You may be noticing a surge in gluten-free options both at the supermarket, and on many restaurant menus. For many individuals, the advantages and benefits of a gluten-free diet translate to better health. However, people with Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and/or allergies find the benefits of a gluten-free diet to increase their quality of life. Gluten free products lack gluten in the protein, typically found in wheat and barley. A gluten-free diet is very similar to a wheat free diet. Products made with flax, rice, millet, and quinoa are very popular as substitutes for wheat and barley based products, and you will often see xanthan gum on GF recipes.
A common misconception is that gluten-free foods are tasteless and dry. When done right, gluten-free products can be as delicious as their counterparts. Try for yourself, and bake some gluten-free bread this weekend.
- Place the flour, milled flax, sugar, yeast, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum in a bowl. Whisk together well.
- Place the milk, oil or melted butter, and eggs in the bowl of a mixer, and beat well.
- Blend in the dry ingredients a cup at a time, beating for a minute and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each addition.
- After all the dry ingredients have been added, beat for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed to make a very smooth, thick batter.
- Cover the bowl, and let the batter rise for 1 hour.
- Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, deflating the batter in the process. Beat the batter for about 1 minute.
- Grease an 8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″ loaf pan, or 9″ x 4″ x 4″ loaf pan, or small pain de mie pan (without the lid; you won’t need it). Scoop the dough into the pan, doming it in the middle; using a spatula or your wet fingers helps.
- Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap. Set it in a warm place to rise until the loaf barely crowns above the rim of the pan 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ pan; or rises to fill about 3/4 of the 9″ x 4″ or small pain de mie pan. This should take about 60 to 75 minutes. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes, until golden brown. Tent the loaf with foil the final 10 to 15 minutes of baking, to prevent over-browning. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the fully baked loaf will register about 205°F.
- Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool on a rack.
images/recipe from kingarthur