Eating gluten free is a diet trend that has become increasingly popular over the last decade. In some cases, this is due to allergies like celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but others have adopted this as a voluntary dietary choice for health reasons.
Did you know? The gluten free movement all started with the William Davis book “Wheat Belly”, which calls into question whether the human body is actually meant to process wheat. These findings are still up for debate.
After this book hit the shelves the discourse around gluten and its effects on our body have got more and more intense. The debates range from studies saying that gluten has no adverse effects on your bodies to people speaking out against wheat and extolling it as a “poison.” At the end of the day everyone’s body is different and reacts to things in a unique way so we can choose to eliminate some things from our diets if it makes us feel better. No matter what reason has caused you to cut gluten out of your life you are bound to be missing the most humble and comforting of all pantry staples; bread, and we are here to help with that.
How To Make Gluten Free Bread
This gluten free bread recipe is an enriched loaf, which means it is enhanced using eggs, milk and sugar for a richer taste and a more melt in the mouth feel so you won’t even notice that this bread lacks the stretchy glutinous qualities we have become accustomed to in our everyday loaves. Enriching your loaves also adds to the fat content of the bread, which is imperative in the Banting diet in particular.
When baking regular bread our main focus is on stretching the gluten strands in the dough so that when carbon dioxide is produced by the yeast it inflates to create the bubbled framework, we have become familiar with. However, when it comes to gluten free bread there is obviously no gluten to stretch; this is actually a positive thing as it removes any necessity to knead the bread. This will save you a huge amount of time and effort as well as removing the need for a mixer to assist you in your kneading process, which makes this style of bread far more accessible to new bakers. Who said you need fancy equipment to make great baked goods at home?
When it comes to ingredients there are a few special additions used in gluten free bread that help to mimic some of the familiar qualities of regular bread.
Firstly is the addition of apple cider vinegar, this adds an element of acidity which is very favourable for the yeast. This helps create a good texture as well as enhancing the taste of the overall bake, giving it a hint of sourdough flavour.
The second ingredient is the oil, now this is commonly used in regular bread too, but it is particularly useful in gluten free bread as it adds to the crumb texture and improves the overall shelf life of your baked goods. The final ingredient is xantham gum. This is a thickener that acts as a soluble fiber that is safe to eat and adds no extra calories. The thickener serves to improve the texture and the consistency of bread and makes it mimic the spongey quality of their glutenous counterparts with relative ease. As an added bonus it also helps prolong the shelf life, which is important with home bakes because they don’t last as long as shop bought loaves that are full of preservatives.
Whether you eat regular or gluten free bread the homemade option is the healthiest and the most nutritious option every time. So if you’ve been missing the comfortable and versatile quality of bread in your gluten free diet then look no further than this quick and easy recipe.
Gluten Free Bread Recipe
- 500g gluten free flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 150ml water
- 150ml milk
- 3 tbl oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
- Mixing bowl
- Wooden spoon
- Loaf tin
Preheat Your Oven And Prepare The Tin
1. Preheat your oven to 200o C
2. Liberally grease your loaf tin with butter or cooking spray and set aside.
Preparing The Ingredients
3. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients ensuring that the yeast doesn’t directly contact the salt as this can kill it. Mix thoroughly.
4. Combine all the liquids including the oil and the eggs and mix lightly.
Adding The Liquids
5. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and combine using a wooden spoon. Fold the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture that should resemble cake batter. Pour the batter into the loaf tin.
6. Cover the loaf tin with cling film or a damp cloth and allow to prove until double in size. This is the most important part of the process so be sure it proves properly before baking.
7. Bake at 200o C for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
8. To test if the bread is ready carefully slide it from the tin and tap it on the bottom. If it sounds hollow then it’s done. Return to the tin.
9. Like conventional bread you should let it rest before cutting. This is imperative with gluten free bread because cutting it hot could cause it to crumble so let the bread set before slicing into it.
How To Make Gluten Free Bread: Summing Up
Whether it is for health reasons or to fit into your gluten free diet, this gluten free bread recipe is perfect for you! It is rich, sliceable and good for toasting and gives you the satisfaction of eating bread with none of the gluten that you are trying to avoid. It is also very easy to execute so it is accessible for all baking experience levels with just a few specialised ingredients.