Crusty Gluten Free Bread

As a little girl, I have memories of my mother making this delicious braided bread that she brushed with egg and then baked.  It was shiny on the outside and soft on the inside!  Yummy!  I asked her about it, and she “kind of” remembers!  Funny how we remember certain things in life and others don’t.  Oh well!  At least it was a good memory, right?  

I was browsing the internet and came across this delicious crusty bread, and I thought, one thing you never see is a good crusty Gluten free bread.  Every time I pop into my local health food store, I check the bread isle for something new, but nothing!  And I buy at least one loaf of crusty bread for my kids a week.  They love this stuff.  We now refer to it as “crusty” bread.  Because let’s be honest, we have like five different types of breads in our house.  We have English Muffins, raisin bread, wheat bread, crusty bread, and if Mom has something, it’s gluten free bread.  Since I’ve yet to find one,  I just took it upon myself to try making one.  Go figure!  

I knew that you could make your own flour, and I’ve thought about it in the past,  but since there were so many G free options, I’d decided not to, until now.  My health food store has bulk bins of all of the things I needed for this, and I have a dry blade(what’s needed to properly make flour) for my Vitamix, so I thought, “Why the heck not?”  To be perfectly honest, it’s way cheaper and there’s just something so gratifying in making your own flour.  Seriously?  I’m starting to feel more like Martha everyday.  Now if only I had her bankroll! 

I certainly had no clue on where to start on making this, but after perusing a few different G free sites, I took my top three and decided to just go for it.  One of the sites, Artisan Bread In Five uses a Dutch Oven for their bread.  I didn’t have one, and with the price attached to it, I wasn’t about to buy one for a measly loaf or two of bread.  I also looked at this recipe from Gluten Free Girl.  She added Kalamata Olives, Rosemary and Sea Salt to her’s.  YUM!  I didn’t have enough olives on hand to make it this time, but I will in the future.  I finally settled on this recipe from Hope For Healing.  However, all three recipes were connected to each other, so I figured that I couldn’t go wrong with any one of them.   

Of course, I added my own twist to it.  I decided to do two loaves for some variety.  I wanted a plain loaf and then a cinnamon raisin loaf.  For both, I followed the directions right up to the end, but then just before I was ready to form my raisin loaf,  I threw some raisins and cinnamon in to the plain dough and mixed it up with my hands.  I should have added my cinnamon to the dry ingredients first but since I had never made this before, I didn’t want to take the chance and split the ingredients to make two separate loaves.  

After following the directions and leaving the dough to rise for the appropriate times, I put my ball of dough on parchment paper and went back to my Artisan Bread In Five recipe.  I formed the shape of the bread and finished it by smoothing out the top of the dough with my fingers and some water.  Then I covered it with plastic and let it rest for the required amount of time.    

 This is when the magic happens – in the oven.  Once it’s complete, admire your masterpiece.  And when your husband tells you that he doesn’t like raisins, act like you didn’t intentionally do that so he wouldn’t eat it all!  😉  He doesn’t like olives either.  So, what’s a girl to do?

I hate to toot my own horn, but look at the crumb on this thing!  Crumb is a term that bakers use to define the inside of the bread.  This is where I shrug my shoulders.  Okay, “crumb” it is!  

I was pretty impressed with my first crack at this.  I’m definitely making this again.  After I enjoyed a few pieces and let the family in on my excitement too (they weren’t nearly as jazzed as I was), I put it in a Ziploc bag and put them in the fridge.  They’ll stay nicely in there until it’s time to slice and toast and top with my favorite preserve.   

Who needs one of those expensive bread makers when you’ve got an expensive blender that will make flour for you?  Just saying!  Actually, the Vitamix can make bread dough.  I’m sure it doesn’t produce a crumb like this though!  Now, I’m just going to have to find out! Stay tuned!  






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