It makes me mad when I hear relatively recently diagnosed Celiacs talk about how they haven’t had pizza or bread since diagnosis… or that when they have had it, they didn’t enjoy it. It is not that I am mad at them- far from it! No, I’m mad at a society that equates bread products with gluten, and mad at companies that create allergen-free bread completely lacking in taste or appeal that scar these poor souls so dreadfully that they vow off bread entirely.
Oh, I know there is a school of thought that says breads are over-rated, and what we all need to do is go back to the basics. Protein, Vegetable, Fruit, crunchy grain that looks like bird seed (preferably boiled). I suppose that might be healthy and good for the body, sometimes. And this diet certainly simplifies life when you are first overwhelmed by a bewildering new diagnosis. But all the time? Forever and ever? No! Just say no, I say. Because toothsome, luscious, crunchy bread and supple, seductive pizza is something I would never want to live without… and all of us gluten-sensitive people don’t have to. And… furthermore, let me tell you a secret. Even if you can’t have dairy, or eggs, or soy- you can still have amazing bread that kicks all those lead weight gluten-free breads to the curb.
I’ve finally gotten to the point with my darling baby Yum where I can have enough ingredients to make some really tasty baked goods. Karina the gluten-free goddess showed me the ropes there, to the joy that is rice-free, dairy-free, egg-free baking. But glorious and abundant as her site is- there are still things I want to eat that haven’t been created yet. And so, this week I turned my sights to french bread. Ah, french bread. I’ve long had an affair with Bette Hagman’s classic white rice-tapioca rapid rise french bread. But, its reliance on eggs, flirtation with dairy, and rice-heavy base just doesn’t work for me these days. My spiced basil-balsamic dipping oil recipe was getting dusty… and so, I wiped off my beloved Kitchenaid and started experimenting. This loaf was the incredibly satisfying result.
We took this loaf on a car-picnic to the drive-in movie with Baby Yum. Basil dipping oil? Check. Caraway and fresh Beet vinaigrette salad? Check. And the bread? With its crunchy exterior and soft center, it was wonderfully rippable, and made up for my long lost rice french bread big time.
Gluten-free Sorghum Rosemary french bread recipe
Special equipment *french bread pan- worth every penny!
spectrum shortening (or other palm oil shortening, or coconut oil)
Millet grits (or cornmeal if corn is not an issue for you)
1 1/2 cup sorghum flour
melted Soy-free dairy-free earth balance margarine
Preheat oven to 375F.
Grease TWO SIDES of french bread pan with shortening or coconut oil and sprinkle with millet grits or other gritty gluten-free substance like cornmeal. (Recipe makes two french bread loaves) Do NOT line french bread with aluminum foil or anything like that- the holes are there for a reason and the dough is thick enough that it will not leak out the bottom.
Combine dry ingredients (through 1st egg replacer) in a medium mixing bowl of a standing mixer and fold together. Put sugar and lukewarm water in a small bowl and add yeast. As it starts to puff up, add the yeast water to the medium mixing bowl. Add olive oil, egg replacer “Eggs” and vinegar and mix on medium for 3 minutes.
Carefully scoop out your dough and make TWO bread shaped ovals in your french bread pan. Baste with melted margarine and make a few slightly slanted decorative slices in the top. Sprinkle with crushed rosemary and flaked kosher salt.
Let rise for 20-30 minutes or until about doubled in size.*
Bake for 25-30 minutes or until bread sounds slightly hollow when you tap it and is a nice brown color.