When I was first diagnosed as gluten intolerant, the main thing I missed was good sandwich bread. I had a new baby and it felt like I had no time to do anything–much less make a meal for myself during the day. Sandwiches would be so easy to make and eat, I thought. But, because it took a few weeks to figure out what was going on, and I felt extremely sick every time I ate, I kind of gave up on making food, even sandwiches, during the day–and I just wouldn’t eat. This freaked out my husband, who went to work and would come home to an exhausted and hungry wife. So, he started making me sandwiches before he left in the morning (so very nice!). I would try to eat them, but I kept getting sick.
Of course, we found out that it was the gluten that was making me feel so awful. And at this point in the game, there was no commercial gluten-free sandwich bread out there and no thoughts that I would make it myself. I had a new baby, for goodness sakes. I couldn’t even read my mail.
First I tried gluten-free bread mixes. Most were awful. And, again, I had a baby, and then a toddler, and I felt like I didn’t have the time to mess with making bad bread. Then I found Cooking Gluten-Free! by Karen Robertson. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again–this book is great! Robertson has a wonderful sandwich bread recipe in the book. I started making this every week–and we loved it. Even gluten-eating people loved it (and who doesn’t love fresh bread?). Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe to suit our tastes and needs.
This recipe is accurately called a multi-grain bread. I use a combo of flours that give it a nice flavor and texture. And I alternate between various sweeteners, depending on what taste I’m after. I mainly use a combo of honey and sugar for everyday bread. Sometimes I use molasses for a more hearty-tasting bread.
Every Thanksgiving, I make a loaf of this bread a few days before the big day and then use it for my stuffing. Yes, I do stuff our turkey. It’s safe if you put room-temp stuffing into a room-temp bird. I always have extra, which gets baked in the oven alongside the turkey. I always make another loaf the day after Thanksgiving, so we have bread for turkey sandwiches. And toast for any extra cranberry sauce we have.
Note: For info on how to do this bread in a bread machine, see my Bread Machine post.
Note: For info on why I use xanthan gum versus guar gum or seeds for a gluten-replacer, see my Let’s Talk Gluten Replacers post. Please read this post before asking questions about substituting for xanthan gum.
Multi-Grain Bread,Gluten-Free (edited 1/27/11 to add weights to measurements)
-inspired by Cooking Gluten-Free!
Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is very handy for this, but a hand mixer will do
-loaf pan, 9″x5″
3 large or extra large eggs
1/4 C (60ml) vegetable oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 1/4 C (295ml) warm but not hot water
1 TBL sugar
3 TBL honey (or molasses, or more sugar)
1 1/2 TBL active yeast (I use Red Star)
1 C (120g) tapioca starch/flour (they are the same thing)
3 C (400g) other gluten free flour–this is where you can play w/whole grain gf flours:
-I often use 1 C (155g) brown rice flour, 1 C (105g) amaranth flour, 1 C (140g) sorghum flour
2/3 C (60g) instant dry milk powder (or you can substitute sweet rice flour)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
Optional: 2 TBL flax seeds, or gf oats, or sunflower seeds
extra oil and tapioca flour for pan
If you can, it’s very helpful to bring all the refrigerated ingredients to room temperature.
Oil and flour your pan.
In a small bowl or a glass measuring cup, whisk 1 TBL sugar into warm water until dissolved, add yeast and whisk until dissolved; set aside to proof (get foamy)
In a medium bowl, mix all 4 of your flours your flours. Add dry milk powder (or sweet rice flour), xanthan gum, salt, and remaining sugar if using; as well as the seeds/flax if using.
In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat eggs slightly. Add honey or molasses if using, vinegar, and oil, beat slightly to combine. Add yeast mixture, beat slightly to combine. Add flour mixture, beat on low to combine and then beat on high for about 3 minutes.
Scrape into prepared pan and smooth top with a spatula.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
You may put pan with dough on top of stove so it can use the heat of the oven to help it rise. Let rise until double in bulk, about 45 minutes.
When ready to bake, use a pastry brush to brush top of bread with a little extra oil or melted butter.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Loosely tent with aluminum foil and bake another 30 minutes (40 minutes total).
Remove bread from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then carefully turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely.
We usually eat this within a couple of days, so it lives on the cutting board in the kitchen, cut-side down. Store at room temperature–not in the refrigerator!
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