What is gluten?
Gluten is what gives bread products its elasticity. It gives shape, strength, and texture to bread and other grain products. Avoiding gluten is important for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, as they can experience serious side effects from eating foods that contain gluten.
If you need to avoid gluten in your diet, finding gluten-free products is not always easy, especially for breakfast. However, new products are becoming available almost daily to make baking your own gluten-free bread or coffee cake much easier.
Here is a recipe for gluten-free breakfast treat my family enjoys.
Gluten-Free Mini Braids
Makes 4 small braids
2 1/2 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour, such as King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill
3 tablespoons sugar or measure for measure sugar substitute for baking
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons instant yeast (SAF)
4 tablespoons soft butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 large egg, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg, beaten with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash
Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl. Add the soft butter, blending on low-speed with the paddle attachment until coarse crumbs form. Add the oil, milk, egg, and vanilla, beating until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the dough comes together; scrape the bowl down again.
Switch to the dough hook and knead a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until visibly puffy. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 375°F. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Knead one piece on a surface floured with gluten-free flour; divide the dough into 3 equal pieces; roll each into 12-inch long ropes and pinch the top portion together; braid; pinch the ends together; form into a circle. With a wide spatula, transfer the formed dough to one side of the baking sheet; repeat with the second piece of dough and place on the other side of the baking sheet.
Repeat with the remaining dough to form two more braids and place them on the second baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the braids with the egg wash; bake for about 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown. Reverse the pans halfway through baking. Transfer the baked bread to a cooling rack to cool completely.
You can vary the flavor in the frosting by replacing the lemon with other flavors, such as orange, almond, etc.
1 cup powdered sugar or powdered sugar substitute (such as Swerve)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Zest of one lemon
Combine the ingredients for the frosting and add enough milk to make a frosting that will drip off the spoon over the braids. Sprinkle each braid with lemon zest. Set aside until the frosting is dry.