Yup, bread and craft carbs are back in a major way in 2018. But for those who are gluten and dairy intolerant there is hope yet with this version of Nut Milk Bread from Modernist Bread. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains like wheat, barley, rye and more. It gives dough its elasticity, and provides a chewy satisfying texture. For the GF (gluten-free) supporters, this Nut Milk Bread recipe uses whipped egg whites to add airiness and transglutaminase to act as a “protein glue”. The results? A healthy, hearty loaf.
Our master method for making any nut milk follows. Use the parametric recipe below for making milk from a selection of different nuts. You can also make certain grain milks, like corn milk, using this method. Alternatively, use commercial nut milks (e.g., almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, cashew milk) instead of making your own.Because our nut milk is rather thick, we add an equal proportion of whey to thin it out.
- 110g pistachios, 250g water
- 125g chufas, 250g water
- 125g walnuts, 250g water
- 100g almonds, 250g water
- 100g cashews, 250g water
- 135g frozen (preferable) or fresh corn kernels, 225g water
Preparation for Nut Milk
- Soak the nuts in the water overnight at room temperature.
- The next day, blend the soaked nuts (with the water) in a blender on high speed until completely smooth. You won’t have a liquid that is precisely fluid like cow’s milk, though—the consistency of DIY nut milk is more like a thick heavy cream or fruit puree.
- Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Chia Seed Paste
In our gluten-free flour blend, we include xanthan gum, which works to thicken liquids used in bread doughs and to ensure that the various flours will be evenly dispersed. It essentially provides a structure for flour to cling to, which is what gluten does in wheat breads. In addition to xanthan gum, there are other options for improving the structure of gluten-free dough to create results that are as akin to wheat bread as possible. Our favorite addition is chia seed paste—adding a small amount radically improves the texture and overall taste of our gluten-free breads. Beyond that, chia-seed paste prolongs the freshness of the baked loaf by extending its capacity for water retention, which means it won’t dry out as fast. The amount that should be added to the dough is 3% paste relative to the weight of the gluten-free flour blend. Because this is a gel, add it to the dough just before mixing rather than to the flour blend in advance.
- 10g chia Seeds
- 20g water
Preparation for Chia Seed Paste
- Pour the chia seeds into the blender.
- Blend to a coarse consistency (not a fine powder).
- Stir the ground seeds into the water. Let rest at room temperature for 10 min before using.
- Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
While you can buy whey at most health-food shops, you can also easily make it with our recipe and the steps below.
- 410g milk
- 18g lemon juice
Preparation for Whey
- Bring the milk to a boil.
- Add the lemon juice, stir it in, and turn the heat off. Alternatively, you can use 1.5% lactic acid (6.07 g / 2½ tsp) instead of lemon juice.
- Once it cools, break up the curdled milk using a rubber spatula.
- Drain the whey water through a fine sieve. This amount will yield about 380 g / 1½ cups.
- Cool over an ice bath. Refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Gluten-free Flour Blend
Although commercial gluten-free flour mixes are increasingly available, we believe that bread made with our blend delivers a flavor and texture that are far closer to wheat-based bread. Quick to make in large batches, this blend keeps at room temperature for short-term use; you can also freeze it for later use. Let frozen flour come to room temperature before using it.
- 450g white rice flour
- 200g brown rice flour
- 140g glutinous rice flour
- 700g cornstarch
- 450g tapioca starch
- 200g nonfat milk powder*
- 20g xanthan gum
- 19.4g transglutaminase TI (optional)
Preparation for Flour Blend
- Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl until homogeneous.
- Transfer the mixture in batches to a food processor, making sure not to fill it more than halfway, and process until finely ground, 1–2 min.
- After each batch of flour is finely ground, sift it. Keeps for 2 months at room temperature in an airtight container. We recommend freezing the blend for up to 3 months in portions large enough to make one recipe at a time.
*Omit the milk powder to make this flour blend vegan.
Transglutaminase is typically used as a “meat glue” that binds meat proteins to each other (it is often used in sausage making). But we found that it also binds the proteins in this flour blend. We tested transglutaminase to see whether it would act the same way as gluten does when added to a weak flour dough. While we didn’t get any volume increase, we did notice a chew and consistency to the crumb that made it much more like wheat bread. If you use transglutaminase in your gluten-free flour blend, you will have to freeze the entire quantity of the blend because the enzymes in the transglutaminase do not survive for long at room temperature. If you do freeze the flour mix, pull only what you need from the freezer, and let it warm up at room temperature for 1-2 h before you mix your dough.
Nut Milk Bread
- 2 egg whites
- 220g nut milk
- 220g whey
- 1 tsp chia seed paste
- 1¾ tsp instant yeast
- 410g gluten-free flour blend
- 15g sugar
- 10.5g fine salt
- 8g polydextrose
- ⅓ cup oil
- Whip egg whites to stiff peaks, and set aside.
- Combine nut milk, whey, chia seed paste and yeast in mixer’s bowl, and stir to dissolve yeast.
- Combine gluten-free flour, sugar and fine salt in a separate bowl, and mix well.
- Pour the nut milk mixture into the gluten-free flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula to a homogeneous paste.
- Add oil and stir to incorporate. Now fold in whipped egg whites and incorporate completely.
- Transfer the dough into pre-oiled loaf pans. Tap out the excess.
- With wet hands, push dough into prepared pan, and smooth the top. Brush the surface of the dough with a thin coat of oil.
- Proof at room temperature for 1h.
- Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 45min.
These recipes were adapted from the book Modernist Bread – an extensive collection of recipes and techniques on all things bread-related. See other recipes the SALT tested out.