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Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding a good bread

Finding a good bread

I am currently thinking about this as my apartment fills with the smell of baking bread and homemade stew. I love the months of September and October as I can choose what to eat based on the outside temp and my whims.  

One of the hardest things for me when I became gluten free was finding bread that didn't taste and or feel like cardboard. I know yummy, household packing goods holding together my sandwich.  Since flours other than wheat have a very different texture it was difficult.

Bread Mixes: These are the best things I have found, they are cheaper than buying a loaf of GF Bread, also they taste a lot better.  However, I don't normally have time to bake so I now am the proud owner of a bread machine that does nothing but GF items.  I really like the red mills, 123 Gluten free easy and the Schar brands, they for me have made the best bread in a bread machine.

Note: Kosher salt works best with the GF bread.  This was discovered after many failed attempts and flat breads.

Loaves of bread: Ok this one is hard since there are many brands to choose from.  I stick to only a few tried and true brands currently.  I order online from Katz Gluten free or I pick up Schar (if available) If Schar is not available than Udi's is a great brand.  Not only that, but they have found a way to not have to keep my bread in the freezer constantly.  It can be a pain to pull out one or two slices of frozen bread and defrost it before you can make a sandwich.

For the best results I normally choose to make my bread.  I do have to freeze it if I want it to last but since it normally is gone in a short amount of time it isn't a problem. Also if you want herb or cheese bread you can add that to the mix and adjust your bread machine to make sure it bakes right.  I normally pick up the basic bread mixtures and add whatever I want to them. 

For those with time to bake, and in honor of the upcoming seasons I will share with you a recipe. I loved this one and I did make it by hand, the finished product last less than two hours in my house. I skipped the topping but may add it back next time.

 I found the recipe at Pumpkin Spice Bread

2 large farm fresh brown eggs (use an egg-replacer to make vegan)
3/4 cup coconut sugar (regular raw sugar, maple sugar, sucanat or brown sugar would also work)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup fresh pureed pumpkin (canned will also work)
1/4 cup almond milk (cow’s milk or other non-dairy milk will also work)
250 grams of your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour blend – see above notes on what I used (this can be anywhere between 1 1/2 – 2 cups of flour depending on what you are using, but I really recommend weighing)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup crystallized ginger, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped into little bits (reserving approximately 1 tablespoon for the topping)
Preheat the oven to 350ยบ F. Grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, spices, salt, baking soda and baking powder) together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
In the large bowl of your stand mixer, beat the eggs and coconut sugar together until very well combined and fluffy. Approximately 3-5 minutes. Slowly while the mixer is running, pour the oil into the sugar and egg mixture, then add in the pumpkin, almond milk and vanilla, allow the mixture to mix another a minute or two until everything is well combined.
Then add the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. A little at a time, while the mixer is running on a low-speed. Mix until well blended. Then fold the crystallized ginger and walnuts into the batter. Mix the remaining crystallized ginger and walnuts together and set aside.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the ginger and walnut mixture all over the top. Place on the center rack in the oven and back until the top is golden brown, about an hour. Make sure a cake tester or knife comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 30 minutes, then gently turn the bread out of the pan (being careful not to knock all the nuts and ginger off) and allow it to finish cooling on a wire rack.

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