Darling Sister,

My poor husband has been put on an exclusion diet for twenty weeks that includes no gluten and restricts certain kinds of sugars. I quickly realized I cannot go that long without something bread-ish in my life. After trying the selections at Whole Foods, and being generally underwhelmed by those stiff, mealy offerings, I stumbled across a recipe from Saveur that saved us. While the ingredients require a trip to a natural foods store or other well-stocked grocer, the tougher to find ingredients (looking at you, xanthan gum!) will last me through many loaves. This recipe requires exact measurements, so I used my kitchen scale and pre-weighed the dry ingredients for six loaves at the ready in my pantry. On Saturdays, I add the eggs, oil, and carbonated water to the dry mix and I’m halfway to bread before I have even finished my coffee. The resulting loaf is a little sweet, tender, and best sliced thin and toasted – fortunately it is sturdy enough that even a 1/4 in slice can hold up to a sandwich just fine!

Today’s fresh loaf! I left the top unspilt for a nice, high crown.

I followed the recipe posted at this site, with just a couple of modifications. First, I do not have seltzer water in my house. I do, however, have a case of tonic in the bar. I have been using tonic in lieu of seltzer for six weeks now with no noticeable problems. Second, I find that this dough takes longer to develop a nice rise than the recipe indicates. I turn on the oven while I’m mixing the dough, and turn it off when I’m putting the oiled dough in the pan. This serves as a nice, warm incubator for the loaf, and I give it a good 2-hour rise there. Third, it’s hard to get a nice loaf-y shape out of this sticky batter. I find that scraping the dough into a rough ball with my spatula and spritzing the ball on all sides with a little canola oil means that I can shape the dough into a cylinder the size of my loaf pan using my hands – a much more uniform result than just scraping, dropping, and hoping (as the recipe would have you do).

Looking forward to when we can have onions again, but not missing bread,


I spent all the time measuring and fiddling with dry ingredients up front, so I feel like a total boss dropping this bad boy into the mixer on Saturday mornings.


Fresh from the mixer, the dough has a very disconcerting clay-like texture. Take heart!


After a couple of hours, the dough will peek over the top of your loaf pan – which means it’s time to warm the oven and get baking!

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