As we edge ever closer to Thanksgiving, many of our thoughts are turning to bread. All kinds of breads like dinner rolls and sandwich loaves for those Turkey-day leftovers, and of course, stuffing. None of us should feel deprived on Thanksgiving, no matter the dietary restriction, but invariably folks living gluten-free begin to panic when considering how to tackle Thanksgiving stuffing.
Well I have some great, easy answers for you! They all involve starting now to think about your bread baking though.
Stuffing’s primary ingredient is what — bread, right? And more specifically, stale bread. So consider all those dry, crumbly store-bought frozen loaves you probably have shoved behind the frozen broccoli and veggie burgers (ok, that’s in my freezer, you think about whatever is in yours!). Those are perfect for making stuffing because they’re already stale! Use those up on your stuffing and make room in your freezer for good food!
Another option is to use this opportunity to perfect your homemade gluten-free bread baking. Anything you make between now and Thanksgiving could make its way into your stuffing dish, no matter whether you consider it to be a failure or a success. If you bake bread with that in mind, you won’t be so hard on yourself if your bread sinks or is too dry, doesn’t rise much or has a hard crust … any bread can make a decent stuffing. Really! Once you bake a few loaves, you’ll be an expert and will have worked out any kinks so you’ll be ready for those Thanksgiving dinner rolls too!
A still easier option is just to use my new bread mix, which contains all the flours, dry ingredients and yeast you’ll need to make a great, fresh loaf.
(Check out my video with a 15 year old boy making my gluten-free yeast bread mix using a bowl and wooden spoon if you think you can’t make gluten-free bread!)
So get in there and start baking, slice up any leftovers or “failures” and freeze them for your Thanksgiving stuffing, or at least dig through your freezer now to make sure you still have that door-stop (aka frozen bread) from the store that you can repurpose.
Give this recipe a try for from-scratch baking or try my new bread mix if you want to save yourself a bit of shopping, measuring and mixing. Your home will be filled with the wonderful smells of yeast bread and your heart will be relieved to know you’ll be ready for Thanksgiving with much less stress!
1/2 cup millet flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, GF Oat Flour or Jules Gluten Free™ All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup dry milk powder, dairy or non-dairy (e.g. Vance’s DariFree™ Original milk powder)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder, gluten-free
1 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbs. honey, agave nectar or coconut palm nectar
1 1/4 cup room temperature liquid:
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs (or 2 Tbs. flax seed meal steeped for 10 minutes in 6 Tbs. hot water)
1 Tbs. rapid rise or bread machine yeast, gluten-free (Red Star Quick Rise®)
1 Tbs. flaxseeds or sesame seeds
1 Tbs. coarse sea salt
If baking with scratch recipe, whisk these dry ingredients together in a large bowl: flours, milk powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In the large mixing bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the wet ingredients (honey, beer/ale, apple cider vinegar, oil and egg or flax seed and water mixture). Gradually add the dry ingredients by pouring slowly into the wet bowl while mixing with the paddle attachment. Once incorporated, add the yeast granules and beat well for 2 more minutes.
If using yogurt, the dough will be thick; if using another liquid ingredient, the dough will be more batter-like.
Spoon the dough into an oiled bread pan (use a dark metal pan if you like a darker crust on your bread; lighter, shiny metal or glass if you like a light crust).
Smooth the top, sprinkle with any toppings, then cover with a damp towel or a sheet of parchment sprayed with cooking oil. Allow the covered dough to rise for at least 30 minutes (one hour is preferable) in a warm place like an oven warming drawer or an oven preheated to 200° F then turned off.
Remove the cover from the raised dough and transfer to a preheated convection oven set to 325° F or a preheated static oven set to 350° F. Cook for approximately 60 minutes, or until the crust is browning nicely and a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (internal temperature should reach 205-210° F). Remove to a cooling rack.
When cooled for 15 minutes, gently remove from the loaf pan to finish cooling before slicing.
Prepare muffin tins or popover trays by oiling. Scoop equal amounts into each tray and smooth the tops. Sprinkle desired toppings. Cover and rise as directed above. Bake at 350° F convection or 375° F static for 12-15 minutes, or until set.
(Bread Machine Method):
Whisk together the yolks and whites before adding to the bread machine with the other liquids; alternatively, allow the flax seed meal to steep in water for 10-15 minutes before adding. Bring all liquids to room temperature before adding to the machine, if possible.
Whisk together dry ingredients and add on top of liquids in the pan. Make a well in the center and add the yeast. Select either the gluten-free bread setting on your machine, or the setting with only one rise cycle and no punch-down (2 lb loaf setting).
Once the ingredients have mixed, the dough will be very thick (much more like regular wheat flour bread dough than you may be used to with gluten-free); however, if the dough seems too thick as it is mixing in this recipe, gradually add more yogurt, one tablespoon at a time while the bread machine is mixing, until the dough is still very thick, but able to be smoothed with a spatula. Be sure to check the bread with a spatula throughout the mixing process to ensure that all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.
When the machine is done mixing, smooth the top with a rubber spatula and sprinkle any desired toppings on top of the loaf. Close lid to bake.
Test the temperature of the interior of the loaf before removing from the pan – it should have reached approximately 205-210° F. If it hasn’t yet reached that temperature, either add time to your bread machine as another bake cycle, or simply put the pan into a regular oven at 350° F (static), testing the temperature again at five minute intervals.
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