Now, I like to think of myself as an improvisational cook. Most of the time my food works out great with this method; however, baking is more of a science—screw up a ratio and the whole thing goes flat. Gluten-free and vegan baking somehow seem easier, so I’ve been using some of my down time this winter to play baker. My gluten-free banana chip muffins are a weekly event and now I know the recipe by heart and have tweaked it to perfection. (50/50 GF Flour and Almond meal, 1/2 cup apple sauce, 2 bananas and 3 tsp baking soda are the tweaks!)
The teff sandwich bread was a different story. The recipe looked easy but I couldn’t seem to get the bread to properly rise, resulting in a dense, albeit tasty, bread. This weekend I gave it my 3rd and last shot after doing a little bit of baking research. I wondered why my non-yeast muffins rose wonderfully, yet my yeast teff bread refused to rise. Had I let it get too cold, or had I made it too hot and killed the yeast? Could I combine baking soda and powder with a yeast recipe? Not really, I learned.
Two things I was doing wrong in my recipe. First, I neglected to mix my warm water yeast mixture with my honey, oil and flax. Second, I wasn’t keeping my bread at the right temperature to rise. So, I heated 2 kitchen towels for 1 minute in the microwave and then covered the bread under and over like a blanket and closed the microwave door for 1 hour. The result was a much more fluffy loaf that was still dense but very tasty–especially with a smear of hummus!
I’d probably make this bread again but I would buy a smaller loaf pan to maximize my chances of getting a more ‘sandwich-friendly’ square. However, I’ll still probably be making the muffins regularly since they are so darn easy and good!