Wednesday, February 26

Gluten Free Bread

One of the hardest things for most people going gluten free can be giving up bread. When you go to the store and touch the package of most gluten free bread...feels like they can make a good weapon rather than for eating. Most of them are hard as a rock with cardboard taste. I love baking bread, but very new to gluten free world of baking. So I've tried a couple of recipes...which didn't turn out as well as I hoped. While baking this bread I chose to use coconut sugar in substitute of regular sugar. It adds a deepness, almost molasses type taste. Plus diabetes runs in my family, so I'm careful of sugars at times when I can.

If you are new to gluten free baking, you will find this a new experience in baking bread. I love kneading dough for breads a lot, but with most of the recipes I've found with gf you don't. It's almost like baking a cake with sticky dough...kind of fun. Let's get down to business!

Gluten Free Bread
Prep time: 20 minutes      Cook time: 25 minutes      Ready in: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (I use coconut sugar) 
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 2/3 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon xanthum gum
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  2.  Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water in a bowl. Let stand until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam, about 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Combine yeast mixture, rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, cornstarch, vegetable oil, eggs, xanthan gum, and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer; mix on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Spoon dough into the prepared loaf pan. Smooth the top of dough with the back of a wet spoon.
  4. Place dough in a warm place until it has risen just over the top of the loaf pan, about 1 hour. (My tip for this is...while I'm mixing the ingredients together I turn my oven on to the lowest setting. Let it heat up then turn it off. I place a damp tea towel over the bread & put it in the oven to rise for the hour. Once the the time is over, take bread pan out & preheat for baking.)
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until loaf is medium golden brown, about 25 minutes. (Optional...take melted butter & brush on top of bread 20 minutes into baking. Then continue baking for the remaining 5 minutes.

Take bread out and allow to sit for about 5 - 10 minutes, then pop out of loaf pan to cooling rack. I allow to cool more before slicing. The bread looks a little different and may have a little crumble to it, but it tastes yeasty and yummy. I mostly toast our bread when we eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I usually keep mine in the refrigerator wrapped up, but if you go through bread within 3 - 4 days it might be just fine that whole time out (wrapped up tightly).

This is the bread sliced...ready for lunch time! I have to add, my husband had the hardest time with gluten free bread. He said it brought out a gag reflex in him...lovely I know!! But this apparently can be common to most people. So I wanted to mention this...because he actually really likes the bread too! I hope you enjoy this bread and I promise as I try out more recipes I will share them with you. So far happy with this one and it's not complicated with ingredients. These ingredients I keep on hand at all times, since they are used in a lot of gluten free baking. Hope you enjoy this bread!

Tuesday, February 25

Body telling me things need to change...

It's taken me a long time to figure out if I was going to write a blog. A few months back I finally found out what was going on with my health. It's been years that I've been having off and on health issues, there were times I almost thought maybe the dreaded "c" word. Thankfully it wasn't cancer...although I avoided doctors like the plague. My whole family is that way, if our arm was falling off we may consider going to the hospital. My body had a complete breakdown with my first ever full on anxiety attack. It was rather confusing since my heart was beating out of my chest, body started to go completely numb & the list went on. Honestly I thought that was it! Not to sound dramatic...but strokes & heart attacks run in my family. So I thought that was what I was having. While I was in the ER, the doctor started to tell me about food allergies and my body could be reacting to a break down & full resistance of something I eat or drank. I've never had allergies or anxiety this was all new to me. So I started reading up on gluten and after reading all the symptoms I was amazed that it's what I've been having. I kept getting links to Celiacs disease every time I was searching gluten free diets & issues. After reading those symptoms and looking at the mystery rash on my blew me away! All of it seemed to close to what I've been dealing with, including serious headaches, sinus issues & loosing my concentration so easily (brain fog). I finally went in and was tested, with the first test coming back negative. I soon found out it was a false negative. So I ate some gluten (suffered for it) and trudged back in for testing, which came back positive. So begins my extreme lifestyle change.

I know gluten free is such a fad, just like coconut oil (which I use a lot of and LOVE). No not everyone has a need to go gluten free, although I suspect GMO's have caused a lot of the issues with our wheat & crops. All that altering can't be good for anyone & we could finally be getting the effects by it. More and more people are dealing with gluten sensitivities as well as finding out they have Celiacs. I'm not going to get on the GMO rant, it's not about that. To me it's trusting your food & hoping you are nourishing yourself, rather than slowly killing yourself. I will tell you that for me taking away gluten has had some amazing positive impacts. I'm not waking up with headache/migraines, loosing weight finally, a little bit more energy every day, some more clarity in the brain & well everything is looking up. Although I still get contaminated from things I eat...although I try hard to read everything carefully and make good decisions. My husband has really helped me so much, he went gluten free with me. Hasn't cheated on the gluten free once! So proud of him & he's noticed a difference as well.

This long story is the beginning of my new journey. My mood has leveled while feeling better & my new journey of life, cooking & baking. I've been baking my own bread each week & have played with so many recipes I've found online. So this is just my take on things, recipes I love & want to share as well as things I make on the side for my little business.

Feel free to email me with questions or some suggestions as well!