I am challenging myself.
I know how tough a gluten free diet can be. So before I get into gluten free bread, I will explain why someone needs to have a gluten free diet and what gluten is.
That will be challenge number one… hmm or would it be one and two? It will be more easily done as I know the reasons and what gluten is.
Next challenge is some recipe or recipes for bread that contains no gluten but is like real bread, well is real bread.
Next challenge is to bake them, so they have to taste good, not be just contain “safe” ingredients. Or my roomies will give me dirty looks for experimenting with their taste buds…. such delicate things that they are. lol. And it will be tough as they don’t even like grits… well two of them, so it was split, but I digress.
So if you are curious read on.
If you are on a gluten free diet, please let me know how I did. 🙂
What is gluten? This is a protein found in wheat flour. Not just wheat though also in other flours. Rye, Barley, spelt and that cross between rye and wheat.. triticale. Possibly more. Gluten gives bread its elasticity. I work dough when kneading it to elongate the gluten strands to make a bread with more strength and it makes it chewier. Bread without gluten is more cake like. It has nothing do to with the rising of a bread, but helps the bread keep its shape and strength. Because of the elasticity, it traps gas, and allows all those bubbles to form in bread, thus more tender. It retains moisture and the bread keeps longer. So tis challenging to make bread that we may like as much, without it.
Flours with no gluten?… well some: rice, Oat, buckwheat, cornflour, millet, quinoa , chickpea, sorghum, potato, and more, some may be harder to find. I found chickpea flour and bought some the last time in the bulk store. I have some oat flour from my last trip.
So why gluten free?
There are medical reasons, someone who has fibromyalgia may find a gluten free diet is much better as gluten may cause flair ups, people with celiac disease will have a gluten free diet. Some people have a Gluten Sensitivity, this is thought to be a pre celiac disease condition but not necessarily so. IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), many find going gluten free helps them with this. Wheat allergies are also common, so obviously you would want to avoid gluten as it is a wheat protein. Cancer… it is thought that gluten can weaken cells and make them more vulnerable to cancer. Autism as well, autistic children on gluten free diets seem to do better, hence my understanding of gluten. 🙂
Going gluten free right now is a trend as well, is this bad? NO, people should eat what they are comfortable with, or not. There are a lot of facts indicating gluten free is a better diet. Perhaps it really is. Many say when they go gluten free that they feel much better.
Now unless you have never read a label on prepared food, flour is in a lot of things we buy, flour contains gluten. Pizza, beer.. It sneaks in some prepared meats. Really to buy prepared foods risks coming in contact with gluten. Labeling is not always as accurate as we think either. When consuming gluten can cause you incredible pain, tis nice to be able to avoid it, and perhaps still enjoy food.
Making bread that will be gluten free is more of a challenge, first off many of the flours that contain no gluten are much denser. The lack of gluten is going to contribute to this as well, as gluten makes a bread more spongy.
Now because the flour is more dense, more care needs to be taken with it. Pouring the flour into the measuring cup from a bag causes the flour to pack down. If you scoop it in gently this does not happen. I know this sounds basic, but this is true with wheat flour as well, rye flour is more noticeable as it is denser. So scoop the flour when measuring. With bread, accurate measuring is always important.
Now the gluten makes the bread spongy, so adding something else to make it spongy is key. Egg whites will do the trick, consider meringue. Light and fluffy with lots of air pockets. The whole egg is a good idea as it will add taste and protein to the bread. Remember gluten is a protein. Eliminating it is removing protein from your diet.
Bread does not keep as well, so adding some Ascorbic acid will help with this. (vitamin C) Aimee says she has lots of that, so I am good there. Tis handy to have a microbiologist kicking about. 😉 She said the yeast will like the acidity too and grow better.
The bread will not have as much strength, so cooking in pans will keep a nice bread shape. Because the flour is dense, tis best to make bread that is not expected to be very tall, so don’t over fill the pan. The bread when rising may not support the weight and fall upon itself and a tough loaf will result. Pans with lids, if you can find them, work well as steam is kept in the bread, keeping it moist. A bread maker could make a better loaf as it does this. Keep the oven moist, a pan of water and spraying the bread and oven with a mister helps as the bread bakes.
The dough from what I have read will be different, more sticky and spongy as more liquid is needed.
Moisture will be a problem too, so adding ingredients that will increase moisture will be helpful. Olive oil is good and I usually use this in my bread. mayo apparently too works. Interestingly enough that is oil and eggs. hmmm.
Knowing when bread is cooked is important, cooking too long dries it out, too short a cooking time and it is a doughy mess. Temperature is an easy way to know when the bread is cooked. The core temp should be about 200 f.
What to bake?
Well as I mentioned, I have chick pea flour and I love chick peas, I suspect there is a lot of flavour there. Most recipes are for flat bread though, and I do not want a flat bread. Oh I like flat breads, but that is not what this challenge is about. Finding a bread recipe using only chickpea flour didn’t go so well. Likely for good reason, a more neutral flour I think needs to be added or as the main flour.
I wonder if I can find sorghum flour at my bulk store, or another neutral flour.
I did stumble across this recipe.
150g chickpea flour
140g tapioca flour
1 tsp. Xanthan gum or guar gum
1 tbs. Fructose
1 ½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp ascorbic acid or ½ tsp. Lemon juice.
1 tbs. toasted sesame seeds
2 Jumbo eggs
200g warm water
3 tbs. vegetable oil
2 tsp. Bi carb soda
Combine dry ingredients. Mix together eggs, water and oil. Beat together dry ingredients with liquids. Transfer to a lightly oiled 9×5 inch loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to the top of the pan. Bake 200c for 35-40 minuetes or until loaf sounds holow when tapped. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack.
Makes a delicious crusty loaf that freezes well.
I need to visit the bulk store to see what flours I can buy. I would like to find a rice flour. I need a bit more oat flour and chickpea flour as well. I plan on breads featuring both of those as I think I can tweak more flavour with them.
Many recipes call for Xanthan gum or guar gum too which give gluten free breads the texture we are accustomed to. So I have to find a place to buy this as well, or work out a substitute. I really would like a substitute as they are linked to migraines. Fruit pectin is one choice, there are others so I need to research more.
So I am ending this post incomplete or at stage one? Perhaps I have taught you something as I worked through it.