It’s been a while since I’ve baked bread. I don’t really do it much – I don’t often have the time to allow dough to rise and all that jazz – and besides, up until recently, I haven’t done well when consuming many grains. (Over time, though, I’m finding I’m more able to tolerate them in moderate amounts. Hooray for healing!) But the other day, I decided it was time. Time to get back out the flours, knead some dough, and make some real, honest, good bread. I’ve been working on a bread that would be delicious for sandwiches for a long while. I was inspired by this recipe over at The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen, but I played, played, and played some more with the recipe. I wanted to make something that was corn-free, so my corn intolerant family members could enjoy it, and so I used different flours and in varying amounts until it was right for me.
What I love about this bread is that it’s not dry. It doesn’t have to be toasted to be enjoyable, and it doesn’t crumble when made into a sandwich. It’s pliable, flavorful, and filling. I’ve enjoyed several turkey sandwiches with it this week, in fact. A sandwich is a simple thing, really, but it’s something I’ve missed. I’ve never been a huge sandwich “person”, but to have one every now and then is truly wonderful.
Anyway, back to this bread. I highly encourage you to try out a loaf for yourself. It’s therapeutic. Kneading dough is something many of us gluten-free bakers rarely get to do anymore. Usually, gluten-free dough isn’t kneadable. This is. Take advantage of it, and release some stress! You won’t overwork the dough – there’s no gluten in it, after all! Then relieve more stress when you bite into your first slice, because after all, my friend, it’s the best thing since…well, it is sliced bread!
Honey Teff Bread (gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free) – adapted from Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
2 ½ c warm water (105-110 degrees)
2 active dry yeast packets
3 T honey
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/3 c ground chia seeds
¼ c psyllium husk powder
1 c teff flour
½ c sorghum flour
1 c millet flour
½ c sweet white rice flour, plus more for kneading
2 t kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
Place the warm water in a bowl or 4-cup liquid glass measure. Add the yeast and honey, whisk together. Let rest for 5 to 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The mixture should get foamy or bubbly.
While the yeast is activating, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
After the yeast mixture is all bubbly, whisk in the olive oil, ground chia seeds, and psyllium husks into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for a minute or two to let the chia and psyllium get thick.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together until thick. I usually start by using a wooden spoon and then eventually get in there with my hands for this step. Knead the dough to incorporate the flour – you could do this on a floured wooden board, or do as I do, and simply knead while it’s in a large bowl. Add additional sweet white rice flour, a little at a time, until the dough holds together and isn’t too sticky (about ¼ to ½ cup total). Form dough into a ball and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot to rise. Let dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
After the dough has risen, place a pizza stone in your oven on the center rack. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Punch down the dough a bit and knead again for a minute or two. Form into a round ball. Place on a piece of parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut slits on top. Pour a little olive oil on your hands and lightly rub over the top of the bread, and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let rise for about 30 minutes while the oven and stone are preheating.
Carefully lift the parchment paper with the risen loaf on top and place it onto the stone in the oven. Bake for about 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for an hour before cutting into it. It is preferred to allow to cool on a rack to allow air to circulate around the loaf. The bread will be somewhat gummy if cut into while the loaf is still hot.
Store leftovers for a day at room temperature, but store in the refrigerator for longer term storage – about a week.