Gluten-free bread. Oh, gluten-free bread. How I love you. And how you make me crazy at times. You’re so temperamental. Such attitude. You sometimes turn out beautifully (like the Gluten-Free English Muffin Bread…my oh gorgeous!) and other times you’re just flop. Yes, I’d say that we definitely have a love-hate relationship.
Gluten-free bread is something I’ve tried to tackle many, many times. I’ve shared some of my successes on the blog before (hello Gluten-Free Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Pumpkin Quinoa Bread), but there are also lots of failures that I haven’t shared. I’ve tried to make gluten-free bread with no eggs: crumbly. I tried to make a banana oatmeal bread: didn’t cook through. I hate to even think about how many ingredients I’ve wasted over the years.
But that’s the price you pay when you can’t eat gluten and you love bread. So when I finally nail the perfect sandwich bread, I just HAVE to share it. Enter my newest obsession: high protein quinoa bread!
My dilemma this time around was that I wanted a gluten-free bread that was lower in starch that my normal recipes, but also higher in protein. After a little research, it turns out, protein actually helps give gluten-free bread some of its structure, so we were in luck.
Really, it makes sense if you think about it. Gluten is a protein itself and is found in “regular” flour and forms when flour and water are combined. It turns into this stretchy, elastic thing that helps us make things like pasta, kneadable bread dough, and pizza dough that you can flip over your head. Basically, gluten helps give structure to dough, especially in yeast breads, as they rely heavily on the formation of gluten.
So taking that knowledge and switching to gluten-free flour, where there is none of this protein is available, adding more protein to your flour blend makes sense. I would even venture to say the more proteins you can add to your bread dough, often times the better. Or at least you’ll have a better structure to your yeast breads.
Quinoa, as I’m sure you already know from my “What is Quinoa” page, is full of protein. So the flour, made from grinding whole quinoa seeds, is also high in protein. In fact, it’s one of the highest protein gluten-free flours.
Another flour that’s also high in protein is chickpea (or garbanzo bean) flour, which is made from, yes you guessed it, chickpeas! So with a combination of the two flours, you’ve got a high-protein mixture on your hands. Perfect for baking a wonderful loaf gluten-free quinoa bread, right?
Now, before we get to the recipe, I just want to warn you of something. I made this recipe using a scale to weigh my flours. Typically I share my baking recipes using cup measurements, but for this bread recipe I wanted to be very exact with my ratios.
And because it’s so good, I wanted to get it in your hands as quickly as possible. I haven’t tested it with cup measurements yet, but when I do, I’ll be sure to come back to this post and update it.
I also based this recipe off a percentage model. I wanted to create a recipe that was roughly 65% whole grain flours and 35% starch. Here’s a little diagram of my flour breakdown for this quinoa bread recipe:
And I will say, this is my new favorite bread recipe. It has a nice whole grain flavor, a perfect crumb and it toasts up beautifully. You could use it for sandwiches in your kiddos lunch boxes, you could have avocado toast for breakfast or you could make french toast next weekend. It’s incredibly versatile, and is full of whole-grain goodies!
ps: I highly recommend you invest in a kitchen scale, especially if you’re a baker, it will help you be more accurate with your recipes, and will help guarantee results (especially with those temperamental gluten-free flours). Again, here is the one I recommend: http://amzn.to/1cFJRTh
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1½ cups water, about 90 degrees
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 4 oz chickpea / garbanzo bean flour
- 4 oz toasted quinoa flour
- 3.5 oz sorghum flour
- 5.5 oz potato starch
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons almond oil (or other light flavored oil)
- 2 tablespoons raw white quinoa (optional)
- 2 tablespoons raw sunflower seeds (optional)
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds (optional)
- Whisk honey into warm water and add yeast. Let stand for 5 - 8 minutes until yeast has bloomed and is puffy.
- Meanwhile, whisk together dry ingredients and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. In a small bowl, beat together eggs and oil.
- With the mixer running on low speed, add yeast mixture and let incorporate for a few seconds. Add eggs and almond oil, and mix for 2 minutes. Turn mixer to medium speed, and mix for another minute, adding raw quinoa, sunflower seeds, and poppy seeds if using.
- Line a loaf pan (I recommend this one)with parchment paper and pour dough inside. Place in a warm, draft-free space in your house and let rise for 30 - 45 minutes until loaf has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When dough has risen, bake on the center rack for 40 - 50 minutes until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
- Remove bread from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Store extra bread in freezer (wrap in tinfoil and place in a sealable plastic bag.
* To toast your quinoa flour, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread your quinoa flour onto the baking sheet in a thin layer. Bake for 1 - 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes or so, until the flour has turned golden brown.
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