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Sunday, July 11, 2010

GF Bread, part 3

Yeah, no pics 'cause I'm a hungry dude.

GF dough is amazingly hard to mix by hand. The stuff gets thick so fast, it's like trying to mix cement. Really dryyyyyy cement. Yeast, flour (a mix of cornflour, rice, xantham gum and other components that I won't bore you with), oil, eggs, and water - that's all that is needed!

However, fresh GF bread is TASTY. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. I needed a 2nd opinion and so I twisted Kel's arm into being a taste tester. I think she survived.... she did eat all of her steakburger, however, steak on just about anything is tasty! ;-)

So, there you have it - I definitely prefer my homemade bread over store bought. It takes about 2 1/2 hours all told, from mixing to setting/rising and then baking and cooling. Add some slicing in and freezing (since it doesn't keep very well, the instructions are to freeze it as soon as possible after baking) and I've got bread for a week!

Now off to make some French GF toast.... :-D

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gluten Free bread, post 2

I'd forgotten how good hamburger buns are. Well, let me back up. Tonight's dinner was used toasted GF bread with turkey cheeseburgers and smoky BBQ sauce. Mmm mmmm! I've been mostly eating hamburgers by having a side of rice or mashed taters, then a veggie of sorts - perhaps a medley, perhaps some green beans, something like that. A pretty well rounded meal there, y'think? Well, I'm expanding that a bit more so that if I were to make bread, I'd be able to make my own sandwiches to carry the hamburgers in!

One of my biggest frustrations with GF dieting these days is that it's nearly impossible to eat out, especially when on the road. Suppose I'm driving back from a job in St. Louis, and I'm not interested in stopping at a sit-down restaurant that serves GF food. Fast food is my remaining choice - not healthy, but at least it'll save me time so I can get home and get a proper workout in, or perhaps a real meal. Thing is, the vast majority of fast food places have nary a thing on the menu that is GF - McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Sonics, Wendy's, Hardees. I might be able to get away with ordering a salad - but that's no good when I'm driving. Ever tried eating a salad at 70mph? Most of the food ends up ON YOU.

One thing I'm contemplating is ordering things like Arby's where they can serve to me without a bun and then using my own bread to eat. If I can make or get some good bread, then I'll be set! No need to starve when I can grab some meat and make into a GF sammich! The roads will be a tad safer too.... ;-)

GF Bread goal, step 1

Some of the steps I've taken recently to reach my goal this week:

1) Found some websites for recipes, getting an idea just how much work it'll take to get a passable loaf of bread going! (example:

2) Went out and got what I figured was as good as possible bread out there, to compare tastes with - "Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread." It's frozen for freshness, so I toasted a few slices and ate with butter - yum! So.... maybe I can make this work!

3) Went shopping and compared prices for the components I'll need - mixers, bread loaf pans, and even bread machines that do all the work for ya! Work smarter, not harder, eh? ;-)

Next steps - to put together a recipe and schedule time to bake!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Goal for this week in July (4-11)

Starting with this post, I intend to commit to and execute a plan towards meeting goals that I wish to accomplish in 2010. The year is halfway over and some of the things I keep reminding myself to set out to do keep getting deferred. Well, I'm going to defer no more and blog to keep track of what I want to do that week. I do open up my blogsite most every day to decide if I want to post or scan the RSS reader on other people's blogs. But mostly, since only I can be in charge of my own self improvement, I'm gonna use it as a way to keep myself accountable. If you wanna join the fun and keep me accountable yourself, fine by me!

My goal for this week, the first full week in July, is to bake a loaf of bread. Not just any loaf, mind you. A loaf of honest-to-goodness gluten-free bread, and hope that it'll taste somewhat better than stuff that passes for "bread" at the supermarket.

By the way, if you ever get a chance to eat gluten free bread from the store - don't! Of all the varieties I've tried, whether frozen or sitting on the shelf at the health food section of Hyvee, I've never found one that was even remotely passable. Tapioca bread, brown rice, white rice, it doesn't matter, it tastes dry and stale even when I open the recently shelved bag. My mom complains too - she'll get the frozen raisin bread and toast it twice, putting copious amounts of butter on it to make it salvageable. All just to deal with sammich bread!

From what I hear on the GF boards, fresh homemade bread is the only way to go. So, I'm gonna have a throwdown with my oven and figure out how to properly mix yeast with rice or potato flour. Most likely I'll start with a pre-mixed bag from Hyvee and see how it turns out. Maybe soon I'll start getting back into sandwiches for my lunches, or even being able to take my own buns to a restaurant and getting something decent cooked out of it!

In any case, I've got an idea where to start, and my deadline to cook is by Sunday evening. Let's fire up the oven!