My love affair with bread didn't start until I was commanding my own kitchen. The white mushy bread I grew up eating was insipid, to say the least, and by the time my Mom started baking her own bread, I had moved out. To be honest, I think I inspired her to bake bread, but don't tell her I said so!
I began experimenting with all kinds of yeast breads almost 35 years ago, and when I had to switch to a gluten-free diet, my heart was broken. I have been GF for almost seven years now, and it is only in the past 2 months that I have finally discovered the most amazing recipe book ever. The book is called Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread by Jennifer Katzinger. The fact that these recipes are vegan is the deciding factor for me as I can't eat eggs either. She uses Chia Seeds as an egg replacer, which works well.
I am working my way through the recipes, and there are many many wonderful pages in the book. This is my third, and because it is as delicious as the first two, I decided it is safe to share my good fortune and get everyone buying this cookbook. I have only one caution about the recipes - others on the web have made the same observations. Her baking times are crazily long, and the bread would be cooked beyond edible if you followed the times given. Even in her Errata (http://jenniferkatzinger.wordpress.com) she still uses the impossibly long baking times of 90 to 120 minutes for a loaf. Way too long. I have basically used the same staggered temperatures she calls for, but halved the time for each stage, and it seems about right. Just be sure to use that trusty food thermometer to arrive at an internal temperature of 200degrees F and you will know it is done.
The key to Jennifer's recipes is that she doesn't let the bread rise in the usual way. Instead she relies on "oven spring" to rise her breads - if you have ever baked traditional bread you will know what that is. And darned if it doesn't absolutely work perfectly for GF bread. Her mixture of flours in each recipe is different. She adds healthy flours like teff, amaranth, sorghum and millet to the GF staple of tapioca starch, potato starch and brown rice flour. The resulting breads are crusty and dense, and thrown in the toaster are my idea of heaven. I can't wait to try the baguette recipe.
Love is a slice of toasted cinnamon-walnut bread, almond butter, black coffee and the New York Times. Sigh..... can't wait til tomorrow morning.
Diane Zwickel lives and knits in South Surrey, B.C. Canada