I wanted bread. Freshly baked, soft on the inside, crusty on the outside – bread. I always seem to want baked goods in the evenings. Late enough that I just don’t want to drive all the way to the store for ingredients. (“All the way” is about 4 blocks.) The weather is getting colder here in Minnesota and tonight I just didn’t want to have to put on a coat, warm up the car and drive to the store. So, I decided to see if I had enough ingredients to make gluten-free bread. I knew I had used the last of my rice flour earlier this week, when I made my Very Vanilla Cupcakes.
I normally use a combination of rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. I knew I had corn starch. The grocery store had a sale on it about a month ago and I really stocked up! I had picked up more tapioca flour when I made the cupcakes, so I knew I had enough of that. I’ve never made any baked good with just cornstarch and tapioca flour. (I’ll have to try that sometime, just to see what happens.) Corn starch is light and tapioca flour is very fine and very light. I like to use a third flour that has a little substance to it when I bake bread. I keep all my gluten-free baking items in a separate cupboard, away from anything that could contaminate them. I live in a “mixed household” – one gluten-free eater and one who eats gluten. I also have a separate area in the refrigerator for my gluten-free foods, to avoid cross-contamination.
Back to the cupboard. I had about 3 tablespoons of soy flour left, so that wouldn’t be much help in making a loaf of bread. I’m not too fond of soy flour, anyway. Soy flour is a very heavy flour and gives baked goods a definite SOY flavor and aftertaste. If I use it in something that requires a lot of spices or a lot of chocolate, I can usually mask the soy flavor. But bread is just . . . well, bread. Aha! In the back of the cupboard I had half a bag of buckwheat flour! The name buckWHEAT sounds like it should contain gluten, but it doesn’t. Buckwheat isn’t a cereal grain. It’s a fruit seed, related to rhubarb. It is high in manganese and magnesium and is a good source of fiber. I’ve used buckwheat in small quantities before, and was happy with the results. But my bread recipe calls for 1 cup of each – rice flour, tapioca flour and corn starch. Buckwheat flour has a distinctive flavor – would my bread have a strong flavor? Buckwheat flour is also a light brown – I knew I wouldn’t end up with white bread. I’m always ready to try something new, so I decided to use it and see what happened.
What happened is a perfect loaf of bread – soft and springy on the inside and and nice crunchy crust! The color is like a light rye bread, without the strong rye flavor. The taste is similar to a very light whole wheat bread. I like it! If you try this recipe, let me know how yours turns out and if you like it.
Light Buckwheat Bread (GF)
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup tapioca floour
1 cup corn starch
1 pkg dry yeast (not rapid rise)
1/4 finely ground golden flax seed
1 cup warm water
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp xanthan gum
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil non-stick loaf pan.
In large bowl combine warm water, yeast and sugar. Stir to mix and let sit until top of water is covered with foamy bubbles. Add eggs and oil and beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add buckwheat flour and mix on low for 1 minutes. Scrape sides of bowl, add tapioca flour and mix on low for 1 minute. Add cornstarch and flax seed and mix on low until blended. Scrape sides of bowl and mix on medium for 2 minutes. Add xanthan gum and mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes to be sure xanthan gum is well distributed.
Scrape bread batter into loaf pan, smoothing top with rubber spatula. (The batter will not smooth out when it rises. If you have spikes in your batter, you bread will bake with the same spikes. Not a bad thing, just different.) Place in warm, draft-free area and let rise for 1/2 hour. Bread should be about 1″ above top of pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 – 40 minutes, until crust is browned and hard and crunchy. Turn oven off, leaving loaf in oven. Let bread cool in oven for 1/2 hour. Remove bread from oven and remove from loaf pan. Cool and wrap in plastic wrap or large zip top bag. (Or cut into it as soon as it comes out of the oven like I did and enjoy!)