Posts tagged ‘gluten-free-bread’

Tips for making gluten free bread

bread6

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…

  1. Place wet ingredients in the bread machine first.
  2. Cover the liquids with dry ingredients.
  3. Make a depression in the dry ingredients and put the yeast in that (don’t let it touch the liquid)
  4. With gluten free bread choose the bread machine setting with the longest rise time.
  5. You will need to mix the ingredients at least once with a spatula during the mix cycle. Resist the urge to add flour.
  6. When possible remove the paddle (mixer in the bottom) after the mix cycle but BEFORE the first rise.
  7. 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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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…mix

Here is what the dough should look like when it has finished mixing…mix done

If you choose to bake your loaf you can spoon it into prepared loaf pans like this…bread1

Spread the dough with a spatula until smooth like this…bread2

Next allow to rise…bread3

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.bread4

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.bread5

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.

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March 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm 13 comments

Dairy free mushroom soup saves the day.

If you are like me and most mornings start with the  slamming of drawers and the incredibly loud rumble that little feet can make on the stairs, you will understand my love for coffee and will have experienced the daily cry,

“What ELSE is there to eat MOM!?”

bubba eats a straw

Yesterday we went twenty-four hours without water and this morning when I woke to those galloping bare feet I crammed the pillow over my head and tried to sneak fifteen more minutes of sleep.  When Bubba flung open my bedroom door and started shouting something about Thing Two being mean, I knew my beauty rest was over and I prayed,

“Lord, please let there be coffee!” 

Without water I would be unable to have my daily cup o’ joe.  Thank goodness God cares about the little things too

Water flowed freely.pee wee joins the pantry raid

Pee Wee decided to enter into the pantry raid and my day starts three steps behind!

 

Besides coffee I tend to have an unhealthy attachment to the dreaded housewife casserole.  🙂  The problem is most of my recipes have been converted to gluten free.  That’s great right, but when I discovered Bubba can’t have soy or milk either I was doomed!  The housewife casserole  goes out the window without “cream of something”!

Thank goodness for waterless days and dinners that sneak up on me, I can make my casserole un-recipe again and have one waiting happily in my freezer for just such an occasion using this dairy free mushroom soup recipe, I’m home free! 

Even if you don’t have multiple allergies this soup was delicious and  very gourmet tasting (I’m sure due to the white wine).  A little wine doesn’t hurt matters eh? 😉  It was not too rich and yet still very flavorful even without all the different mushroom varieties suggested.  Remember in my little town there aren’t a whole lot of options and I didnt’ expect to find “special mushrooms” at Wal-Mart, though who knows I’m sure I could find some variety  around the corner but that too is a different story!

A couple loaves of frozen bread would be nice as well. Check out my new pictures on last week’s contribution to the carnival, Alice’s Tapioca Loaf.

Please visit Linda’s new and improved “What Can I Eat That’s Gluten Free” and don’t forget to check out the other great recipes this week!

October 6, 2009 at 5:25 pm 3 comments

Pizza Please with a Cherry on Top!

What’s your favorite pizza topping?

Continue Reading September 29, 2009 at 12:29 pm 8 comments

Tips for making gluten free bread

bread6

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

  1. Place wet ingredients in the bread machine first.
  2. Cover the liquids with dry ingredients.
  3. Make a depression in the dry ingredients and put the yeast in that (don’t let it touch the liquid)
  4. With gluten free bread choose the bread machine setting with the longest rise time.
  5. You will need to mix the ingredients at least once with a spatula during the mix cycle. Resist the urge to add flour.
  6. When possible remove the paddle (mixer in the bottom) after the mix cycle but BEFORE the first rise.
  7. 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).

  1. 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.
  2. 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…mix

Here is what the dough should look like when it has finished mixing…mix done

If you choose to bake your loaf you can spoon it into prepared loaf pans like this…bread1

Spread the dough with a spatula until smooth like this…bread2

Next allow to rise…bread3

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.bread4

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.bread5

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.  

September 23, 2009 at 12:47 pm 14 comments

Xanthan Gum vs. Guar Gum

Updates 2012:

Here are some knowledgeable women on this same topic whose advice I respect and trust. I hope you find these sources helpful in this ongoing debate.

Gluten Free Girl said in this great and informative post: Read the whole thing, it’s great! Thanks for alerting me to this post, Stephanie

So far, Danny and I have found that most recipes don’t need any replacements or gums or additives. Cookies, muffins, quick breads, cakes, biscuits, flour for dredging fish or batter for fried chicken? Don’t worry about the gums. Just make sure you are working with the right ratio of flours to fats to eggs to liquid in your batter or dough. So far, everything gluten-free that I have baked uses the same ratio as the gluten recipes.

Karen from Only Sometimes Clever said in the comments below:

Just thought I’d update a little: I’m trying to get away from all xanthan gum. I’m just increasingly uncomfortable with it not being a real, whole food. Guar gum is a ground up seed, and is totally natural.

It is a lot more difficult to work with — it can clump in wet goods, and it doesn’t “glue” things together as well as xanthan. But, when well-combined with dry goods first, there’s no problem. I have also found that guar gum gives better “loft” to the batter, before it is even baked. I haven’t re-tried it in yeast bread yet, but I’ve had good success with using guar in muffins, cupcakes, pancakes, and cookies. :)

There were many other thoughts and experiences expressed in the comments below. Feel free to read through and happy gluten free baking!

**** My original experience below. Was it the weather? You decide.****

I’ve been told that xanthan gum and guar gum are interchangeable in gluten free baking so I bought guar gum last time because the store was out of xanthan gum.  Below are the results…

Guar Gum Loaf

Guar Gum Loaf

I couldn’t even get the bread out of the pan without it falling apart, we made this loaf into french toasts since the egg helped keep it together.  I couldn’t bear to give it to the chickens.
Below is the exact same recipe a week later using xanthan gum…
best-bread

April 27, 2009 at 5:26 pm 38 comments

More about Sourdough

img_1975smOur 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 img_1973smcolor 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!

March 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm 3 comments

Crusty Popovers – Delight Gluten-Free Recipe

All that is left of my brand new “Delight Gluten Free” magazine is a few shreds of soggy paper.

Continue Reading February 23, 2009 at 9:19 pm 3 comments

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MATT - Food Creativity Consultant, Joyful Partner in Crime JESSIE - Photographer, Amateur Food Critic, Blog Author CAPTAIN OBVIOUS - formerly Thing 1 Thing 1 SCARFUNKLE - formerly Thing 2 IMG_3466 LOUD KIDDINGTON - formerly THE BUBBA 3 PEE WEE MINI ME BORN March 8, 2011

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Sourdough Update

Many of you have been checking back for results on my sourdough creation. At the moment it is still a science experiment, but a happy, bubbly experiment. Never fear, recipes will be here! I did make a beautiful, moist and delicious loaf of sourdough using yeast and a myriad of other ingredients but I'm still trying to create something more user friendly. Wouldn't it be awesome to have a starter on the counter that you could add 4 things to and have a loaf of bread by dinner? Mmmm! Attempt #1 - rose well but resulted in a dense chewy blob Attempt #2 - rose ok but was thin and lifeless then fell and another dense (not so chewy) blob Attempt #3 - to the dogs! Attempt #4 - A sourdough pancake success see post under what's for breakfast gluten-free goof? Ongoing - I've tried several more times and am going to try a completely different approach on the bread starting this week. (Mar 18). My sourdough is still happy on my counter and it makes great pancakes but it's a lot of work just for pancakes. Keep checking! April Update: She is still kickin and I'm still workin on a yeast free, gluten free sourdough loaf! May Update: My sourdough "pet" has been dried and retired until next baking season. I've traded her in for a hotter model, the BBQ! :)
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