Gluten-Free Oat & Seed Sandwich Bread
plus some links to favorite regular bread recipes
A few months ago, probably more like six at this point, I went on a gluten-free diet to help alleviate some inflammation issues. While it helped in the beginning, and led me to do a deeper dive into gluten-free baking, I found the benefits to be too minimal to continue on a 100% gluten-free diet.
I want to preface, I realize my dabbling here is entirely different than anyone’s situation dealing with a true gluten intolerance or celiac disease. I’ve no intention to give that impression. Whenever my body feels out of whack, I listen to it, and try to adjust my diet, so this is just my experience and not meant to be advice for anyone else.
I do want to add, though, that a lot of gluten-free baking relies on potato starch, and that caused a whole other issue for me since I’m sensitive to nightshades. In case you didn’t know potatoes are a nightshade, falling into the same group as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. Three other favorite foods of mine that I have to be careful about how much I consume. Even though I’m now back to eating gluten, I try to be more judicious about my choices. I went back to baking sourdough bread which feels more gentle on my stomach, and try to curb the foods I know I’m sensitive to, but this time of year, I’m not going to lie–I am eating ALL THE EGGPLANT and my fair share of tomatoes.
One recipe that did stick with me as I transitioned back to my normal diet is this Gluten-Free Oat & Seed Sandwich Bread. It’s the perfect sandwich bread and doesn’t use potato starch (tapioca starch didn’t cause any digestive problems for me). I used this recipe from The Loopy Whisk as a jumping off point, after making their original recipe twice. While I love buckwheat flour, I found their loaf a bit too dense for my liking, so swapped it out for oat flour which yields a much lighter loaf, and tastier in my opinion.
A few more changes I made to get to my ideal loaf included the kind of psyllium husk fiber I used, the amount of starch and type of sweetener. I preferred psyllium husk powder instead of the fiber, finding it absorbed better into the dough (see note below). I tweaked the amount of tapioca starch, finding I didn’t need as much once I used oat flour instead of buckwheat. And finally, I swapped honey in place of the sugar. Feel free to use either, or even go with an equal amount of maple syrup. The steps benefited from streamlining, too, so if you read the original recipe, you’ll notice the method for the yeast and psyllium husk powder are slightly different.
Many bread recipes call for adding steam during the baking process, and have you pour boiling water into a preheated pan in the oven. Over the years, I’ve moved away from this method and replaced the boiling water with ice cubes. I find they work just as well, and are less risky if you have children or pets underfoot. Plus, ice cubes melt slower, releasing the steam gradually, so no facial while you’re baking your bread.
This bread freezes beautifully. I’ve been working my way through a loaf I recently unearthed from the freezer the last time I baked it a few months ago. Rather than make one large loaf, I prefer to use two smaller loaf tins I bought in Paris years ago. They bake smaller, taller loaves of bread. It’s a personal preference really, but if you decide to do the same, you may find the overall baking time needs about 15 minutes less. The photos in this post show the loaves baked both ways. The cut loaf is how it looks baked as one large bread in a standard size loaf pan.
Anyone looking for a great gluten-free baking book recommendation should consider Aran Goyoaga’s Bakes Simple. Her baguette recipe bakes up wonderfully. Unfortunately, many of her recipes lean on potato starch, so the cookbook didn’t ultimately work for me but it’s still getting a permanent spot on my shelf because it’s beautiful, incredibly inspiring and will be a great starting point for any future gluten-free baking I decide to tackle.
There’s lots going on here at home at the moment. I just helped Isabella move into her fall housing as she embarks on her sophomore year of college. My day job has been insane. It is the opposite of quietly leaving, and I’m hoping to find a better work-life balance after Labor Day.
AND–my kitchen is finally getting renovated, which all came about in a very spur of the moment way, even though the desire to do it has been lingering on my mind for a few years now. Last time I had to live through a kitchen renovation, I didn’t. I was seven months pregnant with Virginia in 2008, and we rented an apartment a few blocks away so I could still continue my recipe development work. This time around I’m washing dishes in the bathtub and laundry work sink in the basement.
I hope summer provided some quiet moments for everyone. We technically have another month of it left according to the calendar, but I’m kinda looking forward to falling into September routines, and already prepping for holiday baking. Grapes are in the fridge awaiting a slow cook in the oven to be turned into raisins for my panettone in December.
Be well, and remember to be kind. –xo, j.
p.s. here are some bread recipes for those looking for gluten-full baking options:
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