Bread Worth the Work; GF AND Tasty!

Baking tasty gluten free bread is sort of the Holy Grail for us folks with celiac disease.  I miss the flavor and texture of good quality bread.  I have tried many recipes that left me dissatisfied with the bread I baked.  In years past I used to make many different types of yummy wheaty bread.  The truth is that without the protein in wheat flour it is difficult to make satisfying gf bread.

Early this winter I discovered a website “Gluten Free on a Shoestring” by Nicole Hunn and bought the cookbook that had just come out “Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread.” I have made some of her recipes and had moderate success.  I will say that her breads are generally really good the first day you bake them.  I often freeze my leftovers before going to bed so they remain tasty.   I have made her pretzel rolls, lean crusty whole-grain bread and submarine rolls (from her website).  This week I made two of her recipes and I want to tell you about the bread.

It is zucchini yeast bread. Unusual because it is a savory bread, not a sweet dessert bread. Plus it has to chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours! I made the dough up Friday night and put it in a greased bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.  This chilled resting period allows for better texture and ease in forming the bread dough.  I shaped it Sunday afternoon, let it rise a bit more than an hour and popped it in the oven. Forty minutes later it was done, golden brown, raised a bit and smelled spectacular.  I took it to my mom’s for Sunday supper along with my best friend Bernie who was my college roomie and my goddaughter Danielle, her firstborn.  We had slices with our vegetarian dinner as Danielle doesn’t eat meat.

It was spectacular, fragrant, moist, crisp crust.  I could almost swear it had cheese in it and I knew it didn’t!  Second slices were had and I was so proud of a gf bread which hasn’t happened very often.

Her flour mixes are a bit complicated and some of the ingredients are pricey but if you just want the best bread I would say her recipes are a must have so you can treat yourself to the tastiest gf bread I have ever enjoyed.

Nicole Hunn’s website is “Gluten Free on a Shoestring.”  Check it out as it is chock full of her latest recipes.  She tries them out and showcases them on her blog before they appear in her books.  I believe she is about to bring out a cookbook where she re-creates gf a favorite commercial treat like the cookies and breads of Starbucks and the like.  It will be at least her fourth cookbook.

This bread alone is worth the effort of making up her special flour mixes; first you make her basic gf flour and then you use it to make her bread flour.  She uses whey protein powder to give the protein boast gf bread recipes need to allow for best flavor and texture.   There is also pectin powder in the flour mix.  These unusual ingredients allow her breads to be shaped and formed, even braided!   The doughs are tricky sometimes to work with but I am glad I am trying and I get to eat the tasty results!

Check out her website, http://glutenfreeonashoestring.com/ and try a recipe.  The zucchini yeast bread recipe is on it.  If you long for yummy tasting, fine textured bread Nicole Hunn is your baker to follow.  I use several gf cookbooks but for bread, her information is revolutionary and worth investigating.  Good baking!

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