Out of all of the baked goods I can think of, gluten-free vegan bread has been the most exhaustive on my list. In the past week I have made (and failed at) probably somewhere near 6 loaves. Just in this past week. That doesn’t include the week before, which if added together I probably made a total of 13. I have been on a witch hunt trying to present to you, my friends, a truly worthy gluten-free vegan bread to make at home that 1). Isn’t as heavy as a 24lb rock; 2). Is soft and moist but not gummy in the middle; 3). Actually rises like a normal loaf–not a goofy 2″ sized slice; and 4). Tastes good.
It’s been a mission more difficult than anticipated but one that has been accomplished. Come join me as I ring in the New Year with a new recipe for gluten-free vegan bread!
First of all, can we talk about how sexy the rise is on this bread? Yes, let us!
*insert wolf whistle here*
Sexy, sexy. Maybe it’s just me but when I see a rise like this, I get a little sweaty.
Focus Cara. Let’s talk about this bread recipe and what went wrong with the previous ones, shall we? I kept trying repetitively to recreate a texture familiar in a regular loaf but found that simply combining yeast and gluten-free flour without eggs only created a very dense bread. If I want that, I might as well buy the store-bought versions. You know what I’m talking about. I’m not interested in a slice of bread that fits into the palm of my hand and weighs the same as my head. So I tried a mix of chia seeds, flax meal, and ground psyllium husk for each trial but I wasn’t happy with the results I was looking for (I might actually go back to chia and psyllium for a more compact sandwich loaf later). But right now I am looking for a soft bread that is reminiscent of the loaf I used to make in the bread machine. I would slice it in the morning, toast it, and spread some butter and apricot jam all over it and enjoy it with a cup of tea for breakfast. Slap yo’ mama, I found its gluten-free vegan version.
So how could I recreate that texture if not with the help of eggs? That got my brain thinking about other recipes I have and it hit me–Why am I not using my apple cider vinegar and baking soda trick that I love? 1). It will help with the rise in the bread for sure (see the first picture to remind yourself how well it actually worked), and 2). It will aid with a soft, light texture I’m looking for (as seen in the rest of these pictures). I made this recipe twice now, switching up the amount of vinegar and baking soda and I didn’t notice that big of a difference. I loved the results from both of them…and I’m really hoping you will too.
If you find your bread is too soft for your liking (might I add in here again that this is soft bread–just what I was trying to attain) go ahead and toast it up for a firmer slice.
- 2¼ tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 c. warm nondairy milk
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1 c. warm water
- 5 Tbsp. ground white chia seeds
- 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- In a medium bowl combine the warmed nondairy milk with the yeast and sugar. Allow to proof until frothy (approx.10 minutes).
- Add the water, oil, vinegar, and chia seeds into the yeast mix and whisk until well-combined. Allow to sit for another 2 minutes so the chia seeds expand.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Spoon the batter into a 8x4 (20x10 cm) loaf pan. Using the back of a spoon smooth out the top and gently press down to ensure there are no gaps in the batter. Allow to rise until the loaf rise just to the top of the pan (approx. 30 to 45 minutes) in a warm, non-drafty area of your kitchen. If it doubles before the allotted time, that's okay. Just proceed to baking it, no need to wait the total time.
- Preheat oven to 350*F (190*C).
- Place the loaf in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 60 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan briefly until you can remove it and transfer to a wire rack until it has completely cooled
Since I started writing my cookbook, I began to play around with different blends. And by play around, I mean I ran out of my usual flours and since where I live in Los Angeles has a terrible selection of gluten-free flours, I was in a great bind and needed to create a blend stat. I happened to have both whole oats and millet in my cupboard and so I ground them in my blender and found out how awesome this blend truly is! If you cannot digest oats, you can replace it with a Medium-Based Flour found in this post. Might I suggest that brown rice flour would also do well as a substitute.
Things to keep in mind when making this bread:
- The dough for gluten-free vegan bread is actually more like a thick batter. Do not necessarily expect it to look as you remember it to be from its gluten-filled counterpart. When you pour the batter into the loaf pan, you are almost spooning it in.
- Make sure your oven is at the correct temperature. Too hot and the crust will be crispy with a gummy inside OR will even make your bread collaspe.
- Use a heavy loaf pan to ensure your bread is evenly baked.
- If you think your bread has cooled enough to slice into, wait another hour. If you are anything like me, I get impatient but then pay for it with an uncooked middle.
Stay tuned because I created gluten-free vegan FRENCH TOAST from this loaf. Say whaaaa? Your bellies never smiled this much. Recipe to come by the end of the week, hooray!