I’ve been working on my baking with encouragement and inspiration from Somer at VegedOut and Annie of An Unrefined Vegan. These two ladies are ace bakers and manage to survive without eggs, milk and sometimes even wheat. Pastries are a little easier since lower protein flours have a good texture for cakes and cookies, but not bread. Bread is the one thing we can’t reliably get that’s gluten-free, vegan and tasty. Usually commercially available breads fit one or two of those three criteria. Therein lies my quest.
My early attempts at gluten-free vegan bread were unreliable and didn’t always rise properly so things have come up a few notches since then.
One of the big things was getting a stand mixer with a dough hook. I can knead bread myself, but this makes mixing much more consistent. I got a cheap used $55 3.5 quart stand mixer. I’ll probably get something nicer when this one goes, but for now it’s perfect for experimenting.
The biggest issues I find with gluten-free vegan bread is that it’s usually dry, crumbly and/or dense. I’m still struggling with these issues, but things are improving slowly but surely.
My ever evolving bread recipe is currently as follows.
1 cup garbanzo flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup teff flour
1/2 cup chopped sundried tomato
1/2 cup chopped nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin pits (shelled)
1 tsp herbes de provence
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp yeast (or one packet)
1/4 cup flax meal
1 cup water, warmed slightly in the microwave
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup tinned unsweetened pumpkin
Preheat the oven to 300F/150C. I combine the dry ingredients (except for the yeast in a bowl. Mix them lightly.
I combine the water (warmed) and dissolve the yeast in it and then put that and the rest of the wet ingredients including the pumpkin in the bowl of my trusty stand mixer and give it a quick mix on the lowest setting. Then I wait for 3-5 minutes until the yeast starts to activate and look bubbly.
After that I start to add the dry ingredients one cup at a time until it’s all mixed and doughy. It’s usually pretty sticky but holds its form well. I plop that onto a floured baking sheet and quickly mold it into a loaf form. (I haven’t tried any other formation, but you’ll know when I do!)
I slash the top of the loaf to allow some of the steam to escape. When I tried skipping that step I ended up with a loaf of bread that looks like it exploded in the oven. I baked this for 2 hours and then started checking every 5 minutes to see if it was cooked all the way through by checking to see if a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf came out clean.
This bread is still a little dense, but the flavor and texture are getting there fast. We’ve been enjoying it for simple things like grilled ‘cheese’ or toast with jam or vegan cream cheese.
This is Christie, signing off!