by Karen on June 6th, 2012
Amaranth Bread, a good place for beginners to start
This month I am hosting the Ratio Rally event featuring gluten free bloggers from across the globe.
We began a little over a year ago. Shauna(the Gluten Free Girl) and I were making pizza at her home when she introduced the idea of bringing together a collective brain trust of gluten free bloggers to develop recipes by ratio– learn more about cooking with ratios . Shauna went about recruiting those she knew to be capable bakers and many others joined in as the year progressed.
Since then we have covered just about every baked good topic on the first Wednesday of each month and now we are tackling the topic of bread. A loaf of gluten free bread can be challenging for the home baker but certainly doable once you learn a few tricks. I must confess though that I have become a bit lazy and opt to often buy loaves of bread from some great sources we now have today which I will feature in a moment. But when I began baking gluten free in 1997 these options didn’t exist so I had to pull myself up by my bootstraps and figure out how to make good bread for those daily sandwiches the kids wanted so they could be like their friends at school. The bread is best when toasted and I still long for the amazing taste of a wheat-filled artisan bread but my sandwich bread is fairly fool-proof, affordable, and makes it possible to pack a sandwich lunch.
Healthy Flours Improve Texture and Taste of Gluten Free Bread
In 1997 I discovered that the healthier flours of buckwheat, teff, or amaranth with tapioca flour and brown rice flour made a pretty good loaf of bread back then. My kids’ only restriction was that if I used buckwheat flour I had to use the light colored version from The Birkett Mills. Other widely available pure gluten free buckwheat flour is darker in color and causes the bread to have a purplish color—that was where the kids drew the line in the sand—no purple bread! Too embarassing at school.
Since that time millet and sorghum flours became available so we use them most often because we like the qualities they impart to the bread and they are a bit less expensive. Hats off to Bob’s Red Mill for making so many great gluten free flours available to us!
Through all of my experimentation I have yet to find a great crusty loaf recipe for artisan bread. I don’t get to see the recipes for the Ratio Rally in advance–I see them in real time on the first Wednesday of the month just like you do, so hopefully someone in our group has developed a fantastic entry in that category.
Gluten Free Bread You Can Purchase
Some great options for purchasing bread are Rudi’s and Udi’s which most people by now have access to through natural markets but some new entries are Canyon Bakehouse (available in Seattle at Central Markets) and Manini’s (available at area farmers markets). Trader Joe’s is contracting locally with bakers to produce gluten free bread too. The one in Seattle is ok but the one supplying the stores in Arcadia, California is pretty amazing!
My Entries for the Gluten Free Ratio Rally–Bread
♥♥♥ Here is a link to my sandwich bread recipe (feel free to substitute any healthy flour for the amaranth) and here is a flatbread that is quick to add to an evening meal: naan
My ratios are:
sandwich bread 8: 4 : 2 : 1 flour:liquid:eggs:fat
naan 4 : 1.5 flour:liquid
If you have any questions at all please send them my way and I will try to help you as you begin baking bread!
Participating Gluten Free Ratio Rally Bloggers This Month
And be sure to check out these links for some new creative ideas (June 7th update: now that I have seen all the recipes, I plan to try those from Jenn and Tara) :
Adina | Gluten Free Travelette Seedy Sandwich Bread
Angela | Angela’s Kitchen Our Family’s Basic Gluten Free Dairy Free Bread
~Aunt Mae (aka ~Mrs. R) | Honey From Flinty Rocks Chia Millet Bread
Brooke | B & the boy! Buckwheat-Oat Bread
Charissa | Zest Bakery Cherry Pecan Pot Bread, Gluten Free
Claire | This Gluten-Free Life German Vollkornbrot (Seeded Bread)
Erin | The Sensitive Epicure English Sandwich Bread (gluten-free & egg-free)
Jenn | Jenn Cuisine Gluten Free Boule
Jonathan | The Canary Files Gluten-Free, Vegan Mediterranean Soda Bread
Karen | Cooking Gluten Free! Gluten Free Sandwich Bread/Gluten Free Naan
Meaghan | The Wicked Good Vegan Vegan Gluten-Free Bread
Meg | Gluten-Free Boulangerie Ciabatta (gluten-free, egg-free/vegan)
Monika | Chew on This! amaranth skillet flatbreads, amaranth mini pita rounds
Morri | Meals with Morri No Knead Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Flatbread (yeast free/grain free)
Pete & Kelli | No Gluten, No Problem Gluten-Free Challah
Rachel / The Crispy Cook Gluten Free Chickpea Sandwich Bread
TR | No One Likes Crumbley Cookies Gluten Free White Bread
Tara | A Baking Life Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread & Boule
Gluten Free Sorghum and Millet Bread
The picture below shows a loaf of bread using my basic amaranth recipe but I substitute in sorghum and millet for the amaranth and brown rice flour:
Sorghum, millet and tapioca starch flours–the best gf bread yet