Bread, Bread and More Bread – January 9, 2016

gluten-free homemade bread

As I mentioned in my last post, once adopting a low FODMAP / FODMAP-friendly diet, I was able to go back to a well-balanced diet without having to count calories and stress about food intake.  I now consume starchy carbs (gluten- free bread, gluten-free rolls, rice, potatoes) with most of my meals, and I am so happy about it! During the days of stomach uncertainty, I was having a hard time keeping up my energy because I was also trying to cut out calories.  I am now able to fuel my workouts with the right balance of food.

It’s much easier to keep the starch in my diet when I’m eating at home – most places don’t have gluten-free buns with burgers or gluten-free pasta options.  Whenever I find a place that serves those things, though, I am eager to try!

For my birthday this past November, my sister and two of our friends decided on a splurge event at an upscale restaurant in the city that is meant to have a wonderful gluten-free tasting menu.  We had a bit of a disaster of a dinner – hours to get served first course, one of my friends was hit on the head by a waiter, service was just not what we expected.  In my opinion, the real saving grace of the evening was the bread.  They had the most delicious gluten-free focaccia bread I’ve ever had!  Birthday recovered. Sort of.

For our next gathering of friends, we took a slightly different approach.  Since we were hosting Christmas Eve brunch at my house, my sister and I had control of the menu plan and could make it as FODMAP-friendly as we watched (and have stellar service of course 🙂 ).   We struggled a bit when we started to work through the actual menu, though.  It’s challenging to do appetizers or multiple courses at brunch time.  So we decided that homemade gluten-free bread would be the perfect addition.  I shared some pictures of the entire meal on the Christmas Eve Brunch blog post, but I’ll share the details of the bread below.

The bread recipe is borrowed from the Sullivan Street Bakery, substituting gluten-free flour (Bob’s Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour).  It does take 24 hours to complete, but there is no kneading and no machine required! Here’s a pic of our bread from Christmas Eve.  We served with olive oil and balsamic for dipping.

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I’ve adjusted to be FODMAP- friendly using the recipe that can be found on the NY Times website.

Homemade Gluten-free Bread

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour, more for dusting (I use either Bob’s or King Arthur flour)

1 5/8 cups water

¼ tsp. instant yeast

1 ¼ tsp. salt

Cornmeal as needed

Directions

In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.

Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees. NOTE: This step is specific to the NY Times recipe and can be shortened significantly due to the gluten-free flour.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.

Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel with flour or cornmeal; put dough down on towel and dust with more flour or cornmeal.

At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake 30 minutes, checking as it cooks.  The bread may require another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

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