Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Nutty, Garlicky, Multi-Grain GF Bread

There are times when I find myself feeling pretty mopey.  (In a lot of these cases, I look at the calendar and am like, "Ohhhhh, this is raging PMS."  Fun!)  When the blues strike, I go straight for my coping mechanisms: exercise, cooking, and carbs.

I would probably die if I went on the Atkins Diet.

Happily, though, I wouldn't touch that particular regimen with a ten-foot pole -- so when I started feeling mopey, I decided it was time to bake some bread.

The back story on this bread idea is that when I was 16, we moved from Colorado to Williamsport, PA.  Williamsport is a small town in the middle of north-central Pennsylvania, and it's...well, let's just say it's fairly isolated.  When I was living there, the only really good store in town was the Wegmans -- but holy crap, was it ever fantastic.  I loved shopping there because there was so much phenomenal food.  One of the many selections of deliciousness offered there was a garlic bread with cloves of garlic baked in, and OMFG.  It was sublime, and I wanted to try to re-create it.

Garlic and rosemary, reporting for duty.
Now, that said, I didn't have much hope for this bread.  First, gluten-free baking projects tend to be difficult.  Secondly, I was kind of freelancing it by adding a few things to the recipe -- and generally speaking, when I add things to an existing recipe it ends badly.  So I tossed things into the mixer, convinced that an epic fail was on the horizon.

There was no hope.  Sigh.

Except there was hope: after about 30 minutes in the oven, it started smelling gooooooood.  I perked up a bit.  After an hour, I started thinking I might have a winner on my hands.

When I pulled it out of the oven, it looked good (like legit bread!).  And it smelled delicious.  I broke off a small piece while it was cooling, and it was really, really yummy.  The sunflower seeds, flax, and almond flour make it fabulously nutty -- and the chunks of garlic created a savory, buttery taste to boot.  This packs a ton of protein and healthy fats, as well as a good amount of iron.  Woohoo!

Nutty, Garlicky, Multi-Grain "All Is Not Lost" Bread:

1 package Bob's Red Mill Hearty Whole Grain bread mix (including the yeast packet, which should be added to 1 3/4 cups warm water)
1/2 cup finely ground almond flour
1/2 cup olive oil
10 cloves of garlic, peeled and added whole into the batter
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
3 eggs (or, for vegan friends, flax egg or Ener-G Egg Replacer)
1 tablespoon Italian herbs
1/4 cup flax seeds

You can then follow the directions on the back of the package:  add the yeast packet in the bread mix to warm water, per the instructions on the packaging.  Once the yeast is bubbly/frothy, add all the ingredients into a mixer and mix until completely combined.  Pour the batter into a 9x5 bread pan, and cover it with plastic wrap.  Set it somewhere warm, and let it rise for about 40 minutes.  Then back at 375 for 60-70 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 205.  (I had to bake mine for 70 minutes, probably because of the extra ingredients I added to the batter.)  Let cool.

Serve with Earth Balance (or the topping of your choice), and enjoy!

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