This recipe is for “Allergy” sandwich bread. Many people these days suffer from celiac disease, allergy to wheat, or allergy to other common bread ingredients. This highly adaptable recipe is already gluten, nut, and casein free. You can easily switch the ingredients you use in this bread recipe, if you have an allergy to something in the recipe.
This bread recipe makes an excellent loaf. The key is in using the right combination of flours plus a couple of “secret” ingredients that aren’t usually used in home baking but are quite common in cooking for people with allergies and sensitivities to food. We’ve served this Allergy Bread to people with no food allergies and who don’t have celiac disease or other food sensitivities, and they absolutely love it!
Directions are given for substitutions so that you can adjust the Allergy Bread recipe for your particular allergy.
You can also make Allergy bread in a bread machine or mix by hand and bake in loaf pans in the oven.
First, start with a fresh, clean kitchen. If you have long hair, pull it back. Wear an apron. Many of the flours that are good for allergy baking are “light” and will get all over your clothes if you’re not careful.
Combine the following in a large bowl (Alternatively, add in order given to a bread-machine pan. Don’t forget to put the little mixer-thingie in first!)
– 1 1/2 C very warm water (NOT hot!)
– 3 large eggs, 4 small eggs, or an equivalent amount of EggBeaters or other replacement. You may also use flax seeds as an egg replacer, if you are allergic to them.
– 3 Tablespoons olive oil, butter, or other oil (I’ve heard that coconut oil is excellent! It will, however, flavor your bread slightly, but in a pleasant way!)
– 3 Tablespoons honey, maple syrup, sugar, sucanat, or other sweetener (you can use less if you’d like)
Add 2 1/4 tsp yeast, or 1 package of yeast. If you are yeast allergic, you can probably use a combination of baking powder and soda – but I’ve never tested it. If you’d like to “proof” the yeast, leave it to sit in a warm place until it bubbles. I never bother with proofing yeast as I buy it in bulk quanity from the local health food store and keep it indefinitely in the freezer. Directions given are for the bulk yeast; if you’re using a rapid-rise product you might want to check the rise time. If the bread rises too much, it will fall in the oven.
If you are using a bread machine, you may continue adding ingredients directly to the pan. If you are hand-mixing the Allergy Bread, use a separate bowl to mix the dry ingredients as follows:
– 1 tablespoon xanthan gum (If you are allergic to corn, do NOT use xanthan. People with corn allergies may react to this product because it is grown on a corn base. Use guar gum instead according to package directions. Both can be purchased at any health food store, and sometimes can be found in cooking/baking stores.) One of these gums MUST be used for the recipe to turn out right.
– 1 cup of any “heavy” flours: the white bean flours (dhokla, urid, pappadum), gram (made from chickpeas), or teff (an unusual but tasty dark flour) are all good.
– 1 cup of any “medium” flours: white or brown rice flour are best. You could also use cornflour (not cornstarch), millet, or amaranth.
– 1/2 cup of any light flour: cornstarch, tapioca starch, yam flour, potato starch. These flours are all SUPER-fine.
– 1/8 cup soy or sorghum flour. These are VERY heavy flours. If you don’t like the taste or are allergic, you could increase any of the “heavy” flours by the same amount.
– 1/8 cup sweet rice flour (omit if you are allergic to rice, and increase amount of soy or sorghum to 1/4 cup). The sweet rice flour produces a moister, finer-textured loaf.
– 1 1/2 teaspoons salt or salt substitute (you may omit this if you’d like, but the bread is tastier with it in!)
The trick to making Allergy Bread work is the right combination of flours. You must have at least one heavy, one medium, and one light flour – but after that, you can mix about anything together! I found that the tastiest breads came from a combination of at least six flours – I’d use a little of this and a little of that. Some days I’d intentionally choose “white” ingredients to make “white” Allergy bread, and other days I’d intentionally choose “dark” ingredients to make a heartier loaf.
Add the dry to the wet and stir thoroughly. Because some of these flours are light, it’s easy to miss some. I don’t recommend using an electric mixer – it’s just as easy to stir by hand.
If you’re using a bread machine, you get to come back in about three hours to fresh bread! If you’re not, you have a little more work to do.
Grease a standard loaf pan. Note that if you use a product like Pam, they have a product for baking which contains flour. Also, many of the sprays contain soy lecithin, which can be a problem for anyone with a soy allergy. Always check the ingredients and if in doubt, call the company!
Spoon the mixture into the pan (that’s right, no gluten means no kneading!) and smooth the top. If you like the look of an indent down the middle, cut deeply with a knife. It won’t “flower” quite like a yeast bread, but it does make a pleasing result. Cover with a towel and let it rise for an hour or so. It’s not going to look like “normal” bread when it rises – Allergy Bread is different. You want it to be just about at the top of your loaf pan.
After it rises, place in a 350-degree preheated oven for 50-60 minutes. The bread will look “done” on top, and just like a wheat loaf, it will sound hollow when you tap it. It’s normal for the center to sink in just a little. If it sinks in a lot, either your yeast was bad or you left something out of the recipe. Remove to a wire rack and cool before slicing (well, ok – if you have a sharp serrated knife, you can enjoy it hot!)
This recipe takes additions VERY well – try any of the following:
– lemon and poppy seeds
– cinnamon and raisins
– peppers, onion, and cheese
– sunflower seeds
You can make your own croutons, stuffing, and bread crumbs with Allergy Bread! If you slice and cut into squares, then dry, it makes excellent croutons and stuffing. If you leave whole, then grate and dry in a warm oven, it makes wonderful breadcrumbs for chicken, seafood, pork-chops. If you like Shake-n-bake you can easily make your own!
A note about obtaining ingredients: Comparison shop. These ingredients can be found at a variety of local health food stores, Indian, Halal (Middle Eastern) and Oriental groceries, your supermarket, and even online. Prices vary widely, which is why it’s important to shop around. Grocers are figuring out that people with allergy problems use these flours, and are using that as an excuse to tap a niche market with higher prices – unfair, sad, but true.