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October 17, 2011 / amyjmcintosh

Gluten-free bread

Gluten-free wholesome seed bread

What superpower would you most like to have? Laser vision, mind control, healing hands, psychic vibrations? Call me boring, but I would love the ability to squeeze more hours out of my day. Just three more hours would be ideal. Enough time to have an extra hour’s sleep, walk more slowly and write, cook and eat more. Superpowers aside, I recently found an antidote to my busy life – a little something to slow it down a notch or two. It’s called bread making and it works wonders.

I used to marvel at people who make their own bread – in the same way I am awed by people who exercise in the morning. While I am unlikely to ever uncover the secret to early morning exercise, I am pleased to say I have embraced my inner baker. And it was a whole lot easier than I imagined.

If it wasn’t for kissing gluten goodbye, I would have remained oblivious to the joys of bread making. Gluten eaters are spoilt for choice here in Sydney with more than a smattering of good artisan bakeries like Sonoma and Brasserie Bread sprouting up all over town. The gluten-challenged among us, mind you, are left out in the cold when it comes to gluten-free options. It seems most cafes, restaurants and bakeries are positively obsessed with the stuff. And don’t get me started on the gluten-free bread they sell in supermarkets. I’m yet to find a good one.

To set things right, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own bread. There’s something  positively grounding about making a loaf of bread from scratch – from mixing the flour and kneading the dough to watching it rise and seeing the finished product greet you from the oven door. I challenge you to feel stressed while kneading dough. It’s simply not possible. And what’s not to love about the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house?

If you like the idea of homemade bread, but you’re more likely to travel to Mars and back than whip up a loaf from scratch, I have a toy that might be right up your alley. It’s called a bread making machine. It does all the kneading and rising for you, leaving you more time to do important things like read the paper, paint your nails, watch Mad Men and the like.

Breville recently leant me their whiz bang bread making machine for a test run. It’s called the Custom Loaf Pro and boy is it big! If, like me, you have a poor excuse for a kitchen, you might as well stop reading this now as the machine will dwarf your kitchen and gobble up most of your precious bench space. But if you’re one of those really annoying people (who I aspire to be one day) who has a kitchen bigger than Paris Hilton’s handbag collection, then keep reading.

So, what’s so special about this Breville bread maker? Well, it has a few cool features, like gluten and yeast-free settings and an automatic fruit and nut dispenser that adds ingredients at just the right time in the kneading cycle. There’s also a pause function that allows you to create decorative crusts or a glazed finish. It gives you four loaf sizes to choose from (500g up to 1.25kg) and three crust settings. It also features a collapsible kneading paddle which folds down after mixing to maximise the loaf size and make it easier to remove the bread after baking.

Another feature is the 13-hour delay start timer so you can wake to the scent of freshly baked bread. Good in theory, but the timer doesn’t work with the gluten-free setting, so it’s not much use to people like me. Sob.

So, what’s the verdict? If you’re bread crazed and have a huge kitchen and bake on a regular basis, then you would be wise to consider investing in this fancy machine for $349.95 RRP. For me, I’m sticking with old-fashioned bread making. It’s good for my mental health and my kitchen bench space.

Here’s a recipe for gluten-free wholesome seed bread that I’ve baked on two occasions with the help of the Custom Loaf Pro. The texture is light and the crust is crunchy. And I love the addition of cumin as it imparts an aromatic flavour throughout the bread. The bread goes nicely with pea, lettuce and tarragon soup.

Gluten-free wholesome seed bread

Makes 1.25kg

Wet ingredients:

  • 200ml gluten-free soy milk
  • 200ml water
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups white rice flour
  • 11/4 cups potato flour
  • 1/3 cup soy flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour (arrowroot)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tbs xanthan gum
  • 1/4 cup LSA mix
  • 2 tbs cumin or caraway seeds
  • 2 tsp gluten-free yeast

Method:

1. Mix liquid ingredients together in a small bowl. Do not use electric mixer as this will aerate the mixture.

2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a pliable spatula, combine liquid and dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough ensuring all ingredients are well combined. Fold in additions if applicable.

3. Spoon dough into bread pan, pressing down a spatula after each spoonful, to eliminate air bubbles. Insert bread pan into baking chamber.

4. Press ‘SELECT’ to access GLUTEN FREE setting.

5. Press ‘LOAF SIZE’ to 1000g if required.

6. Press ‘START/PAUSE’ to commence operation.

7. At the end of the setting, press ‘STOP’.

8. Remove bread from the bread machine and bread pan. Cool bread on a rack.

Top tips: To achieve a well-risen and well-baked loaf, check the dough when mixing. If it appears too dry, add 1-2 tsp of water extra. If it appear to runny, check the correct amount of Xantham gum has been added, otherwise add 1-2 tbs rice flour extra.

2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) / Oct 21 2011 9:43 am

    I wouldn’t mind a few extra hours a day either! Not necessarily to devote to an extra activity but, like you said, to spread around so other commitments are less rushed. Or maybe just to sit around and – gasp – do nothing.

    But the superpower I’ve always wanted? The ability to heal all wounds.

    • amyjmcintosh / Oct 21 2011 9:47 am

      The ability to heal all wounds is right up there on my list of coveted superpowers too. The ability to fly would also come in quite handy! 🙂

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