This version of the yeast-risen bread turned out better than I expected – thanks, corn! The flavour is a bit more towards grits or cornbread, but the texture is better than bread made on potato flour (which seems to need xantham gum added to it, but I’m not real keen on using that – I’m working towards simplifying these recipes to a minimal number of ingredients)… Maize flour is more healthful than potato flour, but produces a less wheat-like bread… In the next loaf of this sort, I’d start tweaking the recipe by reducing the yeast, as it sunk a little in the middle – probably to 2.5 teaspoons.
1 3/4 cups fine maize flour (polenta) flour
1 1/4 cups chickpea (besan) flour
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1 scant teaspoon salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower)
2 tablespoons molasses
3 teaspoons dry yeast (*reduce to 2.5)
LSA (soy, linseed, almond meal)
1. Sift together the flours, starch, and salt. Stir with a whisk until well combined. (I find sifting is vital to producing a good gluten-free bread!)
2. Stir some seeds and meal through the flour. I tossed in about 2-5 tablespoons each of pepitas, poppy seeds, LSA, and sesame seeds.
3. Combine oil, water, and molasses in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients gradually to dry, folding together. When there’s about 1/4 of wet left to add, add the dry yeast as well.
4. Move mix to oiled bread pan. Smooth out the top of the loaf with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle top of loaf with seeds (optional), and lightly spray or brush with oil.
5. Cover bread pan with foil, and leave bread to rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes, or until mix increases in size (it won’t double in size like wheat bread – maybe rise 1/3 to another 1/2).
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180degC (350degF) for 60 minutes. Remove foil, and bake another 5-10 minutes, or until top is brown. Test loaf with a skewer to make sure it’s done.
7. Cool in pan briefly, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.
- + Use sugar or maple syrup or golden syrup in place of molasses (you may need to reduce the quantity if using syrup). Molasses is high in calcium and iron and other minerals, which is primarily why I use it. It has a better flavour for bread, as it isn’t as sweet. The dark molasses helps improve the bread colour, too. If you use a dry replacement, you may need to add more water, and/or make sure it is fully dissolved. (NOTE: do not cut out sugar! Yeast needs sugar to make the gas that makes bread rise!) I make a strictly savoury bread, Australian-style. Americans seem to make/prefer sweeter breads. If you prefer this style, add more molasses or some sugar, so the yeast doesn’t consume it all and leaves some of the flavour in the bread. (Note: yeast is a microorganism belonging to the fungii kingdom, so it is suitable for vegans. It is not an animal, as some have suggested. Yogurt culture is also a microorganism, not an animal, so is suitable for vegans… for crissakes!)
+ Add different combinations of seeds/grains: sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds/pepitas, poppy seeds, LSA (linseed soy & almond meal), soya lecithin, caraway seeds for a rye texture/flavour, nutritional yeast… maybe herbs or various nuts, maybe sultanas or raisins… although I have yet to try fruit bread!
+ Use rice milk or soy milk in place of some of the water for a few more nutrients (this also increases fat content and cost).
+ Vegetable gums – like guar gum or xanthan gum – can improve the texture of breads. I find this is less important with a corn-based bread, however adding gums to a potato flour-based bread makes a noticable improvement in texture.
This bread uses 4 flours: maize/polenta, chickpea, brown rice, and tapioca starch… The maize is stretchy and sticky, but too much makes bread rubbery. Chickpea is bulky, nutrient-dense, and clumpy, but too much inhibits bread rising and the taste can be overpowering. Brown rice flour is high protein and iron, but isn’t very sticky (you could use white rice flour, however you’d miss out on nutrients – this would make more of a white bread equivalent). Tapoica is a good starchy binder, but by itself doesn’t make for good eating! Note that tapoica and arrowroot are starches, and interchangable, like potato flour and potato starch… but maize flour (aka polenta or fine corn meal/flour) IS NOT THE SAME as maize starch (aka corn starch) – so be careful what flours you are using!
This bread is still in beta-testing! hence version 0.3. I will post improved versions as they come along, however this is already totally edible, and better than many commercial breads in taste, texture, and healthfulness. Additionally, gluten-free bread is not big and puffy and full of air like many commercial wheat-based breads. These are a heavier style of bread loaf. They come out cute and square-ish out of regular bread loaf pans. You could try using all manner of different shaped cake and bread pans to get different shapes and results.
I have a version of this bread using potato flour as well, which would be suitable for people with corn sensitivities, however potato uses absorbs more water, so all the flour quantities change. I’ll post that recipe another time… Next I will post one of the yeast-free breads, that don’t require rising, but come out a little more “cakey” than “bready”.
I am sure this recipe and my other works-in-progress are not the only way to make vegan gluten-free bread, but this is me figuring out how to make a good, solid, healthy loaf of bread that I actually want to eat! and that doesn’t take a whole lot of time and effort to make… but enough with the disclaimers. If you have any gluten-free bread baking tips that don’t involved pre-mixed gluten-free bread flour mixes (which are all garbage whitebread rubbery crap as far as I’ve seen), by all means share them with me!
Whew. The next bread recipe post won’t be as long, I promise.