Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gluten-Free Bread: (Brown Rice & Garbanzo)

My husband and I decided to go on a 20 day cleanse, which ended up being a lot easier than I expected. We gave up caffeine, alcohol, sugar (tiny amounts of agave was used in moderation), processed foods, corn, gluten and fried foods. We focused on raw foods, herbal teas, steamed veggies, brown rice, beans and occasionally tempeh (we reduced our normal soy intake). For the first three days, I suffered from headaches due to the caffeine withdrawals. Once the headaches subsided, I was home free. Today is our last day of our cleanse (just in time for Valentine's Day tomorrow), but we feel so good that we're planning to start the cleanse back up again in a week.

Through this cleanse journey, I had to rethink how to cook. Wheat is in everything from soy sauce to seitan. I had made the most amazing hummus and was tired of eating rice cakes. So, I decided to make gluten-free bread. First I had to find Xanthan Gum. This was a challenge, but I found it in bulk at a natural food co-op. I found out later that Bob's Red Mill makes it for approximately 12 bucks a bag (find in the nutritional section of some grocery stores). For a loaf of bread, it only takes 3 tsp, so you might want to buy it in bulk to save money.

I modified a recipe to be vegan and (refined) sugar-free. You'll need a bread maker for this. It is VERY important that you pre-mix the ingredients so that it will rise correctly in the bread maker. This recipe yields a 1.5 pound loaf.

In a large bowl MIX the following DRY ingredients:
~ 1 cup garbanzo bean flour (try Bob's Red Mill brand)
~1-1/2 cups Brown Rice Flour (I found this in bulk)
~1/2 cup potato starch (this item might be spendy, but I always stock up after the Jewish Holidays when my grocery store marks it down from $6 to $1)
~3 tsp of Xantham Gum (this is a key ingredient - don't leave this item out, it won't form correctly)
~1 tsp sea salt
~1 Tbsp Yeast (I buy this at Costco where I can get a huge container of this for less than the price of a few little packages at the grocery store)

In another bowl MIX the following WET ingredients:
~2 Tbsp flax meal with 6 Tbsp water - MIX TOGETHER before adding the rest of the wet ingredients (I just got a giant bag of this at Costco for a great price, but you can buy the flax seeds in bulk and grind your own flax meal)
~2 Tbsp agave syrup
~2 Tbsp oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
~1 tsp apple cider vinegar (I used the Bragg's brand)
~1-3/4 cups water

Add the wet to the dry and thoroughly mix. It will form into a globulous dough.

Get your bread maker ready to go with the basket and kneading paddle in place. Scoop the dough into the basket so that it fills the bottom evenly.

Set your bread maker for GLUTEN-FREE (if you don't have this option, set it for WHITE), 1.5 POUNDS, MED browning. (Your bread maker will knead the dough and bake it, which should take less than 2 hours).