So if you’ve been reading along, you are no doubt in awe (like me) that I am able to sit and actually write a blog post! The girls are busy (one is next to me “studying” a map and the other is currently occupied by a toy cash register) and life is good. My Love is even able to catch his breath for a moment. (I’m sure swearing off all household repairs has something to do with it… LOL)
In the last several weeks, I’ve been working on a bread recipe. One that would allow me to use the relatively cheaper gluten free flours (saving money), still use whole grains with limited starch, and not have so many esoteric ingredients that reading it would feel like a study in chemistry. Well, okay, I did use xanthan gum. (No, I’m not giving up gums.) I find it really helps the texture and holds the bread together. In fact, once I left it out by mistake. Oy vey, what a crumbly mess I had on the counter.
I think gluten free bread baking can FEEL intimidating to people. But really? I don’t think it is that bad. Yes, you will have breads that fail. Breads can come out crumbly or dry or dense - or, well, let’s be honest – any litany of maladies can plague your baking. However, gluten free breads are rather forgiving in my mind. Once I figure out a ratio of total flours:fats:liquids, I’ve been fairly happy. My stand-by loaf of bread used to be my Pepita-Powered Bread (made with green pumpkin seeds – aka Pepitas). But I don’t always have the pepitas on hand (and I have to go to the Food Co-op to buy them) and when I do have them on hand, I like to use them in granola as well. In a recipe-battle for the pepitas, the granola usually wins. I just don’t eat that much bread anymore but granola? YUM!
This bread is super moist. It holds up well. In fact, I’ve made it on the weekend and STILL have been able to eat a sandwich with it on Wednesday WITHOUT toasting it. I actually just polished off the last loaf I made (last Saturday afternoon while the girls napped) this morning for breakfast. I *love* being able to eat peanut butter toast for breakfast. And my girls had the last slice for a PB&J sammie at lunch (not toasted!).
If you are not gluten free and are making this bread for someone who is, please be sure to use CERTIFIED gluten free oats. Other than that, the other ingredients should be easy to find. (There is even a spice house in my town that will sell xanthan gum by the teaspoon/measurement – hopefully this trend will catch on. Otherwise, borrow a couple teaspoons from someone if you don’t plan to bake GF because of all the ingredients – that price tag will kill you. My only consolation is that one bag of xanthan gum lasts FOREVER – and stores easily in an air-tight container in the cupboard. Really. It takes a LONG time to use up a whole bag - even in this house where I like to bake!)
Just an FYI – I’m a whisk-it-up and scoop girl for my measuring. Meaning, I whisk through my tub of flour (especially potato starch which seems to become QUITE heavy/compacted over time) and then I scoop and measure out my flour. Yes, weighing flours is more accurate and I gladly weigh when making things from European cookbooks or from other sources, but I guess you just can’t kick the old-school scoop measuring out of me. I don’t know my equivalents to convert my recipes easily from the top of my head and scooping is easier for the kids to help me bake the bread as well. I love having kitchen helpers. Now if only their clean-up didn’t mean a bigger mess.
I used brown rice flour (superfine or regular), certified gluten free oats, and a small amount of starch. There are several substitutions that you can easily make without sacrificing the texture of the bread. Here are the ones I have done:
- FOR Brown Rice Flour replace with equal amounts of:
- regular brown rice flour
- superfine brown rice flour
- white rice flour (NOT sweet rice flour)
- sorghum flour
- millet flour
- a combination of these to make the same total
- FOR Certified Oats (not quick cook): replace with equal amount of
- quinoa flakes (this will alter the flavor)
- FOR the starch use:
- potato starch (makes a slightly more dense bread but very moist)
- tapioca starch (makes a moist bread with a bit more springy quality)
- cornstarch (useable but not recommended – adds a bit of a filmy aftertaste to me)
Gluten Free Oat & Honey Bread
- 1 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cup certified gluten free oats
- 1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350F. (I do leave my oven on preheat when allowing the bread to rise because our kitchen can be cold. If your kitchen is not, leave the preheating until after your bread is nearly risen.)
- Heat your water to 105-110F. Mix in your honey and yeast. Set aside to proof. (About 1o minutes)
- Mix together the dry ingredients in the bowl of your mixer: certified oats, brown rice flour, potato starch, xanthan gum, sugar and salt.
- Add eggs, melted butter and yeast-proof mixture. Mix together on slow until well blended.
- Mix on medium-high for 3-5 minutes.
- Oil the bottom and sides of your bread (standard size) pan (I use olive oil and a basting brush). Pour bread mixture into oiled pan and smooth out the top with a wet 7. spatula. Set aside to allow the bread to rise. It will rise over the top edges of the pan.
- Once risen, pop the bread into the oven. Bake to an internal temperature of 205F – about 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
- Once your temperature is right, use a spatula to slide along the sides of the bread pan to loosen the bread. Remove the bread from the pan by inverting. Allow the bread to cool on its side on a cooling rack for 20 minutes + before slicing.
- Store in wrapped in foil and in an airtight container after cooling completely on the counter or in your refrigerator.