recipe: dreamy whole grain bread

You know the texture of the center of a really fresh bread roll that is served at Mom and Pop Italian restaurants? This loaf of bread mimics that soft, doughy texture without gluten, and with loads of nutrients. There are some confounding ingredients used (Teff? Psyllium seed husks? Ah!), but I highly recommend avoiding ingredient substitutions, as this recipe will yield the tenderest, dreamy bread. Go forth and make sandwiches, french toast (recipe coming soon), and bask in the goodness of bread.

Ingredients

2 C. Brown rice flour
1/2 C. Teff
1/2 C. Garbanzo flour
1/4 C. Psyllium seed husks
1/2 C. Potato starch
1 Tsp. Xantham gum
1 Tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Honey
1 Tsp Active dry yeast
2 1/2 C. Hot Water (110-115 degrees F)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine all flours (rice, teff, garbanzo, psyllium, potato, xantham, and salt). Whisk together until blended evenly, eliminating any lumps! In a medium sized bowl, combine hot water and active dry yeast. Allow to bubble for a minute or so, then whisk in the honey. It is important not to skimp on the honey (even if you are  cautious about sugar intake, for the love of god, at least use 1 tablespoon) to activate the yeast. The liquids should be frothy and ready to pour over the dry ingredients. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, blending evenly until smooth and just combined. Do not whisk too long, or your bread will be less tender. The dough will not be very thick, and is closer to the consistency of muffin or waffle batter. 
Allow bread to rise in a warm spot in the house, covering with a warm, damp dishtowel (without the cloth actually touching the dough), for 2 hours. What you do with this time is up to you! Watch a foreign film, go running, do yoga, pet the cat. Send good rising thoughts to your future loaf. You may peek occasionally at the dough to see how it is doing, but try to to look too long, or it will disrupt the rising.
15 mins before the bread is done rising, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, with a rack in the center of the oven. Oil a small glass baking dish or metal loaf pan with canola or coconut oil. I use a 9×5.25×1.75″ glass dish, but some variation in size is fine. When the oven is fully preheated and the dough has risen (it should have almost doubled in size), gently push the dough out of the bowl and into the baking dish. You may smooth over the top with a spatula for a smooth finish. Place in the oven and bake for 45-55mins. Avoid checking the bread until at least 35 mins have passed, so as not to disrupt the baking process. When the bread is fully done, it will be medium to golden brown on top, and will make a hollow noise when tapped with your knuckles. It will still be soft inside. Place your baked loaf on a metal rack on the counter to cool fully before sampling. Enjoy your dreamy whole grain bread!

Facts

Teff is very high in calcium, protein, and fiber, and adds that wonderful nutty taste to the loaf. It also has a great amino acid composition – important for the vegans among us who cannot get this from meat!

Psyllium seed husks are very high in fiber. Some people use them for crazy colon cleanses, eating tablespoons per day…this sounds a bit extreme, so I prefer to add a little to bread. Psyllium also acts as a binding agent, holding in moisture and preventing your bread from pathetically crumbling to bits. Some new research shows that psyllium husks may be helpful in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) and diabetes.

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