In March my lovely friend Cari forwarded me an article from Epicurious. It was a great article on gluten free cooking. I just have to try the coconut cake sometime very soon! Yum!
In the article was a nice looking sandwich bread that contained a lot of fiber containing “flours” which is missing in so much gluten free food. We tried it and liked it, but of course I had to tweek it a bit. Our version is dairy free and I use a “sponge” technique, which means I let part of the ingredients soak and rest with the yeast for a few hours before mixing in the rest of the ingredients. This produced better flavor and a nice soft sandwich bread texture more reminiscent of gluten filled sandwich bread. If you have a family member that would prefer to skip the sesame seeds (for less crunchy texture in your bread) leave them out, but still include the oil from the seed step (no need to heat the oil).
I did not have coconut flour on hand, but did have Let’s Do Organic brand finely shredded organic unsweetened coconut. I ground the coconut in my coffee grinder I use for herbs and spices until a fine powder and used that for the coconut flour. It worked very well.
Be sure to use a 8” x 3 3/4” bread pan as you will get a better rise and a nicer loaf.
Gluten-Free Sesame Sandwich Bread
Adapted by Angela Litzinger from Epicurious March 2008 recipe by Zoe Singer
Makes 1 (8-x 3 3/4 x 2 3/8-inch) loaf
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast, from 1 (1/4-ounce) package
½ cup water, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon juice or apple cider
1/4 cup gluten/dairy free milk substitute (ie: almond milk), room temperature
1 tablespoon molasses
6 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons potato flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin, from 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 large eggs, room temperature (whisk and remove 2 T, set aside for later mixed with 1 T water)
egg wash (above) and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
**optional: 2 T sesame seeds and 2 T flax seeds (mix flax seeds at same time as tapioca blend)
Special equipment: 1 (8- by 3 3/4- by 2 3/8-inch) loaf pan
In small saucepan over moderate heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking. Stir in 3 tablespoons sesame seeds and sauté until seeds are golden brown and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer mixture to small bowl and let cool to room temperature.
In large bowl, pour 1/2 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F) in and sprinkle yeast over and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk substitute that has been mixed with the lemon juice, molasses, chickpea flour, amaranth flour, sorghum flour, cornmeal, and potato flour. Stir to combine. Cover bowl and allow to sit 2-4 hours.
Here is my bread sponge working. Your sponge will get bubbly and rise and fall.
When ready to finish the bread, in small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 2 tablespoons cold water. Stir, then let stand until softened, about 5 minutes.
Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 425°F. Oil loaf pan.
In large bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whisk together tapioca flour, almond flour, coconut flour, cornstarch, xantham gum, and salt. Add bread sponge, eggs and gelatin/water mixture. Beat at moderate speed until dough is aerated and holds its shape, about 4 minutes. Scrape down bowl, then beat at high speed for 1 minute. Transfer dough to prepared pan and smooth top with rubber spatula. (If necessary, use a wet hand to smooth completely.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until dough is just level with top of pan, about 1 hour.
In small bowl, whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of egg and 1 teaspoon water. When dough has risen, lightly brush egg wash over top, then sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sesame seeds.
Bake bread until firm, about 30 minutes, then carefully turn loaf out of pan and continue baking directly on oven rack until bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 15 minutes more. (I baked it in the pan for the entire time.) Transfer to wire rack and cool at least 1 1/2 hours before slicing. (Store bread, tightly wrapped, 3 days at room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, or 1 month frozen.)
A version without sesame seeds.