After countless batches of teff bread that sagged, deflated, or didn't rise, I finally came up with the perfect recipe for a gluten-free whole grain sandwich bread. I learned quite a few things about bread making in the process of developing this recipe that I'd like to share with you. The success of a gluten-free bread depends on these essential baking elements:
- the correct ratio of salt, yeast, and sugar to flour
- the correct ratio of xanthan gum to liquid and flours
- accurate measurements, including temperature
- a hefty amount of acid in the mix.
I learned about the ratios of salt and sugar to yeast from reading the Joy of Cooking and other reference books. What I didn't learn until now is the role of acid in bread making. It turns out that yeast performs better in an acidic environment. All the commercially-available bread mixes that I've been trying out have had vinegar and ascorbic acid in them. Adding a lot more apple cider to my existing recipe made it a whole lot better. The acid not only gives the bread quite a bit more volume but it also acts as a dough conditioner to give the bread a sturdy yet flexible structure and a better crust.
You can use this as a template to create your own recipe. Just substitute your flours by weight and keep the ratios the same. I measure the weights in metric because it's a little more straight-forward. Weighing the flour is much more accurate, but if you must use dry measures then all the flours together should be about three cups.
Check out my Bread Page for more recipes and a new GF Bread Flour Blend.
The Best Teff Sandwich Bread
In a small bowl or large measuring cup mix:
1.5 cups water at 110 degrees F
1 Tbsp yeast
Set aside in a warm place while you mix the other ingredients. It should sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is dissolved and the water becomes opaque.
Mix in a large bowl:
200g Teff flour
100g Sorghum flour
75g Tapioca flour
75g Potato Starch
1.5 tsp xanthan gum
1.5 tsp salt
Add the eggs and the water mixture to the dry ingredients with:
4 Tbsp oil or melted butter
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Beat the dough until smooth and completely mixed. Oil or grease a sandwich bread pan. Pullman loaf pans with really high sides give you bigger slices. Cover the pan with a cloth and let rise in a warm place for 60 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 375. Once the bread has risen, bake in the oven for 50 minutes to an hour. The internal temperature should reach 200 degrees. Let cool on a drying rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
Enjoy your teff bread with butter or use it as a sandwich. Either way it's delicious!