Make It Easy Monday: Simple Homemade Gluten-Free Breads
Let me tell you a secret. It might not be a juicy one, but it’s definitely a doughy, crusty, and yeasty one.
I’m terrified of my bread maker.
I’ve had a cool Cuisinart bread maker with a gluten-free setting on it for a few years now. And for whatever reason, I’m scared of actually using it to make gluten-free bread. I have these nightmarish visions of the bread oozing out the sides of the bread maker like some sort of demented tan slime, or opening it up after it’s supposed to be done to find some soupy, uncooked mess in there.
I realize these fears aren’t entirely rational. But the point is, my bread maker has been an attractive, and certainly not cheap, kitchen decoration for a while now. And since I’m still intimidated by it, on Homemade Bread Day—which is coming up tomorrow, November 17—I have to resort to other gluten-free bread options.
Now, I’m gonna cheat a little here—some of the breads I’m about to mention really need more of home preparation and aren’t exactly entirely homemade. But if you’re busy (or a scaredy-cat) like me, these homemade/home-prepared bread options I’m about to tell you about will be tasty and help save you a little time in the kitchen.
The easiest: Rudi’s Gluten-Free Ciabatta Rolls
I love these little rolls, and they’re ridiculously easy to make. They come frozen and eight to a bag (I buy the Plain kind at my local Giant), and all you have to do is preheat the oven, bake them for a few minutes, and pop ‘em right back out and into a basket on the dinner table. They’re great as dinner rolls or for dunking in soup. They taste better, and have a better consistency, fresh out of the oven; if you save one for the next day, or try to re-heat one in the microwave, the texture can get interesting. And by interesting I mean a little tough to chew. So if you don’t think you and your family will eat all eight with your meal, then just take out the amount you will eat in one sitting, bake those, and keep the rest frozen to bake some other time.
The most exotic: Brazi Bites
These round little cheese breads are as cute as they are delicious. Naturally gluten-free, they’re made from tapioca flour and inspired by a traditional Brazilian recipe. I buy Brazi Bites at my local Wegman’s, and hopefully you can find them in the frozen section of your grocery store, too. They’re a great bread to enjoy with a meal, but can also be a fun party snack or appetizer. They’re also quite easy to make; all you have to do is bake them for about 20 minutes (and they smell really yummy when they’re baking, too!). They come in four flavors: Original, Garlic Asiago, Nitrate-Free Bacon (my favorite!), and Jalapeno Pepper Jack. Helpful hint: Once they come out of the oven, set some aside for yourself before your dinner or party guests get at them—they will go quickly!
The most homemade: Luce’s Gluten-Free Artisan Bread Mixes
I love Luce’s bread mixes because they’re even easy for scaredy-cats like me to make. The bread mixes come with virtually everything you need; the only ingredient you have to add is water. I have made and enjoyed their Classic Sourdough and New Italian breads before, and both are fantastic. The taste, texture, and consistency are great; I don’t think they taste “gluten-free” at all. The bread is soft on the inside and crusty on the outside—exactly as it should be. They take a little time to prepare, but since preparation is so easy, I don’t even mind. I love making this bread to have with soup—it’s great for dipping. And if you have other ingredients you need to be “free from,” you’re in luck, because Luce’s gluten-free breads also don’t contain dairy, eggs, soy, or nuts. Luce’s bread mixes are available at a very small selection of stores, so your best bet is to buy online through the Luce’s website.
The sweetest: Pumpkin Bread using Cup4Cup Wholesome Flour
A few weeks ago, I made a really delicious pumpkin bread using Cup4Cup’s Wholesome Flour. This moist, flavorful bread is a great fall dessert or a nice treat to have with a cup of hot tea or apple cider. This, too, was very much homemade, but it was ridiculously easy. I’m still astounded that I made it without messing it up, but I think a lot of that’s because the Cup4Cup flours are really easy to use. If I can do it, so can you! Click here for the recipe and my tips and substitutions.