Wouldn’t you agree? The smell of baking bread reminds me of my grandmother, who used to make/bake bread from scratch on a regular basis. It was the best late night treat too; just toast a slice or two up and spread some butter…mmmm goodness!!
But ever since being diagnosed with celiac disease, I have to admit, it has been tough trying to find that right slice of bread. Either the loaves are too dense/heavy, burn too easily in the toaster or just fall apart! Not to mention the cost too, oh my! But there is another issue with having to choose a gluten free version, is that it can be hard to find brands that have enough fibre in them. Some people tend to think that going gluten free is a healthier way, (and for those of us diagnosed with celiac disease it is) but we do tend to have lower intakes of certain nutrients, that that includes fibre. How do you get around this? By adding fibre through whole grains in different ways. This bread recipe that I chose to make is from @glutenfreeonashoestring. I’ve used some of her recipes before and have yet to be disappointed! I did have to make an adjustment this time with the type of all purpose gluten free flour, as the brand she used wasn’t available. As for the whole grains added, she used teff.
What is teff you ask? Teff is a very tiny whole grain that’s also known as Ergo…It’s grown in Ethiopia and used widely there. It’s a great source of protein, fibre, iron, calcium, manganese, phosphorus and even vitamin C! Since it’s a great source of fibre it can help keeping lower cholesterol levels as well as blood sugars AND even help speed up your digestion...ahem…if you know what I mean ;) You can cook them like any grain and they can even be added to baked goods, like the bread I made! They have a nutty taste to them too, like most whole grains. I will mention however, they are not the cheapest grain out there. But if you do come across a sale, consider trying them out!
As for the recipe, you can check out www.glutenfreeonashoestring.com or look below for the recipe. Do you have any favorite bread recipes?
Whole Grain Gluten Free Bread
2 ½ cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Cloud 9 brand which already has xanthum gum included)
3 tbsp whole grain teff
½ cup + 1 tbsp certified gluten free oat flour (or just use a blender and grind into a powder)
¼ tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp instant yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp molasses
2 egg whites at room temperature
1 ½ cups of warm milk, about 95°F (I used 1% milk)
Grease and line a standard 9-inch x 5 inch loaf pan and set it aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle adjustment, place the flour, teff, oat flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, sugar and yeast. Whisk with a separate handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt and whisk again to combine. (*Note. I do not have a stand mixer, or a handheld one for that matter (she doesn’t recommend to use one either way), therefore I mixed everything with a wooden spatula by hand. It’s a bit of a workout, but well worth it!)
Add the butter, vinegar, molasses, egg whites and milk and mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together, then mix on high speed for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a wet spatula. Cover the dough with an oiled plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free area until the dough rises about 150% of its original volume. When the dough is nearly finished rising, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Remove the plastic wrap and place the loaf pan in the middle of the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 minutes or until the load is firm enough to take out of the pan. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and place it on a rimmed baking sheet. Return to the oven and bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing and serving.
* I ended up slicing it all and freezing the uneaten portion.
Iron is one of those minerals that some people just have a hard enough time getting enough of, especially if you are following a vegan or vegetarian way of eating. Irons’ main role in the body is to help us make red blood cells, which in turn help carry oxygen to our cells. The haemoglobin is a protein which gives the red blood cells their colour and is also a place where iron is stored. Iron can also be stored in the muscles. But I have to say that Popeye was wrong, iron won’t help you build muscles ;)
When our stores of iron become too low; either by blood loss, medications, low iron in the diet and/or issues absorbing iron we can become iron deficient or even anemic. Iron deficiency is actually quite common around the world. Common symptoms of iron deficiency can be paleness, fatigue and short of breath. There have also been many studies showing a link between low iron and mental health issues such as low mood. A simple blood test can be done in order to determine where your iron levels are compared to the normal range.
How much do you need? Well, it depend on if you are male or female, pregnant and even your age. If you follow a vegetarian or vegan way of eating you will need to increase your intake by almost double. This is because the type of iron found in plant based foods doesn’t absorb as well in the body. There are two types of iron, heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron can be found mostly in animal products, whereas non-heme can be found mostly in plant based foods. To help the absorption of the iron in foods, pair it with something rich in vitamin C, like fruits or vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers! Tea and calcium can both interfere with how the body absorbs iron, so try your best to not always have them with meals rich in iron.
One might think that I would recommend beef as the best source of iron in foods, but honestly, seafood can also be a great source. Such as oysters! These babies can give you from 3-9 mg per serving! I never used to like oysters, but I have definitely grown to love them! Other options would be organ meats (not recommended on a frequent basis), other seafood and fish options and of course beef. For plant based sources, you are looking for soybeans and other pulses, nuts and seeds (like pumpkin seeds) and eggs!
If you are generally tired and your sleep seems to be ok, maybe you should question where your iron level is at and consider adding some iron rich foods to your diet :)
I work as a Dietitian and definitely walk the talk. I love to cook and help people get back to being healthy again.