still other folks boil water on the stove and then add cold water to get to the correct temperature. Whichever method you choose, PLEASE use an instant-read thermometer to tell you the temperature. I don’t care if you raised 6 babies and know how to test liquids on your wrist, that may be good enough for babies, but it is NOT good enough for baking bread!!

Pictures

OMG!  This may be my best-looking GF loaf EVER!!

[Later:  I can now confirm that the loaf did NOT sink in the middle and does not have big holes in the center!  Yippee!!—Still need to taste it, but have had 4 slices of bread today, so probably not until tomorrow.]

[Update 3/19/12: I can now verify that this bread makes a yummy sandwich!!  I toasted two slices and made a tuna salad/lettuce/mayo sandwich.  Very tasty!  Except for the top crust (with all the sesame seeds) the bread is neutral in a good way—no overwhelming taste of a particular flour, just a nice hearty loaf.  Definitely NOT the “Wonder Bread” of the original recipe . . . more like a “soft, light, wheat, sandwich bread,” but without the wheat 🙂  Yeah! we’ve got a winner with this recipe! ]

© 2012 Highly Sensitive Girl

 

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High Fiber GF Bread Made by Hand

I’ve just added this recipe to the “Bread Diary” but I’m also giving it its own post because it proves that you do not need a stand mixer OR bread machine to bake GF bread.  My stand mixer broke on the last batch of GF bread dough (and I’ve never owned a bread machine) so I decided to throw caution to the wind and see how it would work to mix the dough by hand.  I think one of the keys is that you need to allow the “gums” time to absorb moisture.  In most recipes this is accomplished by mixing/kneading the dough (using a machine) for 5-10 minutes.  I don’t have the strength to mix that long by hand, but gradually adding the ingredients and then mixing and waiting a bit and mixing some more seemed to work!

Baked on March 13, 2012
High Fiber Bread—gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free

adapted from
Beth and Jen’s High Fiber Bread [p. 36 in Gluten-Free Makeovers by Beth Hillson (2011, DaCapo/LifeLong/Perseus Book Group, Cambridge, MA)]

I only recently discovered amaranth and have yet to try baking with amaranth flour . . . this bread is my first attempt. It definitely has that distinctive “amaranth odor/taste” combined with the equally distinctive “teff odor/taste”. Certainly hearty, like a good whole wheat bread.

The original recipe says: “Makes One 2-pound loaf or 16 slices” which is a bit confusing because it also says to use an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan (which is usually thought of as a 1 pound loaf pan). One more of the many confusing aspects of GF baking. I was tempted to use my 10″x5″ loaf pan, but followed the directions and was glad I did.

The ingredients were given in cups and grams. Due to all the substituting I was doing, I used the weights (because the same quantity of a different flour will weigh a different amount, it is generally recommended to use weight rather than volume, especially when substituting) . . . but took note of the volumes that resulted and listed them as well.

The final complication came from no longer having a stand mixer (broke it making the previous loaf of thick gluten-free bread batter) . . . SO, I went back to my old knowledge of mixing bread dough by hand and added a bit of gluten-free common sense (e.g., you do NOT want to try to “knead” GF “dough” by hand . . . much too sticky!). Here’s what I did:

Equipment you will need:

  • 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ loaf pan
  • several mixing bowls of various sizes
  • a VERY sturdy wooden spoon or “Danish Dough Whisk”

Sturdy Bowl and Dough Whisk

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup millet flour (54 grams)
  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour (65 grams)
  • 1/3 cup teff flour (48 grams)
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour (80 grams)
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch (65 grams)
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour (70 grams)
  • 3-1/2 tsp guar gum
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3 Tbls brown sugar, packed, divided (46 grams)
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Tbls vegetable oil
  • 1-1/8 cups warm water (110°F), divided
  • 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Directions

  1. Lightly oil an 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ sandwich loaf pan.
  2. Measure/weigh the six “flours” (first 6 ingredients) and combine in a medium bowl. Add guar gum, salt, and cream of tartar. Stir/whisk to mix. Measure the brown sugar, reserving 1 tsp in a small bowl for use in proofing the yeast. Sprinkle the rest of the brown sugar 2-2/3 Tbls) over the other dry ingredients.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of the warm water over the brown sugar in the small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the sugar water. Stir to dissolve. Allow to rest for 10 minutes or until foamy. Reserve the remaining 5/8 cup water.
  4. Lightly beat the eggs and oil in a separate medium bowl.
  5. Once the yeast is ready, put about 1 cup of the dry ingredients into a large sturdy bowl. Add the yeast mixture and stir with a heavy wooden spoon or “dough whisk”. Add the egg/oil mixture and stir. Alternately (and gradually) add the remaining dry ingredients and the remaining water (dry-water-dry-water-dry) stirring after each addition. The dough/batter will be VERY thick.
  6. Allow to rest for a few minutes (the gum needs to absorb water) and then stir again.
  7. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 40-60 minutes, or just until the dough has risen nearly to the top of the pan. Remove the plastic wrap. [Here in Minnesota this always takes longer than the recipes indicate! Be patient!]
  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F while the dough makes its final rise to the top of the pan (if you’ve been letting it rise in the oven, here’s where you take it out!! 🙂 ). Bake the dough on the center rack for 40-50 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the loaf reads 200°F. [I rotate the loaf halfway through the baking time.]
  9. Remove the pan to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out and allow to cool completely.

See additional Notes below the pictures


Yes, the dough needs to be THIS thick, or it will collapse.

Left: half way through baking; Right: end of baking, already dipping in the center.


On the left is the millet-oat bread I made last week in the 10″x5″ pan; on the right is today’s bread made in the 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ sandwich bread pan. Goal: a 10″x5″ loaf that rises as high as today’s smaller loaf . . . I’m not really into “dainty” sandwiches! Still, this loaf didn’t taste bad . . . but definitely amaranth-y.

Notes

  • I baked mine for 50 minutes, but even though the internal temp was 205°F, the center didn’t look/feel “done” and looked like it would collapse. I tried turning off the oven and allowing it to cool for about 15 minutes in the still-warm oven. Won’t know how mushy the middle is until I cut into it some more. There has already been some collapsing a few hours later. [Note: the interior texture is a bit on the moist/tender side, but toasting takes care of that. No major raw or mushiness inside. Still looking for the GFBread Recipe that I can eat without toasting first!]
  • After much searching on the interwebs (and reading contradictory information in various cookbooks). I’ve decided that even if some people believe you no longer need to “proof” yeast, if I’m using active dry yeast, I will proof it. If I don’t want to bother with proofing, I will use RapidRise or “instant” yeast mixed in with the dry ingredients and slightly warmer water (120°-130°F).
  • BTW—getting GF bread dough to rise and then not collapse after baking are the two biggest challenges I’ve run into so far.
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Breadcrumb Bread

Breadcrumb Loaf

This odd looking loaf is from a recipe designed exclusively to turn into gluten-free breadcrumbs.  The loaf is mostly potato starch and arrowroot starch (substituted for the cornstarch in the original recipe) and contains both quick-rise yeast AND baking powder.  Apparently the yeast is “just for flavor” because there is no rise time at all.

Anyway, I’m hoping to use the resulting breadcrumbs to make “Pork Cutlets a l’Orange” (aka breaded pork cutlets cooked in orange juice).  When my mom makes them, they melt in your mouth.  Mine never seem to get that tender, but they are still good.  Thin sliced pork cutlets sprinkled with S&P+garlic powder are dipped in egg and then in breadcrumbs, browned quickly in butter & oil (which for me will be just oil), and then simmered gently in diluted orange juice for 45-75 minutes (depending on whether you follow my sister’s version of the recipe or my mother’s; mom cooks them longer).  My sister adds a drizzle of honey after the browning.  Either way, they are yummy!

Not sure why I have a taste for these, but it’s probably because after the “gum incident” the other day, I was on a diet of rice, poached chicken, and applesauce for a few days . . . so I have this big jar of Unsweetened Organic Applesauce (I love that the ingredient list is: organic apples 🙂 . . . so I thought “Pork Chops . . . and Applesauce”.

Oh and yeah, pork chops were on sale when I went to buy groceries yesterday.  Will add a pic of them after I make them.

Enjoy!

[Update:  While I was writing the above, and the bread was cooling . . . the loaf collapsed.  Not likely to get the 8 cups of breadcrumbs predicted from the recipe, but should get enough to make the pork chops.  Next time I’ll use some more substantial flour, rather than just the two starches, and maybe let it rise a bit to give yeast a chance to work and the gum time to rehydrate (which apparently it needs to do to provide any structure) . . . Live and learn!!]

Breadcrumb Loaf CollapseBreadcrumb Loaf Collapse

[Update#2:  Slicing revealed that much of this bread was “gum/paste” . . . I had to carve off the bad parts before turning what was left into breadcrumbs.  To do that I sliced the bread and let it “dry out” for a few hours, then I tore the slices into smaller pieces and used the food processor to pulse them into crumbs (this took several batches), finally I toasted the breadcrumbs in a 325°F oven for about 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.]

gummy breadslices drying

 

crumbs toasting #1crumbs toasting #4

Toasted Bread Crumbs . . . Gluten Free!!

NOTE:  This post got rather long, so I will post the Pork Chop pics in a separate post.

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