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How to Make Scrumptious Gluten-Free Homemade Bread

How to Make Scrumptious Gluten-Free Homemade Bread

We’ve shared an easy, basic recipe for homemade bread, and hopefully many of you are now wholly in love with the process of baking your own from scratch. There really is nothing quite like the scent and taste of fresh-baked bread, but for those of us with Celiac disease or other gluten intolerances, the breads that you can enjoy are basically poison to us.

What are we to do, then? Go through life crunching on tasteless rice crackers and gnawing on quinoa, slowly forgetting what light, fluffy, delicious bread tasted like? Thankfully, no. As more people turn to a gluten-free diet for health reasons, there are countless fabulous recipes for gluten-free bread that are damned near as close to the “real” thing as you can get without ending up with stomach misery for a week or two.

Alternative Flours

Most breads you’ll find at the grocery store are made of either wheat or rye flour, or a combination of the two. Some fancier ones may be made of spelt or kamut, but guess what? There’s gluten in those too. The flours and pulses you’ll have to work with for GF (gluten-free) bread-making are as follows:

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  • Almond meal
  • Amaranth
  • Arrowroot
  • Buckwheat
  • Chick pea (garbanzo bean)
  • Corn starch
  • Fava bean
  • Hazelnut meal
  • Millet
  • Potato starch
  • Rice flour (white or brown)
  • Sorghum
  • Tapioca starch
  • Teff

When working with gluten-free flour, you need to add a “sticky” additive that replaces the gluten found in wheat, rye, etc. Xanthan gum and gelatin are used most often for this purpose, and can be found at most health food or bulk food shops.

My go-to flour mixture for gluten-free bread is as follows:

  • 1 part rice flour
  • 1 part tapioca flour
  • 1 part of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of potato flour per cup of mixed flours above

I normally make about 9 cups worth in one go, so the mixture consistes of 3 cups each of rice flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, plus 3 tablespoons of potato flour. There are many different combinations that you can delve into, and if you’re eager to make your own breads, I’d recommend picking up the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, by Bette Hagman. This flour mixture is known as the “Featherlight Flour Mix”, and I use it for bread, scones, muffins, and much more.

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Mixed Ingredients

    The Recipe

    This is the “Featherlight Rice Bread” recipe from the aforementioned book, and a staple in my house. We’re going to use the measurements as needed for a small loaf of bread: double it for a large loaf.

    Dry Ingredients:

    • 2 cups Featherlight Flour Mix (as mentioned above)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
    • 1 teaspoon unflavoured gelatin
    • 1 teaspoon egg replacer, or beaten egg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1/4 cup dry milk or non-dairy substitute (such as almond meal)
    • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast granules

    Wet Ingredients:

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    • 1 egg, + 1 egg white, beaten
    • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
    • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons honey, molasses, or agave
    • 1 cup warm water (approximately)

    Wet Ingredients

      Directions:

      Grease your bread pan and then dust with rice flour. Preheat your oven to 400F.

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      Blend the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg + white together, along with the margarine, vinegar, and honey until blended. Add most of the water, reserving a few tablespoons for later (if needed).

      With your mixer turned to low, add the dry ingredients, including the yeast, a little at a time. Check to be sure that the dough is the right consistency: it should be like cake batter. Add more water as necessary. Turn the mixer to high and beat for 3 and a half minutes, then spoon into the prepared pan, cover, and let rise in a warm place until the dough reaches the top of the pan.

      Rising Dough

        Bake for 50-60 minutes, but cover it with aluminum foil after it’s been in the oven for 10 minutes.

        Gluten-Free Bread

          You can make variations on this bread to suit your tastes, such as adding 1 tsp dry lemon peel and 2 tsp poppy seeds, or reducing the sugar and adding grated cheese and herbs into the mixture for a savoury bread.

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          Catherine Winter

          Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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          Last Updated on July 8, 2020

          18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

          18 Benefits of Journaling That Will Change Your Life

          The act of writing in a journal often seems daunting or unnecessary to many people. Even authors who work on novels might shun the idea of daily diaries. What purpose does jotting down words on a regular basis do if not contributing to the next novel, play or song? I know from experience many benefits of journaling that I wish to share.

          1. Understand Yourself Better

          Though many people and even writers avoid keeping journals, I vow to do it more often. Not only do I desire to take up daily journaling but also I plan to do it with pen to paper.

          Some of the benefits I’ve found from my more active days include finding myself in the sense of understanding what matters to me and what I want out of life. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to find a spouse who is my best friend and advocate in raising children. I attribute this and much more to what I learned about myself in keeping journals for years.

          2. Keep Track of Small Changes

          I’ll admit that I never got very far with my guitar lessons, but in writing in a journal, I have seen the ability to track small changes like those that come when you practice anything.

          Those learning a musical instrument often fail to see the small improvements that come with regular practice. Writing won’t help you switch chords any faster, but it will help you to develop a better sense for language and grammar just by doing it.

          3. Become Aware of What Matters

          As you continue to write in a journal, following a stream-of-consciousness feel, you can look back on the topics that you chose to write about. Those issues and emotions that poured out of you will provide insight on to what matters most to you.

          You may not even realize that you’re job is depressing you or that you want to spend more time with your kids until you look over your thoughts that you weren’t really thinking about.

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          4. Boost Creativity

          The idea that the brain and its neural activity across hemispheres encourages learning also shows up in increased creativity. Just like with learning an instrument, your increased activity will inspire your thoughts to connect and reconnect in different ways.

          When I wrote in a journal, I often wrote poetry as well as just my thoughts as they came out. I started to hear poems more in my mind; so much so that I took to scrawling lines on napkins and finding metaphors in mundane activities.

          You really are what you do, so writing helps grow more than being a writer. Writing boosts the way you communicate and structure language, which really is a creative process.

          5. Represents Your Emotions in a Safe Environment

          A journal is as private as it gets. You can lock it in a safe or tuck it under a pillow and no one will accidentally share it on social media or have an opportunity to “leave a comment.”

          Write about your sorrow as much as your happiness and frustration and know that you don’t have to keep your emotions inside your body. You can put them on paper.

          6. Process Life Experiences

          When you take the time to look back over what you’ve written, be it a week or a year later, you will have the distance you need to more objectively interpret your raw feelings.

          Everything from losing a job to losing a loved one can emerge in a new light for a fresh perspective. Figuring out how the benefits of journaling affect your perspective on life will create connection and increase creativity.

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          7. Stress Relief

          In combining the exercise inherent in fine motor coordination that comes from the act of writing with the emotional release of self expression, those who maintain a journal relieve stress.

          Try it out. Go home and write about your day. Write about the traffic. Write about the coffee order the barista got wrong but you didn’t have time to change. See how you can physically purge some of that pent-up stress by putting it on paper.

          8. Provide Direction

          Though journaling is often conducted as an activity without much direction, it often provides direction.

          One of the biggest benefits of journaling is that your chaotic thoughts merge to show a direction in which to head. Asking the right questions is the only way to achieve the best solutions, so look to your journal to find your way toward your next goal.

          9. Solve Problems

          Just as in practicing math problems, we all get better at finding hidden solutions through the act of processing.

          Think of your next goal as X and solve your life problems by reading your journals as word problems. The benefit of journaling here is that you write, explore and process to recognize and then solve problems.

          When life is too in-your-face, you have to step back to see reality. Living in the moment allows us to write in the moment and use that expression to solve problems.

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          10. Find Relief From Fighting

          Solving your problems only comes after time to process, recognize and strategize. Just as in the benefit of journaling where relief comes from the act of writing, relief from fighting comes when you decide to “sit this one out” and communicate one-way.

          Fighting is only productive when the fighters care to communicate and find common ground. When the emotions are as high as the stress levels, writing will function as the best time out.

          11. Find Meaning in Life

          Journaling will show you why you are living, whether you are wallowing in things you wish to change or striving to make the changes. Your life will begin to take on new meaning and your own words will reveal the actions that got you where you are so that you can assess and pave a new path for your future.

          12. Allow Yourself to Focus

          Taking even a small amount of time out of every day will provide you with not only peace of mind but also increased focus. Taking a break to meditate in writing and journaling will sharpen your mental faculties.

          13. Sharpen Your Spirituality

          When we write, we allow all the energy and experiences to flow through us, which often provides further insight into our own spirituality. Even if your parents didn’t raise you to follow a specific religion, your thoughts will start to show you what you believe about the universe and your place in it.

          14. Let the Past Go

          I’ve mentioned a few examples where going back over your writing offers advice and direction, but the simply truth is that writing down our feelings can be the best way to let them go. We can choose to literally throw these pages away when they’re filled with negativity and hate.

          15. Allow Freedom

          Journaling is the perfect way to not only express yourself but to also experience the freedom of being who you are. Your books can stay private or you can publish them. Your freedom stems from your sense of self and your perception of your thoughts.

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          16. Enhance Your Career

          Again, the private act of pen-to-paper processing provides the benefits of journaling mentioned above, but you can also enhance your career when you take similar ideas and categorize, edit and publish them in an online blog.

          Your thoughts will often be personal and express emotions, but another benefit of journaling is uncovering fresh ideas about your work.

          17. Literally Explore Your Dreams

          All the benefits I’ve mentioned explore ideas, thoughts and emotions, which is also what our dreams and nightmares do. Through writing down your dreams from the previous night, you can enhance your creativity as well as connect some of the metaphorical dots from the rest of your journal.

          18. Catalog Your Life for Others

          No one wants to think about dying, but we all die. Leaving a journal will act as a way to reconnect with family and friends left behind. The ideas you wish to keep personal while you process the life you’re living will serve to rekindle and inspire those who loved you through the process.

          We consider our partners our life witnesses, but writing provides a tangible mark on the world.

          Now that you’ve learned all the benefits of journaling, it’s time to start writing a journal:

          Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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