I’ve been thinking an awful lot lately about the art of
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self-care. What it means to listen to my body, be kind to myself, feel good in my own skin (or maybe I should say, feel like myself in my own skin)
How often do we fill our days with things we think we ought to be doing, rather than those that are right for ourselves? How easily do we buy into everything the world tells us we should be doing if we want to be important, relevant, or have someone think we did a good enough job?
“I’ve got 100 emails in my inbox that I have to respond to right away. Everything on my to-do list needs to be done today. An invitation for coffee that I really should accept”
Don’t get me wrong; many of these things are important. We want to do well in our careers, be available for and nurture friendships, and be productive in our days. But somewhere along the line, I’ve started to step back. Becoming more aware of how easy it is to get sucked in, to begin to draw self-worth from things that don’t matter, and at times giving far more of myself than I should, with very little thought to balance.
I offer no answers. I’m not even sure I know the questions to ask on this journey. What I do know is the little voice in my gut said it was time to start paying attention, honor the need to stay home and rest when the world demanded velocity. Step away from my job mentally and physically when it wasn’t time to work. Start saying “no” to last-minute invitations that forced me to rush and re-arrange my day
Stories like Brittany Maynard serve as a reminder that in the end, we wish we’d lived more, loved more, paid closer attention. I have to believe that when we take the time to really care about ourselves, we’ll have the strength to be our best, not only to ourselves but to others.
If you’re a reader of The Veggies you’ll know, I can’t think self-care without considering food. It’s long been my drug of choice, self-medication whether I was present enough in the moment to admit it or not. I need to eat ice cream at midnight because I feel lonely and blue. I need .. no .. deserve (!) that mac and cheese because “Can I just tell you about the day I had?” A big blizzard from the DQ with extra chocolate sauce and malt powder. “Please, have you ever lived with a teenager?”
Of course, the feeling of comfort was always fleeting, leaving me right back where I started, with the feelings of sadness, boredom, anxiety, and stress. Instead, when I really began to think in terms of loving myself and self-care, food started to shift in my head to a source of fuel, rather than anesthesia.
This is a wonderful time of the year to be baking bread, and this loaf is from the new Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day Cookbook. I’ve long been a lover of their approach, and this is no exception.
While I don’t have a specific gluten-intolerance, what I have found is, when I’m not eating it regularly, I’ve noticed a difference in how I feel (for the better). I also know bread is one of the hardest things for people to cut from their diets.
If you’ve experimented with gluten-free bread offered at the grocery, you’ll know there aren’t many good ones to choose from. That’s why it’s been a lot of fun experimenting with ways to make it at home. This one is surprisingly good, and it bakes up fragrant and delicious.
It’s fantastic sliced and toasted alongside a bowl of soup, slathered with peanut butter and jelly, or with creamy goat cheese and a sprinkling of herbs. If you haven’t baked bread before, I’d encourage you to give it a try. If you’re gluten-free, you really don’t have to live a life without great bread.
ps: To learn more about Artisan Bread in 5, the authors have a beautiful blog
pps: Wondering what the difference is between granulated (dry) yeast and fresh? A great article from The Kitchn
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~ Adapted from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day
Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
- 6 ½ cups gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- 1 Tbsp granulated yeast
- 1 - 1 ½ Tbsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp honey (or sugar)
- 3 ¾ cups lukewarm water (100° F or below)
- cornmeal (or parchment paper, for the pizza peel)
- egg white wash (1 egg white + 1 tablespoon water for the top of loaf)
- Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and sweetener in a 5- to 6-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Add the water and mix with a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle.
- Cover (not airtight), and rest at room temperature until the dough rises, about 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after rising, though it's easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next ten days. Or freeze for up to 4 weeks in 1-pound portions and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before use.
- On baking day: Dust the surface of the dough with rice flour, pull off a 1 pound (grapefruit-size) piece and place it on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal (use plenty) or parchment paper. Gently press and pat it into a ball-shape, using wet fingers to smooth the surface.
- Allow to rest for about 60 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap or a roomy overturned bowl. During this time, the dough may not seem to rise much, which is normal.
- Preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450°F (20 to 30 minutes), with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won't interfere with the rising bread.
- Dust the top with flour, and then slash, about ½-inch deep, with a wet serrated bread knife.
- Slide the loaf onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until richly browned and firm.
- Allow to cool completely on a rack before eating.
Can you please give the conversion to fresh yeast? I really want to make this, but this is the only type of yeast I have.
Thanks so much <3
Thank-you so much!
I admit I haven’t experimented with fresh yeast .. though there is an article at thekitchn’s site (http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-instant-a-54252). It mentions a good rule of thumb is to double the amount of dry (granulated). If you give it a try .. I’d love to know how it turns out.
Don’t have a pizza stone but have a cast iron casserole round dish – can I use this
Hi Bette .. I think it would be great, xx
I just happened upon you blog while searching for gluten free artisan bread because I’m a HUGE fan of artisan bread in 5 minutes a day… I always had a container of dough in the fridge for years. Going gluten free has put a stop to that and I had no idea they have a gluten free book!!! Also on the about self care, I really needed that too. So strange how things cross our paths just at the right moment!?!
Oh my gosh, yes! For years I had my own container too. I must say, it’s so much different working with gluten-free dough and it really takes a while to get a feel for it. But it’s so nice to have a tasty alternative for those of use who need (or want) to avoid gluten. Have a wonderful weekend! xx
Forgot to ask what gluten free all purpose flour do you use/suggest? I have Bob’s red mill 1 to 1 and the All purpose baking flour, but of love to k ow what you’ve had success with?
Desiree .. Hi! I use the Namaste brand of flour sold at Costco. It’s always worked really well for me. xx
I almost gave up After spending $$$ and hours on different recipes until I came across this post. Omg finally I can enjoy real bread again. The measurements to your flour blend recipe are perfection! And the process of sour dough is what I was missing. My husband and children said it tasted like the bread they serve you at Italian restaurants! Than you so much! I’m in bread heaven!
Was disappointed by this recipe. Followed it word for word and my bread after rising (which it did a lot) it fell after I tried to put it into a ball.
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