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Friday, 6 June 2014

Grain Free Sandwich Bread

I will warn you now, this is a long post! But, it is so worth it! This is Grain Free Bread folks! It slices! It lasts at room temperature!(and it actually gets better the next day!) tastes pretty darn good! So bear with the wordiness, and the plethora of pictures. (and the number of exclamation points I may have just used!) I think you can tell, I am really excited to share this recipe!

After embarking on this gluten- free, almost- grain- free journey, bread has all but disappeared from our diets. We were not big sandwich eaters to start with, so lunch packing was never a big issue. Soups, salads and leftovers are our go-to lunches, and this made the transition pretty easy. Our boys were content to have the occasional store bought loaf for when they had a craving for toast.  So it was never anything I put much thought into when creating new recipes. (Actually I did attempt one loaf, from a recipe I found (and promptly lost!) that used only coconut flour, and the resulting brick just “cemented” my decision that life without bread was not such a bad thing!)  But, being as it is probably THE #1 recipe I get requests for above all others, I decided to conquer it, once and for all. It seems to be the one thing most people cannot fathom giving up, and that seems to make or break their decision to stick with this type of diet. So I needed to come up with a tasty, slice-able loaf that would last, preferably without freezing. For those versed in grain free baking, it was a bit of a tall order!

Not one to shy away from a challenge (and this one was a challenge!) I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. I ended up using tapioca starch, an ingredient that I have not played with a lot. It gives this grain free bread the elasticity that is missing using just coconut flour. It is a starch, however, and does contain a fairly high amount of carbs (approx 26g/carbs in ¼ cup) so for those watching carbs and calories, this bread should still be considered a treat, and not a diet staple.  (I roughly worked out the carbs and it rolls in at approx 8-9 g/carbs per slice if you slice the loaf into 14, so not crazy, but again, not a diet staple if you are watching those kind of things) (It does slice thinly very well, you can probably squeeze many more slices out of your loaf…this was just for an example!)

No crumbs!
Enough with the scientific data! If you are OK with using Tapioca starch/flour, you will be very, very, VERY happy with this recipe. (at least I think you will be!) The loaf it makes is not typical bread sized. It is definitely a bit on the shorter side. But what it lacks in size it makes up for in flavour! On the first day, it has a nice crisp crust and a soft, albeit somewhat spongy interior. Day two, after being stored on the counter in a sealed container, the crust becomes slightly chewy, losing its crunch, but not in a soggy bad way at all. It is content to stay on the counter, in a sealed container for 3-4 days, and is almost better on day 3 than day 1, which is pretty cool. (It does seem to mold by day 5 though, just to warn you!) It slices like a dream, hardly a crumb in sight! It makes a lovely sandwich (my friend Robin is curing her own bacon…a BLT party is in the plans!)  and even better French toast. I can’t wait to play around a bit, maybe a cinnamon raisin version? I have used it very successfully for morning toast, croutons, sandwiches, and a very tasty dairy free bread pudding  that I will be posting soon as well(Posted! click on the link). Challenge well met, if I do say so myself :) ***if you scroll to the bottom, I added some pics to show how I use this recipe for Grain Free English Muffins, that are heavenly!!

Grain Free Sandwich Bread

6 eggs, separated
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup arrowroot flour
½ cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup water, at room temp
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
¾ tsp baking soda
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a loaf pan with parchement (mine measures 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches, for the cooking time to be the same you will need a similar size) Set lined pan aside for now. (see pictures at the bottom of the post for a tip on lining your pan easier! If you decide to grease your pan instead, grease really really well!)
Place egg whites in stand mixer and whip with whisk attachment until stiff, approx 8 minutes. You don’t want any liquid left in the bottom, or it will make the loaf heavier on the bottom.  (Don’t skip this step, it is very important to the texture of the bread!) (Alternatively use a hand mixer or whisk, but not an immersion blender, it doesn't whip in enough air, the end result will not be the same)
While the egg whites are beating,  measure the rest of your ingredients into an 8 cup mixing bowl and blend well with an immersion blender or a whisk and some elbow grease.
Fold about ¼ of the whipped egg whites carefully into this batter, mixing carefully to combine, but not deflate the volume. Mix in the rest of the egg whites in 3 batches, again being careful not to deflate the egg whites, but combining just enough.
Carefully scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake in preheated oven for approx 40 minutes.  
You want to see a nice golden crust. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.  (bread baking tip from my former baking –with –wheat days, if  you have an instant read thermometer, you want the internal temperature of your loaf to be right around 160F.)
Remove from oven, and lift loaf from pan using parchment. Let cool on wire rack completely before slicing.
Lasts on the counter in an airtight container for 3-4 days. (If it lasts that long without being devoured!) It will have a crisp crust for the first day, and a softer chewy crust after it sits.  I slice any leftovers and freeze, with a piece of parchment or waxed paper between each slice for easy removal one slice at a time)
toasted, served with a tomato and
kale omelet :)

To line a pan with parchment, flip
your pan over, and crease your parchment
paper following the bottom edges of the pan.
Fold them around the ends, kind of like
wrapping a parcel.
Flip your pan back over and your
liner should drop right in your pan! You
may need to re-crease the corners a wee bit to
make the fit nice and snug!

This recipe is a perfect amount to make 8 english
muffins with these awesome little english muffin rings.  
Grease rings well, set on parchement, and bake at 400F
for 16-18 minutes or until they are firm and starting to brown. 

Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the rings
to release them, and let cool on a wire rack. They freeze beautifully!
Toasted with a bit of butter and jam...pure grain free heaven!

1 comment:

  1. Great recipe!! Thank you for your efforts! I'll give it a try.