Posts tagged ‘bread’
What’s your favorite pizza topping?
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.
Our whole family has been pretty sick for weeks and I completely neglected the sourdough starter on the counter. The smell is now pretty strong and the “hooch” on the top (mixture of alcohol and water produced by the starter) is quite dark so I thought about throwing it out. I decided to research a little more before I got crazy. After all, sourdough has been resting on counters for much longer than mine in much hotter climates and I’m sure when that was the only way to make bread you didn’t just toss it if you missed a couple days. I found a discussion about how to tell if your starter is bad and got some pointers there. I still think my starter is on the verge of too stinky but am “washing” it like one of the writers suggested.
Mid-week last week I ran out of milled flour and being sick I didn’t have the energy to drag everything out so I just dumped in some sorghum flour I had. That turned the starter a brownish orange color and the hooch produced the next morning was much darker and has been since, I wish I would not have done that. If I “wash” my sourdough I’m planning to go with half brown rice and half white rice this time and am considering using starch as well. I think the mixture has been too heavy to produce a good loaf of bread. I am also very determined not to let it hibernate in the refrigerator until I have come up with a good recipe for bread because I don’t want to spend the time getting it going again. In my reading I noticed that even with a suspected “bad” starter you can pull a tiny amount out and feed that to keep the same starter going. Maybe after a bit I will have enough to dry some and we can try sharing it to see if that will work.
A couple of notes:
As I get familiar with my starter I can tell how she is “behaving” and realized that in my climate I needed to switch from using more flour than water back to simply 1:1. I actually quit measuring and if it looks too thick (lumpy, hard to stir) I add more water if it is too thin I use more flour. It really is quite friendly and forgiving. You may have to experiment to get a good “pancake” like consistency but if it doesn’t seem right just try, don’t fret.
I also read that unless you leave it in over 100 degree temps. almost nothing else will outright kill the starter although metal utinsels and container will inhibit yeast growth.
One lady even mentioned putting oatmeal in her starter in a pinch. I am not suggesting it (also be aware that you must buy certified gluten free oats) but what I’m saying is experimenting can’t hurt. I just tried using corn starch since I still have not milled flour.
When in doubt give her a new home. I was not sure about the strange color and smell to the liquid so I poured it off this time. I read that some people always pour it off. I was in the habit of stirring mine back in and will do so again unless I experience this problem again. I found a “clean” edge of the bowl to pour the whole thing into a new container. After removing the hooch I could tell that my starter was not bad, the mixture underneath did not smell as strong and had that yeasty bread smell. I have high hopes for my “washed” starter now.
A starter kept in the refrigerator is said to only need once a week feeding or even less. A glass mason jar would be a good container for this kind of storage and then you can pull the starter out the night before you want to use it, immediately feed it and then use it the next day.
For more info here is a Q & A on Sourdough that I found very helpful.
Happy fermenting and keep checking back, I am feeling much better and with the fresh snow outside it’s still baking weather up here in the North!
All that is left of my brand new “Delight Gluten Free” magazine is a few shreds of soggy paper.
It occurred to me this morning as I trudged through the mud and the snow to throw hay (deliriously expensive dry blades of grass in a big heavy block) to my three horses, that I really need to dig deeper into the basics of life. I love my horses and whenever my husband and I begin to have that talk about budget I always find a way to “justify” keeping them. Lately it’s more about the inability to sell them to some other poor soul who can’t afford thosebig heavy blocks of grass called hay, than it is unwillingness. I don’t want to put my family in jeopardy for a hobby no matter how dear the horses are to me.
I tossed them their hay and feeling a bit chilled I climbed onto Oliver’s neck (my big black “tractor” of a draft horse) letting him lift me onto his back then I turned around and lay sprawled out on his wide back to keep warm and to think. What a dilemma it is feeding a family let alone the animals we need and love. Horses, as you probably know, are one of the least productive animals on most US family farms. We don’t eat them, we rarely reproduce them and if you make money with them it is by running them silly till they make lots of money for you, or showing them in the big circuits while you spend lots of money on them.
Oliver’s thick neck twitched as he munched and my mind continued to re-play my years of owning and caring for these friendly beasts. My thoughts came one after the other none of them staying long enough to dwell on but all of them leaving an impression:
Horses… hay…the economy… sweat… mud…$$ dilemma… a harness… a chicken coop on wooden runners I saw in a book…hens…farm eggs…$$-in the black or in the red… HEY!!! I’ve got it!
Oliver IS a tractor. While listening to his breathing, steady, strong, faithful I realized, “this has potential, he already knows how to pull, I already know how to drive I can put most anything on runners and he can work too.” I’ve got plowing to do, leveling, ditching, firewood to move, rocks to move, I’m going to get back to the basics and scratch “tractor” off the list of things we are saving $$ for.
Speaking of basics, my next attempt at the gluten free sourdough is about to go into the oven, stay tuned for results and hopefully I can post a successful recipe!
How to make your own gluten free (or gluten full) sourdough starter in just 1 min a day.
The challenges of making gluten free bread