So, I have been without my bread machine for the past several days. My Breadman Pro has been a workhorse, baking bread faithfully at least once a week for over a year. But the pan and the kneading paddle became scratched and the teflon was peeling off. That's scary - the girls don't need to ingest teflon with their cashew butter and jam sandwiches! So I ordered a new machine (my only practical option, since Salton does not sell replacement parts!). While waiting for it to arrive, I bought some brown rice bread at Whole Foods - the packaged kind, by Ener-G. It was expensive, dry and tasteless.* The girls would have none of it at all. There was now no excuse for me not to make bread in the oven, which I have avoided since baking gluten free, I guess because on some level I didn't trust myself to get it right.
So instead of using one of my recipes for the bread machine, I thought while I was at it, it'd be fun to try something new. I found a really great looking recipe for Multi-Grain Bread (which reminds me of a peasant bread I used to make) at Gluten Free Goddess, so I printed the recipe and went to work. I modified it a bit, adding another egg and cutting back on the yeast, cutting down on the liquid (using water instead of rice milk) and adding flax and poppy seeds along with the sesame seeds right into the batter (the girls will not suffer adorned bread). I even decided to forgo using the Kitchen Aid and made it all by hand, which was really very nice! I miss making bread by hand and it was cathartic to use my hands again instead of relying on fancy kitchen gadgets. Not only did my bread end up looking beautiful, it tastes excellent! I had so much fun, and the bread came out so fabulous, that even when the new bread machine gets here I will continue to make this bread by hand.
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup millet flour
1 cup potato starch
2 tbsp. flax seed meal
2 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tsp. poppy seeds
2 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup warm water
2 beaten eggs
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Sift together the sorghum flour through the salt, set aside.
Whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar; set aside. Allow to proof for about 5 minutes, until foamy.
Whisk together the eggs, olive oil, honey and vinegar. Add the proofed yeast and whisk gently to combine. Add the flour all at once and beat with a large spoon until the flour is incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Then beat until smooth - by hand this took me a couple of minutes, just long enough for my arm to hurt. The batter should be thick but not stiff.
Grease a loaf pan. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading evenly and shaping to a slight rise in the center. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the top of the bread is about an inch above the pan.
Remove the plastic wrap carefully. Bake the loaf at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Cover the top of the bread with tin foil to prevent over-browning and continue baking another 10 - 15 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the loaf out of the pan and let cool on a wire rack before slicing with a sharp bread knife.
I must take a moment to say a profound and heartfelt thank you to all the gluten free bakers who have worked hard to find alternative flours, making gluten-free healthy, tasty and fabulous! If I had to do this gluten free thing 20 years ago with only rice flour and cornstarch, I would have given up and cried!