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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 April 8, 2020

          Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

          Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

          Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

          Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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          Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

          However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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          The leap happens when we realize two things:

          1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
          2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

          Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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          Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

          My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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          In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

          “Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

          Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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