I’ve never been good at waiting. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on these days, and to be brutally honest, waiting isn’t easy.
I was born and bred in a city whose efficiency is world renowned, and where everything is expected to be done quick and fast. Naturally, I like it when things move and progress is taking place. Maybe it’s part of my DNA, or simply because of the culture I’ve been brought up in.
What I find hard to do is to slow down and take a deep breath and just try to soak in the present, without worrying about the future or brooding about the past.
This whole waiting in the moment sometimes throws me off guard and makes me feel like a bunch of nerves, but I understand that anxiety and impatience will not get me any further; they will just make the present more difficult.
So you see, I’m also working on being more patient and learning to stay calm when there doesn’t seem to be progress, because I know that eventually things will fall into their place naturally.
If you’ve every made your own bread at home before, you’ll understand what I mean. You know, making bread requires plenty of patience and leaving the dough to rise and letting the yeast do its job.
The first few times I baked homemade bread, I’d peek every so often at the dough under the kitchen towel, wondering why it still hadn’t risen. My anxiety would get the better of me, my brows furrowed in frustration as I checked the dough for the 10th time in 20 minutes.
The thing is, bread dough takes a pretty long time in rising, but if you wait patiently, you’ll be rewarded with the results – fluffy dough with air pockets formed in the waiting; to eventually give you delicious homemade bread.
These days, I still feel the impatience and anxiety creeping up on me when I bake a loaf of homemade bread, because waiting still isn’t my strong point. But what I’ve learnt in the past few months of testing out gluten-free vegan bread recipes, is this: that patience can be trained, anxiety can be tamed, and waiting is an art that can be developed.
It might take a longer time than I’d like, but when you’re making your tenth loaf of bread in two months, you get better at this thing called waiting. You also get better at making bread.
Recipe testing can be tiring sometimes, and in the worst case scenario, you end up having to throw away the final dish after spending two hours working on the recipe.
I’ve done that a few times already, and with baking bread, it can get immensely frustrating to throw away a loaf after all the waiting involved in bread baking.
Today, I’ve finally found an easy gluten-free sandwich bread recipe that’s amazingly good and vegan too, and I can’t wait to share it with you. Most gluten-free and vegan breads either turn out really gummy or too dry, from my experience.
This loaf’s a keeper though. It’s a recipe that’s adapted from the Artisanal Gluten-free Cooking cookbook that my friend Marina sent me for my birthday last November, and I’m so so happy that we’ve finally reached a loaf of bread that’s fluffy, tastes good and is so simple to make!
Here’s how you can make your own gluten-free and vegan sandwich bread today.
Start off by combining the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Mix well and then let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes in a warm, draft-free place until the yeast mixture is foamy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, corn starch, tapioca starch, xantham gum and salt, and mix well. Pour the yeast mixture and vegetable oil into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir well with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous dough.
The dough will be wet and sticky, not like normal wheat dough, but this is precisely what you are looking for. In fact, the dough will actually resemble cake batter in its consistency.
Grease a loaf pan and then transfer the dough to the pan, using the back of a wet spoon to smooth out the dough. Place the pan in a warm, draft-free location (tip: I placed my pan in the closed oven with the oven switched off) and let the dough rise for the next one hour until it has doubled.
In the last 15 minutes of rising, pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). If you’ve got your dough rising in the oven, remove the pan from the oven as the oven pre-heats. Once the oven has reached the right temperature, place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the dough for 40 minutes until it is golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing it on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it.
I love eating this bread with my mixed berry chia seed jam or even spreading it with chopped garlic and parsley and then toasting it to make garlic bread. Whichever way you eat this bread, you’re definitely going to love it!
Now go make a loaf and tell me in the comments what you think of it!
- 1¾ cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1¼ cups brown rice flour
- ¾ cup sorghum flour
- ⅔ cup cornstarch
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch
- 1 teaspoon xantham gum
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Mix well and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes in a warm, draft-free place until it becomes foamy. (If the yeast mixture doesn't become foamy, it means that the yeast has probably expired. Throw the mixture away and use a new batch of yeast).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, corn starch, tapioca starch, xantham gum and salt together. Mix well.
- Pour the yeast mixture and vegetable oil into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous dough. The dough will be wet, not like normal wheat dough, but this is what you're looking for.
- Grease a 9 x 5" loaf pan and transfer the dough to the pan, using the back of a wet spoon to smooth out the dough.
- Place the pan in a warm, draft-free place (I placed my dough in the closed oven with the oven switched off) and let the dough rise over the next 1 hour (it should have doubled by then).
- In the last 15 minutes of rising, remove the pan from the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius).
- Bake dough for 40 minutes until golden and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
- Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack and cooling for at least 30 minutes before slicing into it.