Gluten Free Girl is my spirit animal. (Right after Christina Hendricks.)
I’ve been starting to branch out a little into making gluten free bread, which is not something I’d previously had a lot of patience or time for. I used GFG’s Shauna Ahern’s recipe, found here on Michael Ruhlman’s site.
Darius smelled bread baking, and was compelled to write a little bit about home. It’s after the recipe and process.
- 15 grams ground flaxseed meal
- 15 grams ground chia seeds
- 60 grams boiling-hot water
- 100 grams gluten-free oat flour (make sure it’s certified gluten-free)
- 100 grams almond flour (make sure it’s blanched almond flour, finely ground)
- 100 grams teff flour
- 85 grams potato starch
- 85 grams arrowroot powder
- 70 grams buckwheat flour
- 30 grams milk powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 8 ounces warm water
- Making the flax-chia slurry.
- Mix the flaxseed and chia seeds together. Pour in the boiling-hot water.
- Whisk, quickly, until the seeds have formed a thick, viscous slurry. Set aside to cool down.
Combining the dry ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the oat flour, almond flour, teff flour, potato starch, arrowroot powder, and buckwheat flour in a large bowl.
- Whisk them together to incorporate them together and aerate. Add the milk powder, yeast, sugar, and salt. Whisk to combine.
Finishing the dough.
- In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and apple cider vinegar together. Pour this into the mixing bowl, along with the flax-chia slurry.
- Mix well. Slowly, add the warm water until the dough comes together.
- The dough will be wet and tacky. Don’t worry. That’s the texture you want. You will be tempted to add more flour, since you are thinking of gluten bread. Do not add flour.
- Instead, scrape the dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours. You won’t have as much of a rise as with gluten bread. However, over those 2 hours, the dough will become more elastic and a little drier.
Baking the bread.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/232 degrees C. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven now.
- The dough will still be a bit tacky to the touch. If you want to avoid bread dough sticking to your hands, wet them with just a bit of water. Cut the dough in half to form 2 small boules or into 8 balls for rolls. (If you still have the scale on the counter, form 3-ounce/85 gram balls.) Let the boules/rolls rest and proof further as the oven preheats.
- Put the boules or rolls directly onto the pizza stone. (If you don’t have one, use a baking sheet with parchment paper.) Bake until the outside of the rolls are crusty, the bottom has a good hollow thump when tapped, and the internal temperature has reached at least 180 degrees F/82 degrees C. Allow them to cool.
Thomas Wolfe wrote “He saw now that you can’t go home again—not ever. There was no road back. Ended for him, with the sharp and clean finality of the closing of a door, was the time of his dark roots…” Have you ever felt a quiet longing to go back to your home town? To casually look around to see what is different and how much is the same? To slowly drive by your childhood home? If you do, will you feel a momentary urge to run to the back yard to play? Will you look down the street for your school bus? Will you wish you could go inside where you will reach up to give your mom a cursory hug before you dash to your favorite toy? Will you recall when childhood seemed like it would last forever?
The Wallflowers recorded “One Headlight” on the album “Bringing Down The Horse” in 1996. The song takes us to the protagonist’s home town. He has been away for years after escaping to follow his dreams beyond the bleak boundaries that had confined him. He has returned for the funeral of a friend. He remembers how she had encouraged him to leave his dismal hometown for the opportunities the world had to offer. Standing apart from the others at the funeral he is sad that she never left.
Home is not the past. Home is not the building where I grew up. Home is not the town I lived in when I was young. I could go back to that place; it would be familiar but it will never be home again. Home is now. It is memories of my childhood, lessons I have learned, mistakes I have made and wisdom bought at a very high price. It is the feeling that I have that my mother and father were always there for me when I needed them. It is family that means more than dollars or cars or careers.
Home is not a place. Home is the smell of baking bread gently floating through the air. Holly baked bread today because she knew her family would like it. Home is the person you look forward to seeing at the end of the day. Home is the person who holds you when you are sad or frightened. Home is the person next to you when you imagine the future. Home is the person next to you when the way is lit by bright sun,or when you can barely see the road as you are driving with only one headlight.
“One Highlight” recorded by Holly Figueroa feels close and intimate. Memories of two friends making enthusiastic and hopeful plans collide with the reality that one of them has died never having left a dismal place to pursue her own destiny. Happy memories are recalled with penetrating sadness.
Holly’s version of “One Headlight”:
The original by The Wallflowers: