Harvest Sun Bread

Sometimes a recipe writes itself before I’ve even set foot in my 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 (if you are highly sensitive to corn, this won’t be a good choice) or teff 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 (don’t be too fussy about this part) and cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes in a sufficiently warm, 80 degree place (this is crucial, so take the time to find a good spot.  I use the top of my toaster oven set on warm.  I put an upside down, metal cake pan on top of it, and then place the bowl of dough on that, so that the bottom doesn’t get too hot).

→  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.

This is how your dough should look when you are finished mixing it.

This is how your dough should look when you are finished mixing it.

19 thoughts on “Harvest Sun Bread

  1. Very tasty indeed! As is almost always the case with my loaves, mine didn’t rise as much as it should have (yes, I know, I need to get a good mixer and stop doing everything by hand!) but the fall flavor is definitely there. I think I will try with fresh (not canned) mashed pumpkin next time— I think the flavor is more intense with home-cooked pumpkins. My challenge is having “leftover” oatmeal— it’s gone before I remember that I was going to save some. Finally made it today thanks to my picky kids who ate raisin-y part and left the rest :-) p.s. I cannot see the dough picture—- could you try posting it again?

    • I’m so happy you had a chance to make it. You are such a brave soul to mix with pure arm power! :) We are enjoying some fresh slices of it this morning with our breakfast! Claire and Patrick love it. I will go see what the problem is with the dough picture now. Sorry about that!

  2. I would absolutely love to know the by weight measurements that you get when you make this! It looks so good that I am going to try it, on faith, and hope it works out – this would be the first loaf of GF bread I’ll make myself, from scratch, since going GF/CF months ago. I suspect the molasses would be best, but I am going to substitute honey, which I have in the cupboard, and cross my fingers!

    • Thank you Laura. You are awesome! I have been behind on getting back to all my blog comments but I really wanted to try to weigh that recipe for you. I almost got around to it today, but then I ran out of time. Your comment put a smile on my face because you trusted and tried it anyways! Thank you!

      • Gosh – thank you! Weights or no weights, I plan to try your sandwich bread soon, too. In fact, this bread recipe ignited my confidence in baking GF/CF bread.

        I love the recipes of your blog – and the tone, too! Sometimes, GF bloggers get kind of preachy, but my body already brought me along as an unwilling (though now quite determined) convert!

      • Hi Laura, Thank you for your kind comment! I’m so glad it worked out for you. I made four loaves of it this weekend and although it requires a couple more ingredients than my sandwich loaf, I feel like the end result is so worth it!
        Let me know if you try the sandwich bread. Happy baking!

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