gluten-free sandwich bread, and the confessions of a “wannabe” piano player

Hello, dear neighbors ! When you make sandwiches, instead of cutting vertical slices from a “classic” gluten-free loaf, have you tried slicing a thinner dough horizontally? That’s what I have been doing ever since I started working on this recipe, tweaked from my gluten-free pizza dough recipe. (Please check it out: unlike this sandwich bread, my pizza dough now comes with a vegan option!)  Covering the batter for most of the baking time makes the bread very soft. Preparing the dough, using some starch as well as cassava and teff flour,  is fairly easy. The only glitch is that this bread doesn’t keep very well, not beyond 8 hours anyway. But freezing it after it has cooled down will make it readily available: just pop it in the microwave for some 20 seconds and it will be fresh again! (Needless to say, this option was tested in our home, and also by my now Bostonian daughter, who is sometimes in a bit of a rush to get her lunch bag ready first thing in the morning…)

Ingredients (for 8 triangular sandwiches, English style 😊)

good quality water (preferably chlorine free!)

½ TBSP active dry yeast

– 1 egg, yolk and white separated

– 175g cassava flour, chosen for its soft results

– 50g teff flour, chosen for its whole grain goodness and to lower the glycemic index of the dough

– 75g potato starch (which I hope you can find without any sulfites, otherwise you can probably use arrow root as a substitute)

– 1 TBSP ground chia + 1 tsp ground flax + 1 tsp psyllium husk, OR 4 tsp ground chia + 1 tsp ground flax  (as binding agents)

½ tsp all natural sea salt

How to:

1. Add 50ml lukewarm (NOT hot) water to dry yeast, with a pinch of sugar to activate the yeast.

2. Meanwhile, beat egg yolk inside a measuring cup, then add enough water, still beating, to reach a total of 250 ml.

3. Beat egg white separately until slightly stiff peaks form and set aside.

4. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl or in a stand mixer.

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Add wet mixes from steps 1 and 2, beating with flat beater until the dough “comes together” like so:

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5. Add egg white from step 3, still beating, until well combined. The resulting « dough” resembles a very thick American pancake batter.

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The batter is spread with a spatula.

 

6. Spread on greased baking paper inside a 20 x 20 cm / 8 x 8 inch square pan, cover with aluminum foil and proof for about an hour in a warm place. Tiny bubbles will form at the surface of the dough.

7. Bake in a preheated oven at 220 °C / 435 °F, for 25 minutes, covered with the aluminum foil, and an additional 5 minutes, uncovered.

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Baked and soft from top to bottom!
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I usually cut into four equal portions then make the oh-so-British triangles.

Remove from pan and let the bread cool down on a rack before cutting and slicing or freezing.

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I think this one was a tuna sandwich.
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On the right, an earlier version of the recipe, not so soft, but already looking, and tasting, a lot better than store-bought sliced bread pictured on the left!!!

Dear neighbors, I must tell you this: for me, cooking, even gluten-free, is much easier than playing an instrument! For two and a half years now, I have been trying to learn to play the piano, and also, of course, to read notes. Basically on my own. Somewhat presumptuous of me, right, dear neighbors ? Maybe I should have started the simple pipe flute instead ! There is something I just don’t quite master yet, actually quite a lot of things. So I took the time to closely observe videos of professionals, and now I get it. A true pianist looks like this:

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Haven’t you noticed? A pianist has three pairs of multi directional eyes:

– one for the two clefs on the music sheet, the treble clef (on top, for the right hand) and the bass clef (at the bottom, for the left hand)… To make things trickier, some composers nastily mix the two clefs on the same staff. In case you don’t know, reading both clefs at the same time is not unlike simultaneously reading French and Italian: it clearly implies that you have a natural ability to partition your brain in two 🤯!

– one pair to register the position of your fingers on the keyboard as noted on the score . Sometimes, though, the position is not even indicated, so you have to take a guess and work it out for yourself!

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struggling to figure out which fingers should be used… I end up with a lot of scribbled stuff!

– and finally, one more pair to “keep an eye” (honestly?) on the hands and extensible fingers that run up and down the keyboard…

This is enough to make me want to pull my hair 😩… Except that I would also need an extra pair of hands 🤪!!!

So long, dear neighbors, have a nice weekend, with plenty of music to enjoy!

4 Comments

  1. the bread looks delicious, but your piano playing report is delightful – hilarious as well! I’ve been playing piano since the age of four, and have never thought of it this way, but you are right, dear Joelle! That’s exactly what a piano player looks like! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dolly 😊! When I first started the piano, I had this vague notion that a pianist played with his eyes closed, completely immersed in the music 🎶😌🎶. Boy, did I have this all wrong, at least in my case 😄! I wish I had taken lessons at an early age…
      As for the bread, my husband keeps telling me « This is perfect, please don’t change a thing! » — he knows me too well, often trying new variations of my recipes! But I will not attempt to « further improve » this one. The bread is absolutely delicious.
      Have a lovely Sunday, take care!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In order to play with eyes closed, a pianist has to start very early and practice for many years. In college, we practiced for 10 – 12 hours a day. I doubt that you are up to that, but you can definitely learn to play for your own pleasure and entertainment.
        Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!

        Liked by 1 person

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