Grain Free - Brown Bread

It's simple - I love experimenting in the kitchen. Some of my experiments don't work but some do. This Brown bread is one experiment that did work. Quite a few of the ingredients commonly used for making grain free bread I feel are "heavy" & would require a lot of help (yeast, raising agents, eggs) to give the finished bread a good lift. When I was googling grain free bread recipes I saw that most of them contained bicarb of soda as opposed to baking powder to help the bread rise. Not many used yeast & I didn't see any recipe that used both bicarb & yeast. My thoughts were "Why can't I use both". A bit more googling, specifically wheat based bread recipes and whether you can use bicarb with yeast. Most of the sites I visited said there is no point in adding bicarb with yeast since bicarb acts instantaneously & the effect would be lost during the different proofing stages. Maybe I had to find out for myself (my Mum used to tell me I was stubborn & wouldn't listen, I prefer determined).

Of course I tried making bread with bicarb & yeast together. Is there any point in adding bicarb & yeast to a recipe? I think so (it will depend on the flour you are using). What happens is that the bicarb acts instantaneously, giving a small lift to the dough but it also changes the pH of the dough. This pH change is important. Essentially the proofing time of the dough, the pH, the yeast & the sugar present in the coconut flour (a component of the Bread Mix (grain free)) all combine to produce molecules that are perfect for the Maillard reaction. Say what? I hope your eyes haven't glazed over. The following explanation of the Maillard reaction by Modernist Cuisine is better than any explanation I could give.

"One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction. It is sometimes called the “browning reaction” in discussions of cooking, but that description is incomplete at best. The important thing about the Maillard reaction isn’t the color—, it’s the flavors and aromas. Indeed, it should be called “the flavor reaction,” not the “browning reaction.” The molecules it produces provide the potent aromas responsible for the characteristic smells of roasting, baking, and frying. What begins as a simple reaction between amino acids and sugars quickly becomes very complicated: the molecules produced keep reacting in ever more complex ways that generate literally hundreds of various molecules. Most of these new molecules are produced in incredibly minute quantities, but that doesn’t mean they’re unimportant. The Maillard reaction occurs in cooking of almost all kinds of foods, although the simple sugars and amino acids present produce distinctly different aromas. 

High-temperature cooking speeds up the Maillard reaction because heat both increases the rate of chemical reactions and accelerates the evaporation of water. As the food dries, the concentration of reactant compounds increases and the temperature climbs more rapidly. Adding baking soda raises the food’s pH (making it more alkaline), which also helps." 

Adding bicarb to the yeasted dough changes the taste of the finished bread. It is not as sweet or coconutty as the bread that doesn't contain bicarb.  

 

This bread can be made by hand or with a stand mixer. 

Ingredients

450 g Bakers' Magic Grain free flour

2 Eggs

2 tsp Yeast

2 tsp Sugar (optional)

2 tsp Bicarb of soda

1/2 tsp Salt

50 g Oil 

 525g Warm water

  

Method

Grease a medium sized loaf tin, mine is 19.5 cm x 9.5 cm. 

Put the yeast, 10 g of Bakers' Magic Grain free flour and 100 g of warm water into a small container. Stir to disperse the yeast & let it sit for ~5 mins. This mix will revive the yeast due to the sugar content of coconut flour (a component of the grain free blend). Optional - add 2 tsp of sugar instead of the bread mix (grain free).

In a bowl mix together the Bakers' Magic Grain free flour, bicarb & salt. 

In another bowl whisk together the activated yeast, warm water (425 g), oil & eggs. 

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients & stir to combine.

Transfer dough to the loaf tin & proof in a warm place for ~40 mins.

While the dough is proofing turn oven on to 180 - 200 C. The hotter the oven the darker the bread. 

Bake for 45 - 55 mins. Allow to cool before cutting into the loaf.