This summer found us in Prince Frederick, Maryland for our niece’s wedding and a visit with our good friends, Mary & Clair. To my surprise and delight, I discovered that Clair has embraced gluten-free eating and is baking fabulous bread (something I haven’t tried). I invited Clair to write about his experience of going gluten-free and learning to bake gluten-free bread.
About five or six months ago I thought I might be gluten intolerant. So before consulting my physician I did what any self-diagnosing guy would do….stay away from gluten products for awhile. After a few days I did notice a change in myself, but, just maybe it wasn’t that gluten thing at all… so I had a nice rich chocolate brownie. BAM! It was that gluten thing. My doctor went on to confirm my diagnosis as not severe but nonetheless an unpleasant intolerance to gluten.
After trying several gluten-free breads and other products from the grocery store I decided the only way to enjoy these foods again was to do the baking myself. Many years ago I baked bread and enjoyed it immensely, now, being retired, I just don’t have a lot of spare time to devote to bread making so I began research on bread machines. The result was to purchase Zojirushi BB-CEC20 (Home Bakery Supreme 2-Pound-Loaf Breadmaker). Fantastic product!
With the aid of a great cook book “125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes” by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt, bread making became quick and easy… especially since the machine does all the heavy lifting. A couple of my favorites are Country Harvest Bread and White Sandwich Bread.
The white sandwich loaf is moist and slices beautifully and tastes just right either toasted or plain. Occasionally, I will add a couple tablespoons of chia seed for extra nutritional value (chia doesn’t effect the flavor).
Now, the Country Harvest bread is a full bodied bread chock full of seed – sunflower, flax and sesame. I also add pumpkin seed for even more crunch. This bread has a bold texture and can be sliced as thin or thick as one wishes. It can be used for sandwiches but my favorite is a slice toasted and covered with my own pure almond butter – just almonds and a touch of sea salt.
I am well aware that we do not live by bread alone – for many reasons. I have always liked granola but find most store brands (gluten-free and regular) to be too sweet and sticky or lacking something. My research on the topic led me to Glutenfreegirl.com and what I think is the best granola I have ever made or eaten. Not too sweet, a bit of a ginger bite and not at all sticky and as full of dried fruit as one cares to incorporate. In this batch I used raisins, dates and cranberries. Great when added to yogurt for breakfast or just plain for a snack. ~ Clair
Wow, thank you Clair. The New Year may just find me baking mine own bread as well. Very inspiring.
Here is what Clair uses: