In case you haven’t noticed yet, I LOVE food! I was brought up in a family whose common dinner conversations often lead to talking about other meals that have been had. Both my parents were excellent cooks and I was always well-fed. Regardless of what the centrepiece at the table was, every night along side it was bread. Fresh bread. From an Italian bakery. Crispy on the outside, *if you’re lucky – still hot on the inside! Perfection. Bread = Life. How simple is that?! Now, over the past decade or so I’ve familiarized myself with whole grains and have welcomed their nutty flavor and promise of nutrients. But really, why don’t we all just take a mulit-vitamin? That’s pretty much all we’re doing anyway. Bread today is so over-processed – in bleaching you lose all nutrients to the point which they need to “enrich” (read: add in artificially) a cocktail of vitamins. Rubbish! Even the bread I grew up with as a kid probably had little to no fiber in it. Explains the digestive issues I had as kid… or does it?
Over the summer my partner and I made the commitment to do an Elimination Diet. It took a lot of research and preparation to finally lay down our own set of guidelines and rules for the diet. We based it around how our own bodies felt and tried to eliminate as much as possible for the first 4 weeks in order to learn as much as we could and have the test be as effective as possible. It wasn’t easy, but with each other as support we somehow survived. The reintroduction phase took a month and a half – brining the total diet to 2.5 months. Talk about dedication! We had one weekend at the 2 month mark where we both decided to take a break (I had a fabulous weekend with the girls, prosecco included). Sadly, I found I am intolerant to gluten, dairy, caffeine, and soy + possibly peppers, I’m still trying to isolate and confirm.
Back to the point of the blog:
Living with a gluten intolerance is devastating. I felt distanced from my friends and family members and pretty much cast-out by society. Eating in a restuarant is a challenge having to worry about marinades full of soy and nearly everything is cooked in butter. Plus, have you tried the gluten-free bread products out there? Some come frozen, others vacu-sealed (for what purpose I have no idea – with a shelf-life of nearly a year, there’s nothing ‘fresh’ tasting about it!) So I promised myself with the outcome of the results that I would not be stuck to eating rice and chicken day in and out. I want pizza and pasta and all the wonderful things that gluten has spoiled for me. “I want my bread back!”
(first slice with some natural almond-butter *droolz*)
- 1 2/3 cups millet flour
- 3/4 cup teff flour
- 1 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1 cup tapioca flour
- 4 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar – or cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
- 4 tsp olive oil
- 3 1/4 cup warm water (not hot)
- Preheat oven to warm or lowest setting. Lightly oil 2 loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, wisk together your starches and flours with xanthan gum and salt.
- In a small bowl mix 1/4 cup of your water with your yeast and 1 tbsp of your sugar – throw the rest of your sugar in with your dry bowl and wisk. Gently stir your yeast sugar-water mix and let them hang out for a bit (adding water and sugar to your yeast has given it the food moisture and warmth it needs to live – now you have your very own sea-monkeys!)
- Toss the remaining water and sea-monkeys in with your flour and grab a wooden spoon and start mixin’! Once the flour has fully absorbed the moisture (at this point it’ll kinda be like cake batter), divide the mix into your 2 loaf pans and cover with a clean kitchen towel.
- Turn off your oven and place loaves inside to hangout and get to know each other for about an hour. Set a timer.
- *Ding* Time’s up! Take the loaves out of the oven and preheat to 350’f.
- Bake for 10 mins uncovered. Remove from oven, brush the top with olive oil and cover with foil. Back in the oven 35-45 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Let them chill out on a cooling rack before slicing – make sure you have a piece while it’s hot!
*left to right 1.) Loaf, pre-rise 2.)+3.) I decided instead of making 2 loaves, I’d make hamburger buns with the other half