Okey-dokey, after some experimenting, I think I finally came up with a pretty good chia-brown rice bread. I got the idea when I came across Nuchiafoods.com, which sells a chia-brown rice flour product for wheat-free baking. ‘Course, they don’t tell you the ratio of chia to brown rice flour they use, so I had to kinda take a gander. First I got crazy and tried a cup and a half of chia flour to one cup brown rice flour, but, because chia has the tendency, like flaxseed, to quickly absorb liquid and get all gelly-like, the consistency, even when baked was a little odd, plus it was really way too dense. So then I kept reducing the amount of chia flour until I got what I think is the right ratio of chia to brown rice flour, and the right amount of liquid.
In any case, I think that this is a pretty suitable wheat-free, gluten-free recipe for folks who are trying to stay away from wheat and/or gluten. I don’t have a particular problem with either, but I am doing an anti-candida yeast cleanse and one of the specifications is to stay away from wheat (as well as sugar), hence all the wheat-free and sugar-free experimentation that’s been going in my kitchen lately. And, of course, vain chick that I am, the only reason I’m doing this cleanse is because somebody said I’d lose my unhealthy cravings and lose weight. So, what the heck and tarnation! I am losing my unhealthy cravings, and I think I’m losing some weight, though I threw out my icky nasty groddy scale when I moved and haven’t bought a new one yet. But I feel thinner in any case, and I’m finding that I’m not hungry all the time like I was before. Interesting.
Anyway, more on that later, but now onto the chia-brown rice bread recipe!
1 ½ cup brown rice flour + 2 tbsp flour to flour yer bread pan
½ cup chia seed flour
2 cups soy milk, or other milk
3 tsp baking powder
3 ½ tbsp tapioca flour (optional)
¼ tsp salt
1/8 to ¼ tsp stevia powder or 2 tbsp agave (see comments below on the eevels of agave) honey (preferably raw) or sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and butter and flour a bread pan (you can use rice flour to flour it – it works just like wheat flour on a buttered surface and keeps yer bread from sticking to the pan, just like wheat flour).
If you don’t have any brown rice or chia seed flour, or want to save money, you can grind your own, like I did. I ground each flour separately in a blender, with the speed set to grind. The brown rice takes longer to grind; I let it grind approximately 5 minutes; chia seed doesn’t take nearly as long; I estimate it got ground to flour in less than a minute. Keep in mind that your mileage may vary according to your blender. I now have a fancy-dancy modern Oster blender that my dad gave me for Christmas a couple of years ago (at my request) to replace my ancient, but still usable Oster blender that my dad got me for Christmas twenty years ago (also at my request). Even though that ancient Oster blender had a cheap plastic blending container, compared to the glass one I have now, I swear it ground flour much finer and faster than the modern one does. I used both blenders to grind whole wheat, and the ancient one wins, hands down. I mean, the modern one does an okey-dokey job and it’s good enuf for what I need it for, but the other one just ground flour much finer and in far less time, at least as I remember, but my memory is faulty, so who the heck knows? I do still have that ancient blender – I was gonna use it to make things like hypertufa containers and papercrete, but I may have to dig it up to use it for flour! ‘Course, I recently received my Wondermill Junior hand-operated flour mill that I ordered from USA Emergency (check them out, they’ve got great stuff, decent prices, and very, very helpful customer service), but I’ve been too lazy to try it out.
Anywho, back to the old recipe. After ya grind yer flour, put it all in a mixing bowl and add the baking powder, tapioca flour, salt and stevia. You can also use honey (raw is best, if you can get it ). I previously said you can use agave, which I thought was a honey-like healthful sweetener made from agave plants. Supposedly it’s suppose to not spike yer blood sugar levels like sugar does, but now it’s thought to be no better than high fructose corn syrup – yikes! See Donna’s comment below for the link to Dr. Mercola’s info on agave. Or what the heck, use sugar if you like, I ain’t the health police! But you’ll probably need to use at least 1-2 tablespoons of honey or sugar to give the bread a little sweetness. If you don’t like a little sweetness to yer bread, then leave it out!
In any case, mix all yer dry ingredients real good before you add the milk. And if you use honey, mix it when you mix in yer milk, since it’s all syrupy and stuff. BTW, if you use stevia, the best stevia powder in the whole world is NuNatural’s NuStevia Pure White Stevia Extract. It doesn’t take much at all to sweeten stuff. Other kinds of stevia do the trick, but it takes more to sweeten, IMHO. It’s a little more expensive, but you don’t need as much so it lasts a lot longer than other kinds of stevia powder.
Now comes the slightly tricky part: as I said earlier, chia, whether left as a seed or used as a flour, when introduced to liquid, has a tendency to absorb water quickly and gel up. This is just to say that ya gotta be careful when ya start to pour in the milk, cuz yer gonna need to mix it just as quick as you can before the dough gets too sticky to move.
Mix the milk in quick and when it starts to become a sticky blob, toss it in yer buttered and brown-rice floured bread pan. You may have to stretch it a little to fit the pan. The interesting thing I found, though, is using the chia flour makes the dough of this quick bread much the consistency of yeasted, whole wheat bread dough, and I swear even the dough kinda tastes like whole wheat bread dough!
Now ya put it in yer preheated 350 degree oven and let it bake for 40-50 minutes. Then ya got ya some great wheat-free bread! I myself think that it does taste like a whole wheat quick bread, especially with the sweet stuff in it (whether you use stevia, sugar, honey). However, if yer lookin’ for a wheat-free sandwich substitute, this probably ain’t it. It is rather dense, like a quick bread, and it doesn’t really rise like wheat bread does. But I have put peanut butter or tahini on it with some stevia-sweetened jam, and kinda do an open-faced PBJ (or TBJ if I use tahini).
In any case, if yer in the mood for adventure, give this recipe a whirl and see if ya like it. Lemme know if ya try it and what ya think of it!