February 22, 2014

Gluten-Free Herb Bread

This can be recorded as my first successful gluten-free bread :-). Though none of us are gluten intolerant, we have been reading a lot about the adverse impacts that gluten can have on our health, especially on our gut. We have been trying to avoid the modern variety of wheat as much as possible and trying to replace it with more ancient wheat varieties like rye, kamut, spelt, freekeh, farro, etc. I also wanted to venture into completely gluten-free baking and see if we'd like it, taste wise and on our body.

I have been browsing thru a lot of gluten-free flour mix recipes and gluten-free bread recipes. One thing I have found very common in almost all of them is the over-use (if I could say that) of starch, be it potato starch or tapioca starch or corn starch. I had to rule out corn starch, as we pretty much have a ban on corn/soy products in my kitchen :-). Potato or tapioca starch, well, I am not convinced on the use of 1:1 ratio of four to starch. Is it even worth trying to make gluten-free by adding so much of starch? I will have to do more research on that anyway. For now, I have worked out something based on a recipe that I found at Glutenfreegodess. I had to play around with the recipe a lot since I am using homemade rice flour, which is made from soaked rice, the volume was way different from store bought version of flour. So, if you are going to try this version, please make sure to use homemade rice flour.

  • Homemade brown rice flour * – 1 ½ cup 
  • Home ground millet flour ** – ¼ cup
  • Potato starch – ¼ cup
  • Arrowroot powder – 1 tsp
  • Sea salt – ½ tsp
  • Garlic – 2 cloves – minced
  • Green chilly – 2 minced
  • Dried oregano  - 1 tsp (fresh herbs works very well too)
  • Active dry yeast – 1 tsp
  • Lukewarm water - 1/2 cup
  • Coconut palm sugar – ½ tsp
  • EV olive oil – 2 Tbs
  • Raw honey – 1 Tbs
  • Raw apple cider vinegar – ½ tsp
  • Organic free-range egg – 1

  • Whisk together all the flours, sea salt, garlic, and herbs in a mixing bowl.
  • In a small bowl, proof the yeast in warm water and sugar. 
  • When the yeast is puffy, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and beaten egg.
  • Stir to combine. Do NOT knead like wheat bread dough. The dough will be more like a cake batter.
  • Scoop the dough into a 6-inch cake pan lined with parchment paper. Slightly tap it on  countertop to sort of level the batter and to let any trapped air bubbles escape. 
  • Place the pan into the warm place (oven with warm setting maybe?) and allow it to rest and rise for about an hour.
  • Turn on the toaster oven to 375ºF. Bake until golden and firm- from 25 to 35 minutes. When you thump it, it should sound hollow.
  • Remove from the pan as soon as you can handle it, and cool on a wire rack. Slice with a sharp bread knife.
  • Makes one loaf.

* Homemade brown rice flour - get my recipe here. Since I make it with rice soaked for 12-18 hours, the volume is much different from a store bought rice flour.

** Home ground millet flour is basically millet dry ground using VitaMix dry grinder and passed thru a flour sieve.

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