For those of you who have been reading my blog for years, even before I went gluten free, you'll remember that making bread was never my strong point; I flopped more loaves of bread than I can count.
And then once I started making gluten free foods, I had to learn from scratch how to make bread again. I've had many flops and many successes when it comes to making gluten free bread.
The biggest problem I've had, though, is that gluten free bread nearly always comes out better with eggs; the ones that I've found that are egg free are good, but the texture isn't perfect. And another recipe uses a whole bunch of different flours, which I don't always have in the house. And they're also not the most nutritious flours either...
But even the most perfect gluten free bread recipe, I've found, tends to not taste so great when it isn't fresh out of the oven.
I pretty much thought I'd be stuck with mixing a bunch of different flours and needing to bake bread fresh from scratch whenever I wanted it... until I went to my friend, Susie's, house.
Susie is an awesome baker, and a family member was recently diagnosed with celiac, so she's switched to baking gluten free. She asked me for tips on how to cook gluten free, and one of the things I told her is that I like the combination of untoasted buckwheat flour and short grain rice flour, since they both have nice textures and hold together nicely. (My pizza recipe made with untoasted buckwheat flour and short grain rice flour is amazing!) With that, Susie figured out this recipe for gluten free rolls, based on her gluten standard bread recipe, and when she gave me two rolls to taste... my kids didn't let me eat them myself- they gobbled them down, absolutely loving them.
Susie told me makes these rolls and freezes them, defrosting them as needed. I begged her for her recipe since it was so awesome...
And then, knowing me, I can't leave well enough a lone... I tweaked her recipe, so that I can make it refined sugar free, with less xanthan gum, etc...
It works well with half the amount of xanthan gum Susie put in hers, and since xanthan gum is the most expensive part of the recipe, I am happy to cut back on that since it greatly reduces the cost. I haven't been able to tell much of a difference, if at all, from the batches with more xanthan gum vs less.
The yield is a fluffy, moist bread, that works best as rolls. I have made it in loaf pans, and it does work well as bread loaves, which I slice into bread for sandwiches, but it just doesn't get as fluffy or rise as much that way (its close, but not exact). These rolls, as I said, can be frozen, but they also stay good for a few days fresh.
|You can see it didn't rise perfectly this time, that the middle of the |
loaf was more sunken in than the sides. I've discovered that leaving it to
rise longer, the second time, prevents this, and the bread is fine.
It tried adjusting the ratio of rice to buckwheat flour (1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour and 2 cups rice flour instead of 2 cups buckwheat flour and 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour) and while they both tasted good, on a side by side comparison taste test, the batch with the higher ratio of buckwheat to rice flour tasted better- higher rice flour gave it a slight slight aftertaste, for some reason. So I go with the higher buckwheat version, but if you want more rice than buckwheat, go ahead, it works as well.
The best thing about this, though, is that I am able to make an easily portable bread mix- I brought along a few batches on vacation- and it was perfect. I made a bag of (dry) sweetener and yeast, and put it inside a bigger bag filled with flours, xanthan gum, sweetener, and salt. To cook, I took out the little bag, dumped it into a bowl with 1/2 cup warm water, then after 5 minutes of proofing added the big bag and 2 1/4 cups water and 1/4 cup oil, mixed it well and let it rise for 30 mins. Scooped it into rolls, and baked it for 20-30 minutes. Perfection. Great sliced and filled with sandwich fillings- the kids got regular yellow cheese and ketchup, I got sheep gouda and lettuce. Amazing sandwiches....
I'm still experimenting, to see if I can just mix all the ingredients together and not need to proof the yeast separately...
But as I said, I am in love with this recipe. It works perfectly for me, the bread flopper... And its easy and gluten free, and naturally egg free. You have no idea how appreciative I am of my friend Susie for this. My kids love it, my husband loves it, I've gotten lots of compliments on it from other people (gluten eaters).
In other words... if there's any recipe of mine I recommend, it's this one.
Just a note- make sure that the buckwheat flour you're using in this recipe is untoasted buckwheat flour. I have no idea if it would work with toasted buckwheat flour, but I suspect not, since they have different textures and tastes...
P.S. If you're not gluten free and want a perfect homemade bread recipe- try these two out, they're amazing.
2 tablespoons dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 tablespoons dry sweetener- coconut sugar, sucanat, or white sugar, or wet sweeteners- jaggery syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc...
2 cups untoasted buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups short grain rice flour
1 1/2-2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 cups warm water if using a liquid sweetener, or 2 1/4 if using a dry sweetener
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup dry sweetener- coconut sugar, sucanat, or white sugar, or wet sweeteners- jaggery syrup, maple syrup, honey, etc...
2 teaspoons salt
For egg wash and toppings (optional)
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
8 tablespoons water
Toppings- poppy seeds, sesame seeds, coarse salt (or whatever other toppings you like on bread)
1. Mix yeast, 2 tablespoons sweetener, and 1/2 cup warm water in a large bowl. If you're not well practiced in making breads with yeast, to get the perfect temperature of water for making the bread rise, but not killing the yeast, in a cup, mix 1/4 cup boiling water and 3/4 cup cold water (and then use half that for this part) to get water the perfect temperature.
2. Leave for five minutes, wait till it gets fluffy.
3. Mix the flours and xanthan gum together in another bowl. Mix well so its a uniform mixture. Add the flour, sweetener, water, oil, and salt to the yeast mixture, mix well so there are no clumps- you should have a sticky, wet, dough, not the texture of a standard gluten bread dough- then cover and let rise for 30 minutes (you can also leave it longer if you're going out and want it to rise while you're gone).
4. If you want to use toppings, here's how you make a vegan "egg wash" to make sure the toppings stick- mix 2 tablespoons ground flax seed with 8 tablespoons of water. Heat on the stove top until thickened.
5. Let the "egg wash" cool. If very thick, add a little water to thin it out.
6. Once your bread dough finished rising- note that this is a finicky dough, and the more you play with it, the more you'll loose the air bubbles that are trapped within it, making it rise. So play with it and mix it as little as absolutely possible.
Using a half cup measuring cup, scoop out the dough, and either put it in 12-13 rolls on lined a baking tray, our put them in muffin tins. If you put them straight on a baking tray, they will spread out and be less tall; they have more shape in a muffin tin. I do both, depending...
7. You can also carefully pour your dough into two loaf pans.
8. If you want toppings, brush lightly with your "egg wash", then sprinkle on your toppings. If you used toppings/egg wash, let rise another 20 minutes (since this interferes with the air bubbles already caught in it, so you need to let it rise again); also let it rise again if using a loaf pan. If not using a loaf pan and doing it without toppings, you don't need to let it rise twice.
9. Stick it in the oven at 350 for 20-30 minutes, slightly longer if using a loaf pan. You want it to be lightly browned at the top and bottom.
Are you a good bread maker? Yes or no? Are you gluten free? If you make gluten free bread, what is your favorite recipe? Do you have another great recipe for gluten free bread that is egg free, and tastes good even when it isn't fresh out of the oven? Does this look like a recipe you would try?
Linking up to Real Food Wednesday and Allergy Free Wednesday.