Thursday, July 09, 2015

Gluten Free Bread

One of the first questions asked at the hospital during William's diagnosis for Type 1 Diabetes was if there was a history of celiac disease in our family.  While there is not, there is a history of autoimmune diseases including IBS, skin, and thyroid disorders. (T1D diagnosis was, however, out of the blue.) The doctor indicated that some studies show a link between autoimmune diseases, inflammation in the gut, perhaps the microbe population there, and some environmental trigger.

We pursued genetic, vitamin level, and food allergen testing for several family members. One of the outcomes was the recommendation to go gluten-free. (Because dealing with Type 1 Diabetes isn't challenging enough.) Yes, I know many consider it a fad diet.  We have empirical data, however, in our family that the diet does help with headaches and other symptoms.  With markers for thyroid disease but not yet having it, my goal for William is also to prevent more autoimmune diseases from developing. It is not unheard of for those with T1D to develop additional autoimmune diseases.

But What About Bread?

My son loves bread, and was not happy about giving it up.  I went in search of a recipe that would appease him during the six month gluten-free, and to up the ante, casein (dairy)-free, trial.  My first few attempts were miserable.  The results were spongy, tacky, fell while cooling, and dense.  After a while, I came up with a recipe based on the Namaste recipe, but a bit changed in technique and a few ingredients.  Below is the recipe, which while it is a little different from wheat bread, is soft and delicious. It contains no milk products. The best price I have found for the flour mix is at Costco, where a five pound bag is about $9 and will make about 4-5 loaves. Compare this with off the shelf, prepared loaves at the grocery that taste dry and powdery for as much as $7 a loaf.

Cathy's Gluten Free Bread

Yeast mixture:
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup warm water

Wet Ingredients:
3 eggs, room temperature
1.5 cups water, warm 
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey

Dry Ingredients:
3.5 cups Namaste Gluten-Free Flour Blend
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons ground flax seed

  1. Mix yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water for 5-10 minutes.  It should be bubbling after that time.
  2. Mix remaining wet ingredients in a stand (like KitchenAid) mixer with the egg beater attachment.  I mix well until very foamy.  
  3. While your wet ingredients mix, stir together your dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to your wet mix.  
  5. Add about half of the dry flour ingredients to the wet mix.  Allow to thoroughly combine.
  6. Change the attachment to the bread hook if you have one. Add remaining dry mix.  Mix on medium-high speed for eight minutes.  (This is a change from the original recipe.  I found another recipe that said thorough mixing is very important.)
  7. Prepare your pan: You need a bread pan with fairly high sides.  Coat the inside with olive oil. It is even okay to have a little extra oil in there.  
  8. Pour in the batter.  It will be the consistency of mashed potatoes and will be sticky.  
  9. Wet your fingers and gently guide the dough to the corners of the pan and even out.  Wet fingers as needed to not stick, but don't want to add too much water.  Do not push down or compress.  When it is somewhat where you want it, add a bit of olive oil to the top and continue to smooth the dough.  
  10. Let sit 30 minutes uncovered.  It will start to rise above the pan, and if you start seeing a little crack here and there, it is ready to bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.
  11. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.  After 30 minutes, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake an additional 30 minutes.  Although difficult to wait, let it cool in the pan a bit before removing (it needs the support of the pan or may fall) and before cutting.  It still may sink a little, but by waiting, it will reduce the amount.  
  12. I recommend mixing one loaf at a time, though of course you can measure out the ingredients for two loaves at the same time.  
That's it! If you see any errors or have questions, shoot them my way.  I want to continue to improve this online version of my recipe.


Kristina said...

I have not developed a good bread recipe, so I'm excited to try this one. I hope it works with our flour, since D can't have rice or corn (but I can substitute tapioca starch). Plus, I've got the next week off, so plenty of time to try it.

I've got fantastic recipes for biscuits, waffles, pancakes, and blueberry scones, if you'd like to have them. Actually, so long as you have a good flour, you can make substitutions pretty easily. I sub almond milk in most stuff, since I can't have casein. If he likes butter, Earth Balance makes a good tasting substitute. Also, there are some really good, but expensive, french breads out there. I'm not sure if they are casein free, though.

Autoimmune disease: If you have a gluten problem, and it sounds like at least someone does, the chances of developing Hashimotos is very high if gluten is not avoided, especially if he already has an autoimmune disorder. It seems to me that more and more evidence is coming out that links all autoimmune disorders, and there is some evidence to suggest that many of them are linked to the gut. If you're interested, I'm on a list that has some very interesting discussions about autoimmune diseases of all kinds.

Junosmom said...

Kristina, would love to try your recipes. We do just try to substitute but often, it seems, necessary to find the right technique. I used water because almond milk expensive and I didn't see a difference in outcome, but they drink almond milk. Yes, already have one with hypothyroidism and William has the markers. Wish I'd know about Vitamin D, gluten, etc 10 years ago. Oh, and yes, we use Earth Balance now. (We likely have the same doctor, if I'm guessing right :)


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