Monday, April 1, 2013

A Totally Gluten-Free Aside...

While I have been working away on my novel and the editing of it, somewhere along the way I found out that I am gluten sensitive.  So, that means lots of fun for me in trying to eat food and not become ill in this society.  (Did you know that Twizzlers have gluten in them??)

I love gluten -- well, the things that gluten hides in -- cupcakes, cookies, pies, cakes, BREAD! Hmm!!  I used to bake up a storm for fun but have slowed down in recent years.  I guess some part of my brain understood something I didn't want to know.  So now I am back to reading labels and creating a diet that will not cause me...issues. :-)

Probably should back up a bit and say that gluten is in: wheat, rye, barley, spelt and oats.  Yes, OATS.  To be safe, you should look for and purchase gluten-free oats.

I went out and bought a bread maker so that I didn't have to spend $8.95 for a tiny loaf of salty heavy bread that I really don't care for very much (and it turns to rock inside of 3 days).  Don't get me wrong, this bread was heavenly the first and second times.  I just couldn't see myself continuing to eat this bread for the rest of my life (or the rest of the month).

With resolve, I brought home my Breville Custom Loaf and tried very hard to make the bread of my dreams.  Well, not too much success...yet.  I've made three loaves of bread...

My Very First Gluten-Free Bread
My first attempt at GF Banana Walnut Bread...missing the nuts!

GF "White" Bread - very dense!

As you can see, the breads are not that appetizing looking.  The second banana walnut loaf (with the nuts!) was really tasty.  It wasn't too heavy and it toasted great!  But, can I eat banana walnut bread for the rest of my life?  Nope.  I'm on a mission to find another flavor and hopefully find a good sandwich bread recipe that I can easily make with my bread maker.

The "White" Bread (3rd picture) recipe seemed like it was going to be awesome and light (with 6 egg whites how could it not, right??).  However, the recipe was for another bread machine and I was not privy to the baking temperature nor the temp for the rising phase.  So, using guestimates, I rose for two hours and the rising temp was 93 degrees.  I would not make this bread again!  Way to dense and by the second day it was a rock/stone. :-)  [Just sayin...]

And that's the other thing, while I do not have to knead the bread because the machine does that for me, I do have to wait about 3 hours for the final product to come out of the bread maker.  Many recipes say that leaving the finished bread in the machine with the "Keep Warm" cycle on will make GF bread soggy and lose their texture. <sigh>

So, in my quest for a bread with flavor, that rises, and will not put a dent in my tiles I decided to try the Gluten-Free Goddess' recipe for Gluten-Free Carrot Bread with Chai Spices -- basically a GF carrot bread loaf made in the oven and not in the bread maker.

GF Carrot Bread with Chai Spices

 While I have not cut into this loaf, it smells divine!  My family wants to cut into it now and they have not liked any of my GF loaves to date.  This bread rose well and it springs back when you touch the top.  I'm excited about this one!  It gives me hope for GF desserts that are not snowballs, gritty, or plain ole tasteless.  From a reformed baker, making desserts in a totally new gluten-free manner is disconcerting at best and frightening on the other end of the spectrum.  However, it has to be a new way of life for me.

I'll keep baking and keep posting now and again and sharing pics.  Those of you who are further along this path please share ideas, thoughts and recipes!  I'll try and post my results!!

And it's a few hours later and I tried this wonderful carrot bread - and it's great!  In fact, one of my children got to it before I did and let me know it was great!!  Thanks GF Goddess!!  Here's the pic of the cut loaf...

Nicely risen, fluffly, light, tasty and really good!  This I can enjoy!

Many thanks in advance and hope you're having a great evening.

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