The challenge: gluten-free bread.

Gluten-free bread is tricky stuff. It just so happens that gluten is responsible for much of what is great about good bread, and there is no easy replacement for it. For many gluten-intolerant people, it seems like a good recipe for gluten-free bread is pretty much like the Holy Grail. Many recipes use a combination of rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch, with xantham gum for elasticity, which I believe produces a sort of white bread, but it also has about zero nutritional value. Because gluten provides the elasticity which allows bread to rise, gluten-free bread will be more dense. And when made with flours that are all refined carbs and almost no fibre, the result is doubly unhealthy.

So when I decided I wanted to take a stab at a gluten-free bread for Al (also because the store bought ones are expensive), I knew I should think outside of the box and not try to make something that looked exactly like “real” bread. I wanted to use ingredients with real nutritional value too, avoiding the refined, high glycemic index and nutritionally meaningless wheat replacement to the greatest extent possible. I read earlier today that among the “alternative flours”, quinoa and buckwheat are the most nutritious (the article did not address bean flours such as chickpea flour, which I do believe must have a higher protein content. I love it in pancakes etc, but not quite sure how I feel about it in baked goods).

I figured a quickbread might be a better idea than a yeast-risen one, and I wanted to try to use some sort of vegetable puree to make it moist and not crumbly. And so I came up with this sweet potato quinoa buckwheat bread. It turned out quite a bit denser than I had hoped (I really shouldn’t have been surprised at this…), but otherwise I would classify it as relatively successful! I will definitely try variations over this theme in the future. The bread has that distinctive “buckwheat flavor”, so if you object to that, it may not be for you.

Sweet potato quinoa buckwheat bread

  • 2 dl quinoa flour
  • 1 dl buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 dl tapioca starch
  • 1/4 dl sweet rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt (I forgot)
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • up to 2 dl unsweetened soy milk
  • 1/3 dl oil
  • 2 dl mashed cooked sweet potato

Halve a sweet potato and microwave on high (mine took 3+3 minutes, depends on the wattage).

Mix flax meal and water in a bowl to make “flax eggs”. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

Thin out the flax eggs with the milk (start with 1.5 dl). Mix with mashed sweet potato.

Add dry to wet. Add the remaining milk if necessary.

Bake in a loaf pan at 350F for 45 minutes or more, check with a knife for doneness.

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