Bread has long been a staple of our Western diet. It comes in many and varied guises from the square white slices bagged in plastic bought from the supermarket to artisan sourdough loaves from trendy cafes and delis.
Then there is the seemingly elusive quest for a decent gluten free loaf.
Add the desire to reduce or eliminate plastic packaging and buying a loaf of bread really becomes a minefield.
For over 20 years GMan has made our bread. This was before I began eating a gluten-free diet and we had 2 children at home. He made white bread, grain bread and fruit loaf in a breadmaker using bread mixes from Laucke Flour Mills. We made sandwiches, toast and toasted sandwiches – all with minimal packaging from the bread mix bags.
Things have changed and GMan now makes white bread from scratch in the breadmaker as well as fruit loaf using a premix with added fruit. Here is a loaf he made tonight.
The white loaf is the same shape but generally not as high.
However, his real love is sourdough bread which has led GMan on a quest to create a perfect sourdough loaf. For those who have asked for the recipe, all I can offer is this link which he found and has followed (in general terms). It appears to be an art and one in which I have not got involved. After months of varying degrees of success this was the result from a couple of weeks ago. Gman believes that it is definitely worth the effort.
I eat very little bread these days as most gluten-free breads are not that great, expensive and heavily packaged in plastic.
Credit to inspired + delicious Facebook page for this bread recipe.
1 cup buckwheat groats
2 cups hot water (almost boiling)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons psyllium husk
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 tablespoons olive oil
Soak the buckwheat in hot water with apple cider vinegar overnight.
Next day, place buckwheat plus liquid in a blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. Place mixture in a greased, lined loaf tin and allow to stand for 15 – 30minutes to allow psyllium to soak in properly. Bake at 200C until browned and it bounces back when you poke it. This is approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
This is the basic recipe but you can add whatever else you choose.
My first loaf had a handful each of sunflower seeds and pepitas added to the basic mixture.
Here are a couple of slices toasted. While it is perfectly edible as bread it is really delicious as toast.
One of the things I do miss about bread is having grilled cheese on toast. This is not an everyday food but an occasional treat. I really enjoyed this for lunch the other day.
Since I regarded my first attempt as a success, I decided to expand my repertoire and modify it to make a spicy fruit loaf. I added 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of mixed spice, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, some sultanas and dried cranberries and omitted the pepitas.
I am now happily dreaming of other flavour options. I think the next attempt may be a savoury one – sun-dried tomato and olive.
While I am not going to be eating bread for every meal, it is great to have a plastic-free, unpackaged, gluten-free bread that is quick and easy to make.
Unpackaged bread has been my major success for Plastic-Free July this year.