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Well & Good Gluten Free Bread

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Bread. We have a love / hate relationship. When I crave it most, I screw it up. When I don’t want it, there’s an abundance of it. We can never find a happy balance.image

And I’m sorry to say, but I wasn’t impressed by this bread mix. I followed the instructions, which were easy, but time-consuming. The bread smelled great, and then lost that smell and squishy texture very quickly.image

I also sliced my finger and nail open while trying to slice this bread. The outside was tougher than a piece of jerky!

It didn’t improve when I toasted it either. It just got very difficult to chew! image

It didn’t last long either and I suppose it’s because there are no preservatives like store-baked breads from Canada and the UK. I was hoping that this would be good, but it was just ok.

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Better Paleo Bread Recipe – Gluten Free!

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Great with sweet spreads

I have been suffering from a lack of bread after spending the summer in Canada. While the breads I tried were hit and miss, it was nice to see how readily available they were at most shopping centres. Last week I made the Orgran Multigrain Bread Mix, and while it served its purpose, I don’t think I’ll be buying it again any time soon.

So I decided to try out another Paleo bread recipe that I found on Elana’s Pantry. I’ve made a few modifications as I found it was quite sweet and smelled like applesauce. At the end of the day, you want a bread that can go with jam, but also with humus and other savoury things.

The great thing about Paleo breads, is that I find they keep me fuller longer, unlike white flour breads. In addition, by using the flax seeds it tastes a bit more like a whole grain bread, without the annoying chunks of seeds!

I find that this freezes well and should be kept in the fridge.

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This protein will give you a kick in the morning!

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Gluten Free Paleo Bread

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Surprising yummy!

After my detox, I vowed to give up soy and dairy. However, I have decided to keep eggs in the mix, as I need a good source of protein. This loaf, from Elana’s Pantry, has received a few accommodations. I’ve reduced the almond flour and added in buckwheat since it’s another great slow energy releasing source of carbohydrates. As well, I sometimes have difficulty finding arrowroot powder or starch, so I experimented with a few other starches and found that they all work here.

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Buckwheat flour is so healthy for you!

 

This bread is quite easy to pair with other things. Add in a bit more salt, take away the honey, and you have a more savoury bread. You could top with some sea salt and rosemary to have a great accompaniment to humus or soups.  Add in a little more honey and you will have a sweeter bread that goes well with nut butters, jams and other sweet things.

imageYou’ll need:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup potato starch, arrowroot starch, corn starch or ‘Yes You Can’ gluten free flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk (almond, rice or soy is ok)
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In one bowl, combine the dry ingredients: almond flour, buckwheat, starch, flax, salt and baking soda.

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In a second bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy and then add the honey or agave, milk and vinegar.

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Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Combine well.

Grease a loaf pan and then pour in batter.

Bake for approx 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Be sure to cool and then serve.

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Gluten Free Bread Challenge

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I miss this bread!

A month ago, I had the best Thursday ever. When I showed up to work, there were three bright orange Sainsbury’s bags waiting for me. Inside of them were gluten-free items I haven’t had in over two years, including: fluffy brown sandwich bread, pita bread, rosemary focaccia bread, and crumpets.

Since moving to Thailand, I have only really baked and eaten two gluten-free bread mixes. These are the Yes You Can Multigrain Bread and the Spring Hill Farms bread mixes. You can find more information on my reviews of gluten-free bread here.

While the Yes You Can bread is quite easy to make as you don’t have to wait for the yeast to rise it has a slightly eggy taste. I have also found that my stomach has difficulty breaking down the seeds. I have opted to put the mix in my food processor to mill the seeds, instead.

The Spring Hill Farms bread was my favorite for a while, as it has a nice outside texture, smell, and taste. Although, I grew tired of it getting hard after a day or two, especially when it takes a good two hours to make this bread. All the effort did not seem to add up to the end product. This mix is best used as a pizza base or buns which you can freeze and take out when you’re ready to bake.

So this leaves me at my current conundrum: how can I make a good bread that tastes excellent, does not fall apart for sandwiches, and makes a nice toast?

Living in Thailand certainly has it’s challenges. Unlike Canada or the UK, ingredients like Xanthum gum, agar agar and sorghum flour are hard to come by. Sunshine Market does have a few of them, but I have boycotted them because they have glutened me twice. So what’s a girl to do?

I can find Yes You Can & Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flours in my local Villa. They usually have buckwheat flour too. At my local Topps they normally sell white and brown rice flours, but some recipes call for glutinous rice flour. Will that be gluten free, if is it milled here in Thailand? I have no idea! I shall endeavour to find out.

Anyway, back to the point, this website lists 20 gluten free bread recipes that I shall experiment with. http://glutenfreeeasily.com/bountiful-bread-basket-top-20-gluten-free-bread-recipes/

I am going to try this one first. I will substitute the flours with 3 cups of the Yes You Can gluten free flour. http://simplygluten-free.com/blog/2013/04/gluten-free-soft-bread-recipe.html

Stay tuned for some updates!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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A Thanksgiving favourite

This year I am thankful for several things:

  • my sanity and happy tummy
  • the health and happiness of my friends and family
  • finally figuring out the key to gluten free bread
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Springhill Farms gluten free bread mix

Overall, it’s been a tough year, but progress has been made. Without getting too personal, I would like to share how you can make some good gluten free bread. A good place to start is on my previous post on bread mixes.

Today I was lucky enough to do this right! I thought about my other bread experiments and put all that knowledge together.

When making your bread, keep these things in mind:

1. Activate the yeast

This means using warm water (not boiling) to get it working. Mix it with a fork until it becomes frothy. Most mixes tell you to use a mix of warm and cold water, so add the warm water to the mix first, then then the cold. Watch this video.

2. Do not pour all of the mix into the mixing bowl!

As you’re mixing (probably with your hands, a potato masher or a dough mixer), gradually add in the rest of the flour.

3. Follow the measurements exactly!

My eye-balling technique has left me disappointed seven times (because I’m an idiot). Today I finally followed the instructions!

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Now the bedroom smells like bread…

4. Allow the bread to rise in a warm place for an hour

I cover mine with a slightly damp tea towel, then place it in a sunny spot.

5. Cover your hands in oil

When it comes to kneading, coat your hands first in oil to prevent the dough from sticking to them.

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This is the fun part – kneading it back down into shape!

6. Keep the oven door shut!!!!

Both of my grandmas used to shout at me for this one! Follow your timings, but check 10-15 mins before the final time. Tap your bread to see if it is finished. If it sounds hollow, then it is done.

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Wow, that’s the best looking loaf yet!

Hopefully with these tips you will have some bread success too!

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I use a smaller tin than the recipe calls for – hence the hunchback look here.