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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bread... how I had missed you!

My Mom said when I was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 29 "Gina, if you didn't like to cook, you'd be screwed.".  Not the most eloquent thing my mother has ever said, but as with everything my mother says - it's insightful and accurate.  It's been a long road since that day. 
My first question was "what is safe to eat?"  Figuring that out was an adventure in reading labels and online research.  Questions like "Is there gluten in ketchup?" became part of my thought process. I had to rediscover food, drink, and even learning that I can have a gluten reaction from licking envelopes... and I had to discover it mostly on my own. 

Celiac disease is not a well-known thing.  When my doctor told me I had it, I had to ask her what it was, then I had to go home and google it before I could tell my panicked family and boyfriend exactly what was wrong with me.  Unless you know someone who has it, you probably don't know much about the diease.  I had a waitress say to me upon telling her that I have a gluten allergy "you're allergic to GLUE?"  It's kind of funny in hindsight, but at the time it was completely disheartening.

Once I figured out the ins and outs of all of that stuff (and no, there isn't gluten in ketchup), my thoughts turned to how can I make THAT (insert any food I was having a craving for here) without gluten???  And that is where my real experimentation in the kitchen began, and that is what I plan to share in this blog.  I am not a chef, a professional cook, a dietician or an expert of any kind.  Just a girl who loves food enough to find a way to have what she likes with all of the taste and texture and none of the gluten.

So the thing I have struggled with the most is probably the same thing most people struggle with  - bread.  Don't let the long lists of ingredients you cannot pronounce scare you.  It kept me out of the kitchen for a long time.  Finally, one day I just went out and bought all of these mysterious flours, starches and gums and started following some recipes.  Then I did a bit of reading and learned a bit about them and how they work together, and that gave me the ability to play around a bit and make it better.

So here it is - my bread recipe


1 tsp. white Vinegar 
¼  cup Oil 
1-1/2 cups warm water
3 large eggs 
2 cups of white or brown rice flour
½  cup Potato Starch 
¼  cup Tapioca Flour
½  cup Corn Starch
¼ cup Flax Meal (use up to 1/3 cup depending on how you like texture)
1 Tbsp. Xanthan Gum
3 Tbsp. Sugar or honey
1 tsp. Salt 
2/3 cup Skim Milk Powder
2 1/2 tsp. Dry Active Yeast for Breadmaker

Combine liquid ingredients and pour carefully into bread machine baking pan. Mix together dry ingredients except xanthan gum and add to baking pan. Place pan in bread maker. Select normal/basic/white cycle and start machine. After mixing cycle begins slowly add the xanthan gum.  I don’t know why this helps, but it seems to improve the texture of the bread. 

For best results, once the dough has risen in the bread machine, remove the dough and form into rolls in greased muffin tins.  Allow dough to rise in the muffin tins a second time (a good tip is to put them into the oven with just the oven light on, the bulb gives enough heat to allow them to rise) and then bake for 30 minutes at 350F.

Otherwise, keep in bread maker and remove pan from the machine when bake cycle is complete.

Dough just starting to rise

Dough fully risen.  Remaining dough in another roll pan.


Beth said...

Can you buy Xanthan gum at Bulk Barn?

Gluten Free Gina said...

Yes, you can! They don't sell it in the bin, but you can get in packages. Its very expensive, but you use a very little amount at a time. Its used in almost all gluten free baking as it basically replaces gluten. Guar gum is a less expensive alternative but is not as effective.

DW said...

Gina, I am anxious to try this recipe. It looks delicious!! Thank you~!

Gina, Gluten Free said...

You are very welcome!:) Please let me know how it turns ou for you!!

Judy said...

Thanks for the recipe, it sounds great. However, I don't have a bread machine. Is there a way to make this without one? Also, would I use the same amount of active yeast? Thank you!

Gina, Gluten Free said...

Hi Judy! I have not tried making it without the breadmaker. Let me give it a go and I will let you know!

Lisa@The Nourishing Homemaker said...

Hi! I came over from Slightly Indulgent Tuesday. Your gf bread looks amazing!

I have been trying lots of different gf bread recipes lately and yours is going to the top of "must try" list. Thanks for sharing!

Gina, Gluten Free said...

Hi Lisa! Thanks for visiting! I am sure that you will love the bread! I made a bread bowl out of it with spinnach dip for a party a few weeks ago and everyone loved it (most had no clue it was gluten free!)

Anonymous said...

I've also been trying to create GF bread that is delicious, has the right texture and doesn't include any of my allergens. Do you think it would work if you replaced the skim milk powder with almond flour?

Gina, Gluten Free said...


Rather than almond flour, you might try reducing the water and adding almond milk or soy milk if you can have it?

Dry milk usually reconstitutes at a ratio of 1:4 (1/4-cup of milk powder to 1 cup of milk), so to make it easy I would go half and half on the liquid - half water and half soy or almond milk.

Otherwise I would suggest increasing the rice flour to make up the volume by 1/2 to 2/3 cup.

I am not sure how almond flour would measure out in this... If you do try it would you share how it works for you?


Milaya said...

This looks so good. I do have a question. I have a problem with anything corn. Is there a substitution for the corn starch? Sorry but I am new to all of this.

Gina, Gluten Free said...

Hi Milaya,

For each tablespoon of corn starch you can try 2 teaspoons of arrowroot, or 1 teaspoon of potato starch.

I hope that helps!

Katie said...

I don't know if you all have these places around you, but I buy xanthan gum, potato starch, tapioca flour, etc. at local Asia Marts. They aren't always called Asia Mart, but it's just a grocery store that has all Asian foods. Everything there is incredibly cheap compared to places like Whole Foods or other special health stores.

Gina, Gluten Free said...

I live in Canada, so grocery stores and health food stores are about it for me! Thanks!

demony granger said...

Great post! this looks delicious and healthy.These great tasting best gluten free bread have a long shelf life, and should not be stored in a freezer.