Monday, April 14, 2014

GF bread, artichoke pesto

I have a cold and dentist appointment today, plus the farmer is stirring up dust in the wheat field next door. At least it's sunny. Oh, and I cracked the gluten free bread code. It's soft, it bends, and it has no weird ingredients. The only bad thing is how quickly it disappears.

Flour blend:

1 c rice flour
1/2 c toasted bean flour
1/2 c cornstarch
1/4 c GF potato flakes
1 tsp pectin

The blend is mild and the toasted bean flour provides protein that helps structure without raw bean flavor. Can't be tasted in the finished product.

The potato flakes make the bread bend, add moisture and make the bread stick together. Unlike the tapioca flour in so many recipes, it's a nice local ingredient, easy to find and inexpensive. I suspect it could be replaced with tapioca flour, butternut squash or sweet potato, but I haven't tested those. The last time I peeled and cubed a butternut, my hands were coated with a very sticky, hard to remove film that probably could be an excellent binder.

Pectin is a binder. You can find it with canning supplies in your local store. It's also good for you.

The bread:

2 1/4 c GF flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp oil
2 eggs

1 2/3 c water
2 tbsp rice flour*

1. Mix dry stuff (except for rice flour). Add eggs and oil.
2. Cook rice flour in 1/3 c water until a paste forms. Add the rest of the water to the pan and stir, adjusting temp until the water is bath water temp. Add the paste to the dry stuff, eggs and oil. Stir well, by hand or with a mixer. If you don't have a mixer, it will still turn out okay. The batter will look thin, like cake batter. Don't panic! This is what it should look like. Don't add more flour.

*The paste is a binder and keeps the bread soft and moist. Don't skip this step.

3. Grease and flour a bread pan (I use parchment instead of flour).

4. You can let this rise and double in size in the mixing bowl for more flavor, or bake right away if you're in a hurry. I was in a hurry, so poured the batter in the prepared pan and popped it into a preheated 350 F oven and baked for 40-45 minutes until the bread was set and didn't jiggle when tapped with my finger. I then took it out and brushed it with a beaten egg (egg wash) and sprinkled sesame seeds over it, because I like pretty food. I baked it 5 to 10 min more, or until a knife stuck into came out pretty clean.

4. You can slice it right away or let it cool a bit. My crew didn't give me a chance to let it cool, falling on it like piranhas on a drowning nudist. The word spread that the pesto rocked, and soon I was left with mere crumbs on the cutting board and rocking bowl devoid of pesto. I had to bake another batch.

This is a soft bread on day one, only slightly dry on day two, at which point it makes excellent toast, lovely with pesto, bruchetta, thin ham slices, egg salad, etc.

My brother in law was here when the first batch came out and said, "This is good bread." John asked me to consider not to changing a thing, or at least recording it so I don't lose the recipe, because this is good.

Artichoke, Spinach or Chard Pesto:

1 (8 oz) pk frozen artichoke hearts or spinach, thawed
(I had a bag of fresh spinach/chard, which I tossed in the microwave for 30 seconds and added to the blender).
1 c fresh parsley (or 1/2 c dried)
1/2 c toasted walnuts or pecans, optional (because it's good without it)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves roasted garlic (or 1/4 to 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 c good olive oil

1. Combine all in blender and pulse until blended. Leave a bit rough for texture. Serve on toast strips.


  1. Nice! I'll have to try bread. Tried gf oatmeal cookies and took two trys to fix. I just read I&h for first time and am looking forward to book 2. Fresh from book 1, Jordan's greeting seems a bit old for her... Love description of the love interest though! - Jenny, WA

  2. Hm, good point. I'll have to point out how the bond with the house is changing her; forget that readers aren't inside my head, too. Fun times!