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random musings of a crazy cat lady

Monday, March 17, 2014

Cook's Illustrated Gluten-Free Multigrain Sandwich Bread

 I've been baking my way through the Cook's Illustrated gluten-free cookbook, but I hadn't baked any of the breads yet, mainly because of time but also because I didn't have the secret ingredient, which is psyllium husk, aka the active ingredient in metamucil.  However, my grad school friend Adam recently messaged me asking for a gluten-free bread recipe to use for his chemistry of cooking class, and that spurred me to order some powdered psyllium.
I was feeling a little guilty about blogging recipes from the book, but when I went to go find a recipe for Adam, I saw that CI had sent copies of the book to several gluten-free baking bloggers and they had already blogged some of the recipes, so I stopped feeling guilty.
The first recipe I tried was the chewy multigrain bread.  It contains sunflower seeds and gets its multi-grain from a hot cereal mix (Bob's Red Mill Mighty Grains) - this is a CI trick that they used in their regular bread recipes.  I had a pack of the hot cereal mix and really didn't like it so I wanted to use it up.
I made one loaf last night, and it was tasty but very dense.  It is cold in my kitchen and it didn't rise enough.  (Also, my yeast is kind of old.)  Today I made another loaf, because I am a geek and also because it is 15F here today.  Joe and I were going to pull out the smoker and smoke some beef and pork, but the forecast changed and instead of being in the 40's it is butt cold...too cold to smoke.  Not too cold to be a baking geek and make another loaf of the bread.  I kept everything the same, but let it rise a lot more. This time it was a lot less dense, although no one would ever describe it as fluffy.  It has a nice, bready flavor and makes good toast. 

Gluten-Free Chewy Multigrain Bread

11 1/2 oz GF flour blend (appx 2 1/2 cups)
4 oz Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty hot cereal mix (3/4 cup)
1 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) dried milk powder
3 tbsp powdered psyllium husk
1 tbsp instant or rapid rise yeast
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cups warm water.
 2 tbsp sunflower, sesame, or flax seeds 

In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, mix dry ingredients until blended.  Beat eggs and add water, oil, and honey.  Mix to blend thoroughly and then add in several portions to dry ingedients.  Mix at low speed until blended, and then increase the speed to medium and mix for 6 minutes.  Mixture will resemble very sticky cookie dough.  Add seeds (if desired) and mix to blend.
Spray a 8"x4" loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.  Place dough in pan.  Wet your hands and press dough gently into corners and smooth out the top.  Wrap foil around the outside of the pan so it makes a tent about 1" or 2" above the top of the pan.  This will keep the load from spreading too much or overflowing the pan or sticking to the plastic wrap.  Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top and let rise in a warm place until it is appx 50% larger (CI said it takes an hour, but it took about 2 hours for me.) Don't bake it too soon unless you want a dense loaf.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Spray or brush loaf with a bit of water and bake 1 1/2 hours. Rotate the pan about halfway through the baking process.  The bread is done when it is golden, crust is firm and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Let bread cool in its pan for 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and let it cool on a rack for 2 hours, or until completely cool.

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