Amazing Dairy and Egg Free Bread

It’s time for a recipe, and this one is one of my all time favorites.  It is oh-so-simple, and high on the comfort food scale.  I love that it is an authentic recipe, not one that’s been altered to be safe for Nathan.  Thank you to my friend, Jackie, for originally giving me this recipe after finding it in a magazine.

I make this bread for special occasions or just because we’re craving a warm loaf of satisfying bread to dip in hot soup.  I often take this to family gatherings and it’s a rare occasion that I get to bring some home with me.  It would be perfect for an upcoming Mother’s Day lunch paired with juicy, roasted chicken & roasted vegetables or an Italian dish (that’s dairy free, of course!).

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delicious bread….

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2 T active dry yeast

2 C warm water (110F-115F)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 ½ – 5 C bread flour (I prefer King Arthur)

Dissolve the yeast in water. In a separate bowl mix the salt, sugar, & flour. Add the water mixture to the dry mixture and mix until smooth to form soft dough.

The cutest baking assistant ever

The cutest baking assistant ever

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Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.

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Put into lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

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Punch dough down, then divide in half and shape into two loaves on greased baking sheet, seam side down. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.

Bake @ 450F for 15 minutes.   Let the bread rest and cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.

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We love this bread topped with dairy and soy free Earth Balance spread, and I must say that a drizzle of local honey tops it off for me!  I have tried this bread in 2 glass loaf pans and it does pretty well, which allows the shape of the bread to be more suitable for sandwiches.  I’d love to try this in my bread maker soon to see how it does, and when I do I’ll be sure to post an update.  I know you’ll love this bread just as much as our family does, so let me know what you think!  Here’s the recipe one more time, all together without the pictures.

2 T active dry yeast

2 C warm water (110F-115F)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 ½ – 5 C bread flour (I prefer King Arthur)

Dissolve the yeast in water. In a separate bowl mix the salt, sugar, & flour. Add the water mixture to the dry mixture and mix until smooth to form soft dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Put into lightly greased bowl, turning to grease all sides. Let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Punch dough down, then divide in half and shape into two loaves on greased baking sheet, seam side down. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake @ 450F for 15 minutes.   Let the bread rest and cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Happy Baking,

Rachel

Our Food Allergy Journey….Part 2

Our Food Allergy Journey….Part 1 ended with Nathan’s first BIG reaction to yogurt in April of 2010 at the sweet age of 9 months.  Fast forward to December of 2011…where his dairy numbers spiked and we found out about his peanut allergy.  I guess a peanut allergy was to be expected, as was the spike in his blood work numbers.  It’s just so disheartening.  It’s scary, and unchartered territory.  I remember our allergist had said that blood test results will often spike before they start to back off.  Well, here’s the spike.  Nathan’s dairy numbers had jumped from 30-something to 98!  This is out of 100, folks.  His peanut tests came back at 60-something.  Even the egg results had gone up a bit.  I was discouraged to say the least, but still holding on to a thread of hope that the numbers would start to fall.  The only good news we received at our appointment that day was that his soy numbers went down a bit, and our allergist was comfortable with doing a food challenge!  However, we declined.  Yep.  Can’t do it.  Would you take a 2 1/2 year old to the doctor without breakfast, expect them to only take only sips of something new for nearly 2 hours?  Yeah, didn’t think so.  We just didn’t think it was worth the trouble at his age, and I’m so glad we waited.

Last year brought us a couple more challenges and changes…….four to be exact!  First, in March 2012 our daughter, Julia, was born.  She’s such a blessing, but we always wondered if she’d have food allergies.  So far she’s not developed any food allergies!  Our second big change was in May, which was the last time Nathan ate out at any of his “safe” restaurants.  We kept having mysterious food reactions, and we just were tired of gambling with his health.  Next, in July 2012, we found out he has a carrot allergy.  What?!  Oh yes, that was my reaction, too.  Poor kid has been eating carrots since he was 7 months old with absolutely no visible, telltale rash.  Good news?  No more constipation issues with Nathan.  Hallelujah!  From a parents perspective, this is HUGE.  Such a relief, in more ways than one.  Moms and Dads, you know what I’m talking about.  The crankiness subsides, potty training is actually successful, and everyone sleeps better at night.  We don’t miss carrots much, and I don’t think Nathan does, either!  Does your child have chronic constipation?  You might look into a food allergy or sensitivity.

The fourth challenge of 2012 was yet another food allergy identified for Nathan.  Pumpkin.  My first thoughts were, “You’ve got to be kidding me, right?!”  Over the course of Fall 2012 I made two batches of Allergy Free Pumpkin Donut Holes, and they were delicious.  The rash that Nathan developed on his torso was not so nice.  Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, it’s back to the allergist we go!  No more pumpkin for Nathan, but, you know, that’s EASY to avoid!  We just make apple pies at Thanksgiving instead of pumpkin-no biggie.

Alright, I need some good news, don’t you?  At this point, I have to be truthful in saying I was getting a little discouraged.  And no more Pumpkin Donut Holes, either?  I’ve got some good news, and it was long overdue, but the smile in the picture below was worth the wait for his soy challenge.

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I love this picture because it reminds me how excited he was that morning to be trying something he had to avoid for so long.  What 3 1/2 year old doesn’t like watching movies for 2.5 hours while drinking something new (on an empty stomach!), and getting lots of attention from the nurses?  What mom likes to sit there wondering if her child is going to have an anaphylactic reaction because he’s never had soy?  No mom does, and I had to hide my fear, and my husband did, too.  We.  Were.  Terrified.  My palms were sweating, my stomach ached, and I was on edge.  Two hours later, we were cleared to go home, although a food challenge isn’t over until 6 hours after it starts.  That was a loooong day of watching him intently for any breathing changes, hives, sneezing, coughing or stomach aches.  I know he got tired of me asking, “Are you OK!?”  I’m happy to say, he passed his soy challenge in January of 2013 and here’s a picture to prove it!

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Gotta love the Bob the Builder shirt covered in his stickers from the allergist’s office!  Those were his Gold Medals for the day, and he was one happy kid!  Brent and I were relieved, too.  We were (and still are) thankful that we can cross one allergy off of Nathan’s long list, and know that he won’t have a bad reaction to soy.

Our Food Allergy Journey….Part 1

Our food allergy journey began around January of 2010.  Our son, Nathan, was just 6 months old and had begun to eat solid foods.  He was a typical baby, except for the mysterious rash on his belly.  After a doctor visit for what we first thought was a heat rash or virus, a prescription for steroid cream, and a few weeks worth of oat baths, the rash was still there.  Our pediatrician was unsure of the cause of the rash so I began scouring the Internet to find some answers.  We began to think it might be food related, and after many late nights of Googling, I finally found one website that said an oat allergy will present itself with a rash on the belly.  Back to the pediatrician we go, requesting food allergy testing.  Along with oat, we tested soy and wheat.  Oat and soy tested positive and wheat was also very low, but most likely a sensitivity.  Oat allergy?!  Who in the world is allergic to oat?!  This just baffled me, but we dealt with it.

Fast forward to April of 2010, Good Friday to be exact.  I was so excited to try yogurt with Nathan, but knew to only give him a little bit at first.  He loved it!  After Nathan devoured about a quarter of the container, I put it in the fridge…..and there it was.  A hive.  And another.  And then another.  What was happening?  His lips began to swell.  I was getting nervous.  His cheeks became red and puffy.  I called for my mom.  Moms can fix anything, right?!  We began frantically wiping his face, tongue and hands.  I began to cry.  What was going on?  Mom suggested we might go to Urgent Care, just down the road.  I was panicking.  My palms were sweating.  Nathan seemed so calm.  He seemed happy, his breathing never changing.  We monitored him closely, and by the grace of God the hives began to subside.  About 45 minutes after his first bite of yogurt the hives were nearly gone and all the swelling was just a blur in my mind.  Knowing what I know now, we should have called 911.  This was just the beginning.  The picture below doesn’t show just how bad his hives and swelling were, but you can definitely see the redness and swollen lips.  It got worse from this point before it got better.

Nathan after his first reaction to yogurt, April 2010, 9 months old

Nathan after his first reaction to yogurt, April 2010, 9 months old

Our pediatrician referred us to a local allergist, who, through blood work, confirmed his dairy, oat & soy allergy, as well as identified an allergy to eggs.  I remember barely making it through the phone call with the nurse with his test results, breaking down in tears as the phone call ended.  We were dealing with full blown food allergies, strictly avoiding all allergens as well as tree nuts and strawberries.  When I was pregnant with Nathan, I worried about everything except food allergies.  It never occurred to me that he would have food allergies.  I had planned on feeding him a wide variety of foods from the very beginning.  I had no idea what was going to be thrown at me.

Now what?  What do I do?  Where do I turn?  What do we eat?  So many thoughts clouded my thoughts.  The positive thing was that Nathan was still only 9 months old and didn’t know what he’d be giving up.  Finger food was easy, for the most part.  And so our food allergy journey began.  We began researching recipes, books, websites-anything we could get our hands on.  “I can’t do this”, I thought.  But, I can.  And, we do.  I’m going to tell you how we manage, cook, play, socialize, travel, and EAT!

To Be Continued…..