Multi Grain Gluten-Free Bread
1 loaf: moist, pliable and long-keeping!
(No gluten, dairy, cane sugar, legumes* or nightshades*)
Some people have called this “miracle” bread. The results are similar to the classic Vogel’s brand, though smaller in size. Gluten-free breads are often dry and crumbly, though some commercial versions achieve a light texture by being are low in protein and fibre. Or they cheat with numerous artificial additives.
This bread is moist and flavourful with good fibre levels and lots of protein. Slices are pliant rather than crumbly. It keeps well. Some of the protein is supplied by your choice of amaranth or quinoa. Although technically seeds originally from South America, these are usually spoken of as grains in terms of their appearance and usability. They are sold whole, flaked or ground into fine meal or flour. Or you can replace with millet. Find these in health stores and most supermarkets either with grains (such as rice) or in the gluten-free section.
It is challenging to bake bread without a type of protein called Gluten (see article in website TIPS), which is highest in wheat, followed by rye, barley and with a cousin-form in oats. Gluten gives strength to the dough as it is kneaded, and improves structure while it rises and bakes.
¾ cup brown or white rice flour*
¼ cup ground almonds or other nuts
¼ cup amaranth or quinoa or millet flour or very finely ground
¼ cup cornflour* or arrowroot
¼ cup tapioca starch
¼ cup ground linseed/flaxseed
3 tsp xanthan gum*
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sea salt with kelp*
3 small free range eggs
1 cup water, at room temperature
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil*, or other cold-pressed oil*
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice or mild vinegar
Preheat the oven to 100ºC (200ºF). In a food processor combine the dry ingredients: rice flour, almonds, amaranth or option, cornflour, tapioca, linseed, xanthan gum, yeast and salt.
Add the wet ingredients to the processor: eggs, water, oil, honey and lemon juice. Process on low speed until everything is thoroughly mixed.
Pour into a small-medium oiled or baking paper-lined loaf pan 19 cm x 12 cm (7” x 4”). This can be baked in a standard loaf pan of 23 cm x 13 cm (9” x 5”) but the slices will be even smaller. Place in the heated oven and turn off the heat. Do not open the door for 90 minutes to allow the bread to rise. After 90 minutes increase the heat to 180ºC (350ºF). Bake for 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the centre tests dry with a skewer. Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes or more before turning out of the pan. Do not slice until completely cool.
Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Cornflour (US cornstarch): “maize cornflour” (as labelled; in supermarkets) is gluten-free unlike “wheaten cornflour”. If corn is not tolerated then use arrowroot (from a tropical root; available in supermarkets).
• Legumes: pod-bearing plants such as peas, beans, soy and lentils. Soak overnight and discard water to help eliminate an enzyme that can lead to poor digestion and gas. Add ample fresh water. Bring to a boil uncovered (watch for foaming; do not add salt as this slows cooking) until soft enough to squeeze between your fingers. They will almost triple in volume. See The Shape Diet for individual cooking times. Or buy cooked and tinned (Ceres and Delmaine brands in supermarkets have only salt, water). Cook extra and freeze, or chill and use within a week in fritters, casseroles, salads, soups, stews.
• Nightshades: another name for the solanaceae family of potato, tomato, eggplant, peppers (includes paprika, chilli). Some people cannot breakdown its solanine alkaloid (related to nicotine) affecting calcium metabolism, nerves, bones and joints (TIPS: Aches and Pains). To determine sensitivity obtain an allergy test from this office (TIPS: Why You May Be Allergic to the 21st Century).
• Oil: mild, cold pressed oil suitable for baking and cooking is Ceres brand Organic Roasting and Frying Oil (from health stores). It is also second to extra virgin olive oil for affordability.
• Olive Oil: extra virgin olive oil is achieved by using cold mechanical pressure rather than the high heat and chemical solvents typical to most supermarket oils. These practices damage oils and the people who eat them. For information on which fats to choose for which purpose and why, see my article on the TIPS page: The Fats of Life.
• Rice flour: for baking use finely ground (can be called ‘zentrofan’) whole rice. Results will not be the same with coarse, gritty flour; or Asian rice flour (from starch only; looks sticky like cornflour*). Use brown rice flour (finely milled; not gritty). Or mix ½ brown rice flour (for increased nutrients); ½ white rice flour (for increased lightness) as preferred. For sauces 2-3 Tbsp thickens 1 cup liquid.
• Sea salt: is sea water dehydrated by sun. When mixed with seaweed (containing iodine and other minerals low in our soil) it is ideal in terms of flavour (interesting but not too strong) and mineral balance. Try Pacific Harvest or Malcolm Harker brands; both in health and gourmet stores. Ordinary salt is taken from mines or sea and so highly refined over extreme heat that it contains nothing but sodium chloride. All other minerals are stripped away, such as potassium and magnesium which help regulate fluid balance and blood pressure. Bleach as a whitener and chemicals to prevent clumping may be added to table salt.
• Tapioca Flour: Tapioca flour is very light and starchy like cornflour/cornstarch. Such ingredients help create gluten-free products that are light and easier to rise in volume. Buy it from Asian food stores, health stores and some supermarkets.
• Xanthan Gum: Adding a small amount of xanthan gum (a white powder made from fermented corn) or guar gum (ground seed from an Indian legume) to breads, pastry and cakes helps them bind without dry and crumbly results, common to gluten-free products. They are available from health stores.