Saturday, May 23, 2015

Gluten Free Oat Bread

I absolutely love this bread! It always rises sky high for me. Adding oat flour to bread recipes really helps bind everything together, yields very tender loaves and keeps them moist longer than recipes without it. I buy gluten free whole oat groats online and grind them into flour myself, I save quite a bit that way.

This recipe yields a very wet sticky dough, but letting the dough rest for about 45-60 minutes allows the flours and chia seeds to fully hydrate and tighten the dough up a bit. I always get better results with a very wet dough as opposed to one with a firmer consistency. The bread will rise higher and have an open crumb.

I have also been playing around with different combinations of binding agents using psyllium husk, chia seeds, flax meal, guar gum and xanthan gum. My favorite by far is a mixture of xanthan gum and ground chia seeds. Reducing the amount of xanthan gum by 1/3 in most recipes and adding an equal amount of chia makes for a better baked product. No gumminess and a better rise as well. I have tried omitting the xanthan gum all together, but after a day or so the bread always starts to crumble and lose it structure. Xanthan gum has a quality that I haven't been able to reproduce with other binders. If you know of a miracle binder I would love to hear about it! Xanthan gum is so expensive!

Now on to the recipe.

  • 2 cups of gluten free oat flour
  • 1 cup of gluten free all-purpose flour (no gums)
  • 1/4 cup of buckwheat flour or use more all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons dough conditioner (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light tasting oil or melted butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Preheat your oven to 375 F.
Add all of the dry ingredients, except the yeast, to the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to combine.
In a 2 cup measure add the warm water and yeast, stir to dissolve the yeast, then add the honey, beaten eggs and oil or melted butter. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly pour this mixture into the dry ingredients.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl then raise the speed to medium and run for several minutes until light and fluffy.

Turn off the mixer and allow the dough to rest loosely covered for 45-60 minutes to fully hydrate the dry ingredients. You could also cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for several days if you wish. This enhances the flavor quite a bit.
Oil a standard size loaf pan and add the dough. Smooth the surface with wet hands and place the pan in a warm place to rise for 20 minutes.

Place the bread pan into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. If you have an instant read thermometer the bread should be 200F in the center.
Remove the bread from the pan and lay it on it's side on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes, then turn the loaf right side up and continue to cool. This will help to retain it's loft. Cool completely before you attempt to slice it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, it is one of my favorite sandwich breads. It is surprisingly light and fluffy!

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