Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The BEST Gluten Free Sandwich Bread EVER!

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If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I discovered last year that cutting gluten from my diet helped tremendously with my Crohn’s symptoms. You also know that I tried and tried to find a suitable gluten free sandwich loaf and was disappointed time and time again. My loaves were passable, but they weren’t great. They were either too crumbly or too gummy, or they had that off-flavor which characterizes so many gluten free breads. I’ve done my share of whining about the cost of store-bought gluten free sandwich loaves, and what’s worse, these loaves were not wonderful either. Far from it. We even did sourdough for a while, but I found that it sometimes gave me trouble. 

I am so happy to tell you that I stumbled upon a recipe for the most delicious and versatile gluten free bread dough. We’ve made loaves for sandwiches with this dough. We’ve made pizza. (Yes, very good pizza!) This bread pairs well with a bowl of soup or stew. It would make fabulous buns for burgers or hot dogs. Cinnamon rolls are next up on the agenda. You can even roll it thin for crackers. You see, this dough isn’t like all the others I’ve tried. It’s not runny like cake batter. It’s dough. You can shape it. And it’s absolutely delicious! There’s nothing about this dough that screams gluten free. It’s incredibly crusty on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside (without being gummy). It reminds me of a nice loaf of Italian bread. My kids are begging me for a piece of this bread every time they think about it. The best part? You can mix up 4 loaves of this bread and store it in the refrigerator (for up to 5 days) until you’re ready for it. Hallelujah! We now have good bread again folks. And it costs me roughly $1 per loaf to make. I had to share it with you.

For me, the sad part is that I’ve owned this cookbook for quite a while. I bought it before we were eating gluten free. I used it for whole wheat bread and didn’t give the book a second thought when we switched to gluten free. I wish I had. There’s no telling how much money and time I’d have saved. Store-bought gluten free loaves are a thing of the past for this family. This is the only recipe I’ll ever need. No more failed attempts!

16 comments:

Berit said...

I have bookmarked the recipe--I need to start trying these things! :D Using yeast does make me nervous, however, for a variety of reasons.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

I understand your concerns about using yeast, Berit. If I were able to make a successful sourdough loaf with gluten free flour, I wouldn't use commercial yeast myself. Alas, that leaves me in a bit of a pickle with a family to feed. Personally, I could do without bread. I wouldn't be happy about it, but I could nix bread. The family, that's another story! It's either this loaf or the expensive gluten free store-bought loaves we've been using (Udi's is the brand - and for the record, this is a yeasted loaf). If you can tolerate whole wheat or spelt (even better) sourdough, that's certainly the way to go, Berit. : )

Mary Frances Stanford said...

This looks yummy Melissa! I'm going to have to try it. How're you feeling? I've been thinking about you!

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

Mary Frances, I'm doing okay... I can't say that I'm "well" yet, but I am hopeful that better days are just around the corner. Thanks for asking! I am at least well enough to spend some time in the kitchen. : )

Ann said...

Loved the pictures of your house, it all looks beautiful. Sara Lynn's room is so pretty. Well done for finding all you things at estate sales etc, they look great.

Berit said...

I seriously don't know. I cut bread out of my diet (and most carbs) I'm agreed with you that I can do without it, but I want to develop a repetoire of homemade options for special occasions.

Back to food, all the copies of Nourishing Traditions are out, and on hold for others when they come back in, except for 1 copy of the 1995 version. Any reason that you know of that I should wait for the 1999? Or should I spring for the 1995 version?

Diane@Peaceful Acres Farm said...

Melissa, this looks wonderful. Now that life is settling down a bit, hopefully I can try your bread recipe. Gluten and Wheat were very low on my intolerance test, but non-the-less I need to eliminate them....with all the other food issues it's just not happened yet. I'm glad to see that you are doing well enough to get around and keep in touch. You are in my prayers.

To Berit...waiting for the newer addition is advised. Apparently there were A LOT of errors in the newer additions. And many were very unhappy with Sally's publishing "untested" recipes. Whether they were or not, I don't know, it's just the chatter I've heard about the first editions of NT.

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The Yancey Family said...

This recipe looks great but we soak all of our grains per The Maker's Diet. Can you tell me how I would do that with this recipe?

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

The Yancey Family, I just stumbled upon your comment - sorry for the delay. I add about a 1/2 cup of kefir (you could use yogurt or buttermilk, too) in the measuring cup before adding the water. I make sure that the liquid (kefir + water) is equal to the amount of water called for in the recipe. It actually makes a REALLY good loaf - I much prefer it to the unsoaked version. The dairy helps the bread to brown more when it cooks. Nice crusty edges... oh, my! : ) Melissa

Anonymous said...

Do you use a Dutch oven as recommended in the link? I don't have one and am wondering how/if I could still make this.

Sweet Homestead Alabama said...

I do have a dutch oven, but this bread still bakes up beautifully if you bake it on a cookie sheet. I usually just put it on my pizza stone with a bit of parchment paper underneath to keep it from sticking. When I make multiple loaves, I use a big cookie sheet. Happy Baking!

gwensans said...

That definitely looks like the best gluten free sandwich bread ever! I will attempt to bake this however I am not the best baker..Any favorite GF premade sandwich bread brands? I love Bavarians.

Melissa said...

@gwensans, if we do buy store-bought, we prefer Rudi's GF whole-grain bread. We get it at our local Publix or Earth Fare. It is really good, but nothing beats fresh from the oven bread!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love your blog! I wanted to ask you when you soak the grains by adding yogurt or keffir do you leave the bucket out of the fridge at room temperature or do you refrigerate for a few days before baking with it? Also, do you think whey would work? Thanks so much for reading my question and keep blogging!

Melissa said...

I refrigerate it for a few days before baking with it. If you leave the bread out at room temperature for too long, the yeast will die. And yes, whey would absolutely work. I hope you like it! It's still our favorite bread 2 years after this post. :-)