Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bread on a Gluten Free Diet

If there is a major food that one often has to give up on a gluten free diet: it's bread!
Don't be fooled by gluten free bread mixes and recipes that contain a long list of ingredients (including, very often, lots of starches and gums), they result in barely edible "foods" with a dense, sticky spongy texture that no purist would ever call bread!

So what can you do?

If you CAN'T have grains at all (even gluten free ones), try the following recipes which I recommend because I have tried them myself:

-Elana's Simple Bread (made with almond flour but can be made with any nut or seed flour) http://www.elanaspantry.com/simple-bread/

-Elana's Sandwich Bread (also made with almond flour and other ingredients)
http://www.elanaspantry.com/gluten-free-bread-20/

-Coconut Flour Bread (obviously made with coconut flour. Butter/ghee can be replaced by coconut oil. This recipe can be found in Bruce Fife's book "Cooking with Coconut Flour")
http://www.cheeseslave.com/2008/11/26/coconut-flour-bread/

You may also consider:
-Kiva's Golden Flax Bread (made with flax meal and some almond meal) http://bearmedicineherbals.com/?p=394

You can also check these Paleo Baking Recipes (which include breads, pancakes, cakes, muffins and cookies):
http://paleofood.com/baked.htm

Now, if you CAN have GF grains, why not try my customizable Faux Bread Recipe?

For this FAUX BREAD, you'll need:
  • 1 cup to 1 1/4 cups of nut or seed flour/meal of your choice (freshly ground is better)
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled grains - leftovers are fine (make sure to presoak the grains for 8 hours in slightly acidic water prior to cooking, in order to maximize the absorption of nutrients).
  • 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of flour of your choice (chestnut flour, wild rice flour, flaxmeal...etc)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp agave syrup, maple syrup or honey (you can also try substituting these with mesquite flour)
  • 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp sea salt (I like the Himalayan salt)
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Water or nut milk, if necessary

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, mix the nut flour, cooked grains, flour, sea salt and baking powder.
In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the sweetener and the vinegar.
Stir the wet mixture into the dry one and mix thoroughly.
If the batter is to dry, add a little bit of water or nut milk but make sure the batter remains thick and not liquidy.
Pour the batter in a greased 6"x 3" baking pan and place the pan in the over. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes.
Wait for the bread to cool before slicing and serving.

Tip #1: I prefer using my Anchor Hocking square "Bake N Store" glass pan. I can get bigger slices with this pan.

Tip #2: Freeze the slices for later use. You can also keep the bread in the fridge but keep in mind that GF bread generally doesn't stay fresh as long as store bought bread.

Other good GF bread options are homemade crepes, pancakes (use buttermilk and let the batter soak overnight), flat bread made with soaked grains, muffins, popovers and scones.

Note that legumes and grains naturally contain phytates which prevent your body from absorbing nutrients if they are not properly prepared, which means that they either need to be soaked, fermented or sprouted.

I will recommend some cookbooks in a future post...In the meantime, enjoy your breads ;).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Salut Alchemille,

Thank you for the tip about the glass dish; they look great, and I have now found them in a local store.

This is from your comment on the almond-flour bread recipe... I tried leaving this comment there but it wasn't approved, which is fine, and no need to have it posted here. [If for any reason you would like to have this comment posted, kindly remove my comment about my email address! Sorry for the inconvenience!]

In case it would be fun, and since I am not currently looking to buy something from your store, I'd like to offer you a word tip instead: "disappointment" is the English noun you may want instead of "deception" -- the latter implies that the flour planned to fool you on purpose. :-)

Best wishes, and thanks for your bread recipe,

-- Ninufar
(can use the above handle at yahoo dot com to reach me if you like)
(and yes that's ne'nuphare or however it's really spelled in French, but I changed the vowels!)

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