Gluten-free Rosemary Bread!–No Gum Trial

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Gluten-free Teff Rosemary bread

Most gluten-free breads have at least 4 different kinds of flours and 1 or 2 types of gums, used as stabilizers or thickening agents.  Whether you buy a pre-mixed blend, or each of those ingredients separately, they add up to a pretty penny, especially with the addition of gums.  This recipe aims to keep it simple.  And I must humbly say, it was successful.

My partner, who eats wheat, says that this rendition requires gum–that you need something to knead those critical fake gluten strands into any proper bread.  I don’t care what he says, this recipe still beats anything I’ve had at the Seattle gluten-free bakeries I used to go to, mainly because they used a lot of bean flours.  Maybe it’s the teff* flour I used, the flavor of which doesn’t have that farty bean smell and taste.  It’s got more of a sweet, earthy and bitter edge to it.  But most probably it’s just that any type of baked good that comes straight out of the oven tastes pretty good–this bread, being crunchy and toasty on the outside, soft, hearty and flaky on the inside, and savory as all get out was hard to stop eating.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups +2 tbs teff flour
  • 2 tbs corn starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs bread machine yeast
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup 110 degree F warm water
  • 2 tbs rosemary
  • 1 tbs + 1 tbs olive oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients together including the yeast and sugar.

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All the dry ingredients mixed together

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Bread machine yeast–just mix in with the dry ingredients

Add water warmed to about 110 degrees F to the mixture of dry ingredients.

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Add 110 degree F warm water to the dry ingredients

Thoroughly mix the dough.  I used a fork and my hands.  You can knead the dough to bring some air into the mixture, but since there is no gluten, there aren’t any protein strands being formed by kneading it.  Instead, kneading it only gives some fluffy texture to it by introducing more air.

Add the rosemary and olive oil, and mix that thoroughly into the dough.  You can also add another tbs of teff flour if the mixture is sticky.

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Dough before rising

Place a cloth or saran wrap over the dough and place it somewhere warm.  I put mine on top of the radiator since that’s the warmest place in the house.  Be careful not to place it somewhere hot, where the dough has potential to actually cook.  Let rise for 2 hours.

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And we wait 2 hours

Preheat the oven to 400 degress F.  The dough pictured below is now about 9 inches wide in diameter.

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Dough after rising

Make a shallow cut across the length and width of the dough like a cross.  This allows it to open up nicely as it rises a little more in the oven.  Drizzle the rest of the olive oil onto the bread for extra crunch.

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Dough, cut and oiled

Bake for about 35 minutes.

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Straight out of the oven

Let it sit for another 10-15 minutes before cutting.  Don’t worry, it’ll still be warm!  You’ll end up with thick hearty savory bread.

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Ready to eat!

I’ll admit, that I think this recipe would be even more bomb after I use some gum.  (Don’t tell my partner.)  So I’ll let you know how that goes.  This bread is great as a butter vehicle, and as sandwich bread.  It was less successful as a grilled cheese bread, at least straight out of the oven.  I tried it immediately, and part of it crumbled.  For that type of sandwich, you’ll need to be patient and wait overnight for it to completely cool and set to use.  So, it might not be worth it…

*Teff is a grain from a grass grown in East Africa.  Traditionally it is often fermented and used to make a sourdough-type of flat bread called Injera, a staple in Ethiopian cuisine.  It contains a high protein content and therefore, makes an excellent wheat substitute.

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