Monday, May 16, 2011

Gluten Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Most people know this about our family, but we are gluten free. Both boys are gluten intolerant, and our youngest daughter is more than likely celiac - basically severely allergic to gluten. Gluten is the protein in wheat, rye, and barley. It is this protein that gives bread doughs its elasticity, helping the bread rise, and giving the final product the desired texture that we have become so accustomed to. When we first discovered we needed to go gluten free - right before my oldest boy was to turn three, I was heart-broken. I absolutely LOVE to cook and bake. I find it very stress-relieving to stand in my kitchen, and produce something that people enjoy and that I can be proud of. Anyways, I started searching for gluten-free products. Some of the mixes were okay... some were not. I quickly discovered that I could not stand anything made with garbanzo flour! Bleck! Here recently Betty Crocker came out with some mixes for cakes, cookies, and brownies - these taste really good, but I was missing breads! I knew there were recipes out there, I just needed to find them.

This past year for Christmas, my younger sister bought me a cookbook called "The Gluten-Free Bible." It is a good thing she bought it for me, because quite honestly, the name itself would have kept me from buying it! And boy would I have been missing out! It has some FABULOUS recipes in it!!! I started trying some of the recipes and I have LOVED most of them. In the front are a couple recipes for all-purpose flour mixtures. The one recipe is for recipes that do not call for yeast and the other is for recipes calling for yeast. I made the first and have used it in everything!!!! But I was scared to try to make a yeast-based bread that is gluten-free. I have tasted other gluten-free breads and quite honestly don't normally like them! The texture is just wrong - they are always dry and flaky, and just not as good.

This past week I finally got brave. I have been wanting to make an Orange French Toast recipe that calls for Cinnamon Raisin Bread - but obviously to do it, I needed gluten-free cinnamon raisin bread. So I finally got brave enough to try it and I am so glad I did! PHENOMENAL!!! Again, these recipes are from "The Gluten-Free Bible." If you are gluten-free, I would HIGHLY recommend this book!

The flour mixture for yeast breads is:
1 C brown rice flour
1 C sorghum flour
3/4C millet flour or chickpea flour (I use millet)
1 C tapioca flour
1C cornstarch
1/3C unflavored instant mashed potato flakes

Mix them all together and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

3 C flour mixture from above, plus additional for rolling out dough
2 pkgs active dry yeast
2t xanthum gum
1t salt
1 1/4 C plus 2T warm milk, divided
1/4C vegetable oil (I used coconut oil)
2 eggs, at room temperature
1T honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
1t cider vinegar
3/4C raisins
1/3C sugar
1T ground cinnamon
1T gluten-free oats (optional)

1. Line 9x5 inch loaf pan with foil, dull side out. (Do not use glass loaf pan. - I used a PC stoneware pan). Extend sides of foil 3 inches up from the top of pan. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and sprinkle with four blend.
2. Combine 3 C flour blend, yeast, xanthum gum, and salt in large bowl. Which 1 1/4C milk, oil, eggs, honey, and vinegar in medium bowl. Beat milk mixture into dry ingredients with electric mixer at low speed until batter is smooth, shiny, and thick. Beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in raisins.
3. Place large sheet of parchment paper on counter. Sprinkle with flour blend. Scoop batter onto center of paper. Spread batter with back of oiled spatula or dampened hands to 9x18 inch rectangle, 3/4 inch thick. Brush remaining 2T milk over dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle all but 1T mixture over dough, leaving 1 inch border. Lightly press into dough.
4. Using parchment paper, roll dough jelly-roll style beginning at short end. Push ends in to fit length of pan and trim excess parchment paper, Lift roll using parchment paper and place in prepared pan. (Leave parchment paper in pan.) Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar and oats, if desired.
5. Cover loaf with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place 20-30 minutes or until batter reaches top of pan.
6. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375. Bake 35-45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped and internal temperature is 200 degrees. Remove from pan. Remove parchment paper and foil. Cool on wire pack.