January 24

Gluten Free Paleo Bread

Gluten Free Paleo BreadMy mother has a boss who has been put on a restrictive diet as her doctors attempt to figure out what’s causing her to be sick. Right now, she can’t have gluten. I was asked what I know about a gluten free diet, and what products exist on the market that are gluten free, namely in the bread category. Unfortunately, where my parents live is a nice tiny little town that doesn’t offer much in the way of specialized diets. The few brands I’ve shared with my mom cannot be found in town. I’m sure there are websites around to order from that would ship to them, but instead of going that route, her boss is offering me the opportunity to bake her bread, overnight/next-day it to her.

Problem is, short of a few types of desserts, I’ve never made gluten free bread. I’ve looked at lots of recipes to understand how individual ingredients work with each other without the use of gluten flours, but I’ve never attempted it. Quite honestly, I’ve never had a reason to. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not gluten intolerant/don’t have Celiac’s/etc., there’s no reason to exclude gluten from your diet. The few desserts I’ve made in the past – namely a flourless chocolate cake a few years ago and my GF peanut butter cookies – weren’t because omgyay they’re gluten free!!! but because I was curious to see who the lack of gluten, or gluten flour, would change texture and flavor in these items.

So anyway, I went on a search for easy, gluten free bread recipes that sounded like the end result wouldn’t choke a goat. A name that floats around a lot on the internet when it comes to healthy, GF recipes is Elana, of Elana’s Pantry. Her blog is pretty fantastic. Easy recipes, easy directions, and seemingly awesome results. Her paleo GF bread included ingredients I already had in my own pantry and figured there were so many positive comments attached to the recipe that it was a must-try.

My end results were not like hers. That is not to say it’s a failure. I do not own the magic line pan she uses, and since that particular pan is a different set of dimensions, I didn’t kid myself that I’d have a tall loaf of bread. The top crust of my bread is not smooth like hers. Mine looked more like a crumble, without being crumbly. My insides, as is evident by the photographs, is grainier and looks less elegant than hers. And also, since I’ve never tried her particular results, I cannot begin to say mine lacks flavor, depth, the proper texture, etc. All I know is that my end result is more like a cakey quick bread. It’s reminiscent of banana bread, just without the flavor of banana. I whipped up a little honey butter to go along with this bread and it’s pretty flippin’ fantastic. Then again, I’m a firm believer that honey butter makes everything better ;)

I made two loaves of this last night. The first loaf’s results were short and stubby. Thinking that since it lacked much in the way of a leavening, that maybe some natural rising from whipped egg whites would fix the problem. I noticed that other comments mentioned it in passing, and even a friend on Facebook who bakes gluten free desserts said as much, confirming my suspicions. An attempt to do that on a second loaf yielded prrrrretty much the same results. No different in height, texture, flavor, nothing. But that’s okay. Because now we have two delicious loaves of cakey bread that we can pair with all sorts of tasty toppings. We’ll just have to watch the nutty fat content on them. Otherwise I’d probably eat the whole loaf in one sitting.

This all being discovered and said, this is not a loaf I will be sending to my mom’s boss. Instead, I’ve found another blog by an incredibly intelligent, personable blogger over at Gluten Free On a Shoestring whose recipes I’ll be tackling as soon as I can get my hands on xanthan gum that won’t break the bank.

Gluten Free Paleo Bread

source:  Elana’s Pantry [Paleo Bread]

Ingredients

2 cups blanched almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut flour
¼ cup golden flaxmeal
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
5 eggs
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions

1. Place almond flour, coconut flour, flax, salt, and baking soda in a food processor. Pulse ingredients together.

2. Add in eggs, oil, honey, and vinegar. Pulse until combined into a thick batter.

3. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Ideal size for the pan is 7.5 x 3.5 to get more height on the bread as it bakes, as this recipe does not rise very high. Using an 8″ or 9″ loaf pan with yield shorter results, as in my photos.

4. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 2 hours.

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