13 October 2009

gluten-free pantry favorite sandwich bread

Lately my favorite post-run snack has been toast with peanut butter. On a work day I eat one slice right away and bring another with me to snack on later in the morning. On other days I lounge about, eating my peanut butter toast at a leisurely pace whilst blogging and watching CNN.

I really like the Bob's Red Mill Wonderful Sandwich Bread mix but I'd been eating it for over a year with no other bread variety. I was sick of it. A few weeks ago I found a long-forgotten box of Gluten-Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread Mix in my cupboard. Someone had sent it to me in a care package and since it was never really my favorite bread, I let it sit. But I was desperate for bread so I decided to give it another try.

And of course it was great, this second time around. The Bob's Red Mill bread mix is heavy and beany while the GF Pantry mix is lighter. I'm not a huge fan of white bread in general, but when I don't have other options, I'd like as light a bread as possible. 

In theory, making bread is easy. Add ingredients to bread machine and turn on. In practice, it actually takes me a little effort and one of the reasons I avoid it is my irrational resentment toward not being able to run out to the store and buy a loaf of bread like a normal person. Since my bread machine is for a 1.5-pound loaf but the GF Pantry mix is for a 2-pound loaf, I must halve the recipe. I also have to pray that the electricity stays on for the three consecutive hours necessary to run the machine nonstop. 

One adjustment that I make that I find not to be a chore, because it makes a difference in the quality of the bread, is the yeast preparation. I've found the yeast that's included in the mix is often flat, or else it's not even there. I learned a trick to yeast prepping that's been working quite well in my bread machine. Measure out the required amount of water and make sure it's warm. Then add the required amount of yeast with a small amount of honey. Do this before you start assembling the other ingredients. Just before you turn on the bread machine, add the yeast mixture. It should be foamy and smell deliciously yeasty. I've found that starting the yeast reaction early makes for a more successful loaf. (Maybe it's just my machine, but if your machine makes bread that hasn't risen enough, try this method.)

This morning I went running for the first time in about a week. I really need to get back on the road, but I couldn't make my bread. Which meant that I couldn't have my favorite snack. Which really affected me psychologically. I'm still trying to figure out combining the runner's diet with the celiac's diet.

Gluten-Free Pantry mixes are available online at GlutenFree.com and Amazon.com Groceries. They can often be found at Whole Foods and even mainstream grocery stores such as Safeway.

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