The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Gluten-Free Dread?

evth's picture
evth

Gluten-Free Dread?

 

 

 

Tried my hand at baking gluten-free bread, and it was indeed a learning experience for me. Having met a number of folks who are celiacs or who have given up wheat, I was compelled to start baking gluten-free goods. For background to my endeavor, an acquaintance of mine highly recommended that I try a gluten-free bread baked by a small Denver company called Udi's Handcrafted Foods. And I will say that this stuff is fantastic, despite the fact that it came out of the freezer aisle of a health food store. No disappointment here - just more inspiration for me to bake wheat-free.  After the summer months whizzed by, I noticed that my pantry boasted a gluten-free cache of sorghum, millet, chestnut, almond, sweet rice, quinoa, flax, corn, tapioca, arrowroot, potato and oat flours/starches (can't forget the xanthan gum or guar gum!!!).  That's all in addition to my usual glut of flours: unbleached or bleached all-purpose, cake, pastry, semolina, and the almighty bread. (Technically, it is not considered hoarding if you keep everything organized and eventually use it all.)

 

Continuing with this gluten-free bread story, I finally met up online with what I thought was an impressive recipe. I have only a simple understanding of why gluten-free breads are so dense and do not rise: without the gluten a "real" rise cannot occur. Well, in my bleary-eyed efforts the bread did not turn out like how I had hoped. Not that my hopes were completely dashed. It certainly was a special kind of bread - dense beyond recognition. No open crumb here. A cross between Irish brown bread and hard tack. Crude, I'll say. On the other hand, think captivating desert topography with its striking crackle of a crust and rich nut-brown color. As for another redeeming quality, it had an unusually wholesome and pleasantly nutty flavor. 

 

While the taste of this bread grows on you, unfortunately, it can weigh you down. Density was the culprit and may have gotten the better of this loaf. My friend, Eileen, calls this bread "gluten-free lead." I have to agree!

 

I still have my gluten-free stockpile and welcome any suggestions or recipes.

 

evth

 


 

Comments

Nickisafoodie's picture
Nickisafoodie

I see that Bobs Red Mill and King Arthur ofter gluten free flour.  Large quanities/50lb bags are available from wholesalers/bakery supply companies too.  Perhaps a premix is worth experimenting with given all of the product testing that likely occurs before these products are introduced into the marketplace...

Let us know how you make out as your journey continues!! 

evth's picture
evth

Will check out these G-F premixes and keep you posted.

jbaudo's picture
jbaudo

Gluten Free Baking Classics by Annalise G Roberts.  The bread (and other recipes) in this book are really good (not brick like in the least and very flavorful).  It sounds like you have everything in your pantry to tackle most of the bread recipes in this book.  The cake recipes are really yummy too.  No one can tell the difference and rave about how good it is.  I am thinking of trying gluten free sourdough (there have been lots of posts about that here).  Stay away from most internet recipes - I have tried many and usually they are terrible.  There is one site that I like called "Living Without", they put out a magazine and there recipes are usually pretty good as well.  They have a bread recipe that is similar to the one in GF Baking Classics, here is the link: (sorry the spam filter will not let me post the link:(  Well, if you go to livingwithout.com there are lots of recipes: Champion Sandwich Bread, Potato Sandwich Bread, Oatmeal Maple Bread, Mock Rye Bread etc. You will actually have to search for these because they are not all listed in the recipe section.

This site has lots of other articles and recipes that might be helpful. There is a bricohe and a challah recipe as well but I haven't tried these.  Also, I haven't used a mix that I would purchase again - either they weren't good or they were too expensive ($7 for a King Arthur GF bread mix).  Good luck and just remember that gluten free bread does NOT have to be a brick.

evth's picture
evth

Thank you, jbaudo. I'm going to look into Roberts' G-F Baking Classics and the site you suggested. Your G-F encouragement is much appreciated!