Simple Sandwich Bread Flour Mix (gluten-free, rice-free, potato-free)
I know, you’ve always wanted to try them. You have a deep-seated curiosity about them.
Well, let me pique your interest.
Have you ever made gluten-free bread that looked like a brownish brick? If you’ve done any g.f. baking and you answer, “No” to that, I’ll know you’re lying. 😀
I accidentally discovered the secret to lofty, round-topped, well-rising gluten-free bread, and it arose (ha!) from me trying to make a bread for my nearly three-year-old daughter, Fiala, who is still highly allergic to just about everything on the planet. The only grain she can tolerate is oats. I’ve known for a couple of years that she can handle most legumes, and I’ve long been making farinata and other quick breads from garbanzo bean flour.
Recently, though, on one of my frequent forays into a local large Asian market, I noticed a package of mung bean starch. I’d seen mung beans elsewhere in the store. You can buy them in their tiny, green-skinned natural state:
Or shelled and split:
Have you ever bought bean sprouts? They were probably from a mung bean. Have you ever eaten cellophane noodles (also known as bean threads or saifun)? Those are made from mung bean starch.
Mung beans are used a LOT in Asian cooking. The Wikipedia article is quite interesting, noting the many cultures who use mung beans, and the wide variety of foods made from mung bean — whole, husked and split, flour, starch — from savory to sweet.
So, anyway. I picked some up, and with fairly low expectations, crafted a Fiala-safe bread using little more than oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, and mung bean starch.
It rose very well, browned amazingly, sliced PERFECTLY — even right out of the oven, and tasted great.
I haven’t quite abandoned the idea of making bread from my other all-purpose flour mix, but for now, I’m very satisfied with the tasty bread made with this simple mix. And the bonus is that EVERYONE in my family — all seven of us — can eat this bread.
Since this is already so long, I’ll have to post the actual bread recipe sometime in the near future. In preparation for the recipe, though, whydontchya make the flour mix?
Mung bean starch (also known as green bean starch) can be a bit hard to find online… I buy it for about $2.10 at a local Asian market for a 1 lb package. Here it is on a site called Grocery Thai for $5.95 for a 500 gram (17.64 oz) package, almost triple the price of my local store. If you find a better supplier at a better price, PLEASE leave the URL in a comment.
So, the only bummer about this mix is that, as one of the ingredients is a bit obscure, if you don’t live somewhere close to an Asian grocery, it may prove to be cost-prohibitive. 😦
Without further ado, here is the flour mix recipe:
Simple Sandwich Bread Flour Mix
makes approximately 12 cups
4 cups mung bean starch
4 cups garbanzo flour
4 cups oat flour
2 Tbsp xanthan gum
Whisk to combine all ingredients thoroughly. Store in an airtight container in the pantry (no need to refrigerate).
One more note about ingredients: I can find ALL of my flours at the Asian market: Garbanzo flour is also known as besan or chana dal and is widely used in Indian cooking. Oat flour can be found in the African foods section, called oat fufu (don’t laugh!). Both area also produced by Bob’s Red Mill, which probably has better standards regarding cross-contamination for gluten concerns, and are produced in the States. Inexplicably, the mung bean starch (made in China) is found in the Middle East aisle in my local store, but you may find it in the Korean section. If your local Asian grocery has English-language-challenged employees, you may want to print out what you’re looking for in several different languages, so you can ask for help. 🙂 Bob’s Red Mill also makes xanthan gum, though I buy mine in bulk at a natural foods grocery for about half the price of Bob’s.
OK. A second “one more note”: This flour would be considered corn-free, if it wasn’t for xanthan gum, which is usually made from a specific bacteria that is cultured on corn sugar. So, if you’re corn-allergic, depending on your sensitivity, you may be able to use this flour mix and the bread. I haven’t tried the mix with guar gum (made from a legume/seed). If you do, let me know!