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I Ate a Football. It Was Gluten Free.

One of the biggest things I miss about trying to live gluten-free is bread. White, hot, airy, delicious bread. It is my biggest cheat, the thing I sneak and eat, or stuff down my brazen gullet, with shocking regularity.

A little doesn’t bother me. But, last weekend, I had a bread orgy. I started eating it, and I could not stop. I had burgers. I scarfed panzanella, that gorgeous salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and bread, bread, bread. I ate pastry. And more pastry. And still MORE pastry.

Dear Reader, I paid for it. I will spare you the details.

My friend and guide son’s mother Kristen loaned me her Gluten-Free Girl book. I brought it home and scanned its pages, hoping to find reasonable facsimiles of things I used to eat. And, voila! There it was. In all its glory, the good Gluten-Free Girl had her very own recipe for Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread, a bread I adore so much I bought MTM the cookbook last year.

If anyone wants that blasted bread cookbook/instrument of torture, please let me know. But, I digress.

Forty dollars later, I had all the ingredients to make my own version of the gluten-free no-knead bread. Packets of potato starch and tapioca flour and a host of other powdery substances I never encountered were arranged across my counter. This girl who doesn’t bother to read instructions labored over ever syllable of every word for hours to get her little loaf of promised heaven to come out perfectly. I hovered over the oven like it was incubating the next Messiah. The house smelled like a delectable bakery. My mouth started a fit of out-of-control drooling. I could not wait to slather my bread with some salted butter and eat it scalding hot.

Hours later, I finally pulled out the cast iron Dutch oven, removed the lid, and – shazam! – I created a football. My glorious vision of no-knead bread was a dense, cakey, crumbly mess. If I had given into the urge to spike the thing in frustration, it probably would’ve made a crater in the floor.

Never fear, Dear Reader. My fall-back position will be to do what I should’ve done in the first place…….let MTM make the gosh-darn gluten-free bread for me.

Too Much is Never Enough: Bread

28 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lou Mello #

    Sorry about the bread thing, maybe the answer is the magic bread machine, just toss the ingredients together and throw them in. Then you can save the lovely MTM for the serious cooking where he is the archie, techie, cheffy master.


    3 eggs
    1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/4 cup honey
    1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon xanthan gum
    1/3 cup cornstarch
    1/2 cup potato starch
    1/2 cup soy flour
    2 cups white rice flour
    1 tablespoon active dry yeast

    Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
    Select the sweet dough cycle. Five minutes into the cycle, check the consistency of the dough. Add additional rice flour or liquid if necessary.
    When bread is finished, let cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pan.

    August 28, 2011
    • The only problem with this recipe is this, Lou. If we buy one more kitchen gadget, the cabinets will explode. Plus, it could come out just as awful as the one I just tried, with the added expense of a bread machine.

      Of course, MTM could just make himself delectable bread morsels with the thing and torture me to death.

      August 28, 2011
      • Lou Mello #

        Great idea for a book title, “Torture in the Kitchen”, let the MTM morseling begin.

        August 28, 2011
      • Ha. What is funny is your title is excellent.

        August 28, 2011
      • Lou Mello #

        That’s the extent of my writing talents…coming up with titles.

        August 28, 2011
      • That is not true, Lou. You write artful comments on bajillions of blogs every day.

        August 28, 2011
  2. i miss bread too, although a bit of cheating doesn’t affect me as badly as it does you. still not something i can/should eat like i used to though.

    August 28, 2011
    • Really, I can have a piece and be fine. Or, a couple of bites of MTM’s croissant or something like that. Any more, and it bothers me very much. I know it is not good for blood sugar. With time, will you be able to have more variety?

      August 28, 2011
      • sadly no. i’m still learning what foods cause my blood sugar to spike up.

        white breads make it shoot up really high quickly. whole wheat/whole grain breads are a little better, but still makes my blood sugar go up but a little slower.

        from what i’ve learned so far, blood sugar control mostly comes down to limiting carb intake, especially processed carbs.

        i fall off the wagon every now and then. having done a lot of running and cycling in the past, carbs were always a mainstay of my diet. cutting down the carbs has been challenging.

        will be interesting to see if MTM fares better with the bread.

        August 29, 2011
      • The GF bread probably would not help you, because it is very carby. In fact, I think the gluten substitutes are more fattening. I do not eat many of them because of it. I know sugar substitutes are not the same. :(

        August 29, 2011
  3. Sorry! I know you were excited about it, and even heated up your kitchen and house for it. Perhaps MTM can master the thing. Or just make Lou do it.

    August 28, 2011
    • Lou Mello #

      I am a fabulous cook, if by cooking you mean making PB&J sandwiches.

      August 28, 2011
    • If Lou put a whole jar of both peanut butter and jelly on it, the bread still would not be edible. :(

      August 28, 2011
  4. Patrick does nearly all the cooking at Team Hannaford HQ. It’s best that way.

    August 28, 2011
    • I like to bake. Generally, I do a good job. This was not one of those general times.

      August 28, 2011
  5. It’s gotten verrrrrry interesting, this blog of yours. Rarely a day passes that something you write doesn’t trigger a lightbulb moment with me.

    Recently, my sister mentioned that the professional chef/husband of her long-time best friend had launched a new venture: production and sale of his own gluten-free product line. Maybe you could avoid adding to MTM’s honey-do list by simply baking goodies that a pro has already mixed?

    A couple of minutes spent searching reveals that his Moon Rabbit Foods (geographically pretty close to you in Weaverville, NC) has a page on FB: There’s also a web address where you can order online:

    August 28, 2011
    • Karen, thank you. I will definitely look this up and try it.

      August 28, 2011
  6. It’s so frustrating to spend time and effort (not to mention $$) on creating something only to have it not turn out as one wishes. I hope that a repeat encounter in the hands of MTM will help you gain the tastes you miss!

    August 28, 2011
    • We have enough mix for two more footballs, I mean, loaves.

      August 28, 2011
      • Hi, there. I just posted today a GF bread recipe I finally tried, and this time, used a bread maker I’ve had in the trunk of my car for a year and a half! It did come out gorgeous. It gets stale the 2nd day if you don’t wrap tightly, freeze or refridgerate. I baked a lot of regular breads and pizza crusts in the past that came out fantastic, and GF is definately a struggle. (this recipe is also dairy free) but I have learned to lower my standards a lot :(

        Anyway, discovered your blog when the wordpress Gods offered this post of yours as an article follow-up, so I included it with my post. Guess I’ll have to check around now, see what this popular little blog is all about.

        Don’t give up! It really is easy, and since you have all of the supplies, I am going to suggest something entirely tawdry: put a bread machine on your credit card and use it. If it fails you and you are not willing to persist (I am telling you, I got good results!) then clean it up real nice, put it back into the plastic, keep all of the instructions in the box, tape it and just return it. :)

        Chances are you are going to be gluten-intolerant forever, so someday, you too will definately (like me, a former bread addict) want to revel in the experience of fresh, warm bread. Footballs be damned!
        Good Luck – S.S.

        September 7, 2011
      • This blog post has given me so much help and support from so many quarters. I will check out your recipe. Thank you for being thoughtful enough to let me know about it.

        Looking forward to checking out your blog!! Thanks for reading mine!

        September 7, 2011
  7. For a short time, I had a bread machine and loved it. I used it to make a GF bread recipe from one of Bette Hagman’s books. It used garbanzo bean flour as the base. The bread came out light and fluffy and bread-y and I would eat half the loaf slathered in butter and honey while it was still warm. SO good. But in the end I didn’t use the thing often enough to justify the counter space it took up, plus it had bad ju-ju since it was a gift from one of my seven evil exes.

    But have you tried the baguettes by Against the Grain? In frozen section at Earthfare. Pop in oven and they get crispycrusty outside and softchewy inside. Yummy with brie and jam.

    August 28, 2011
    • I have not tried that one, Andria. Sure beats trying to make it myself if it is that good. I will definitely look for it next time. Thank you.

      August 28, 2011
  8. Oh, wow, you are SO lucky you can cheat with bread and get away with it! Just one crumb in my tummy and I’m sick for 3 days. I’m sorry this recipe didn’t work out for you, I know how frustrating it is to have to miss bread all the time. I finally found gf hamburger buns and was so excited to have a pulled pork sandwich – at least until the first bite left most of it on my lap in a barbequey mess. I cried, really I did, then I threw out the rest of the $7 bag (a total of 4 buns, are they nuts or am I?). Really, it didn’t make me feel any better, wasting that kind of money on something almost inedible, but it was going to mock me from the freezer if I didn’t! : )

    August 29, 2011
    • Lisa, I can’t eat much bread. A few bites. Any more and I have problems, too.

      We have to hope that they will come out with better alternatives in the coming years. Gluten is a problem for so many people. Let’s cross our fingers together. :)

      I LOVE pulled pork. I prefer to eat it without the bun, and always did. My friend Andria recommended a really good baguette-style GF bread in another comment above. If she says it’s good, it is. Maybe that would be an alternative for a ‘French-style’ pulled pork sandwich. :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      August 29, 2011
    • AH! I had just the same experience with those rolls! I even took one to the Five Brothers burger joint here and handed it to them to make my burger on. Of course it broke apart and even crumbled while eating it. I find the best way to eat the GF breads and rolls is freshly baked. Then the second day, I toast them.

      And yes, zenLisa…they are crazy with those prices, not you!

      September 7, 2011

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Sumptuous Bread-Maker Bread, Gluten-Free « Autism Rox
  2. Gluten-Free Wizard « My Soul Leapt

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