Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

If you checked out the recent bread machine recipe for gluten-free bread, you might have been hoping for an oven version. And do I have it? You bet! If you have been craving a gluten-free sandwich bread this is the recipe. The flavor is mild, and the baking aroma will remind you of wheat bread. In fact, it’s very hard to guess this bread is wheat free. It looks like it, smells like it, and texture is the same. (I am not gluten-free, so if I like it, that says quite a bit) The one who the bread was made for was very, very happy.

Three easy rules: weigh all flours/starches, have liquids at the right temperatures, and line your bread pan with parchment paper. Do this and you will be rewarded.

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water (110°)
  • 3 Tbsp + 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1¼ cups milk, preferably full-fat, heated to 110°
  • 2 Tbsp avocado or neutral oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced and room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 320 grams brown rice flour
  • 66 grams tapioca flour
  • 81 grams potato starch
  • 46 grams cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1¾ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

Liberally rub a stick of butter in a 9×5″ bread pan. Tear off a piece of parchment paper* to fit the pan , fitting across the bottom, and up over the sides. Take a second sheet of parchment paper, to cover while rising, rub butter on it as well.

Place the yeast add ½ tsp of sugar in a stand mixer bowl. Add in the water, let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in remaining sugar, milk, oil, butter, eggs, and lemon juice. Put on a scraper paddle for best results.

Beat on low to combine.

Add in the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, and baking powder.

Beat on low till combined, then turn to medium-low and let beat for 5 minutes. The dough will look similar to a quick bread batter.

Scrape into the prepared pan, smooth out the top, and make sure the corners are filled. Give the pan a quick tap on the counter to help settle it.

Cover the pan gently with the prepared parchment paper. Set in a warm spot, and let rise for 1 hour 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375° 10 minutes before.

Take off the parchment paper and slide gently into the oven, shelf in the center of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, lower temperature to 350°, and bake for 20 minutes more.

Once baked, immediately remove the bread pan and knock out, you will need to loosen the sides with a butter knife before turning out. Remove the parchment paper. Do not let it sit in the pan, as the moisture will make a gummy loaf.

For best results, let cool fully on a rack, then using a serrated bread knife slice the bread firmly and quickly. Store tightly sealed overnight on counter, for long-term storage wrap in freezer bags and freeze. Bread thaws quickly for use, or can be toasted on the “frozen” setting.

Makes 1 loaf.

Ready to be baked!

Notes:

Did you know you there is compostable parchment paper on the market? We find it breaks down in our piles pretty well.

If you don’t have a stand mixer, just beat the heck out of the dough with a good sturdy wooden spoon. You will soon have buff arms!

~Sarah

Can You Save Money By Baking Your Bread?

A 5 pound bag of organic flour can lead to many adventures, and bread making is a great choice.

Have you ever thought about how many loaves one can make with a bag? Or if you are saving money versus buying bread made? I recently made up jars of my favorite bread machine recipe, to calculate the cost. A good loaf of bread is $4-6 a loaf in stores. You might get as low as $3.50, but that is pushing it. This is saying you buy a brand that is decent in ingredients, and doesn’t have a 3 week shelf life! (Let’s not even get into that. My kids won’t finish a loaf of commercial bread. Once you quit eating commercial bread, when you walk into the grocery store, into the bread aisle, you notice the odd smell that comes from the bread.)

A bag of Bob’s Red Mill organic white flour is $7.99 retail, however I often find it on sale for as low as $2.99, meaning I can get it for less than a bag of regular flour. If one is watching grocery costs, Trader Joe’s sells an excellent flour for $4 a bag.

I found I could make up 4 batches of bread with a 5 pound bag.

Even at full cost, that is $2 per loaf worth of flour. If I buy Trader Joe’s flour, it is $1 per loaf. Depending on your recipe, the other items are very inexpensive. My recipe uses:

  • water
  • olive oil
  • granulated sugar
  • sea salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • dry milk
  • yeast

Since I buy in larger sizes and store the ingredients in mason jars, in our pantry, the cost I spends on a loaf is under $2. Once my bread is cooled, I slice it up and stash it in the freezer for lunches, taking out what I need the night before, and thawing in the refrigerator. And because I use a bread machine, my on hand time is very low.

Is it worth it? Do I save money? Yes! Do I get a much higher quality bread? Yes! But most of all, my bread has a clean ingredient list, and I don’t have to worry about allergy cross contamination for my youngest.

Water Bagels

There was only one bread cookbook my mom used and that was her worn copy of Betty Crocker’s Breads. When we made bread, bagels, English muffins, bread sticks and so forth, the recipes always came from that book.

bettycrockersbreads

I inherited my mom’s copy and it holds a special place for me – flipping through the pages I can remember where I was the first time she and I made a recipe for the first time. Her copy is from the first printing of 1974 – it didn’t have an ISBN number on it, so who knows when and where she got it from. She probably picked it up around that time though. My mom always had a soft spot for ‘hippie food’ when we were young.

The book is what made bread easy to make for me (why do so many books try to have bread making seem so mysterious? It isn’t!). I went to college with some of the recipes written down on scraps of paper. In college I was the only one in my group who knew even how to bake (much less cook….it seemed most women I knew didn’t have moms who had taught them to cook). Being able to not only make bread but to produce water bagels for friends? Lets say I was a foodie before I knew what a foodie was……(and this of course was well before the concept of “artisan breads” came into vogue…..)

The point is the cookbook is a simple and easy to use bible of bread making. It doesn’t try to be overly fancy or pretentious – it came out in a time when the ‘back to nature’ movement was running high. The recipes are natural and full of good ingredients, yet all are items that one can find in any grocery store, even in the middle of the Nebraska……Yes, shocking, it calls often for gasp all-purpose flour. (Said tongue in cheek as most modern bread books wouldn’t lower themselves to using plain old flour, when there is nothing wrong with it!).

On page 13 is this “No perfume can surpass the fragrance of a perfect loaf.” How true is that. There is little that compares to fresh-baked bread just pulled out of the oven…particularly spread with butter on it. When I was my son’s age, my payment for helping my mom was that I got the ends of the bread, slathered in butter, right out of the oven. It made doing the kneading worth it.

Of course this book was written years before the concept of a consumer bread machine came to be. Still, a bread machine is great with this book, I use it to knead and raise the dough, then I bake it in the oven.

So here is to one of my favorite recipes in the book:

Water Bagels

Ingredients:

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115°)
  • 2 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1½ tsp kosher or sea salt
  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Dissolve yeast in the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar, salt and 1¼ cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour.

Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in lightly greased (vegetable oil) bowl; turn greased side up. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 15 minutes. (Dough is ready if an indentation remains when touched.)

Punch dough down; divide into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a rope 6″ long; moisten ends with water and pinch to form a bagel. Let rise 20 minutes. Heat oven to 375°.

Heat 2 quarts water to boiling in large kettle. Reduce beat; add 4 bagels. Simmer 7 minutes, turning once. Drain on clean kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining bagels, simmering four at a time.

Bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet (cookie sheet), or line with parchment paper, until bagels are golden brown. 30 to 35 minutes; cool.

Makes 8 bagels.

-To which I’ll add that the bagels are chewy, not soft, the way bagels should be. Bagels have become mini loaves of bread in the past decade, more a roll than anything else. These take one back to bagels in a deli, 20-30 years ago.

No Knead Bread: Bread Mix in a Jar

While I love my bread machine (and seriously, it makes life so much easier), having a few tricks for quick bread, that doesn’t need a machine is a must. I have a basic no-knead bread recipe I have used for quite some time. And as a bonus? It fits into a quart mason jar, so you can prep a number of batches ahead of time.

Awhile back, Kirk had picked up one of the Ball Pour & Measure Cap sets, and I finally got around to using it.

It makes an interesting cap to a mason jar. For this maybe not the best use, however if it was a mason jar of rice, it would be great.

You can bake this bread up various ways, two ways I have used are parchment paper lined cast iron, which helps produce a tidy loaf. It is my favorite method.

That and it is simple to pop out after baking.

The other method is directly baking it in the cast iron skillet. I found the dough spread a lot more. My dough was having a temperamental day, and I should have worked in a bit more flour.

While it was equally delicious in taste, it left it with the appearance of a soda bread, rather than yeast bread. I also had to chisel it out a bit from the pan. Personally, the parchment paper method is a lot better.

No-Knead Bread

Ingredients:

  • 4½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp quick rising dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cups warm water

Directions:

If prepping in advance, pack the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a quart mason jar, seal tightly. You will need to use a canning funnel, tapping the jar as you add in the flour, and most likely tamping it with a wooden spoon handle.

In a large mixing bowl add in dry ingredients. Add vinegar and warm water. Stir until combined. A dough whisk helps pull it together quickly.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap, let rise for 1½ hours.

Punch dough down and form into a ball. Place on sheet of parchment paper, and if using, place into a cast iron skillet with paper. Let rest and rise for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450° for at least 10 minutes. Bake bread for 30 to 40 minutes, until the top is golden and it smells done (you can also check with a digital thermometer for being above 190°) Take out and let rest for a few, then transfer bread to a cooling rack. Store tightly wrapped once cooled.

Notes:

You can bake the bread on a baking sheet or shape it fit a bread pan.

Humidity and brand of flour can affect how much water you need. The dough once mixed should resemble a traditional bread dough, where it is minimally sticky, and holds shape. You may need to adjust the amount of water, a little less or more. The worst is you add in a bit more flour if needed.

If you do bake directly in cast iron, be sure to lightly oil the skillet beforehand.

Herb Focaccia Bread

Even with cold weather, and freezes, I find in the PNW that my hardier herbs are still usable in winter. Rosemary is great, even when it’s frozen. This a great recipe for soup nights.

focb1

Herb Focaccia Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water (115-120ºF)
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
  • 
½ tsp ground black pepper

Topping:

  • 
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 
½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Mix the warm water, sugar and yeast and let the yeast bubble for a couple of minutes. Add the yeast mixture to a stand mixer bowl along with the salt, olive oil, and 1 1/2 cups of the flour, beat on low. Add the rest of the flour and the herbs and pepper and beat on low until just mixed.
Knock the dough off the mixing blade and put in the dough hook, let beat for 5-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Divide dough in half and let rest for 5 minutes loosely covered with plastic wrap.

Heat the oven to 400ºF. Prepare two 9-inch glass pie plates by oiling with a little olive oil. Pat each dough half into the prepared plate, easing the dough out to the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes and then dot with fork tines all over. Brush each half with half the olive oil. Mix the black pepper, rosemary and Parmesan and sprinkle half over each pan.
Let rise for 15 minutes, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut in wedges.

Makes 2 9″ rounds.