On Saturday I officially graduated being a intermediate gluten free to a pro gluten free chef! Ladies and Gentlemen, I made Gluten Free Bread! It was soft, puffy, and tasted like normal bread! Some of you have already crossed this milestone and I am now pleased to say that I am here with you! After a year and a half of brutal and horrible dinners and snacks that could be used to stone someone, I am now well trained in the art of Gluten Free.
I used a recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess to make a beautiful Focaccia Loaf (I just didn’t put tomatoes on mine)
Tomato-Garlic Focaccia – Italian Flatbread Recipe
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!) or tapioca starch
1/2 cup millet flour or certified GF oat flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons each: chopped rosemary, thyme, basil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup warm water (at 110º F)
A pinch of raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon mild rice vinegar or lemon juice
1 free range egg, beaten, or Ener-G Egg Replacer, mixed
A dusting of GF cornmeal
Note: You’ll need sliced fresh garlic and tomatoes for topping. Instructions:
Turn on the oven briefly- just to warm it; then turn it off.
Whisk together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, sea salt, garlic, and herbs in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, proof the yeast in warm water and pinch of sugar.
When the yeast is poofy, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and egg or egg replacer.
Stir to combine. The dough should be sticky- it doesn’t really feel like typical wheat bread dough- more like a thick muffin batter.
Scoop the dough into a 9-inch cake pan dusted with cornmeal.
Using wet hands pat and shape the dough into a rounded loaf.
Top with sliced tomatoes and fresh garlic; sprinkle with extra herbs, if you like, and a little coarse sea salt.
Place the pan into the warm oven and allow it to rest and rise for 30 minutes.
Turn on the oven to 375ºF.
Once the oven is 375º put the timer on for 20 minutes. Bake until golden and firm- from 25 to 35 minutes. When you thump it, it should sound hollow.
Remove from the pan as soon as you can handle it, and cool on a wire rack. Slice with a sharp bread knife.
Next time you’re in Costco grab these! This is a good snack that you and your friends can enjoy. The bean hummus has great flavor with a nice spicy kick to it. The biggest problem is that everyone will want it, which would be a first for the Gluten Free Mofos! You’ll find both for an affordable price!
Living the gluten free lifestyle is no walk in the park but more like an uphill hike through a mine field. You have to be so careful of what you eat, constantly reading every ingredient on the box. Your friends an family aren’t as well versed as you are so extra caution is needed at parties and social events. And if you do find a product you can eat it’ll either tastes like cardboard or costs you an index finger and your first born. So how do you survive the gluten free lifestyle? Here’s 5 tips that I think can help you out.
1. Get someone on your side. One thing that has helped Ashley was me being willing to try the foods she was eating. Since I wasn’t eating gluten free I was able to let her know if it’s worth eating. I would help her find products that tasted more normal than cardboard. It also helped in parties where we could bring something gluten free that she could enjoy and others could too!
2. Watch for companies jumping on the band wagon. We are constantly surprised how many companies are noting that their product is gluten free. Some have it in very small letters others it’s a new thing they are doing so it’ll be in bold print. If there is a product you really miss, next time in the grocery store read through the ingredients or look closely at the label just in case you’ve been able to eat it the whole time!
3. Let your friends and family know what products or things you can and like to eat. I know this can be a little embarrassing and uncomfortable yet it can be better than torturing yourself at their events with nothing to eat. Sure it’s a little inconvenient for them but think about it, on your birthday party if you don’t tell them what you can eat than you’ll have the cake but won’t be able to eat it. You’ll be living a real idiomatic proverb.
4. Follow gluten free blogs. This is a way to get new and fresh ideas for a complicated lifestyle. It also gives you free recipes to try and a place to feel that you are not alone. Gluten free cook books can be really pricey or hard to find. Blogs stay relevant and up to date on the ever changing market that is getting more interested in gluten free options.
5. Make more money! Joking, look for the deals. Your wallet already knows what it’s like to eat gluten free, it’s expensive. It’s unfortunate that a cheap loaf of gluten free bread has the same consistency of sink sponges or has the density of lead. The good stuff is expensive however you can find sales of gluten free products. It’s usually not posted in the weekly flyers so you always need to go in and check. Take an afternoon and visit all the grocery stores in the area and see first who’s selling gluten free products. Then each week take time to visit these stores for the possible sales. It’s a lot of work but it will pay off.
I hope this helps you in your journey. Remember stay strong out there, you are not alone.
Thanks for reading and may the GF be with you!