The only thing that could make this early morning better was waking to the sunrise AND the scent of bread in the oven. The only one in the house who could grant that wish was me. I confess to a block when it comes to making fresh bread. Doing it well is an art I haven’t practiced enough to be confident. My biggest issue is “rising”, never certain if the spot is draft-free and warm enough. Yeast is also a hang-up: regular, rapid, dry, wet, particles, cubed? Arghhhh! And the TIME it takes to bake a loaf of bread! There are home cooks who incorporate the process daily, swearing it takes just a few turns of a dough hook, the patience to ignore the (boule) whilst it rises, and poof: crusty sourdough!
Poof! That’s how quickly I can get to and from Scratch Baking Co., Standard, or Rosemont with an often warm loaf of something delicious. Except none of those excellent spots offers gluten-free bread.
When Gus was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 1998 one could buy a prescriptive looking block of white rice (I don’t want to even call it) bread. It was only edible toasted, and then, barely. Gus preferred PB&J on rice cakes and I didn’t have the bandwidth to tackle my phobia about baking bread from scratch (managing the boys, our household, Gus’s diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes, my (now) home art business….) Perfecting really good GF chocolate chip cookies was much easier; even the mistakes tasted good.
Fairly early on we were able to order pretty good bread and bagels from Canada. We also discovered GF Bavarian Bread http://www.bavarianglutenfreebread.com/ , a dense traditional loaf that is delicious toasted or for grilled cheese. Since then Whole Foods has gotten into the GF bread act, Udi’s, a Colorado company, has wide distribution of their above average breads and bagels. But none of those have scents that waft from the kitchen to wake me up on a beautiful morning in Maine.
Four years ago I heard from someone that bread making machines are particularly effective for gluten free recipes: permission to get one! We’ve been in and out of bread making phases. I’ve tried recipes from scratch, and have had good luck with Pamela’s Bread Mix http://pamelasproducts.com/products/baking-mixes/pamelas-gluten-free-bread-mix/. So, because it’s easy, let’s start there:
Three Seeded Bread
I used a Cuisinart Bread Maker, but you make this without one.
3 1/2 cups Pamela’s Bread Mix
1/4 cup oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast or one 7g yeast packet
2 tablespoons Blackstrap molasses
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1. Set the bread maker to: Basic White Bread, 2 lb loaf, Medium Crust. Don’t use the GF setting.
2. Measure the oil into a 2 cup measuring cup. Add the eggs first, then enough water to measure 2 cups, plus 2 tablespoons of water. Also add the molasses. Whisk gently to break the eggs.
3. Put Pamela’s Mix and seeds into the loaf pan in the bread maker. Pour the wet ingredients over the flour and sprinkle the yeast over all.
4. Start the machine, scraping down the sides and corners to incorporate the dry ingredients during the “mixing” cycle.
5. Remove the pan from the “oven” when the baking cycle is finished. Lay it on it’s side whilst the bread cools a little, before turning it out of the pan and removing the dough “hook.”
6. Slice and toast and ENJOY your freshly baked bread!