But this year for the soup and sandwich suppers that the youth group at our church puts on during Lent, a couple of my kids were assigned sandwiches for two of the weeks. And we were asked to provide a gluten free option for those who need it. (There are several people in our congregation who eat gluten free, so most of the groups that provide for our various activities also kindly provide gluten free selections.)
Hmmm. Gluten free sandwiches for church...What are my options? An outrageously priced store bought loaf of cardboard like slices. Use one of the many mixes available these days, also somewhat expensive, but also a bit inconvenient, since it would mean remembering to put the unusual item it on my list when I go to town. Or bake bread from scratch.
Now the from scratch is not impossible. Really, it's not even difficult. But I had this curtain of fear built up over the years. I was going to putz around with a lengthy process, to arrive at a less than satisfactory final product. Who wants to do that? Especially when I have to first, find my kitchen counter top; and second, pull out the big mixer that sits in the corner behind everything.
Sad when culinary decisions are made based upon the amount of mess in the kitchen. Really, really sad. But so it is in this season of my life. It has not always be so, and I'm confident it will not always be. But since that's where I'm at right now, I have to work from that starting point.
The first week, I had found out there would only be two GF eaters at church that night. So that got me off the hook a bit. I found a loaf of Ener-G brand Tapioca Loaf Joe had in the freezer and offered sandwiches on that. Not my proudest moment as far as offering food for a public occasion. But it got the job done.
The third week, I was assigned corn bread muffins to accompany the chili, so that was great. Very easy to adapt for gluten free. No problems there.
But I really wanted to make some nice bread to offer our GFers at the last soup supper. So I set my mind to it and got it done.
(I won't go into details, however on the two jelly roll pans of bars I was also supposed to provide, and totally spaced out. Sorry everyone. I was concentrating so hard on the Gluten Free bread I forgot the bars. I might also add, in my defense, that since we have four children in LYS now, we are assigned four items and I somehow I got mixed up on which child was supposed to bring what. Between the pickles, crackers, and GF and Reg sandwiches, I thought that was it. But unfortunately, I found out the hard way, that the sandwiches were all one, and the pickles and crackers also went together. Arrgh! Oops, I guess I did go into details. Sorry. Slip of the keyboard.)
For the bread, at which I was successful, I used Kelli and Pete Bronski's recipe from their Artisanal Gluten Free Cooking. I use their flour mix for my primary GF baking mix, so I thought their bread recipe would be a good place to start. I was also pleased to find out that their recipe does not need a big stand mixer, so I wouldn't need to drag mine out of the corner. The Bronskis have recently put the finishing touches on a new and improved edition of their original cookbook. I can't wait to see it after it is released in early June. According to the description on Amazon, "This expanded and updated edition, now four-color throughout, includes 50 all-new photographs, 25 new recipes such as Penne a la Vodka, Bagels, and Red Lentil Dal, and more nods to vegetarian and vegan eaters."
- 2 1/4 c milk
- 2 tbs sugar
- 1 tbs salted butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c GF flour blend
- 1 c sorghum flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- 1 1/4 tsp yeast
Spread dough into greased 9x5" bread pan.
Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free location.
Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 40 minutes.