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Friday, June 8, 2012

Gluten-Free Bread Making for a Novice

I have a confession, y'all.  I don't care for Udi's.  I know, I know... I must be INSANE, since every! single! person! eating gluten-free seems to love it.  Well, except for me.  No offense to Udi's or anything, especially since I have never tried it toasted, so maybe I'll experience enlightenment when I finally drop a slice in the toaster.  But for right now... not exactly a fan.

Which leaves me striving to make my own homemade gluten-free loaf of sandwich bread.

A couple of y'all asked for the recipe I mentioned in yesterday's post.  Well, I found it in a cookbook suggested by one of my 2005 Tonggu travelmates.  Her family went gluten-free a little over a year ago and never looked back.  When she heard about Squirt's medical issues and my quest for a gluten-free house, she kindly recommended a couple of things right off the bat.

1. If you want to make your own gluten-free bread at home, and you have absolutely no experience with yeast and bread dough and all things intimidating, you should consider shelling out the Big Bucks for one of these babies: a Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso.  At $280 a pop, they aren't cheap, but they have a gluten-free setting that works wonders.  The machine itself is a behemoth, though, since it cooks a horizontal loaf, so prepare your counter top.  Counter space in our kitchen is at a premium, but I squeezed it in  because Squirt isn't even two yet.  Buying Udi's loaves for 17+ years... well... the machine sounds expensive, but not when you think long-term.

2. Bite the bullet and purchase a Prime Membership with Amazon if you plan to purchase gluten-free flours in bulk on-line.  Now I say this, y'all, despite the fact that I won't even shell out for Costco or Sam's Club because it's the principal of the thing. (Why should I have to PAY to shop in a store - and yes, I know, the savings! the savings! - but I can't get past the membership fee, even though it pays for itself.  You can nag me in the comments, but I promise I've heard it all before - from my relatives, my in-laws, my friends, the ladies at church.  I know I'm insane.  Still can't get past it.  Shake your head at my ignorance.  I understand.  I still won't cave.)  But the Prime Membership with Amazon?  I totally (and hypocritically) recommend this.  Because otherwise y'all will be paying $25 to $30 a pop on shipping charges alone.

(Flour?  It's heavy, y'all.)

3. You need to run (don't walk!) to the nearest bookstore to purchase Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts.  I've already made 10 of the recipes from it -- liked them all, loved four of them.  Yesterday's post referenced the recipe found on page 158, "Basic Sandwich Bread."  (She also wrote Gluten-Free Classics for the Bread Machine, but my copy hasn't arrived yet, so I can't comment.)

I, of course, being immature, had to go with the kid-friendly version of her Basic Sandwich Bread.  Because I am picky.  And I like slightly sweet.  (Sue me.  I grew up eating Wonder Bread, y'all, and before the GF fairy came to our house, I ate Pepperidge Farm Hearty White as an adult.)  Ms. Robert's ingredients list is as follows (doubled, to account for the two-pound loaf machine):

4 large eggs (room temperature is best)
4 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups plus 4 tablespoons milk
3 cups Bread Flour Mix A*
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3 teaspoons xanthan gum (or you could use a combination of hot water and flax seeds if you prefer)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 packet of active dry yeast granules

* Bread Flour Mix A (this makes double what you need, but you can store the rest)
2 cups millet flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Her recipe calls for all manner of temperature taking and rising and kneading and all sorts of scary things.  I just threw all of the wet ingredients into the bread machine, then dumped the dry ingredients (save the yeast) on top of that.  Then I oh-so-cautiously made a little crater to gently ease the yeast on top of the dry ingredients.  Because the yeast can't touch the wet ingredients or the world might end.  Or your bread machine might explode.  Or whatever.  Then I hit the gluten-free option on my machine and bam! a nice loaf of bread magically appeared a few hours later.

I'd share a picture, but the loaf is already gone, and I'm not making more until tomorrow.


Mel said...

Ahhh...the things we do for love.

thewonderfulhappens said...

We've been gluten free for awhile and just when I got the hang of GF baking, we decided to go completely grain-free. Who knew, that grain-free bread was so much more delicious than bread made using gluten-free flours? And easier too--oh my goodness so much easier. Now I am baking with almond and coconut flour and the baked goods have so much more moisture. If you have any interest at all, I recommend the blogs Against All Grain and Comfy Belly. Good luck!

Casa Bicicleta said...

I've been baking bread in a bread machine for about a billion years but have never tried GF. You are so courageous TM. My admiration of you went up about a hundred fold just reading this post.

Desiree' said...

HOnestly, I can't find a great GF bread, Udi's I can eat if it is toasted, and only the kind in the blue package. The others are pretty gross. They do have blueberry muffins with coarse sugar that are pretty good though. I also use almond and coconut flour from gluten free mama. It's good and the baking turns out sweet :) But htis GF thing, not something I would choose to do if I had a choice. Good luck

Lynnea said...

Yeah...toasting is the way to go...for anything GF!
But good for you for being adventerous! I just "suffer" through since it is just me who has celiac. If my kiddos did...then I would be moving mountains to make sure it tasted good! lol
Hugs as you continue on this new and at times frustrating path!

Kat said...

I'm with you on Udi's. UGH. I have two recommendations: the full of grains and seeds gluten-free bread from Whole Foods (I think it is prairie bread) found in the GF freezer section and any and all of the mixes from King Arthur's Flour. Their bread isn't bad. You just have to freeze it once it is done and it's easy to make from the mix. Their brownies are to die for - easy, quick, and every bit as yummy as any other brownie mix. The muffin mix and cookies are also really good. Good luck!

curious_girl said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe - I cannot wait to try it. And I am totally with you on the Amazon Prime membership!

Mahmee said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe!
For me, Udi's is just the best of the ready-made crap out there.
If you have a good thing going with your homemade bread (and I am applauding you right now), don't even bother toasting some Udi's. I'm sure there's no comparison.
Happy baking!

Annika said...

If only my wheat-free baby could eat eggs. Or milk. Or cornstarch. Or gelatin. Think those ingredients are really that essential...

Anonymous said...

This isn't for bread and someone may have already suggested it but Miracle Noodles may work for your girl.

La-La-Liene said...

I don't care for their bread either but we do love their brownies, cookies, muffins, cinnamon rolls & pizza crusts. About the only way you can really stomach the bread is if it's toasted. Lane, Emi & I have no gluten issues but Eriks has a gluten sensitivity so we limit how much gluten he consumes. We're lucky it's just a sensitivity because many kids with AS have huge issues with dairy & gluten.

Enjoy the new bread maker and the GF bread!!!

Ivy Shaffer said...

Hello there uber Momma! How are you???

I have been wanting to phone or email and then, well it's crazy busy here. I know it's no excuse but since I decided I'd rather blog (no longer on FB) wanted to know I'm thinking of you and your family. Hope things are well and the new diet seems to be helping.

We'll be back in MD on the 29th for a Hopkin's surgical picnic with kids from all over with Shelby's issue.

Have a fantastic weekend. I'll really try to call now that things have slowed a bit.