It’s been a whirlwind couple of months–I moved into a new apartment, married the man of my dreams (seriously not saying that to be cheesy–he’s pretty much the best thing that has ever happened to me), and I made the decision to leave my job for a very exciting new opportunity. I like to do all my big life changes at once :) More wedding pics here!
But before I start my new job, I’m taking some time off. To have me time. And the first order of business: Gluten free bread!
Bread is probably the one thing I miss most about being gluten free. Sure, there are plenty of companies like Udi’s that make pretty awesome bread, but there is something special about freshly baked bread that store-bought can’t replicate. It is most certainly time intensive if you do it by hand and not in a bread machine, but I have some time on my hands.
My house hasn’t smelled like freshly baked bread in 3 years. Today, I sat on my couch sipping tea and enjoying the delicious aroma of a gluten free cinnamon raisin boule :)
Now, it is an investment to buy a variety of gluten free flours. I decided that I wanted to make the investment, and I found a website called VitaCost that had very reasonable prices and free shipping if you spent $49. Since my kitchen is kosher, I bought Bob’s Red Mill (which is certified kosher and has lots of rave reviews), but there are a variety of brands that sell gluten free flours. I bought: Sorghum, Millet, Brown Rice, White Rice, Tapioca, Amaranth, Potato Starch, Chickpea, and of course Xanthum Gum (the key to making gluten free dough act like it has gluten in it). All together they cost $38.71, and with a few bags of gluten free pretzels and crackers I had free shipping. A few others flours I plan to get sometime soon: Almond, hazelnut, coconut, buckwheat, and corn.
It seemed like a good idea to test my hand at gluten free bread baking with some tried and true recipes from one of my go-to gluten free inspirations: Gluten-Free Girl. If you are gluten free and haven’t yet checked out her blog, it is a must. Not only does she write and photograph beautifully, she crafts the most delicious recipes that are so good even your non gluten free friends will be raving about your culinary prowess!
So behold, my first gluten free bread attempt:
It tastes, and more importantly feels, like bread. BREAD! Do you know how long it’s been since I was able to sink my teeth into a warm, chewy, spongy piece of heaven? It didn’t rise as much as I thought it would, so it was more like a foccacia than a sandwich loaf, but oh my, did I enjoy eating it. I may or may not have nibbled away half a loaf before I made myself put it away.
Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Boule
Slightly adapted from Gluten-Free Girl’s Gluten-Free Boule.
A boule is a French term meaning “ball,” and it’s basically a rustic loaf that you shape into a circular shape and bake. I baked mine in a shallow pie dish, but if you have a pizza or bread stone, the recipe says you can use that. I made very few changes–I added some raisins and cinnamon in place of the olives and rosemary, and I used agave instead of honey since the honey jar lid was stuck :); my dough was also pretty sticky (I think because of the humidity) so instead of shaping the dough into balls, I kinda poured them into grease pie plates and baked them that way. Once it was cooled a bit, I used a sharp chef’s knife to cut it into triangles. And then ate lots of them!
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 Tablespoon granulated active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon good quality cinnamon
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (heated to 110°F)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon honey or agave
1/2 cup raisins
- In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add water, oil, and honey or agave. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir using a wooden spoon until combined. The dough will be sticky. Stir in raisins.
- Pour dough into a clean, greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm place in your kitchen for about 2 hours.
- Split dough in half and pour each half into a greased pie plate or loaf pan. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rest for another 30-40 minutes. While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, until the tops are golden and firm, and the bottoms are golden (if you are using a glass baking dish).
- Cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing (Shauna is right–this is very hard but necessary :)).