Gluten Free Cheesy Bread
For a growing number of people in the United States, celiac disease is becoming a term that they are more than familiar with. If you have not heard of celiac disease before, it’s a condition in which the small intestine becomes hypersensitive to gluten, which is found in foods such as wheat, rye and barley. The disease makes digesting foods that contain gluten extremely difficult and it can cause severe inflammation, discomfort and some other very unpleasant symptoms.
The growing numbers of people who suffer with celiac disease are often ignored on websites about baking and bread making, but they could suffer severe adverse reactions if they were to eat products that contain gluten. So, to redress the balance a little bit, we are going to present here some gluten free recipes that everyone can enjoy.
Even though gluten plays an important part in the structure of dough, there are gluten free alternatives that people who suffer with celiac disease can eat, which will allow them to enjoy fresh baked bread just like everyone else. In most cases, you can’t simply remove the gluten from bread, but with the growing demand for gluten free products, there have been many delicious alternative recipes for bread devised that taste just as good as traditionally baked bread.
Making gluten free bread is a bit of an art and it does take a little bit more time and patience than baking traditional bread does, but once you understand the basics, it is relatively straightforward. Here are the basic things that you need to know if you want to bake gluten free bread at home.
Making the Base
Just as you would with making traditional bread, you begin the process of making gluten free bread with the flour, but you will be using a gluten free flour, such as buckwheat, tapioca, or chickpea flour. Because you have no gluten in the recipe, you will need an alternative ingredient that will support the dough, and that alternative is protein. Two of the best options for high-protein flour are buckwheat and oatmeal.
Adding Volume to the Dough
Even though protein will give the dough structure, you will still need to make sure that your gluten free bread will rise, and to do that, we need to provide the acidic environment that yeast needs to thrive and work. The answer to this particular problem is ascorbic acid, otherwise known as Vitamin C, which will increase the volume of your bread and it will also act as an effective preservative too, so it will increase the shelf life of your bread.
A Bit of Gluten Free History
Gluten free bread is not something that is particularly new. Some of the first records of gluten free bread can be traced all the way back to a traditional Brazilian bread, called pão de queijo (Bread of Cheese), which was very popular more than 400 years ago.
The bread actually originated from a recipe brought to Brazil by African slaves that used what were thought to be the otherwise inedible scraps that were left over from the processing of yucca, which is a root vegetable that formed a staple part of the Brazilian diet during the colonial period and is still a popular ingredient in many Brazilian dishes today.
The processing of yucca before it could be used in these traditional dishes was a time consuming one. The yucca root had to first be peeled, grated, soaked in water, and then dried in the sun. The by-product that was created from this lengthy process was a fine white powder, which the slaves formed into balls and baked in an oven. Some 200 years later, people began to add cheese to the dough and pão de queijo became what we know it as today.
So, now it’s time to give you are delicious recipe for gluten free pão de queijo that you can make in your own home. Please do share this recipe with your family and friends and feel free to leave a comment below to let us what you thought of it. Even if you don’t usually eat gluten free bread, give this recipe a go, because we think you will love it!
Recipe for Pão De Queijo
Here’s what you will need to make your own home-made Pão De Queijo:
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
10 ounces tapioca flour or sour cassava flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 450° and line a baking pan with baking parchment and leave it to one side.
Heat the milk and oil in a pan and then stir in the salt. Take off the heat as soon as the milk begins to boil.
Add the flour to the pan and stir in well until the ingredients have combined and created a grainy looking, gelatinous dough.
Allow the dough to cool and then transfer it to a mixer with a paddle, or you can mix by hand if you prefer. Mix the dough thoroughly until it is smooth. The dough should now be cool enough to hold your finger to it.
Whisk the eggs together and then mix the whisked eggs into the dough.
Mix the grated Parmesan thoroughly into the dough. You should now have a very soft and sticky dough that will be the consistency of somewhere between a cookie dough and a cake batter.
Scoop the dough into balls with an ice cream scoop or a spoon, round them off in your hands, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving about an inch between each dough ball. If you dip your spoon or scoop in water between each dough ball, it will stop the dough sticking to the spoon or scoop.
Put the baking tray into the oven and then immediately turn down the heat to 350°F. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the rolls have risen and are just starting to turn brown. Let the rolls cool off a bit and then you enjoy your delicious home-made Pão De Queijo! Any rolls you have left over will keep in an airtight container for up to a week.