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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 January 21, 2020

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

          Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

          your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

            Why You Need a Vision

            Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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            How to Create Your Life Vision

            Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

            What Do You Want?

            The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

            It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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            Some tips to guide you:

            • Remember to ask why you want certain things
            • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
            • Give yourself permission to dream.
            • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
            • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

            Some questions to start your exploration:

            • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
            • What would you like to have more of in your life?
            • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
            • What are your secret passions and dreams?
            • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
            • What do you want your relationships to be like?
            • What qualities would you like to develop?
            • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
            • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
            • What would you most like to accomplish?
            • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

            It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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            What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

            Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

            A few prompts to get you started:

            • What will you have accomplished already?
            • How will you feel about yourself?
            • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
            • What does your ideal day look like?
            • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
            • What would you be doing?
            • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
            • How are you dressed?
            • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
            • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
            • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

            It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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            Plan Backwards

            It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

            • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
            • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
            • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
            • What important actions would you have had to take?
            • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
            • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
            • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
            • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
            • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

            Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

            It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

            Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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