Many people dismiss healthy eating as consisting solely of salads aka rabbit food. Even I remember a time when I ate only salads for an entire year thinking that was the only "healthy" food available. Boy did that ever backfire as I was nutritionally-deficient and hormonally-imbalanced, not to mention totally bored. Fast forward 10 years and one holistic nutrition degree later and I can tell you that while salads are most definitely part of a healthy diet, eating the same foods all the time denies not only your tastebuds, but your body of essential vitamins and minerals.
These days I am lucky to have friends who can not only cook, but who know how to cook delicious and healthy meals. Enter Candice, my neighbour and foodie extraordinaire. Knowing my penchant for gluten-free recipes, Candice emailed recently to say she had a bread recipe that I just had to try. I must admit that I was at first hesitant because mastering the art of gluten-free bread can be a challenge (when I was a teenager my boyfriend's dad had celiac disease and ate a bread that had the texture and weight of cement). The verdict: It was very moist and the most delicious gluten-free bread I've ever had.
Gluten-free recipes are gaining in popularity because people realize the benefits of eliminating this ingredient from their diets. You don't need a double blind placebo controlled study to prove this when you realize how lovely your gut feels after removing gluten-containing grains. I know both from personal experience and from my clients who have gone gluten-free, that the benefits include things such as: glowing skin, better digestion (less bloating and gas), more satisfying bowel movements, increased energy and, of course, the one that most people care about, weight loss.
Candice's Gluten-Free Bread
3 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour or you can use Candice's brown rice flour blend (whisk together 3 cups stabilized brown rice flour; 1 cup potato starch; and 1/2 cup tapioca flour or tapioca starch. You can double the recipe and store it in an air tight container for another loaf if you want.)
3 tablespoons turbanado or sucanat sugar, both great choices and can be found at grocery and health food stores
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 cup warm almond milk
4 tablespoons soft organic butter
3 large organic eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
Combine the flour (or the flour blend), sugar, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in a bowl. Mix until combined. Using an electric mixer (hand mixer, or stand mixer), drizzle in the milk, beating all the time; the mixture will be crumbly at first, but once all the milk is added, it will come together.
Add the butter and beat until thoroughly blended. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating each in thoroughly before adding the next. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes, to make a very smooth, thick batter. **Note - I did all the above steps in a food processor and it turned out perfect**
Cover the bowl, and let the thick batter rise for one hour. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, gently deflating the batter in the process. Grease an 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" loaf pan, or a 9" x 4" x 4" pain de mie pan. Scoop the dough into the pan. Press it level, using a spatula or your wet fingers and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Cover with greased plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until the loaf barely crowns above the rim of the 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pan; or until it comes to within about an inch of the rim of the 9" pain de mie pan. This should take about 45 to 60 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 38 to 42 minutes, until golden brown. If you're using a pain de mie pan, leave the lid on the entire time. Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool on a rack.
This recipe is as delicious as the photo looks. EnJOY!