Monday, April 26, 2010

First Loaf of Homemade Bread!

Yesterday I made my first loaf of gluten free bread in my life. Was it a success? I think so. Let me put it this way, when I put that bread in my mouth, my smile split my face in half and my taste buds were singing the Hallelujah chorus at one hundred decibels while doing the limbo. I was so surprised by the moist goodness and delicious taste that I questioned if my ingredients were in fact gluten free. I recruited the bread lady, my mother-in-law, to help me because my helpless self hardly ever cooks, let alone bakes with yeast. The last time I tried to make something with yeast it failed miserably. The rolls were so terrible that I felt bad even feeding them to the trash. Anyway, that was not the case with this delicious bread, I fed it to all. Thanks for the help Mrs. Kay! So after lots of ingredients, anxiety, and three hundred sesame seeds flying all over my kitchen, I produced my first "whole-grain" gluten free bread.
My review: Absolutely spectacular and moist. If you shoved all of my Christmas' into bread, this is what it would taste like.
The Husband's review: It tastes like it has paint in it.
My In-Laws review: It tastes like Mom's 12 grain bread, it's good, and I wasn't expecting it to taste like that. (In a good way.)
My brother, sister and gma's review: **They all had multiple slices and asked me to make them a loaf. Let that speak for itself.
Sorry Husband, looks like your opinion has been over-ridden. Hopefully I can find a bread he approves of, I am on the prowl. Thanks to the Baking Beauties for this delicious recipe!

Gluten Free Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

I used two 8" x 4" loaf pans. It gives you a smaller loaf, but the texture is better than if you used a larger pan.


Dry Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/4 cup potato starch
3 heaping Tbsp ground flax seeds
1/2 cup dry milk powder
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp. unflavoured gelatin
1 Tbsp pectin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

Leavening/Proofing Ingredients:
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)

Wet Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
2 egg whites, whisked
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 Tbsp flax seeds


1. Proofing the yeast: Mix together yeast, sugar & warm water. Set this mixture aside to proof. It will begin to smell like yeast & get foamy, as long as your yeast is still active.
2. In the bowl of your mixer, whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients. Add proofed yeast to this mixture.
4. Using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer on slow speed, gently pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix dough on medium speed for 5-8 minutes. Use a rubber spatula to occasionally scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. While your dough is mixing, you can prepare your loaf pans.
5. Heat oven to 200 degrees and CUT OFF immediately (this creates a warm place for your bread to rise). Spray loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray or oil, or line with parchment paper.
6. Pour dough into loaf pans (divided evenly).
7. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick spray and gently cover the loaf pans, with the sprayed side facing the dough.
8. Place covered pans in the warmed oven and let rise for 30 minutes, or until the dough has risen to the top of the pans. Gently remove plastic wrap.
9. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
10. Place risen loaves of dough into the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes. The crust should be a nice light brown, and a thermometer placed in the middle of the loaf should read about 190 for a finished loaf.
11. Let loaves cool before cutting.

This bread can be left on the counter for a few days, but it is best to store it in the fridge or freezer. It can be "made like fresh" again by microwaving for 10-20 seconds on medium powder.

**On a side note, I used Saf Instant yeast and it turned out beautifully. No proofing necessary! This is great for people like me. You just put the yeast and sugar in the dry ingredients and the liquid in with the wet. Works like a charm!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

One Step Closer

I couldn't be more excited to announce that I have finally got my mixer. After weeks of saying the word mixer over five hundred times, hinting left and right to my husband that if I don't have it I wont be able to live a normal life, and talking about how beneficial a mixer would be to him, he asked me why I haven't bought it already. Little did I know that I could have had it all along. However, there is something so much more exciting about wanting it so bad, knowing that you are going to get it that Saturday and planning your schedule around when you will be picking up your new best friend. Since we had to go to Orem to get it, the only day we could make it before they closed was Saturday and let me tell you, Friday was like Christmas Eve for me. I couldn't sleep all night and just thought about how excited I was for the drive to Orem, picking up my mixer and bringing it home with me. Now I just have to finish up my cleanse. So in three and a half weeks prepare for a blizzard of recipe failure and success because I can't wait to get my hands on experience with my first home made loaf of gluten free breads.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thank Heavens

All I can say right now is thank heavens for Harmon's grocery store. What's better than conveniently grocery shopping down the street from your home? Conveniently grocery shopping for all your gluten free needs in the exact same store as your non-gluten free needs. I have mentioned numerous times on my personal blog that grocery shopping is like the plague to me, not only can I count the number of times I have been by myself on one hand, I have no idea where anything is. Things are about to change, I am getting a little braver each time. I realized once I moved from a grocery store that sold diapers, movies and candy in the same aisle (walmart) to a grocery store with everything clearly labeled, grocery associates around every corner and a jackpot of gluten free goods, my life was so much better. I even did the electric slide in aisle 7 when I stumbled upon gluten free Oreo's. Yeah, I almost made out with the package right then and there. The rest of the hour was filled with me going up and down every aisle pointing and waving at the gluten free goods letting it know I would be back for it soon. So thank you Bob and Randy Harmon for being sensitive to people with food sensitivities.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Top 10 Essentials for Your G-Free Pantry

Knowing where to start was/is the hardest thing for me. The first time I tried to make chocolate chip cookies, I had bought one bag of rice flour thinking that you just substitute a cup of it straight across for normal flour. Wrong. My cookies ended up a crisp flat disk that resembled a frisbee. Now I know why, there is much more to cooking gluten free than I thought so I searched and searched for a list of the essentials and I have finally found one that seems to fit the bill. Courtesy of

Top Ten Essential Items to Have in a Gluten Free Pantry
1) White or Brown Rice Flour, Millet Flour, Sorghum Flour, and Garfava Flour – These flours can be used separately or in combination with other flours to make Gluten Free Flour Blends. The blending of several different gluten free flours is a key concept in gluten free baking. Each flour has its own distinct taste, properties and will react differently from each other when used in a recipe. Having these flours on hand will prove to be beneficial in making many of the Gluten Free Flour Blends which are frequently used for baking gluten free.
2) Cornstarch, Potato Starch and Tapioca Starch – These starches are vital to gluten free baking. When added to a Gluten Free Flour Blend the starch helps to produce a better flavor and texture in a gluten free baked good. They have very little nutritional value or taste but yet are found to be an indispensable ingredient in successful gluten free baking. Even though each starch has its own distinct baking attributes, many times they can be interchanged with each other in recipes if necessary.
3) Dry Active Yeast - This is an essential ingredient for baking many Gluten Free breads. Purchase the Dry Active variety rather than the Bread Machine or Quick Rise variety. The Bread Machine and Quick Rise varieties are not always conducive to Gluten Free baking or recipes therefore it may hinder you from achieving good results. Another tip is to
always check the package date for freshness.
4) Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum – Not only are these two products used in gluten free baking but also in many traditional food items. Their use in a recipe can have many purposes. When added to gluten free baked goods they can help to bind, stabilize, emulsify, thicken, lend structure or suspension. Even though they are frequently substituted for each other, each has its own benefits when used in a recipe. Although many times in gluten free baking a gum is a necessary ingredient, contrary to popular belief not every recipe must contain it.
5) White Sugar, Brown Sugar & Powdered Sugar – Sugar is an integral ingredient for baking whether Gluten Free or not. Sugar is needed for yeast to ferment which is vital for bread to rise. It is used for sweetening and to enhance flavor but another very important role usually not thought about is the bulk that it adds to a recipe. This bulk helps incorporate air into batters during the creaming process. Sugar also helps baked items produce color. Powdered sugar also known as Confectioners Sugar or 10X Sugar can be a hidden source of gluten so it is very important to check the ingredient label before purchase.
6) Sweet Rice Flour, Potato Flour, And Almond Meal – Here are a few more items which should be thought of as standard fare for a gluten free pantry. Most can be bought and kept in smaller quantities then the previous flours and starches. Except on occasion, each of these are most often used in small amounts within a recipe. Even though the amount may seem insignificant in relationship to the recipe’s other ingredients a successful outcome can be dependent on it being added in.
7) Baking Powder and Baking Soda – If you plan on doing any type of Gluten Free baking these two items are a must. They are both chemical leaveners. Baking powder does not need an acidic ingredient to release its leavening power where as baking soda does but in some recipes, depending on the amount of acidic ingredients, a combination of both is used. Double-acting baking powder begins releasing carbon dioxide as soon as it is moistened, and again when heated in the oven. There are several aluminum-free brands of baking powders if this is important to
you as well.
8) Unflavored Gelatin – This is an ingredient that is used frequently in gluten free baking. It can be used as a binder, a thickener, an alternative to gums, an egg substitute when mixed correctly with water or it can be used to add much needed protein to some recipes such as in gluten free bread. If necessary, it usually can be eliminated from a recipe but it does aid in providing texture, structure and elasticity for overall better results.
9) Ener-G Egg Replacer – This is another ingredient that is used frequently in Gluten Free baking. It usually acts as a leavening agent in a recipe that already includes eggs. It adds extra leavening without adding extra moisture. Because Gluten Free baked goods lack gluten they sometimes need the extra leavening boost from the egg replacer. Not all brands of egg replacers are Gluten Free so be sure to read the label.
10) Buckwheat Flakes and/or Quinoa Flakes –Knowing there are many people that are unable to or choose not to consume oatmeal these flakes can be used as a substitution. Both of these Gluten Free grains are sold in many different forms but it is the oatmeal-style flakes which respond best and are interchangeable in recipes originally made with oatmeal. Both have a pleasant taste and nutritional values which should be appreciated and taken advantage of in a Gluten Free diet.
It is a lot of stuff to purchase all at once so I have been picking up three or four of these things at a time when I go grocery shopping. Plus, once I stopped buying cart fulls of gushers and sugar babies, it seemed like there wasn't much of a cost difference from the regular grocery shopping bill.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

I decided to start this blog because I was starting to get fellow Celiac followers on my personal blog that had hardly any gluten free fun at all. Most of it was just me complaining about random things or making horrible exaggerations that usually include David Bowie. For the next six weeks I will be finishing up a cleanse and preparing myself for the hurricane that is about to rip through my household, creating all sorts of gluten-free concoctions in my quest to find the best of everything. For the past year I have been making due with what I had, only buying two or three loaves of rice bread. After tasting that awful store bought bread, that I compare to eating a kitchen sponge, I decided to just do without. Due to the awfulness and deprivation of goods, I cheated on occasion and this had me doubled over at my desk cursing that bag of Oreos. I have decided no more, just because you have a food allergy does not mean that you have to suffer. I am bound and determined to find all of the recipes so good, no one can tell the difference and on occasion prefer the gluten free. We all know it is hard to compare once you have been away from it for so long, so I am subjection my gluten loving husband to the slavery of being my guinea pig and forcing him to try recipe after recipe and give his honest feedback as well. In the past I have made some gluten free treats that he critiqued as, "tasting like old people," so I hope I can find something that doesn't taste of Pine sol and dust. As for now, I am stocking up on gluten free cooking essentials and trying to convince my husband that I could possibly die if I don't get a Bosch mixer right away. I am pretty sure he is getting sick of me hanging onto his ankles, laying on the floor like a four year old and begging for that glorious piece of machinery. I can tell everyone right now that a mixer is essential to bread making, we made a few loaves by hand and they came out of the oven looking like Sponge Bob Square Pants after he had just been run over by an eighteen wheeler. I would also like to mention the time my "fluffy rolls" ended up hockey pucks for the Utah Grizzlies. So here we go, I am throwing myself into this so far that it becomes an obsession and I can make the meanest batch of peanut butter chocolate kiss cookies with my eyes shut, while juggling kitchen appliances on a unicycle.