Wonderful homemade gluten-free rice bread fresh out of the oven.
Rice bread has been quite popular on social media recently, with several chefs and influencers trying this gluten-free delight. The highlight, it is made in a blender in a fraction of the time it takes to make traditional bread. So, naturally, I had to try my hand at it and see what all the fuss is about.
The recipe is based on a Taiwanese rice bread, and I have to admit it comes out nice and fluffy with a yeasty taste and denseness you'd expect in bread. The outside gets nice and crispy, while the inside is tender and begging for some butter. It can be made entirely vegan as well, as I have done here. But there are a few things of which to be watchful.
Rice bread batter will dry out very easily. Which is why it's important to soak the rice overnight and keep it hydrated at every step of the process. I say batter, not dough, because it is quite viscous. Even as the bread rises, it retains an almost liquid consistency when jiggled.
For the best performance in this recipe use a short-grain rice, but any rice should work. A high-powered blender, like a Vitamix, is needed to get the batter silky smooth.
Any weight on the tops will keep small loaves, as pictured above, from puffing up as they bake. Though the toppings can be used to give the loaves different flavours. I think this bread would be lovely with some added herbs and seasonings. A 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, or dried rosemary would be yummy.
Thanks to ChefSteps recipe for Blender Bread for introducing me to this wonderful and simple bread. I will definitely be experimenting more with this technique.
(Makes 12 servings)
2 cups Calrose rice, soaked overnight
1 cup water, room temperature (or dairy or non-dairy milk)
3 tablespoons plant-based butter, melted and cooled (or oil)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 envelope instant yeast (2.25 teaspoons)
calorie-free cooking spray
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pepitas, or sliced almonds for the top (optional)
Soak the rice overnight in the refrigerator. When ready to make the bread, drain and rinse the rice. Set aside.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds to melt. Set aside.
In a high-powered blender, add the rice, water, butter, maple syrup, salt, and yeast. Blend on high speed for about 45 to 90 seconds, or until the temperature of the mixture reaches between 100°F / 38°C and 105°F / 40°C (stop and check after 45 seconds). It's important not to exceed this temperature. By this point the mixture should be very smooth and luscious.
Spray a 9-inch, non-stick loaf pan, or several smaller loaf pans (I used 6, 3.5-inch x 6-inch pictured below), with the calorie-free cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan(s) filling them halfway. Spray the tops with a fine mist of water then place in a warm location and allow to rise to over double the original volume. Optional: Sprinkle the top of the loaf/loaves with seeds or nuts, but note, this will keep the loaves flat topped.
Preheat oven to 375F / 190C. Once the oven is heated, spritz the loaf/loaves again with water. Place an oven-proof pan with water on the lowest level of the oven. Bake the loaf/loaves for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer the loaf/loaves to a wire cooling rack, removing from the loaf pan(s).
Allow to cool and enjoy. Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container or bag for up to 2 or 3 days.