It has been a day: ten fresh juices,
3 coffee enemas – too much info Joss, 3 vegan meals, one keeping calm while hubby with high blood pressure and high cortisone levels loses his mind over heater in his woodworking shop that ceases to function! Oh, and I managed to post on crowingcronebewell about the beginning of this six-week process!
Best of all? Best of all, I made a totally rockin’ loaf of gluten-free bread. Well, see, I had a 2 1/2 hour break from care-giving in the afternoon so what’s a girl to do? I did think of collapsing in bed, I really did. But I’ve been wanting a piece of toast. In the last week or so I have visited a couple of dozen sites and/or blogs and read numerous articles about exciting things like guar gum. All in search of a recipe for a loaf of bread that I could feel good about making and feel even better about eating a slice of.
Is that a beauty or what? But would it slice without crumbling – a major problem with gluten-free breads apparently:
Would it toast without falling apart in the toaster?
And most importantly, although the two features just mentioned are crucial too, would it taste good?
I decided, ahead of time, that if it fell apart or turned out hard as a sheet of plywood, I knew some crows and pheasants who would be quite happy to take it off my hands. I wasn’t going to allow myself to be disappointed or frustrated if it didn’t turn out well because, after all, it was my first foray into “sandwich” bread à la gluten-free.
My sweetie, who is not permitted grains, of any kind right now, held it up to his nose and pronounced, with a lovely smile: “It smells like the bread we used to eat in Normandy when I was a child!” High praise indeed. I know you’re sitting on the edge of your seat to know, so yes, yes, yes, it is delicious. A full-bodied taste with a hint of honey, the texture of whole grain bread, and can be eaten plain, or dressed up with home-made jam!
So, my recipe, which I put on paper, after reading through about a dozen others, needed to have no xantham or guar gum, no eggs, no milk, no sugar. Okay, so I had to put in some sugar because my bestie said yeast wouldn’t be happy without some sugar. But, other than that, this fits all my requirements.
First step is to mix 1/8 cup of chia seeds (I didn’t grind them this time but will next time) with 1/2 cup of hot water. I use spring water but if, unlike me, you don’t have a spring that’s a convenient 30 minute drive from your house, then I encourage you to use bottled water for this recipe. Somehow, making truly wholesome bread with tap water that has chlorine and fluoride in it seems a bit bizarre. Anyway, you have to stir this every so often and let it sit for a half hour or so. Really you should do this the day before and keep it in the fridge. Somehow, though, yesterday in the midst of thinking about Blood Pressure that was 179/92 with a pulse of 85, chia seeds didn’t quite factor into my world.
Okay, then you need 2 cups of warm water into which you’ll put 2 tsp natural or demerara sugar and 4 1/2 tsp of yeast. Let that sit for 5-10 minutes. While it sits, you can mix together in a large mixing bowl – I have a KitchenAid affectionately named R2D2 so that’s what I used. Back to mixing some great organic flours. Be sure that when you buy organic flour it states, somewhere, that it is produced in a mill that never, ever, produces wheat flour or products. That way you can be sure there is no cross-contamination:
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup quinoa flour
1 1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup ground flax-seed (use a coffee grinder or, if you’re lucky enough to own a VitaMix, use that)
1 cup tapioca flour
2 tsp sea salt
Now, go back to your sitting yeast and add 1/3 cup of raw, local honey and 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil. Stir all that well with a whisk or a fork if you don’t own a whisk. Next time I’m using linseed oil instead.
Pour wet stuff, including chia seed sludge, into dry stuff, mix well together. About 1 minute max on speed 2 of R2D2. This is going to look like thick, really thick, cake batter. Pour it into an oiled or greased loaf pan and let it rise for 60 minutes or till double in size.
Pop it into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 50-55 minutes. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, run a knife around edges, flip it out of pan, turn it over on cooling rack. Wait patiently while it cools, slice and enjoy
So there you have it, round one of bread making goes to Joss!