Tips for making gluten free bread
It took me almost a year and at least twenty terrible loaves (probably closer to 100), nearly as many that were edible but looked horrible and finally a successful gluten free bread recipe. Another few months to make it into something reproducible. Just because the stars all line up for that one wonderful loaf of bread doesn’t mean it can be done again and again!
I’ve been told that mine is the best gluten free bread ever! One of my customers reports that her husband has given up wheat bread in favor of my gluten free version.
Here are my tips:
Mill your own rice (and other grains) to save considerable expense.
Using a favorite recipe, mix the dry ingredients in advance to make a “big batch” version. I make a 4 loaf mix put that in a gallon zip loc bag in the refrigerator then every couple of days I make the loaves one at a time in my bread machine. Or you can save in gallon canning jars.
It is also possible to bake gluten free bread the conventional way but the best results require a 400 degree oven, an hour to rise and an hour to bake so I rarely have that kind of time or want to heat the kitchen like a … well an oven!
To make a gluten free loaf in a bread machine…
- Place wet ingredients in the bread machine first.
- Cover the liquids with dry ingredients.
- Make a depression in the dry ingredients and put the yeast in that (don’t let it touch the liquid)
- With gluten free bread choose the bread machine setting with the longest rise time.
- You will need to mix the ingredients at least once with a spatula during the mix cycle. Resist the urge to add flour.
- When possible remove the paddle (mixer in the bottom) after the mix cycle but BEFORE the first rise.
- At this point you should be able to leave it alone and wait for yummy, hot bread!
Whether you have a GF setting or not your best loaf will result if you do at least these two things… (mentioned above and expanded on here).
- Give your dough a little attention in the mixing stage. During the first 10 min most bread machines are warming and the next 20min or so is the mixing stage. During the mixing stage it will serve you well to take a spatula and scrape the sides once or twice. Gluten free dough is very sticky and wet it will never “clean the sides” like regular dough so you have to help it along. The dough should be the consistency of thick pancake batter. If it seems lumpy or if it does not stick to your spatula it most likely needs a tablespoon or two more water. If it is quite runny and falls right off the spatula when mixed you may need to sprinkle in more rice flour. But in general you should resist the urge to add flour.
- Remove the paddle: Bread machines have several cycles. One of the first cycles is mix, next is rise, then they go into a “knock down” cycle before the final bake stage. Since gluten free bread will only rise once you will want to remove the paddle before the knock down stage or the result will be a dense loaf. Once it is finished mixing you can remove the paddle by wetting a spatula and your hand, scrape most the dough away from the mixing paddle and then slip it off. Wet the spatula again (or your hand) and smooth the dough back into a recognizable shape :) then allow your bread machine to complete your gluten free wonder undisturbed!
This is the dough as it mixes…
Here is what the dough should look like when it has finished mixing…
If you choose to bake your loaf you can spoon it into prepared loaf pans like this…
Spread the dough with a spatula until smooth like this…
Next allow to rise…
Then bake. Cover the bread with tin foil. Bake until the internal temp is around 180 or a toothpick comes out clean. To get a darker crisper crust brush with olive oil and remove the cover for the last 5 min.
Remove from the pan within 15min-20min of baking to avoid a soggy crust (even if you use a bread machine). Allow to cool, slice and serve.
Gluten free bread will usually only keep a couple days left out on a bread board covered with a towel. If you keep it in an airtight container it will last up to 1wk.