Gluten-Free Bread: More Than 100 Artisan Loaves for a Healthier Life by Ellen Brown (Running Press, $23)
There is nothing quite like the aroma of baking bread in the family kitchen. For many who are on a gluten-free diet, simple pleasures such as morning toast or the comforting taste of home-baked bread fresh from the oven seem impossible.
Ellen Brown, author of 35 previous cookbooks, serves up more than 100 recipes for brioche, sandwich bread, multi-grain loaves and even quick breads that are not only gluten-free but tasty as well.
Brown combines such ingredients as protein-packed soy and bean flours with yeasts to create flavors of conventional bread with a decidedly artisan flair. The recipes are divided into six basic chapters: The Gluten-Free Pantry and Bread Basics; Basic Loaves; Rich Loaves; Flatbreads; Quick Breads and Rolls.
I have always enjoyed pumpernickel bread, a German loaf that dates back to the mid-fifteenth century. The authentic version is made with rye flour and sourdough starter. Caraway seeds are added in the recipe I tested, “Dark Pumpernickel,” to replicate the rich flavor of the traditional loaf.
2 Tbs ground chia seeds
2 ¼ active dry yeast
2 Tbs firmly packed brown sugar
1 c water heated to 110F
2 c brown rice flour, plus more if needed
2/3 c sorghum flour
½ c tapioca flour
½ c cornstarch
½ c nonfat dried milk powder
½ c buckwheat flour
3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder
2 large eggs at room temperature
¼ c vegetable oil
¼ c light molasses
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 Tbs caraway seeds, crushed
Combine the chia seeds, yeast, brown sugar, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix well. Set aside for about 10 minutes while the yeast proofs. Combine the 2 cups of rice flour and the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, cornstarch, milk powder, buckwheat flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, salt, and espresso powder in a deep mixing bowl and whisk well.
When the yeast looks frothy add the eggs, oil, molasses, and vinegar and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and caraway seeds and beat at medium speed until combined. Increase the speed to high and beat the dough for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the dough holds together and has the consistency of a drop biscuit dough. Add more rice flour by 1 Tbs amounts to make the dough thicker, if necessary.
Lightly greased the inside of a large mixing bowl with vegetable oil or softened butter. Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl into the greased bowl, smoothing the top with moistened fingers or a rubber spatula dipped in water. Cover the bowl loosely with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel and place it in a warm, draft-free spot. Allow the dough to rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in bulk.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Punch down the dough. Form the dough into a 10-inch round on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the loaf with a sheet if oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place for 45 to 50 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Place the oven racks in the middle and lowest position. Place a second rimmed baking sheet on the lower rack and place a pizza stone on the upper rack. Preheat the oven to 375F toward the end of the riding time, bring a kettle of water to a boil, and have a spray bottle of water handy.
Pour 1 cup of the boiling water into the heated sheet pan and slide the lined baking sheet on top of the heated pizza stone. Spray the walls of the oven with the spray water, close the oven door and wait for 30 seconds, then spray the oven walls again. Covering the loaf loosely with aluminum foil after 30 minutes, bake bread for 45 to 50 minutes, or until it is dark brown, sounds hollow and thumps, and has reached an internal temperature of 190F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!