Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gluten-Free Yeasted Bread (Oat, Brown Rice, & Quinoa))

Multigrain Bread with Cream Cheese
When E wanted to make a creamy artichoke pasta with garlic bread, and I made her a French-style bread, I wanted to make myself bread also. I haven't done much with gluten-free yeast breads, but I do get tired of buying them, because most seem far too expensive and often don't taste that great.

In my current town, the GF bread options are better (and tastier), but still pretty expensive for the size loaves I get. I figured, if an attempt at GF bread didn't work, I could go buy one of these breads (or, more likely, go without garlic bread). But, I miss trying GF baking experiments and I'd been keeping my eye on a gluten-free bread recipe from Moosewood Daily Special for a while. Since I had some non-wheat flours on hand, I decided to give it a try--making a LOT of substitutions.

I think it turned out fairly well, and what I found interesting was that because I didn't stick it in the refrigerator for the first two days, it developed a nice sourdough flavor. It slices easily and is better toasted (much better toasted, in my opinion). Many gluten-free breads seem to be that way--better toasted. It still stays pretty moist after it's toasted, unless I leave it in our toaster oven for a long time.

The first time I made this bread, I didn't include quinoa and as you'll see here, there still isn't much--quinoa flour is expensive (about $11 for 1.5 lbs online through two different companies)! I like both ways, but the variety of grains is fun and adds complexity to the flavor. This bread is easy to make--you literally mix all the ingredients in one bowl at the same time, toss it in a greased pan and let it rise in a warm place before baking--which I appreciate, especially with a busy schedule. It doesn't feel (too) inconvenient to make myself a loaf of bread after work that will last me for a week (or more!).

I use a base of rice and oat flour here, but I know some people are sensitive to oats (use certified GF oat flour and if it bothers you, using millet works out pretty well too--but lends a very different flavor) and rice. If you have a rice allergy, check out my friend Victoria who is creating GF bread-y recipes that are also rice-free.

Multigrain Gluten-Free Bread
1 cup oat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour or corn starch
1 tablespoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light brown cane sugar
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon dry yeast (or, if you don't buy it in bulk, 1 package, close enough)
2 eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar

Loaf, close-up
Using a wooden spoon, combine all the ingredients. Mix pretty well--you could also do this with an electric mixer, but I think the dough is too thick if you only have a hand-held mixer. Scoop the dough into an oiled 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and smooth the top. Spray or brush the top with a light coating of vegetable oil (not imperative if you're using foil or plastic to cover the dough while it rises, definitely necessary if you're using a tea towel). Loosely cover the pan and set aside, in a warm place, to rise until the dough is even with the top of the pan, about 1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has risen for 1 1/4 hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the covering from the bread and bake the bread until golden brown, about 45 minutes. It's done when it sounds hollow, when tapped. Remove from the oven, invert onto a rack, and cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Look at that paleness. Toast it first!
Again, this bread tastes fine if you eat it as slices, but is much better toasted. If you don't eat much bread, it also freezes well (slice it first and toast to warm up).

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