Look Ma, no Crust!

Sandwiches are central to back-to-school lunches for Sarah. And without bread there are no sandwiches. Some of my kids love the crust on bread and some hate it. Before we became a gluten-free household I used to cut off the crust for the no-crust crew, toss it in the food processor and process it for crumbs, which I then froze in a self-sealing plastic bag. But when I was forced to buy gluten-free bread, there were no end to my complaints. Readymade GF bread, in my opinion, was one or more of the following:

  • Too expensive (the cheapest loaf was way more than $5)
  • Dry and crumbly (sandwiches fell apart)
  • Tasted terrible (bland, or chemical, or just strange)
  • Did not toast well

And I couldn’t cut off the crusts neatly (bread tore, or the slices were so small that without the crust it became a tea sandwich).

I quickly learned to make my own gluten free bread and you can read all about it in Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen: why to buy a bread machine; how to buy, how to use, and bread and bun recipes based on my signature GF flour blend. I have never looked back. However, several readers asked for simpler GF flour, so I developed  1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour. Now I have developed a new bread recipe for the new GF flour. The new sandwich bread makes a 2-plus pound loaf, costs less than $5 to make, yields 15 slices, tastes great, makes wonderful toast, holds together as a sandwich no matter what the filling and you can cut off the crusts without destroying the bread.

Look Ma, no crusts.

shows sliced baked bread

Gluten-free bread (purchased or home made) will never look as light or taste as soft as wheat bread. Wheat has gluten, two proteins that together form rubbery strands that trap air in between, giving the bread its high rise and light texture. That being said if GF bread has good taste and texture, it’s a blessing for someone with celiac disease who hungers for good sandwiches, a slice of perfect toast, French toast, stuffing, croutons and crumbs—all the things we love about bread.

toast cut in half plus dish of jelly

A word about school lunch: It’s so much easier to pack a GF lunch for school if you have a basic menu. My basic is: sandwich, fruit, and a sweet treat, optional soup or re-heatable leftover. That basic menu allows for infinite variety depending on the sandwich filling (for example tuna fish or egg salad, a GF burger, turkey and cheese), the fruit (an apple, orange, pear or grapes, or cut-up mixed fruit and berries), and the sweet (cookie, brownie, cake). Leftovers to be reheated could be lasagna, pasta pie, stew or soup, packed in a wide-mouth thermos. (Recipes for burgers, sandwiches, pasta, soups, stews, cookies, brownies and cakes in Cooking for Your Gluten Free Teen.) This basic menu has served us so well that now Sarah makes and packs her own lunch. We use a small, thermos-brand lunch pack with 2 or 3 freezer packs to keep the food cold until Sarah gets to reheat it in the microwave in the nurse’s office. And everything is packed in food safe plastic containers to prevent cross-contamination with wheat products.

Sandwich Bread with 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour in a Bread Machine

Yield: 1 2-plus pound loaf 15 slices

Sandwich Bread with 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour in a Bread Machine

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 (7 gram, or ¼ ounce) package of plain, unflavored gelatin
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups of 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour (see 4/25 blog for recipe)
  • 1 level tablespoon bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl add water. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over surface. Let soften for 3 minutes. Add eggs, oil, honey and vinegar and mix well with a whisk until honey dissolves.
  2. Pour liquid mixture into the bread pan of a bread maker with a 2-pound capacity.
  3. In a medium bowl mix together flour, yeast and salt. Add to liquid mixture in the bread pan.
  4. Set the machine to the gluten free cycle (or full cycle for basic bread). When machine begins to knead the dough, open the lid and, using a silicone spatula, scrape down edges of any flour. Close lid and let machine run for the full cycle.
  5. When bread is baked, remove the bread pan using oven mitts. Invert the bread pan and shake to remove the bread. If the metal paddle is still in the bread, using a plastic (not metal) knife, carefully cut around the paddle and remove with tongs. Turn bread right side up on a metal rack. Let cool completely before slicing.
  6. Wrap unused bread in plastic wrap and eat within 3 days, or slice bread and wrap and freeze slices in 4-slice batches.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/look-ma-no-crust/

Sandwich Bread with 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour in a Stand Mixer

Yield: 1 2-plus pound loaf 15 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 (7 gram, or ¼ ounce) package of plain, unflavored gelatin
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups of 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour (see 4/25 blog for recipe)
  • 1 level tablespoon bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Place all liquid ingredients in the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Mix on low until well mixed. Add all dry ingredients. Mix on low, scraping down the sides as necessary until well mixed. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes.
  2. Leaving the beater attached, cover the entire bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the plastic wrap and mix on low for 2 minutes. Remove and scrape down the beater attachment. Transfer the dough, using a silicone spatula, to a 9 by 5 by 3-inch nonstick loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Smooth the top of the loaf and spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375° degrees. Bake until brown on top and cooked through, and the internal temperature on an instant-read thermometer registers at least 200°F.
  5. Remove from the oven and remove the loaf from the pan. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/look-ma-no-crust/

Sandwich Bread with 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour in a Food Processor

Yield: 1 2-plus pound loaf 15 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • 1 (7 gram, or ¼ ounce) package of plain, unflavored gelatin
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 3 ½ cups of 1,2,3 Gluten-Free Flour (see 4/25 blog for recipe)
  • 1 level tablespoon bread machine or instant yeast
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Place all dry ingredients in the work bowl of a large capacity food processor (12 to 14 cups) fitted with the plastic blade. Pulse to mix. Place all liquid ingredients in a large bowl or pitcher with a spot. With the machine running, pour the liquid ingredients into the feed tube. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.
  2. Unlock the lid, but leave it on the machine. Cover the feed tube with the stopper. Let the dough rise until doubles in size, about 45 minutes. When the dough has doubles, lock the lid and pulse to deflate, less than 1 minute.
  3. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the dough into a 9 by 5 by 3-inch loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray and bake according to the stand mixer directions.
http://gffamilyfood.com/recipes/look-ma-no-crust/

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Comments

  1. Interesting recipes! May I ask what the source of gelatin and does it provide the sweetener or binder?; I’ve never run across it before and was interested in the “why”
    Thanks so much! I’m eager to try!

  2. Sharon Anne says:

    I was curious about the addition of unflavored gelatin too; please elaborate on the benefits. Thank you.

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