Bread – one of life’s simplest pleasures – requires no long-winded introduction. It has its place as a staple in various forms through most cultures, be it a French baguette, India’s naan or Ethiopia’s injera. I can think of no other food that is so humble. It rarely takes a leading role, but would be sorely missed if absent. Consider it for moment: hamburgers without a bun, panzanella sans the croutons, or roast beef with no side of Yorkshire Pudding!
However, for the Celiac or gluten intolerant it can become a swift and crashing reality, at least at first.
I have spent the last three years searching, testing, substituting, trying and trying some more to find a suitable gluten free bread. The worst recipes yeilded flavorless bricks destined for the trash; the best recipes were decent fresh from the oven, but, within hours, turned to a dry, crumbly mess. This irked me to my core. I was also continually perplexed by the odd and, what seemed to me, uneccessary additions to make gluten free bread “work”: vinegar, eggs, yogurt, baking powder? I am a firm believer that good bread requires little other than flour, yeast, water and a touch of sugar, to perhaps feed the yeast.
At last someone proved my hypothesis for me.
This brings me to today’s post: my favorite homemade bread recipe, ideal for tearing and dipping in olive oil, building sandwiches, or toasting with a smear of jam for afternoon tea. So good, you’ll forget it’s gluten free.
Sincerely, you might shed a tear. I know I did.
MARK ENGELBERG’S MULTI-GRAIN BREAD
from Aprovechar’s post “Bread for the First Time in a Long Time”
I have googled this Mr. Engelberg with nary a result other than this recipe. I have no idea who this gentleman is, but he is surely a saint, for this bread is delicious: pliable, pleasantly chewy, perfectly moist and it stays this way for days; not to mention the flavor: subtle whole grain complexity with a pleasantly sour tang from the yeast. Please do study the perfectly irregular air holes, the crispy outer crust. Most cherishing of all, this bread is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and vegan.
I bake the suggested two loaves at a time, feel free to halve the ingredients, if you wish. I store one loaf in an air tight container at room temperature and freeze the other for future use.
1 1/2 cups millet flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!)
1 cup cornstarch (or more potato starch)
1 cup tapioca flour
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (not instant)
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 1/4 cups warm (not hot) water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the dry ingredients: millet flour through yeast. Add the wet ingredients
- Using the paddle attachment, add the wet ingredients (water and olive oil) and beat until thoroughly mixed, scraping down the sides if necesary. There’s no gluten, so you can’t over do it.
- Evenly distribute the dough between two oiled loaf pans.
- Allow dough to rise until doubled in size or until it climbs a little over the edge of the pans, 30-60 minutes. Here are three ways to do this:
Option 1: Set loaves, covered, in any warm location.
Option 2: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees while mixing the dough, turn the oven off and allow the bread to rise in the warmed oven.
Option 3: Per Sally at Aprovechar, heat a glass of water in your microwave until it boils. Set the glass to the back and enclose the loaves in the steamy microwave to rise.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Once risen, bake both loaves for 10 minutes then cover with foil and bake an additional 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 10 minutes or so before removing from the pan. This slices better once completely cool. However, I never have the patience to wait that long before digging into it.
*** TROUBLESHOOTING OR SUBSTITUTIONS ***
If you have any trouble with this recipe or have questions about ingredient substitutions click over to Aprovechar’s original post and read through her comment section. She has over 250 comments regarding troubleshooting and substitutions. I make her recipe exactly as written and I’ve never had any trouble with it, so I can’t speak from experience about using any ingredients other than those listed above.