Before going gluten-free, I loved packing a hearty lunch, including a sandwich with thick slices of whole wheat bread, for summertime excursions. Making the transition to gluten-free resulted in a number of disappointing bread options (not necessarily unappetizing, but just not the same).
Quick breads, for example, while tasty, often have a “cake/muffin texture” that crumbles on a sandwich. A store-bought loaf of gluten-free bread often has undesired sweeteners, or lacks the hearty “bite” we’re wanting (plus the cost can be shocking to the budget).
I have found that teff flour is wonderful for gluten-free baking. I purchase it in bulk, in 25 lb bags (from The Teff Company, purchased through Azure Standard, for free delivery). Bob’s Red Mill also offers quality teff flour. (If you buy the little bags in a grocery store, they can be rather expensive per oz/lb.)
Hearty Gluten-Free Bread
1 1/2 Cups Teff Flour (Ivory or Brown; we like Ivory best)
1 3/4 Cups Tapioca Starch/Flour
1 Cup Brown Rice Flour
1 Tbl. Yeast
1 Tbl. ground Flax seed or Xanthan Gum
1 tsp fine real Salt
2 Eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 Cups warm Water (must be at 110° F)
1/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil or liquid Coconut Oil
2 Tbl. Honey or Agave
Mix flours, yeast, flax, and salt together in a mixer with paddle attachment. Add eggs, oil, water, and honey. Scrape sides with a spatula, and then mix for a couple more minutes. (If using xanthan gum, mix for a full 3 minutes, to activate it.)
I use stoneware pans. They seem to hold the heat well, and create a nice loaf. You may need to adjust baking time a bit longer, if using a different type of pan.
My Le Creuset loaf pan is a tad smaller than a “regular” loaf pan, so I pour the extra dough into a round Dutch oven, for an artisan style loaf. (Or, you can pour the entire batch into the Dutch oven for a larger loaf.) You can also use some of the dough in a large flat baking dish (such as Pyrex) to make a deep dish pizza crust (bake before adding toppings)!
Pour dough into ungreased pans.
Cover with a light towel, and let rise one hour. Place a pan in the bottom of the oven to heat. (I use a small metal broiler pan bottom; don’t use glass or it will crack when you add water.) Preheat oven to 450° F.
If you are using xanthan gum, your dough will be firmer, than if you used flax, and may not rise as much in the oven. If the dough isn’t too gooey, slice the loaves a few times on the top before baking, to allow them to continue rising in the oven while baking.
Place loaves into the oven. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of water into the preheated metal pan on the bottom oven rack, and immediately shut the door. (The resulting steam helps the baking process.)
Bake about 30 minutes. If the tops start getting too dark, cover with a piece of foil. (We like our crust crispy!) When done, a knife inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean.
Remove from oven and cool slightly. When cooled enough, they will be pretty easy to remove from the pans without too much sticking. Complete cooling on a wire rack.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves