Notes from Windward: #68


Making Wheat-Free Breads

Opalyn explores some alternatives

     Last year I was surprised to learn that some of my chronic health problems were actually the result of my being allergic to wheat gluten. Since then, learning to cook and bake without wheat and other cereal grains has proved challenging and rewarding. Discovering Bobís Red Mill Outlet Store in Portland has helped keep costs down Ė if you buy in bulk.

     I have discovered several bread recipes that I enjoy. One recipe contains five ancient grains like sorghum and amaranth. It is a hearty, lightly sweet bread that works well for breakfast and bread pudding.


Ancient Grains Bread

Makes approximately 12 slices

  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar

  1. In a large bowl or plastic bag, combine sorghum flour, amaranth flour, cornmeal, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, brown sugar, xanthan gum, yeast and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, using a heavy-duty electric mixer with paddle attachment, combine eggs, egg white, water, oil and vinegar until well blended. With the mixer on its lowest speed, slowly add the dry ingredients until combined. Stop the machine and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 4 minutes.
  3. Spoon into prepared 9 x 5inch loaf pan, lightly greased. Let rise, uncovered, in a warm, draft-free place for 60 to 75 minutes, or until dough has risen to the top of the pan. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  4. Bake for approximately 40 minutes or until crust is golden and center is fully cooked.

     Another recipe makes great pizza dough and foccacia bread. I am still looking for a good sandwich bread recipe but have enjoyed experimenting with several recipes. I continue to borrow gluten free cook books from our library system and checkout on-line recipe web sites as well.

[Walt: it's unfortunate when a member of the community is unable to enjoy certain staples, but the challenge to nutritous work-arounds leads us in a number of interesting directions. While most folks will probably continue to derive the majority of their calories from wheat, corn, rice and potatoes, there's a whole world of alternatives to enjoy. Some won't grow well here, or be readily adaptable to the way we're growing our food, but some will. Every new option found increases our ability to maintain our nutritional health over the long run--and sustainability is all about the long-run.]

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68