Obviously, having kids with multiple food allergies has drastically changed our cooking, baking, and shopping routines. I’m sure you can all relate! My biggest issue by far has been how to keep our kitchen stocked with basics (like bread, snacks, cookies) that don’t break the bank or eat up all my time to prepare. Man, oh man, do I struggle with this! I’m not gonna lie; I’m not the best baker or cook around, and I am impatient. If a recipe takes mucho steps or lots of pots/pans/prep…I’ll skip it. (I hate clean-up and dishes almost as much as a complicated recipe. Ugh!)
You can see how this clashes with the whole food allergy thing, where special ingredients and alternative preparations get in my way! 🙂
While I’m definitely still learning how to deal with the constant planning and prep of allergy-free foods, I thought I would share how we do bread around our house. Making allergy-free bread has been one of my few successes so far.
Our wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free sandwich bread solution
Izzy (our oldest daughter) can’t eat a lot of ingredients. That means that we have to make bread from scratch for her all. the. time. [You know, that gluten stuff is pretty important in making baked goods; I had NO IDEA until we had a daughter who can’t have it. 🙂 ]
Well, we could buy allergy-free bread…but have you tried that stuff?!? Yuck! It is pretty bitter; in fact, most commercially produced breads tell you that you have to heat the bread or toast it to improve the taste, and they get old fast. Not to mention the fact that they all have tons of ingredients to keep their texture on the shelf, and it is crazy expensive.
Cue the search for an easy, tasty, homemade bread recipe. So far, my go-to recipe is the “Basic Sandwich Bread” recipe from Collette Martin’s book Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts.
The ingredient list is fairly simple:
- allergy-free flour blend of your choice
- xanthum gum
- baking soda
- instant yeast
- egg replacer
I can whip up the ingredients in 15-20 minutes or so, and then it only has to rise once before baking.
Currently, I make the bread every two weeks, on a Monday or Tuesday when I don’t work outside the home. As soon as Izzy starts Kindergarten full time next year, I’m sure I’ll have to double the recipe or make it more frequently to allow for school lunches. But for now, this approach works.
How do I only make special bread once every two weeks?
We slice it, freeze it, and then just pull out what we need and quickly defrost it in the microwave.
What a lifesaver this has been! I got the idea from reading Collette Martin’s book (see above or on my recommended sites page) and it quickly solved our problem of how to have bread on hand for our Izzy.
In addition, I took Ms. Martin’s advice and got a different sized bread pan to help the bread bake up a bit taller so it looks more like regular gluten-y bread. 🙂 Here’s the USA Pan Pullman Loaf Pan I use and love:
What bread recipes have you had success with? Do you use a similar or different routine? Share your wisdom!