Gluten free white bread

This recipe from the Native Nutrition list was developed from one in Bette Hagman’s “The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy”. I’ve made some slight changes to the process.

If you’re just starting to change over to a whole food diet, and especially if you’re going gluten free, this may get you through some tight spots during the transition. It isn’t a whole grain recipe, and it is quite high carb, but sometimes you need to make some compromises, especially for children. It doesn’t have phytates, and it doesn’t seem to hurt people’s guts, which for coeliacs is a BIG bonus. It’s tasty and popular, and you can get your nutrients from what goes ON it.

  • 2 cups corn starch
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/4 cup sugar (Deb: this is to feed the yeast, so don’t use honey, but rapadura or unrefined sugars work fine and that’s what I use)
  • 4 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum, guar gum or pectin
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups filtered water
  • 2 Tbs butter, palm oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs, or 2 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites

Before you start, get your pans ready. The best method seems to be to use non-stick pans, then line with baking paper. If you have a bread pan, this will make one loaf. Or it will fill one standard size loaf tin, and a mini loaf tin. You can also make muffins/rolls or pizza base with it.

If your rapadura is lumpy, zizz it in food processor or mini mixer to break up the lumps. Mix up the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (As there are quite a few dry ingredients, you can measure out two lots at a time in two bowls. Use one straight away, and store the other in a Ziploc bag for next time.) Make sure they’re well combined. Then put into a large food processor. Heat the water up to 150F/65C (not quite boiling, but as hot as you can stand). If you’re using butter or palm oil, add them to the pan to melt at the same time. If you’re using oil, add to the pan just before you add to the dry ingredients. While it’s heating, lightly beat the eggs with a fork, in a small jug.

With the mixer running, add the hot water and oil to the mix. Then pour in the beaten eggs. Let it get really smooth. Scrap down the sides a couple of times to make sure everything is combined. You want a batter that is about like a spreadable icing (frosting). If necessary (eg your eggs are small), add slightly more hot water, or another beaten egg white.

Pour the mixture back into the large bowl. If there are any bits that got stuck to the bottom, scrap them off and add them, them recombine with a hand whisk. Let rise to nearly double in size (which happens very quickly), then stir the mixture to release the gases. If you want to add extras such as fruit and spices, I prefer to add them at this stage. Then pour into the baking pans, half filling them, and leave to rise again to double the size. (Note: The original recipe says to pour straight into the bread pans and only lets it rise once. This probably gives a lighter texture, so if you prefer that method, go for it. The drawback is that the mix rises very quickly and if it rises too much, it may collapse during cooking or after cooling. Letting it rise twice seems to be safer and avoid that danger.)

Bake it at 350F (175C) with a pan of water in the rack under it – this keeps it from burning and also makes the crust nice. It’s ready when it pulls away from the side of the tin, about 40 minutes for a loaf, a bit less for smaller items. Let it cool on a rack before slicing. What you don’t eat on the first day, slice, keep in the freezer, and heat in the toaster or oven as needed.

Variations:

  • Cheese bread: Add 2 cups of grated cheddar and a Tbs of garlic to the mix
  • Focaccia: Spread the dough in a baking dish. Throw on plenty of garlic, rosemary, chopped feta cheese and olives. Pour a generous amount of olive oil all over and bake.
  • Fruit bread: Fill the large loaf tin with the basic mixture, then add some spices and some raisins to the remaining mix, which goes into the mini loaf tin. Or turn it all into fruit bread.
  • Banana bread: Add a banana, a little honey and spices (eg. cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg). Optional – add some ground nuts or raisins.
  • For fibre: Add bran, or soaked oatmeal, or soaked roasted whole buckwheat, pulverized in the blender.
  • Smaller batches: If you only want to make one pizza or a small batch of rolls, you can make a part mix. It’s easiest to mix up a full set of dry ingredients and mix them well together. Then ½ or 1/3 the mixture before bagging it – you can do this by volume, but by weight is easier. To make the smaller batches, add:
  • 1/3 mix – ½ cup water, 1 egg, 2 tsp butter or oil
  • ½ mix – ¾ cup water, 1 egg and 1 egg white, 1 Tbs butter or oil
  • 2/3 mix – 1 cup water, 2 egg, 4 tsp butter or oil

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