Wednesday, December 14, 2011

GF Bread

So now that I’ve posted my GF mix I can post the GF bread that we use.  Since I used to make all my own bread we surely do miss the homemade bread coming out of the oven and eating it still warm, melting in your mouth.  We will eat GF bread out of the oven, but it’s just not the same.

GF bread is always best the day it’s made.  While some GF breads need to be eaten right away I do find that this recipe will last 2-3 days before it’s dried out and needs to be toasted.  So in that way it’s a good thing.  Since we have a good wrap recipe we tend to gravitate to them and not eat bread that much, but we do use the GF bread more for toast, like eggs and toast, french toast, or grill cheese.  As far as GF breads go this one is delicious.  Every now and then I need to remind myself how excited I was when I found this recipe as we thought it was just delicious after trying various other not so delicious GF breads.  I guess the reality is that we haven’t stopped grieving the loss of real bread yet … but eventually we will get over it and just accept this as our new bread and our new way of life.

Gluten Free Sorghum Bread (makes 14-16 slices)

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/8 cups GF Mix
  • 3 tbsp sugar (this is a bit more then I’d like to see in bread, you can reduce it, but we find the bread is drier then)
  • 1 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


  • For raisin bread add cinnamon to the dry mix and after you have mixed the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients add 3/4 cup raisins (if tolerated).



In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients.  Stir well to make sure the xanthan gum has been well distributed.  Set aside.


In another bowl with an electric mixer mix together the wet ingredients with a paddle and not a bread hook as you would with wheat bread.


With the mixer on low slowly add in the flour mixture


Continue to mix until it is well combined, if necessary scrap down the sides with a spatula.  It should be the consistency of a thick batter.


Turn your mixer to medium speed and beat the batter for four minutes.


After four minutes the batter should appear smoother and thinner.


Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan. ( I usually do a double batch since this bread freezes well.)


Now the loaf needs to rise.  Place it uncovered in a draft-free place.  I usually put it in my oven.  I will turn my oven to 200F and let it start to preheat for 2 minutes and then turn it off.  This makes a nice warm place for the bread to rise.  (My mixer cannot do four loaves at a time, but I will do two batches of two loaves right after each other … I figure if I have all the stuff out I might as well make it worth the mess)


Let the bread  rise for 30 minutes, or until it reaches the edge of the pan … if you do not use the oven this may take closer to 60-75 minutes.


Since I let the bread rise in the oven this means that I need to remove it to preheat the oven.  This is why I usually check the bread after 30 minutes to see how it’s doing.  It can continue to rise on the counter (although at a slower pace) while I wait for the oven to preheat.  You will note that two loaves are larger, this is because they were the first batch I made.  If there is a noticeable different then I will start baking the first two loaves and place the second two in about 10 minutes later.    Since there is no gluten in this bread it can only rise slightly over the top of the loaf pan, if it rises to far it will flop over and start running down the sides as the xanthan gum is not strong enough to hold it together like gluten does.

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Preheat the oven to 350F and once it is heated place your bread in oven for 35-45 minutes (this fluctuates from one oven to the next).  Remove the bread from the bread pan as soon as possible.  I do find it does not always shake out right away after taken from the oven, but if I leave it in the pan for about 5-10 minutes it will gather some moisture and loosen up.  Otherwise, carefully scrap a knife along the edges to loosen it.  Cool completely on rack (or eat warm).


You now have a nice moist loaf of gluten free bread.  Slice it up and enjoy it.

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We will also slice the loaf and put it in the freezer, that way we can take out slices as we need them.  We do find that bread that comes out of the freezer tastes is drier and better as toast … but since we use GF bread mostly for toast (and Crepes/Wraps instead of bread) this works fine for us.


Or … you can slice it and put it in the oven to dry it out and make bread crumbs.  Usually I use the ends of the bread or “old” dried out bread for this, but sometimes I’m low on bread crumbs and need to just make a couple loaves into crumbs.




Gluten Free Mix



  • 6 cups/parts sorghum flour
  • 2 cups/parts potato starch
  • 1.5 cups/parts tapioca starch

Mix together and store in container.

Use this GF mix to replace wheat-flour in your recipes.   When replacing wheat with a GF mix you will also need to add xanthan gum to the recipe.  Xanthan gum is like your gluten, and replaces the gluten that these flours do not have.  I usually use 1 tsp of xanthan gum per 1 cup of GF Mix.  For those extremely sensitive to corn you may want to be careful with xanthan gum as it is often derived from corn.  If this is the case, you may want to consider using Guar Gum.  Personally I like xanthan gum better as it seems to work a bit better, but that is just my preference, both are commonly used.

Since I hate having to mix the GF mix up all the time I purchased a Tupperware Larry Carry-All container, which holds approximately 55 cups of flour.  It is very handy having it pre-mixed as I can just pull this container out and bake like I would when baking with wheat, instead of having to pull all kinds of flours out and mix them all up first. 


I have tried a variety of Gluten Free mixes over the pass couple years, but once I found this mix I have never looked back and never tried another mix.  This one is as close to real flour as it’s going to get and so I’m sticking with it.  I love how my baking turns out with this, none of that rice flour texture, and only a mild taste different (which after eating GF for a while you don’t even notice).  Actually it’s so close to real flour that I will have to tell people that they have just eaten Gluten Free baking as it does an excellent job of making wheat flour-like squares and loaves.  I really love this GF mix and once I found this mix I was better able to stick to the GF diet because I actually liked what I was eating. 

Sorghum flour may be a bit harder to find then other Gluten Free flours.  I have no idea why this is as in my opinion it is one of the best gluten-free options out there.  I also have no idea why rice flour is so common when it has such a odd taste and texture and does not make a very good replacement in recipes.  My original search for sorghum flour was disappointing as I would only find it at the Bulk Barn sold in small packages (and not in bulk) for $5 for 500grams.  Yes, that’s right $10 for a kilogram of the stuff.  I did buy it and that’s when I fell in love with it.  And so I had to undertake the task of trying to find it for cheaper.  Thankfully it did not take me long to find a local health food store that would sell it to me in bulk, with a 10kg bag costing me $17.  To me this is a reasonable price as far as alternative flours go and I was just recently even more excited when someone introduced me to a place that sell all of the above flours for much cheaper then what I am currently pay. 

I encourage people looking for alternative flours to look around, check out the local Health Food stores or Asian food markets and ask if they will order for you in bulk.  I now just have to call and order a 10kg bag of whatever type of flour I need instead of having to go to the bulk food store and scope out what I need.  Flour prices fluctuate but these are the prices I have been able to find my common flours for:

  • sorghum – 10kg bag for $17
  • tapicoa starch – 10 kg bag for $26
  • potato starch – 10 kg bag for $29
  • oat flour – 10 kg bag for $19
  • xanthan gum - $23/kg

Based on the above prices it would cost you $0.33 per cup of GF Mix, plus $0.07 for 1 tsp xanthan gum. So to replace 1 cup of wheat flour (which costs approximately $0.15 per cup) in a recipe it would cost $0.40.

These prices were much cheaper then the Bulk Barn where most people would go to in my area for alternative flours and larger quantities.  And as I mentioned it pays to look around as I just found out that there is a place I can get these flours for a fair amount cheaper, the only problem being that I have to buy a minimum amount of $400 to get it at that price.  So if you know more then one person using Gluten Free flours then a place like this would work very well for you … right now I’m debating whether it is worthwhile to go to such a place as I really don’t have the space to store excessive amount of flour, even if we do go through it relatively fast.   I am still holding hope that with time, as GF products become more and more widely used, the prices of these flours will come down and be closer to the price of regular wheat flour …but for the time being, we make the best of what we have.

Further information on xanthan gum:

Further information on guar gum:

Further information on sorghum flour

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oat Crepes/Wraps

Oat Crepes (or Wraps as they are called in our house) are a staple in our house.  They make a yummy sweet breakfast, they replace bread for our lunches and are also great for snacks or dessert.  These wraps serve as a standard crepe in our house as well as a replacement for wheat tortilla wraps.  It took some adjustment to get used to the idea of them being like a tortilla, but now that we are used to it we like them and would take them anytime over GF bread.  Matthew loves his wraps and is rather unhappy if there are no wraps for lunch each day.  I am glad that we have found sometime to replace bread that is portable and more edible then GF bread.  We find the GF breads are just not bread and while we have found a decent recipe our preference is still to eat GF bread as toast (unless it’s just fresh out of the oven) or for french toast.  I’m not sure how we would survive without our Crepes/Wraps

Since these are made with oat flour they are not suitable for those who are gluten free.  I keep thinking I should try learn to make a GF wrap, but I’m happy with these and just haven’t gotten around to trying out new recipes (we did at one point but when we couldn’t find a suitable one we resorted back to these).  The biggest issue with the wraps is that they have to be eaten the same day they are made.  There is no making a batch ahead of time that you can just scoop from.  I make the girls wraps in the morning before school and then make fresh ones for Matthew and I at lunch.  If they are not eaten by the end of the day I throw them out as they will be tough and yukky the next day.  While you cannot fry a huge batch a long time ahead of time, you can make the batter several days ahead and leave it in the fridge.  I usually make a big batch of batter and then fry them up as needed.  This makes it relatively simple, only requiring about 5-10 minutes (depending on how many you are frying and how many pans you use at a time) to fry them up before you sit down to eatP1080730.

Oat Crepes – 18-20 crepes

  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 1 cup GF mix
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 eggs
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 1/2 cups water

Mix above ingredients with a mixer until a thinner pourable consistency.  You will learn with time what consistency you want it.  If they are not spreading easily throughout the pan when you make them then add more water to make it thinner.



Preheat your non-stick frying pan until it’s good and hot.  With a soup ladle pour the batter into the frying pan with one hand and use your other hand to roll the pan around so the batter spreads evenly over the bottom of the frying pan (you can pick the pan up and actually turn it on it’s side each way to get the batter to move quickly from one side the next).  You want the crepe to be as thin as possible, so you need to do this quickly.  If your batter is not spreading quickly over the bottom of the pan try to add a bit more water so it is thinner.  Again, this will take time to figure out the exact amount to fill your soup ladle for the size pan that you are using.

Allow the crepe to brown until your edges begin to curl away from the side of the pan, don’t leave it too long or you will have dry/tough edges.  You should be able to freely push it around in the pan when it’s ready to flip.


Place your flipper under the crepe and quickly turn it over


You will see a neat honeycomb pattern on the side you just fried.  Allow the second side to fry for about one minute, it does not have to go long.


Transfer crepe to a plate.  The crepes will be stiff at this point.  Place another plate on top of the crepe to lock in the moisture


Add more crepes as you fry them.  Allow them to sit for a few minutes so that they soften and will be easy to roll up .  If you are doing several crepes by time you add the last one the first ones are ready to be eaten and so you can just flip the plates over and start from the bottom … or what now would be the top.


It will take some time to adjust to the idea of a softer texture wrap compared to a tortilla or pita wrap.  But we have found that these have been a life-saver as we prefer them by far over GF bread.  We will put meat and cheese with lettuce and mayo on them, sunbutter, tuna salad and lettuce, egg salad, golden cane syrup, or for dessert strawberries and whip cream … lots of different possibilities.  This is not to say that there aren’t times where we still say “oh, how I miss bread”, but having these wraps has certainly made lunches easier and more endurable.