Saturday, March 22, 2008

Gluten Free Amaranth Bread

This is the best "whole grain" bread I have found so far. I store it in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving. It makes really good toast!

Making Gluten Free bread is truly and art, I have found I need to adjust every recipe I try. There are a lot of great tips at the website where I found this recipe:

I changed the original recipe so that I could make it in my breadmaker. I included those instructions at the bottom of this post.

The bottom line is don't get frustrated, keep trying and adjusting things till you get the loaf you want.

Amaranth Bread by Karen Robertson

3 large eggs (egg-free option see note below)*
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1½ cups amaranth flour
1½ cups tapioca starch flour
1 cup fine brown rice flour
2/3 cup instant non-fat dry milk powder (dairy-free: substitute with finely ground nuts or almond flour)
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seed (optional)
1½ tablespoons active dry yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
1¼ cups warm water (105F-115F.)

Bring all refrigerated ingredients to room temperature. Grease a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine eggs, oil, and lemon juice. In a separate medium bowl, combine flours, dry milk powder, xanthan gum, salt, flax seed, yeast and sugar. Pour ½ of the warm water into stand mixer and blend with egg mixture. Slowly add dry ingredients a little at a time until completely incorporated. Add remaining water, reserving some water if necessary. See note on humidity below. Mix batter on high speed for 3½ minutes, then pour into prepared pan. Batter will be thicker than a cake batter and nothing like the consistency of regular bread dough.
Cover bread with foil and place in a cold oven. Set a pan of hot water on a lower shelf underneath the bread. Leave for 10 minutes with oven door closed. (This will cause the bread to rise quickly.) Remove bread from oven (do not uncover) and place in a warm place in the kitchen. Preheat oven to 400F. Bread will continue to rise as oven preheats.
Uncover bread and bake for 10 minutes to brown the top. Cover bread with foil and continue to bake bread for 35-40 minutes. Turn bread out onto a cooling rack. When completely cooled, wrap tightly to maintain freshness for as long as possible.

If humidity is high, reduce the amount of water in the recipe to avoid over rising. Many gluten-free bakers experience the frustrating situation in which a beautiful loaf of bread deflates once removed from the oven. You will need to experiment a little to get just the right amount of water in your bread depending on the humidity in the air. If in question, use less water than the recipe calls for.
You may use rapid rise yeast instead of regular yeast. If doing so, eliminate the cold oven rise method with a pan of hot water, follow yeast package directions instead for rise time.
Hamburger BunsPour batter into English muffin rings, follow directions above. Bake for just 15 minutes.Once completely cooled these buns freeze well. Serve buns warmed, otherwise they will be crumbly.

Bread Maker instructions:

Combine all dry ingredients except yeast in a bowl using a whisk. Combine all wet ingredients in another bowl and place in breadmaker. Carefully sprinkle dry ingredients over the wet, make a well in the center and place the yeast in it.

You can use the breadmaker to mix and bake the bread, but if you don't like the "square" loaf look use it to mix the ingredients and then place in a greased bread pan to rise.

For my Zojurushi I use the home made setting with light crust setting. If you don't know where your owner's manual is and can't remember how to program it here are the directions:

Hit the cycle button and each different cycle on the machine will come: preheat, knead, rise 1, rise 2, rise 3, bake, and keep warm. You'll need to set the time for each of these by using the time button. Each has a maximum number, so if you go past the number you want it will go around again. Each has an off as well, which means that the cycle will be skipped. When you are done hit the start button twice. You can check on the bread during the kneading cycle and add more water if you feel it is too dry. It should "swirl" around the kneading paddles.

Preheat 10 min.
Knead 20 min.
Rise 1 off
Rise 2 off
Rise 3 60 min.
Bake 70 min.
Keep Warm off

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