Sliced gluten free pecan bread with Earth Balance spread.

Making and baking bread a new gluten free way

Cinnamon raisin pecan bread made with teff flour and other good things

Right now, my kitchen smells of good things like cinnamon, raisins, flour, olive oil and yeast.

It smells like home.

I’m tired of bad, gluten free bread, so I am now making some of my own bread weekly.  After it cools, I slice and freeze it for my morning toast.  Morning toast and hot tea are among life’s greatest, everyday pleasures.

Two loaves of bread are rising in the oven as they bake, without the standard extra rise normally done for yeast breads.  This is a new concept for me, and it’s the process used by Jennifer Katzinger who owns the Flying Apron bakery in Seattle, WA.  I include the location info and link for you lucky folks who live there or will be visiting soon.  There are times when I wish I lived in Seattle, and not just for the gardening weather.

However, I could never leave my beloved Oklahoma, and further, I digress.

Baking such bread isn’t that difficult once you understand the concept behind Katzinger’s style.  As a small Christmas present to myself (yes, I know I bought a few of those), I ordered her new cookbook, Flying Apron’s Gluten-free & Vegan Baking Book.  Note to those of you new to gluten and casein free baking, vegan is good for us.  Vegan is how I found hempmilk for which I will be eternally grateful.

As soon as the wet and dry ingredients are barely incorporated, you knead the bread a few times and then place it in a 300 degree F. oven where the yeast will expand.  This requires a much, longer cooking time, but I liked the idea of kneading the bread and then letting it do its thing.  Kneading bread was once a passion of mine.  I made beautiful whole-wheat loaves, their slices dripping with butter and honey.

Now that I know gluten and dairy hurts me, I shudder a bit as I write the above paragraph, but it is what it is.  Gluten and dairy give me pain.

So does bad bread, and I’ve eaten too much of it in the past three years.  Covered in ice crystals, the bread from the local “health food” store, costs twice as much as regular bread, and it’s half the size in slice and loaf.  I might as well eat frozen cardboard.

I tried this cookbook because it promised bread with whole grain flours.  I don’t know about you, but I miss the chewy goodness of whole grain.  I’m really tired of white flour made with white rice and bound by tapioca and potato starches.  There’s nothing wrong with these, but they are the nutritional equivalent of bleached white wheat flour (if not worse).  I still use them for certain desserts, but not for my daily bread.

One caveat, Katzinger relies heavily on garbanzo bean flour, and it’s not for everyone either.  I personally like it, but some people don’t like the “beany” taste.  I did read in a comment somewhere (after the bread was in the oven) that toasting the garbanzo bean flours helps dissipate the “beany” taste and smell.

Also, the cookbook is filled with other vegan and gluten free treats which I haven’t tried, but the chemistry in them looks sound.  If the yeast bread is good, I’m sure the cakes and muffins will be too.  One thing I am dying to try (perhaps for Diva’s birthday) is the chai “buttercream” icing.  Katzinger uses it on a spice cake.  We’ll see.  Diva is typically a lemon cake fan.  I could take it to the monthly Nash birthday party as an extra special treat.  We’ll see.

Sliced with Earth Balance spread

Okay, I just ate my first piece, and honestly, it was wonderful.  Full of lovely texture and no beany flavor.  Instead, I caught the aroma and taste first, of yeast, and then a light sweetness (probably from the sweet potato and maple syrup).   The crust is crunchy and excellent, and the middle melts in my mouth.  When I cut the loaf, it did crumble a bit, but I think that was my fault for being impatient.  Instead of butter, I topped mine with Earth Balance’s soy free natural buttery spread.  It is so close to butter that I don’t mind not having butter anymore.  Now, if only someone could make a decent cheese alternative which doesn’t have casein.

But, I can hear you thinking “does it taste like wheat bread?” That is the question we all ask ourselves when we go gluten free.

No, it does not, but then, who cares anyway?  It just tastes good. When serving this fabulous loaf to your family (if you decide to share), give it them and make no excuses.  A lot of cultures make bread without wheat, and now, thanks to innovative chefs like Katzinger, you do too.

About 

I'm a writer, born and raised in Oklahoma, and an obsessive gardener who attempts to grow over 90 rose bushes, along with daylilies and other perennials. I also grow some mean tomatoes, and I'm gluten and casein intolerant, hence the gluten free blogs.

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15 comments on “Making and baking bread a new gluten free way

  1. Jo

    You wrote, “Morning toast and hot tea are among life’s greatest, everyday pleasures.” Oh how I do so agree with you! This bread looks wonderful and I’d love to try making it. I’d most likely be better off with less gluten with my Psoriatic Arthritis (an auto-immune disease) but most of the gluten-free carbs I’ve tried are horrid! This post gives me hope! I wish you well in your gluten & dairy free path and hope you can find things you enjoy just as much (but without the pain & suffering).

  2. Carolflowerhill

    Hi Dee,

    I just found your blog over at blotanical. I love you header photo!! Utterly mystical and mysterious… knock out beautiful. I too cannot tolerate dairy and find now that maybe wheat and glutton are hurting me as well. This post is so inspiring… I will have to try this recipe. Thanks so for the link. I love your title too for I spent my younger years playing in red dirt… Georgia clay that is. Looking forward to exploring your blog! ;>) Carol

    Carol, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m glad the post helped, and yes, that wonderful Georgia red clay so similar to our red dirt.~~Dee

  3. sharon Lovejoy

    Oh goodness…another book to buy?? But it looks so worth it if only for the bread. That will be yummy.

    Jeff and I took a vegan cooking class and then a raw and living foods class and we really got great benefits from them, but totally vegan or raw isn’t in the cards for us. Although we use the recipes often with our new (and much loved) VITA-Mix. Honestly Dee, how did we ever live without it?? Jeff even makes his own nut butters now and they are delish and pure.

    Dee, will we be able to hood up with you somehow in the flesh when we travel through Oklahoma on our way to Maine this late spring?

    Love,

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

    Sharon, it’s a date to meet when y’all come to Oklahoma. Just give me a call, and I’ll find you. Can’t wait to finally meet. My dad had a Vita-Mix, but I’ve never owned one. I can’t eat the “raw” diet because I’m allergic to so many raw foods like nuts and potatoes, and other wonderful things. I can eat those cooked, but just not raw. My body is a weird one.~~Dee

  4. Rose

    Looks delicious, Dee! There is nothing like the aroma of fresh bread baking, gluten-free or not.

    I have problems with dairy, too, and soy alternatives don’t seem much better for me. I’ll have to check out the hempmilk, unless there is another type you recommend.

    Rose, I also like almond milk for cake icings and some baked goods, but quite honestly, hemp milk has been a God send for me. I love it in everything, and I even like it on cereal. However, I like cereal (the few I can eat) dry.~~Dee

  5. CurtissAnn

    Yumm! And yes, I am enjoying the Earth Balance buttery spread, too.

    Hugs,
    CurtissAnn

    Rosebud, it totally makes me happy.~~Dee

  6. dean

    Hello hello Dee, this is dean from the meeting last weekend. just catching up on your posts and saying hello! keep up the great writing. see you in Feb. :)

    Hi Dean, thanks so much for stopping by. Hope all is well with your still snowy garden. See you in February.~~Dee

  7. Yolanda Elizabet

    That gluten free bread sounds and looks scrumptious! So glad that you are finally able to sink your pearly whites in a decent slice of bread. I used to be a vegan for quite some time but gave up in the end as it was too complicated for friends and family to cook for me or for eating out in restaurants and stuff.

    My best friend’s hubby has to keep a gluten free diet so I’ll pass the info on this excellent cookbook on to her. Thanks!

    Hi Yolanda, in the over three years I’ve been gluten free, I see more and more good cookbooks coming down the pike. This one is also soy, egg and dairy free for those who can’t or don’t want to have it. Being vegan has got to be hard, but I’m grateful for those who try. That way I have more to eat too!~~Dee

  8. Marnie

    I wish I lived near a bakery where things like this were available. Nothing better than crusty bread with soups and chilis and stews.
    I often wonder why more healthy alternatives aren’t available everywhere…sigh.
    Marnie

    Me too Marnie. It is sure hard to find. I think small businesses have trouble making it, especially now with the way the economy is.~~Dee

  9. Lisa at Greenbow

    Your posts about food always intrigues me. I can’t eat much wheat. It hurts me. I know you understand that statement. So many people don’t understand.

    Oh, Lisa, I totally understand. I can’t eat wheat at all anymore. It just about kills me. I’m glad the posts don’t bore you.~~Dee

  10. Janell West

    Dee,

    I’m glad you found something that looks this good and is good for you.

    You are a wonder at photography. I can almost smell it.

    Janell

    Thanks Janell. I love taking photographs.~~Dee

  11. Gail

    Dee, My mouth is watering just from reading the bread’s description…but the photo totally made me think about a late night snack…I am so glad it tasted good~ you’ve had enough of that frozen cardboard expensive health store bread! gail

    Yes, Gail, it was delish, and I’ve been thinking about how to make it even better.~~Dee

  12. Leslie

    That looks absolutely yummy! I wonder if I should try some of those recipes just for fun? In case I ever find I need to do GF I’d be ready. And it looks like a nice addition to other breads!

    Well, Leslie, I wouldn’t try them unless I had to. The flours are expensive and a little hard to use until you get used to them. I would stick to mixes in the meantime, like if you had a child with food intolerances. I can help with that when and if you need it.~~Dee

  13. hollygee

    Sold.
    I’ll be ordering that even though I’ve gone caveman diet and allow myself carbohydrates only once or twice a month. But I like to enjoy those treats and this sounds good.

    Holly, I hope you like it as much as I do. I’m making some of the muffins right now. I especially like how she uses a lot of agave and/or maple syrup in the recipes. Makes them good.~~Dee