The Fresh Loaf

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Gluten free vegan loaf of bread - what did I do wrong?

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Farzana's picture

Gluten free vegan loaf of bread - what did I do wrong?

I feel really, really defeated right now.  Basically, I have allergy to dairy, eggs and gluten.  The last few times I made this recipe :

3 cups basic flour blend (1 cup sorghum flour, 1 cup soya flour, 1/2 cup potatoe starch, 1/3 cup tapioca starch)

2 ¼ tsp xanthan gum (you can use 2 1/4 tsp ground chia instead*)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp palm sugar

1 packet dry instant yeast(2 1/4 tsp)

3 tbsp ground chia mixed with ¾ cup filtered water
1 ¼ cup warm water
¼ cup sunflower oil OR coconut oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 ¼ tsp sea salt

The bread rose beautifully in my oven like real gluten bread !  I was so happy thinking I succeeded finally lastnight.  I let it rise in my oven (I was baking some chicken and turned it off for may 20 min or so until i put in my loaf to rise) I covered it with plastic shower cap.  When it came time to remove it for baking, the plastic literally was stuck on the batter.  Maybe about 1/4 cup of the batter came off.  I looked at the loaf though and noticed huge air bubbles, which is I guess a good think, right?  I let it rise for 1 hour.  I baked it for 55 minutes.  It was nice and brown but when I cut into it later, it was gummy and uncooked inside!!  Did I let it rise for too long?  Did I let it rise in a temperate that was too warm?  What should I do differently?  I am almost close to just giving up bread completely.  I followed the measurements exactly as above.  I am here in hopes someone can give me some advice or thoughts as to what happened.  I mean, It did rise so nicely so that's a start, right?

clazar123's picture

What was the baking temp.? Did you preheat the oven before baking or put the loaf into a cold oven?

What type of loaf pan did you use?

What happend the other times you made this recipe?

Any pictures?

Breadandwine's picture

Hi Farzana

I truly sympathise! All that effort, and not a lot to show for it. However, looking on the bright side, you'll learn a lot from your mistakes - which is my primary method of learning! :-D

The important thing you've found out is that your bread was rising - all you need do now is put it in at the right time, at the right heat and for the right length of time.

You ask what should you do differently - well, first up, I'd try not to mix up two types of cooking. You'd be better off putting the chicken in the oven after the bread is baked - the timing of which can vary. 

Secondly, I'd ditch the shower cap - and I don't recommend cling film, either. Generally speaking, a dry tea towel is sufficient to cover bread - especially gluten-free flour, which only requires one proving - after all, that's what they use in bakeries (well, dry cloths, anyway). Or you can place a dish of hot water at the bottom of your oven, put your bread on a higher shelf and use it as a proving cupboard - no need to cover it at all!

About the under cooking of the loaf. I'm not familiar with this mix, so I checked in my library and on the net. Andrew Whitley, in his book "Bread matters" (strongly recommended - not least for the extensive gluten-free baking section) gives 30 minutes at 210C for a small (1lb) loaf, so you'd need to increase that by at least ten minutes, I would have thought, for your recipe. I found a recipe on line - for a loaf similar in size to yours - which states "30 minutes at 375F 190C - or when it is golden brown". Since it's very difficult to brown a gluten-free loaf, you have to wonder.

In the absence of a digital thermometer, I'd simply use a skewer to determine if the inside is done or not - and err on leaving it longer in the oven.

But you can't beat experience - and after you've made a few of these, you'll know exactly when to do what.

About the dairy-free, egg-free, vegan side of things. Well, I'm a vegan and I have lots of vegan recipes on my bread blog:

Check out the vegan, gluten-free chocolate cake!

Cheers, Paul


Farzana's picture

Hey Paul!  Thanks for replying and I really, really appreicate you looking into the bake time for me.  Maybe I should've baked it longer and covered it loosely maybe half way though, as it was really, really browning on the outside.  I was feeling like crap yesterday.  I know, its all about practice!  I will definitely try the dry towl thing . . or heck, maybe even not put anything on top as you suggest.  What I was going to ask you was you say I can try rising it in the oven with a dish filled with hot water.  Two questions:  1.  Do you boil the water or just hot tap water is fine?  2.  When its time for baking, do I remove the pan from my oven, leave it on teh counter until the oven has finished pre-heating OR do I leave it in the oven even while its pre-heating?  Oh my gosh, I am definitely gonna check out your vegan gluten chococake !!  I sure hope you have a recipe for a sandwich bread too !!  I am definitely gonna check out your website . . . like now!!!!   Have you ever baked a loaf with flax gel or chia as an egg replacer?  I mean, is it me or the bread is ALWAYS gummy!!  Every single time! 

Breadandwine's picture

Hi Farzana

Q1. I mostly use hot tap water, but if you’ve just boiled a kettle, that’s fine, too.

Q2. My oven takes about 10 minutes to warm up, so, strictly speaking, 10 minutes before the bread is ready to bake, you take it out of the oven and turn the oven on. However, until you’re confident with the rising, etc, it’s easy to leave it too long. So you need to keep an eye on it, and, once you see it’s getting close to the size you require, take it out and turn the oven on.

Q3. No, I’ve never used an egg replacement – I just try leaving things out and it doesn’t seem to matter. Never suffered with gummy bread – doesn’t sound nice.

Have a go at some of the breads from the links on this post

Good luck,  you'll get there!

Cheers, Paul