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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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          Last Updated on January 17, 2019

          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

          8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

          In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

          Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

          Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

          Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

          Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

          The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

          There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

          How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

          According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

          Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

          Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

          The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

          Listen carefully:

          We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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          The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

          Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

          8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

          There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

          Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

          1. Pray Daily

          You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

          When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

          Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

          Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

          2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

          A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

          By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

          Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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          If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

          This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

          How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

          3. Smile Often

          Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

          Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

          Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

          The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

          4. Organize Your Working Desk

          A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

          When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

          Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

          Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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          5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

          I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

          Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

          What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

          6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

          God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

          I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

          I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

          7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

          You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

          How do you do that? This is my formula:

          First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

          If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

          If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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          If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

          Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

          8. Go Exercise

          Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

          The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

          You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

          12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

          The Bottom Line

          It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

          It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

          Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

          More Resources About Mindfulness

          Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

          Reference

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