SUNFLOWER and PUMPKIN SEED GLUTEN FREE BREAD

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I have been trying for a long time to come up with a gluten free bread that tastes good, has good texture and holds together when making a sandwich, is great when toasted, and is somewhat nutritious.  I’ve tried several commercial and bakery gluten free breads over the years. Many of them are way too high in starch and low in fiber.  I don’t eat bread very often, but when that fresh summer tomato is calling to be placed between two slices of bread with bacon, well, I’d like something that isn’t all empty calories. I can’t say that this recipe is real high on the nutrition scale but it does have some fiber and nutrition.

The first bread that I tried  making was from a recipe developed by Bob’s Red Mill. It was Walrus Bread, which was pretty good but it fell apart easily and I had to keep a lot of different flours on hand. If you are interested, here is a link to that recipe (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=77)  Once I discovered Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour, I started experimenting with changing ingredients and adding in ingredients. After many tries, I have come up with this recipe in which I use a mix of Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds, Golden Flax Meal, and Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour. With a change in the oil, this could be a Vegan recipe.

I always make two loaves at a time. This bread freezes well and it takes the same amount of time as making one loaf. I also mix everything by hand because I enjoy the physical contact of the spoon with the ingredients.  You could use a mixer, but make sure it can handle a heavy dough.

RECIPE: SUNFLOWER  and PUMPKIN SEED GLUTEN FREE BREAD

Note: tsp is teaspoon,

TBL is tablespoon

Makes two 8.50″ x 4.50″ loaves

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6 2/3 cups Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour

2 Packages of Yeast

3 1/3 Cups of water

7 tsp. of Xanthan gum ( acts to hold the dough together in place of gluten)

4 TBL Golden Flaxseed Meal mixed into 2/3 cup of water

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2 tsp salt ( I always use a refined Sea Salt)

2 tsp. cider vinegar ( I use an organic cider vinegar. It is important to remember to read the label and make sure the vinegar is real cider vinegar, not white vinegar colored with caramel.)

4 TBL melted, unsalted butter ( i always use unsalted butter when baking or cooking.)

1 cup mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds, roasted and chopped.

DIRECTIONS FOR MIXING and BAKING:

Roast 1 cup of mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds. I place mine on a tray in the toaster oven and turn the heat to 450 degrees.  Roast the seeds until the pumpkin seeds start to swell and pop. Remove the pan from the toaster oven. Let the seeds cool on the pan. They should not be real brown or have a dark (burned) scent to them.

Once they are cool, place them on a chopping board and chop the seeds into fine pieces.

Seeds all roasted and chopped.

Seeds all roasted and chopped.

Grease two 8.5″ x 4.5″ bread pans and set them aside.  I use ghee ( see the posting before this one for directions on making ghee) or homemade suet fat or homemade lard. Any good quality vegetable oil will also work.

Mix the 2 packages of yeast  with 2 cups of lukewarm water( the water is lukewarm if it feels barely warm on the inside of your wrist)  and set it aside to proof ( get all bubbly ).

Measure out and mix together the 6 2/3 cups of flour, the 2 tsp of salt, the 7 tsp. of xanthan gum and the cup of chopped seeds.

Proofed yeast, soaked flax meal, cider vinegar and melted butter beside a bowl of the dry ingredients.

Ingredients ready to mix together

Have ready to mix into the dry ingredients the bubbly yeast, the flax meal soaking in water, the 2 TBL of cider vinegar and the 4 TBL of melted butter or vegetable oil.

This photo shows the dry ingredients mixed together and all of the liquid ingredients measured out into small bowls and ready to mix into the flour. From the top, clockwise it’s the yeast, melted butter, vinegar and soaked flax meal.

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Mix all of the ingredients together. Add in the last 1 1/3 cups of lukewarm water.  The dough should be heavy and sticky. Mix until every ingredient is evenly distributed.

Here is a photo of the dough, ready to be put into the pans. The dough should be thick enough to keep a groove in it after a spoon has been dragged through it.

Place the dough into the bread pans. It will be very sticky. Try to evenly divide the dough into the two pans.  I put a few spoonfuls at a time into each pan until all the dough is divided between the two pans.  The dough will look very rough.  Dip your fingers into a bowl of cold water and use them to smooth and form the top of the dough into loaves.

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Dough in the pan ready to be smoothed and shaped into a loaf. There is a bowl of cold water sitting next to the pan.

Cover the shaped loaves with waxed paper and then a towel Set them in a warm place to rise. They usually take about 1/2 hour in my kitchen.  If the kitchen is very cold, I set them on the top of the stove while it is preheating.

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Shaped loaves ready to be covered with wax paper and a kitchen towel and left to rise.

The loaves are ready to bake when they have risen above the pan but are still holding their shape. Place them into a 375 degree, pre-heated oven.

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Risen loaves being placed into the oven.

Bake them for 30 minutes. Then cover each loaf with aluminum foil and bake an additional 30 minutes at 350 degrees. The loaves need to cook the full hour; the foil keeps them from getting too brown. At the end of the 30 minutes, you should be able to insert a bamboo skewer, or other thin item, into the loaves and pull it out clean.

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Loaves ready to cover with foil and continue baking at 350 degrees for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove the loaves from the pans onto wire racks. I find that the cookie racks work really well for letting loaves cool. Cover them with a cotton kitchen towel while they cool. I have tried cutting a slice off before they are cool and have not been successful. They always crumble, so…..

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Loaves ready to cover with a cotton kitchen towel and be left to cool.

Wait until the loaves are completely cool, then, cut off that fresh heel, coat it with ghee or regular butter and enjoy. YUM!

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The heel sliced form the fresh loaf and ready to be taste tested. Yum! 😉

I am going to be doing some testing with adding cornmeal, adding the yeast directly to the dry ingredients, and who knows what other inspired ideas may come along.  I’m sure there are a lot of variations that could be tried. If you have any ideas or comments about this recipe, or some that you have been working with, please feel free to leave them here.

Enjoying Creating good food with love,

Karen

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