Wednesday, April 11, 2012

gluten-free sandwich bread

I'm fresh off a long weekend to my favorite Washington getaway, friends.  That would be the beautiful, Lummi Island.  The sun was shining, the BBQ blazing, and the booze flowing freely.  It was so nice to step out of the hustle for a few days.

One of the many edible delights that came with me on this trip was a loaf of gluten-free sandwich bread.  The picture that may pop immediately into the head is a small, dense, lump of something that seems like part of a retaining wall.  As if Home Depot had a bakery department.  Just slather some mortar on there and call it a meal.

No, this isn't like that bread.  Small and dense aren't in the vocab on this one.  Between my island weekend and my coworkers, I've had more 'whoa that's gluten-free?!'s than I know what to do with.  My sweetheart gets giddy every time she takes a bite and tells me how it's the best (oh, and she's welcome to eat gluten any old time she pleases).

So, if gluten is a no-no for you (intolerant, Celiac disease, yaddah, yaddah) and you yearn for the glory days of PB & J, grilled cheese, and tuna salad, you must bake this bread.

What's that?  You don't have time, you've never baked bread, you don't own a loaf pan, you have some weird aversion to anything that isn't store-bought and highly processed?  Doesn't matter.  I don't care.  Get your butt in gear, and bring real bread back into your life.

You know you want it.

Not convinced?  I'll break it down for you.

15 minutes to prep, 30 minutes to rise, 1 hour to bake (that's only 15 minutes where your lazy ass has to actually do anything)

It weighs less than the cinder block holding up your neighbor's car (as discussed above).

It. Tastes. Like. Actual. Bread.



OK, there you have it.  Now get in there and make yourself a sandwich.

Gluten-Free White Sandwich Bread
adapted from 1,000 Gluten-Free Recipes by Carol Fenster
makes 1 loaf

Carol's Sorghum Blend:  make up this blend ahead of time and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.  Try it as your 'all-purpose' GF flour mix in other recipes as well.
1 1/2 C. sorghum flour
1 1/2 C. potato starch
1 C. tapioca starch (or tapioca flour - same thing)
  • Whisk together these three ingredients until well blended.
For the Bread:
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast)
2 T. sugar
1 C. warm (110' F) water
white rice flour for dusting
3 large egg whites (or 1/2 C.), at room temp.
2 C. potato starch 
1 C. sorghum blend (see recipe above)
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. guar gum
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. unsalted butter, at room temp., or canola oil
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. sesame seeds

  • In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Set aside to foam, about 5 minutes.
  • Generously grease a 9x5-inch nonstick loaf pan (I used canola spray).  Dust the bottom and sides of pan lightly with white rice four.
  • In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat egg whites until thick and foamy, about 30 seconds.  Add sorghum blend, potato starch, xanthan gum, guar gum, salt, butter or oil, vinegar, and yeast mixture.  Beat on low speed to gently blend, and then increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is thoroughly combined and slightly thickened, about 30 seconds.
  • Transfer dough to pan and smooth top with a wet spatula.  (If the dough begins to stick, wipe it off and re-wet the spatula).  Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and gently press into dough with wet fingers.  
  •  Cover lightly with foil and let rise in a warm place (75' to 80' F) until dough is level with top of pan.
  •  Place rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat oven to 375' F.  With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes (1/8-inch deep) in loaf to allow steam to escape.  
  • Bake 50-60 minutes or until top is a deep golden brown.
  • Remove bread from oven and cool in pan for about an hour.  Remove loaf from pan and cool completely before slicing.  Store leftovers in an airtight container.  
  •  Gloat to your GF friends as you wipe the drip of jam from your chin.

1 comment:

  1. YUM! Thanks for sharing. That looks delicious. Do you have any favorite premade gluten free sandwich bread brands? I just tried Bavarian's and it is great. The reason I asked is I am not much of a baker..


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