Sometimes a recipe writes itself before I’ve even set foot in the kitchen. It can be set in motion by the simplest of things.
This recipe for Harvest Sun Bread came to me a few days ago while I was in my garden taking in the last of a golden autumn evening. I felt the need to create a bread that captured the fall season in an edible form. A bread that would feel nurturing and fortifying before a long cold winter.
This bread is substantial and wholesome with oats, pumpkin, millet and just a hint of brown sugar and molasses. It is the perfect accompaniment for chili and soup and it is indescribably good when eaten warm out of the oven with a bit of butter (or your spread of choice) and honey.
If fall was a flavor, this would be it.
Harvest Sun Bread (Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free/Soy-Free/ Corn-Free)
- 1 ½ cups brown rice flour
- 3/4 cup potato starch
- 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup millet flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (I use Authentic Foods for a corn-free variety)
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup leftover cooked gluten-free oatmeal (made from gluten-free certified oats)
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup warm milk or milk substitute
*Recipe Notes: Although I am particularly fond of the flavor millet flour imparts on this bread, it can be difficult to find. If you can’t get your hands on some, feel free to substitute with sorghum or brown rice flour. The cooked oatmeal and pumpkin are essential to the moist, flexible quality of this bread. If you don’t eat oats, pre-cooked quinoa would be a great substitution.
→ Place the dry ingredients (brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, millet flour, xanthan gum, sea salt, brown sugar, and yeast) into the bowl of your standing mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds to combine.
→ Add the remaining (wet) ingredients (pumpkin puree, cooked oatmeal, molasses, eggs, oil, and milk) to the bowl and starting out on slow speed, gradually increase to medium-high speed and mix for 2 full minutes on medium-high. The dough will look like a very thick waffle batter. Please see the picture below for an idea of how it should look.
→ Remove bowl from the mixer and scrape the dough from the paddle attachment. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes in a sufficiently warm, 80 degree place.
→ After 45 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Gently scrape the dough into a well-greased loaf pan (I use pan spray). Use your spatula to level off the dough the best you can.
→ Cover lightly with the oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise for 20-30 minutes more in a warm place. When the bread is ready to bake it will be just about 1/2 inch above the top of the pan (for an 8.5 by 4.5 inch pan) or almost level with the top if you are using a (9 by 5 inch pan).
→ Gently remove the plastic wrap without deflating your loaf and set it on the center rack of your preheated oven.
→ Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees. (At the 15 minute mark I brushed mine with a bit of beaten egg and sprinkled with some uncooked oats to get the “look” of the bread in the photos. An optional extra step.)
→ Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 205-210 degrees in the center of the bread. The loaf will be a deep golden brown color and will sound hollow when tapped with your fingers. If you are using a dark colored pan, you may need to reduce the baking time.
→ Remove the bread from the oven and cool for 5-6 minutes before carefully turning the loaf out to finish cooling on a wire rack.
→ Cool completely before slicing. Once the bread is cool to the touch, you can put it in freezer bags and freeze for a month or two. I remove a slice at a time, as needed. Pop in the toaster or bring to room temperature and it is almost as good as the day it was baked. * If the slices aren’t completely cool when you put them in the freezer, they will stick together.
A quick snapshot of what your dough should look like before you cover it to rise. It will be thick and sticky and won’t even come close to forming a ball.