The Best Breads to Make if Someone in Your House Is Gluten-Free
Whether you follow a gluten-free diet, someone in your house does, or even if you have dear friends who come over to eat with you, one of the hardest things to deal with are breads. You can easily make all sorts of meals naturally gluten free, but if you are not a skilled baker, gluten free breads can be complicated, and until you do a lot of tasting and testing to find store-bought versions that work for you, super frustrating. Wouldn't it be great if you could whip up gluten-free bread in your own kitchen that you knew would be delicious?
The complicated way to bake gluten-free bread at home
If you want to start baking gluten-free versions of regular breads, it often requires investing in a whole new range of alternative ingredients that then need storing.
Then, if you have a bread machine, you can grab a copy of the extraordinary The Gluten-Free Bread Machine Cookbook by Jane Bonacci and Shannon Kinsella and get 175 fabulous recipes to choose from. Then just let the machine do the work!
The easy way to bake gluten-free bread at home
But, for me, I love to just make a bread that is naturally gluten free. There are a lot of bread traditions around the world that fit this category, and many of them are very easy to learn.
For starters, and the one I turn to most often, is true Southern style cornbread. While many cornbread recipes over the years have added wheat flour to lighten them, the old traditional is 100% cornmeal, and 1000% delicious. If you have a cornbread recipe you already love, but it contains flour, swap in a 1:1 gluten free baking flour like Bob's Red Mill and make the recipe as written.
GET THE RECIPE: Skillet Cornbread
Next, I go a bit global. There are a lot of cultures whose foodways are not wheat-based. Think Brazilian pão de queijo gorgeous cheese bread rolls that are addictively delicious. Ethiopian injera, a thick crepe-like fermented bread made with teff flour, is the perfect tear and dunk break for anything saucy. Corn tortillas are both widely available and easy to make, and can be either a transportation service for fillings, or just a warm pile of happy carbs on the side of any meal.
You can travel the world from your cookbook library and find all sorts of breads that don't need any alteration from their authentic original recipes to make them gluten free. Socca, a French chickpea pancake, or Chilean potato bread both are naturally gluten-free and pack wonderful nutty flavors. Venezuelan arepas are thick corn pancakes that can be split for sandwiches or to serve as buns, and idli are the Indian version. Do some digging on the cassava breads of Africa, or the buckwheat crepes of France, and you will find that the world of breadstuffs that are all naturally gluten free is wide and wonderful!
An almost-gluten-free shortcut
Finally, if the diner in question is not celiac, but is just limiting gluten or slightly intolerant, loaves made with 100% rye are a good option, and if you make homemade sourdough and do a long cold fermentation in the fridge for 48-72 hours, those breads have nearly undetectable traces of gluten and are a good option for those who are not highly sensitive or allergic.