Raisin Bread – Gluten-free

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What is it about raisins and cinnamon that make bread irresistibly good? With or without raisins, this gluten-free yeast bread is delicious. It slices perfectly.

1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups garbanzo flour
2 cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
4 teaspoons xanthan gum
salt – up to 1 teaspoon (OPTIONAL – personally I don’t use any salt)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons active dry yeast (3 packages)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4 1/2 cups warm water (more water may be necessary)
1 1/3 cups raisins
2 teaspoons cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 200oF.

In a large bowl, whisk together the rice flour, garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca and xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt if using.

In a medium size bowl mix the sugar with the yeast and pour in about 1 cup of the water. The water should be lukewarm, not hot, or the yeast won’t work. Beat the mixture with a fork and let sit for about 5 minutes. The top should foam. If it doesn’t the yeast is no good and the dough won’t rise. Pour the yeast mixture over the dry ingredients and incorporate with a fork whisk. Mix in another cup of water and the olive oil. Continue adding water until the mixture has the consistency of thick cake batter. It will be a creamy, very thick liquid. Stir in raisins.

Pour batter into two greased loaf pans, filling each pan about half-way. Place on the top of the oven and cover with a towel. I have a gas oven with the burners raised above the top surface of the oven so that the pans are not directly touching the heat – they are just in a warm environment. If you have a flat surface cook top you many want to place the pans on a rack so they are not in direct contact with the heat. Allow the batter to rise and double in size – rising above the top of the pans – about 60 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 400F and bake loaves for 10 minutes. Remove loaves from the oven and cover each with aluminum foil. Bake the covered loaf pans for about 35-45 minutes. To determine if the bread is done, insert a toothpick to see if it comes out clean. I like a moist bread, so I baked it for 35 minutes after covering. The toothpick was free of crumbs but there were some gummy spots which when cool becomes a moist, spongy bread. Remove from oven and let cool.

For a plain bread, just omit the raisins and cinnamon and/or top with sesame seeds.

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