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Gluten-Free Goddess Bread Recipe - dairy-free and rice-free, too

Delicious Gluten-Free Bread Recipe - dairy-free and rice-free, too

One Delicious Loaf...

Man shall not live by bread alone, so the famous saying goes. In other words, we need ideas to feed us, too. We need awareness. Conscious action. An expression and celebration of the spirit.

And yet (here's the sticky part, folks) almost every spiritual tradition includes the bread we shall not solely live by, whether it be a hand-torn loaf, a paper thin wafer, a piece of matzoh, a curve of naan, or a sprinkle of cornmeal. Breaking bread and sharing grain is a cherished and beloved symbol for community, celebration and tribal nourishment. From Holy Communion to the Super Bowl gatherings around an elevating principle or a family milestone (from birth to marriage to funerals) include the simple but connecting gesture of sharing food.

Because cooking makes us human.

And eating illustrates our kinship with the entire animal kingdom. Humans are animals, after all, interlinked and cousined by astonishingly similar DNA and subatomic particles from the vast universe itself. As Carl Sagan said, we are star stuff. We are billion year old carbon. Flesh and bones. And we need to eat to survive. We need our daily bread in order to contemplate the concept that curiosity and compassion and creativity are also food. This is the tangled and elegant duality I've been mentally chewing on of late.

Back in late 2001, when I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, I gave up bread with only a brief whimper (although chocolate croissants still haunted my dreams like so many flaky buttery vampires). I was stoic. I gnawed gluten-free pizza crusts akin to sneaker soles and sandwiches that deconstructed on the plate and turned gummy in the mouth. I did it for my health. My body. My longevity (I'd like to stick around for awhile).

As many newly diagnosed celiacs often do, I frequented an on-line forum where newly minted gluten-free folks gather to share their frustration and vent about missing bread aka The Holy Grail. Seeing the drama and desperation publicly displayed only kindled my attraction to practice the Zen-surfer art of detachment. Although I well understood the pain on parade (and I empathized with just how difficult going gluten-free is), I didn't want to identify with the victim consciousness I saw spilled across the message boards. It was a psychic turn-off, emotionally draining, not to mention, spiritually uninspiring.

Although I appreciated the why's and how's of the grief and anger expressed, I could not embrace it as my own. It felt too dangerous- like slipping into an undertow, dragged down to churn and churn in denial and desire. So I abandoned the forum and gave up the quest for ciabatta. And pizza crust. And bagels. And matzoh balls. And I steered my hunger toward naturally gluten-free foods. And I felt free. Proactive. Unburdened.

Deciding soon after diagnosis that gluten-free alternatives to the "real thing" just weren't worth the effort and the investment of expectation worked for me. Instead of focusing on what I couldn't have, I chose to focus on what I could enjoy. Naturally gluten-free foods. Like fresh peanut butter. Bananas. And yes, even rice cakes. I'm one of the lucky ones. I'm blessed with a practical, tenacious spirit and a problem solving nature. I adapt.

The art of detachment buoyed me through the early years of dreadful gluten-free recipes that relied on white rice flour and potato starch (am I the only one who cannot stand the taste and grit of baked white rice flour?). This was many years ago, you see, before savvy marketers in the multibillion dollar food industry began taking notice of the celiac awareness explosion. You know, before gluten-free was considered hip. As if gluten-free is a choice those stuck with celiac disease wake up and decide one happy spring morning. A choice to be mocked and snickered at. A choice now marketed by certain ambitious celebrities who claim going gluten-free will do everything from detox your gonads to shrinking your jean size.

This sort of marketing (translation: will make me rich) really gets under my skin. If I had a so-called choice, darling, would I still shun croissants for the promise of a size zero mini skirt and a chance to blather on Oprah as if I could actually string two uncoached thoughts together? I don't think so. I'd be diggin' on a donut, honey. With a caramel macchiato.

So what exactly changed my mind about bread- and the whole Zen-surfer detachment thing?

One word. Sorghum. And millet. Wait, that's two words. And certified gluten-free oats (I grind oats into flour using my coffee grinder). We now have gluten-free bread mixes that are pretty darn tasty. We have bakeries offering sliced bread. In other words, we have new and serious temptations into rekindling hope. Hope for the return of the aforementioned Holy Grail. Cookies and cupcakes and waffles that whisper, Go ahead. Take a bite.

And that is the best news. For all of you newly diagnosed readers and mothers and fathers of children who woke up yesterday and learned that you or your loved one cannot tolerate gluten, let me tell you. This is a better time to give up gluten than ever before. Your choices are abundant- and expanding daily.

And yet... 

Some of us are finding out that the gut damage caused by years of undiagnosed celiac disease did not only hollow our bones enough to break a hip at 53the euphemism the docs call malabsorption may also wreak its own special havoc- rendering some of us allergic or intolerant of additional proteins or fats in food. At lease for a little while, until the gut heals. Packaged gluten-free food often contains certain ingredients that many find problematic.

So that's where I come in. Girded by this newfound sense of hope, and hungering once again for that elusive dream of a friendly bread, I experimented with the ingredients my body can handle. I measured and stirred with a faint air of detachment laced with a delicate glimmer of anticipation. And darling I did it.

Not only is this a multiple-allergen-free bread, it is tender and fragrant and super delicious. No Zen detachment necessary. 

Read on for the recipe.

Karina
xo


Favorite delicious gluten free bread

Gluten-Free Goddess Bread Recipe

Recipe posted November 2009.

This gluten-free bread is tender, fragrant, dairy-free and rice-free, and easily egg-free with proper leavening. Though most gluten-free bread recipes rely on eggs for texture and rise, this recipe is also delicious baked vegan, without eggs (though in all honesty, two whipped eggs will make it rise higher). I use Ener-G Egg Replacer to make recipes egg-free. 

I include methods here for a bread machine, and for a traditional oven.

Recipe updated August 26, 2011

First- whisk together your dry ingredients and set aside:

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour
1 cup cassava or tapioca starch, or potato starch (not potato flour!)
1/2 cup GF millet flour or GF oat flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum (or try gelatin)
1/ 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 packet fast acting rapid dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)

You'll need sesame seeds for the top; set aside for later. Or omit.

For the Breadman bread machine:

Pour the liquid ingredients into the bread machine pan first:

1 1/4 cups warm water (at 110 to 115ºF)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey- or raw agave nectar to keep it vegan
1/2 teaspoon mild rice vinegar or lemon juice
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten or 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 4 tablespoons warm water till frothy

Gently pour the mixed dry ingredients on top of the liquid.

Set your bread machine program for 1.5 loaf medium crust. I used the gluten-free cycle on the Breadman; if you don't have a gluten-free cycle, a rapid rise cycle will also work.

Check the dough after a few minutes of kneading- it should be closer to a muffin batter than bread dough, soft, but not cake batter wet. Adjust dry to wet ratio with a tablespoon of flour or warm liquid, as needed. Humidity influences the dough. As does temperature (your bread will rise higher on a hot day).

If you like a crusty loaf (or your past experience results in a gummy center/fallen top) remove the bread from the pan and place it in the oven at 350ºF for an additional 10 minutes- keep an eye on it and don't let it get too brown. It should be a light golden color.

Cool the loaf before slicing for best results.

Enjoy fresh from the oven- the first day (as with most gluten-free baked goods) has the best texture and taste.

Freeze leftover bread as slices, wrapped in a paper towel and bagged in freezer bags. Thaw to room temperature.

Baking time:1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf


Gluten free bread loaf that is soft and fragrant
Gluten-free bread worthy of a sandwich.


Instructions- if you don't have a bread machine:

Follow the instructions for whisking together the dry ingredients.

Using one cup of the water, proof the yeast in the warm water (110 to 115ºF) and a teaspoon of the honey/agave (add the yeast to the water and honey stir; allow it to get poofy).

Add the proofed yeast to the dry ingredients; add the olive oil, remaining honey/agave, cider vinegar and mixed egg replacer (or eggs); beat until a smooth batter forms. I use the word batter because gluten-free bread dough is more like smooth sticky muffin batter than wheat based bread dough -- it is not as thin as cake batter, though. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if you need to.

Scrape the dough into a ceramic loaf pan (or use a 7 to 8-inch round cake pan for rustic ciabatta style bread) and smooth evenly (I use wet fingers).

Top with sesame seeds. Place the pan in a warmed oven or draft free spot. Allow the dough to rise until it domes nicely -- from 45 to 50 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

When the oven comes to temperature bake the risen bread until it sounds hollow when thumped -- about 45 minutes to 55 minutes, and even up to 65 minutes if you're at higher altitude. Lower style round pan loaves will bake quicker -- at 30 to 40 minutes, usually.

If you like a crusty loaf, remove the bread from the pan and return it naked to the oven at 350ºF for an additional 10 minutes- keep an eye on it and don't let it get too brown. It should be a light golden color.

Cool on a wire rack.


Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com

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