Do you know what victory looks like? If you’re not sure, I’ll show you.
Meet my Victory Loaf.
Besides finishing my first marathon, I can’t think of another victory I’ve had anytime recently that has felt this sweet.
Prior to finding out that I’m gluten-sensitive/intolerant, I ate a lot of bread and bread products. Granted, I was almost exclusively eating whole grain, healthier bread varieties, but bread was a staple in my dietary routine. Since having to give up gluten that has obviously changed. For those of you are about to say, “Wait! There are several gluten-free options available these days – eat those!”, please allow me to remind you that I am also supposed to be avoiding yeast, eggs, and dairy.
That eliminates most all the prepared bread and bread dough products I have been able to find in stores or online.
This has been one of the most discouraging parts of my gluten-sensitive diagnosis. And, just to be clear, it’s not just about bread. It’s really about having things that have traditionally brought me pleasure and comfort all of a sudden turn into things that harm me. It’s about being excluded from social situations because I can no longer join in with the group in quite the same way. It’s about feeling tense and afraid that I’m going to sick anytime I’m eating something I haven’t prepared with my own hands. It’s about activities (baking/cooking) that I grew so used to turning to for relaxation and joy all of a sudden being fraught with stress and unease. It’s about loss and grief and life changes that are at times complex, sad, empowering, challenging, freeing, and frustrating all at once.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s a bigger picture here, People. And all of this is why this bread, this Victory Loaf, left me standing over my kitchen counter shedding a few little tears of joy.
I have tried gluten free, yeast free baking a few times since my diagnosis (most of what I baked before was vegan, so that part wasn’t so tricky to adapt to), and it never turned out very well. Some items went straight into the garbage. Others got nibbled at with desperate hopefulness and then found their way to the trash, too. While a couple of items got eaten entirely, it was with some sense of disappointment because they still weren’t quite up to my standards. All of this was done by strictly following recipes. I had lost trust in myself. Not yet feeling any level of confidence with the new flours and gums and grains that have taken over my pantry, I was hesitant to stray at all from recipes and followed them all to sub-par results. I don’t know if I was just selecting bad recipes or if I was executing them poorly (maybe a combination of the two), but I was more than a little discouraged.
Until I decided to give myself a chance.
Drawing upon what I had learned about the new ingredients available to me and the kitchen skills I have gained over the last few years, I put together my own recipe. I knew that it could fail miserably, but at least I was prepared to do so on my own terms.
But, it didn’t.
In fact, it went better in so many ways than any gluten free baking I had done. It was incredible.
I made bread that looked like bread, tasted like bread, and exuded nothing less than absolute delight when I took my first bite.
It was pure victory.
I ate my Victory Loaf dry, with Earth Balance*, with jam, with sunflower seed butter, with peanut butter, dipped into soup, and with edamame hummus. I ate it every way that I could. I ate it with joy, with pleasure, with feelings of empowerment, with smiles, with fervor, with delight, and with relief.
And every time it felt like a little victory all over again.
*This was my favorite pairing.
A Move Eat Create original recipe
Makes 1 standard loaf
** Note: You should note that this bread does taste of buckwheat and dark grains. If you’re looking for a soft, white bread, this is nowhere near that. But, if you like whole grains, dark breads, and buckwheat, then this just might work for you.
- 2 cups buckwheat flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1 cup millet flour
- 2 ¼ cups room temperature water
- 1 tblspn molasses
- 2 tspns salt
- 1 tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn fresh lemon juice
- 2 tblspns shelled sunflower seeds
- 1 tblspn millet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by coating with cooking spray.
- Combine flours and salt in large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Add water and molasses to the flour mixture and stir until just combined
- In a small bowl, combine baking soda with lemon juice and whisk together. It will bubble/foam (this is the yeast replacement and will help create a similar rise effect). Quickly pour into the rest of the batter and stir all ingredients until well incorporated. There is no need to mix aggressively or to knead this dough.
- Pour batter into loaf pan and gently pick up the pan an inch or two and drop it on the counter in order to settle the dough and get it to level out.
- Lastly, combine the sunflower seeds and millet together and sprinkle on top of the batter for a seeded crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Savor every bite.