Millet-Quinoa Gluten-Free Bread
Well, bread is the staff of life, and I am delighted to welcome it back into my existence after some notable failures, including a tasteless loaf, a use-it-as-doorstop loaf, and a generally awful tasting loaf. (However, notably, all of these resulted in excellent gf bread crumbs.)
But this loaf made the grade: it rose beautifully, has a lovely mild taste, and a respectable shape. While the bread was still warm, I slathered ½ tsp. of butter on a slice and luxuriated in the rich flavour that only comes from eating a newly baked piece of bread.
FYI: Prior to making this loaf, I had been contemplating buying a bread machine because many gluten-free bread makers use them, including the author of the recipe from which I adapted Millet-Quinoa Bread. However, while discussing this potential purchase with the spouse, he pointed out, oh-so-logically, a flaw in my thinking.
He noted that the only reason we have bread machines really is because they take over the arduous task of kneading gluten dough. And since gluten-free dough doesn’t require kneading…well, I had to concede the point although I adore buying kitchen gadgetry. (Sigh.) In fact, I didn’t even need a mixer to make this bread: only a whisk and a wooden spoon—old-fashioned but still extremely effective technologies.
So…with the help of the original recipe as well as advice from gluten-free cookbook authors, Bette Hagman and Carol Fenster, I set out, sans machines, on this bread-making journey:
Makes 1 2.5 lb. loaf
Cooking tip: The original recipe called for 2 tbsp. of whole flax seeds and 2 tbsp. of whole millet as part of the dry ingredients. I had neither on hand, but I think they would give the bread an interesting crunch. However, if you’re a Weight Watcher and add these ingredients, you will also have to add their point value to the bread’s total points (see below).
- ¾ cup millet flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour
- ½ cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup white rice flour
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp. tapioca starch
- 1/3 cup potato starch
- ¼ cup flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup sweetener (Note for Weight Watchers: the point value of this bread is based on the use of artificial sugar.)
- 1 tbsp. xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. gelatin
- 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1½ cups of warm water (if, as you’re mixing wet and dry, you find that the dough is too thick, add additional water by tablespoons)
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- ¼ cup oil
- 1 tbsp. molasses
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- Cooking spray
- Proof the yeast. You do this by mixing the sugar and yeast in warm water and letting the yeast start to rise. Your water should be 110°- 115° F, and it is helpful to have a thermometer to ensure the temperature is correct. Let the yeast rise as you prepare the rest of your ingredients. If your temperature is correct and your yeast is active, it will form a layer of foam on the surface of the water in about 5-10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk all dry ingredients (except for yeast and sugar) together.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, eggs, and molasses.
- Add proofed yeast and water to the wet ingredients.
- Mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in batches. When you’ve completed this step, your dough should have the consistency of thick cake dough and be able to flow slowly off a spoon.
- Spray a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan with the cooking spray.
- Using a wet spatula, put the dough from the bowl into the pan. (Gluten-free dough sticks to dry surfaces.)
- Wet your fingers and smooth out the top of the dough.
- Cover the pan with a warm, wet cloth and put in a warm place for the dough to rise.
- Allow your dough to rise until its top-most portion is as high as the pan: about 45-60 minutes. Your bread will continue to rise as it bakes.
- Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 45-55 minutes until top is browned and/or a thermometer inserted in the loaf registers 205° F.
For Weight Watchers: The total point value of the loaf is 66 points; it weighed 2.5 lbs. or 37 oz.; thus each ounce is worth 1.75 points on the PointsPlus plan. For an accurate point value, you will have to weigh each slice that you cut. I found that a typical sandwich slice weighed 2 oz. and was worth 3.5 points.
(This recipe was adapted from a recipe sent to me by someone I met in a health food store, and we got talking about gf diets (funny how that happens!). I don’t know where hers came from, but after some research I think it possible that the very first “Gluten-Free Bread: Millet Oatmeal” came from the Gluten-Free Mommy blog.)