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Sliced gluten free loaf made with Astoria Mills - Mix #6

There is nothing like having some fresh bread right out of the oven and so this morning I decided to make a loaf. It is easy with one of my favorite Astoria Mills mixes.
Brown Bread - Mix #6 (sprouted, because it contains sprouted flax, sprouted chia seeds). Often I add a little Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 as it is a mixture of protein rich naturally gluten free seed grains like Teff and Quinoa. But this morning, I was in a hurry so just right out of the package it was.

For a large loaf in a tin you need a little more than the 2 cups usually called for on the package. 2 cups makes a nice artisan loaf or rolls though. And as I was planning on sliced bread, I wanted to give this just a little more oomph, so I added 4 eggs instead of the regular 2. Eggs also add lots of nutrition also.

Here is the Recipe for Gluten Free Sprouted Bread:
I placed,
4 eggs in a large bowl, added 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water (no oil) and whisked them up until a little frothy about 30 seconds.

Next I added
3 cups of Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6 ( enriched with vitamins, minerals and resistant starch, as well as containing ground chia seeds, sweet potato flour and sprouted flax and sprouted chia)

Mix6 1 Dough after just mixing liquids and dry mix together.

Stirred the whole thing up and let it sit and proof for a half hour.

Shaping the dough with a little Mix #3

Next I placed a little Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3 on my counter top and scraping all the dough out onto the counter, I lightly mixed in a little of the #3 dusting mix. Just a couple of tablespoons in all I guesstimate. It doesn't need a lot of kneading, just enough to shape it and get it ready for the loaf pan. I find doing this gets more height and looks more like real bread than just scraping the dough into the loaf pan. Mix #3 helps it do its thing.

Here is the dough, rolled and shaped into a loaf ready to go into the bread pan.

Without working it too much, the dough is now nicely shaped and ready to go into the bread pan which I have coated with a little Pam gf cooking spray ( make sure you use the original that does not have added flour) You can grease the pan as you like. Usually I either pat the loaf with a little water, oil, or egg wash, but today as I was in a rush to go do other things, I just gave it a spray of Pam as well.

Gluten Free Sprouted dough in bread pan

Now to let the dough proof (or rise) for about 2 hours so that the yeast has a chance to go all through the loaf and make it rise properly. In summer, room temperature is ok. Ideal temperature for proofing is around 90 degrees F.  But it is winter and so I am making a little makeshift proofer to help things a long a little. Some cozy place is good, some people microwave a cup of water and put the loaf in there to rise. Here, I am adding boiling water to two little ramekins placed beside the dough in the pan and covering it over with a large bowl.

Boiling water in Ramekins to help proof the bread dough
Bowl inverted over dough to keep warmth in.

It is not shown here, but I also put a towel on top of the inverted bowl to help keep in the warmth. Then I went and did something else, answered emails, talked on the phone and stuff and just let it proof for two hours.

Score the top with a sharp knife.

Before placing the dough into the pre-heated to 350F oven, I took a sharp knife and scored the top of the dough. On rising, the dough will split open. I think it is prettier if you give it a place to split along one side rather than the middle. You can score it any way you like.

Voila, the fresh gluten free loaf comes out of the oven

After 40 minutes in the oven, I reached in and tapped the loaf, it sounded hollow, you get the hang of it. I let it bake another 5 minutes just to be really sure. Here is the lovely loaf, still in the pan. It is best to remove the bread from the pan right away and let it cool on a counter or rack so that the steam can escape on all sides and keep the bread from becoming soggy on the bottom.

The Loaf of Bread cooling before slicing.

Now just look at that delicious loaf of bread. You will want to slice into it right away and have a taste. But be patient if you can and let it cool some. Just to warm is all I could stand the wait for. Then I sliced it all as I planned to freeze it and use it as needed. Putting it in the freezer also keeps me from eating too much as a go. So I take a couple of slices out for toast in the mornings, if we are going out and need a lunch, I can make the sandwiches while the bread is still frozen and wrap. They keep well and will thaw by the time we eat them. You don't have to freeze this bread if you are going to eat it within a week, just keep it refrigerated. Wrap in plastic wrap or baggie. Makes awesome toast too.

The bread slices reasonably thinly without crumbling, it is soft on the inside, a little springy with a soft not too thick crust. Just right, I think. Hope you enjoy making some sprouted breads or buns using Astoria Mills Brown Bread - Mix #6

Delicious and healthy.

Sliced gluten free sandwich loaf

This loaf made 18 wonderful slices of gluten free bread counting the end slices.
This is a good value. One 2.2 lbs. bag of mix  at 14.49  makes about 3 loaves depending on size, so under $5.00 a loaf.

Fresh out of the oven, made with your own loving hands... priceless!

For more Astoria Mills enriched gluten free mixes and to find out more information
click here.

Each mix makes lots of recipes. See free e-cookbook

Additional information: The next day I removed the frozen sliced bread from the freezer and took a few slices to see how it was. It was easy to break apart pieces of bread in single slices to toast and also thaw and make a sandwich. The bread didn't crumble and it was soft and nice when made into a jelly sandwich. Here are some photographs from the next day.

Slice of frozen bread thawing on counter.
Apricot jam sandwich made on thawed slices of bread
Toast made from frozen slices of gluten free bread

The frozen slice of bread photo was taken at my kitchen window, the light is cooler there. The sandwiches and toast, I took out onto the porch, a little more light there and the walls are yellow. This accounts for the difference in the look of the breads.

This bread was yummy and nice to have in the freezer to take out a slice or two at a time. Some of the best tasting gluten free bread, if I do say so myself. You never get bored with Mix #6 as since it is a dough, not a batter, you can have any shapes you like. Add a little Aztec Harvest Blend - Mix #4 and it is different again. Hope you have fun baking and eating fresh bread from your oven.

For more Astoria Mills enriched gluten free mixes and to find out more information
click here.

Hot Cross Buns

Memories of Easter for me always center around making or baking something. Making treats and a special meal or two for family. It is a special time to share crafts and activities with family and friends. Usually we would do something like paint eggs when the children were small, make some cut out cookies or homemade taffy.

Then there was always the egg hunt, placing eggs down the stairway and hiding them among the furniture for eager little ones to find, or outside weather permitting.

Before going gluten free, we always bought Hot Cross Buns which were available a couple of weeks before Easter. They were good for breakfasts and even a treat for a sandwich lunch. So this year I decided to make a gluten free version of Hot Cross Buns to share with you.

These are easy to make with Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 as the base. Here is the recipe and a few photographs. I made and baked some right away to take as a picnic lunch on a trail hike and also froze some un-baked which I can bake without any work at all for Easter Sunday brunch.

Make Ahead Hot Cross Buns Recipe

1. In a bowl place dry ingredients:
4 cups of Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7
1/3 cup soft butter (or margarine)
3 tablespoons sugar
Blend with fingers to mix together - set aside.

2. Wet ingredients:
6 eggs beaten until light and frothy
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water (or milk)

3. Beat or whisk in dry ingredients until batter is smooth. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of the dough and place in a separate bowl. This is for the crosses.

4. To the first dough mixture add the spices:
Juice and zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
( you can also add raisins and candied peel at this point, although I didn't for the ones shown)

Dough for Hot Cross Buns

5. Let both dough mixtures proof covered for about 2 hours.

6. Knead the spiced dough with a little Astoria Mills Fine Flour - Mix #3. Just add enough to make a workable dough, too much and the buns may become a bit heavier although still good.

Using a pastry brush, brush an egg wash on top of each bun. An egg wash is a mixture of egg and water)

7. Take the plain or white dough mixture and knead it gently and roll out into a round from which you can cut strips to place on the buns in the shape of an X.  Let the buns rise for another 30 minutes and either bake or freeze to bake later.

Ready to bake Hot Cross Buns

I baked 4 large ones as shown right away, and froze 4 to bake later. You could make them smaller, but I wanted large ones for hearty chicken sandwiches.

8. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes until browned. To bake frozen buns, place buns frozen into a cold oven. Turn oven on to 350F and bake for about 40 minutes.

Hot Cross Buns - just out of the oven!

9. For an extra special touch, you can add white icing to the 'cross' or just make the cross with some white icing. Just mix together a little soft butter, icing sugar, and a little cream for the icing. Since I was using these for sandwiches, I omitted the icing.

For breakfast the next morning I toasted a bun, buttered both sides, placed together and cut it in half. So we would each get equal top and bottom :) One was enough for the two of us.

For our hike through the woods I packed a picnic lunch consisting of two Hot Cross Buns filled with chicken breast and gf mayo, a couple of oranges, bananas and bottled water. Sure tasted good after our three hour trek through beautiful Niagara Glen!

Gluten Free Lunch at Niagara Glen

The photograph above shows our Hot Cross Bun lunch perched on a part of a fence overlooking the Niagara River. It was a beautiful sunny early spring day in March and the river was visible at lots of points along the trails when it would probably have been hidden behind foliage in summer. Lunch sure tasted good!

I had to be quick to get a photograph of the sandwich inside before it got eaten.

...almost eaten sandwich

Hope you will try making some delicious gluten free Hot Cross Buns with
Astoria Mills White Bread - Mix #7 ...Yummy for sure! Good for you too, with the added vitamin and mineral formula and resistant starch already in the mix - easy on the digestion and it stays with you.