Baking bread that is gluten free is nothing like baking regular bread.
Firstly, we make a thick liquid batter not a dough. When we add an egg, a dash of oil and tepid water. It is really very important that the quantity of liquid added is carefully measured. For one of our small bags of gluten free bread mix, use 250ml (or weigh 250g) of tepid water (i.e 100g boiling water plus 150g cold water).
Next, we do not knead but whisk! Gluten free flours do not mix very easily in water, they tend to clump. As such, by whisking we are helping to add air and also to make sure the gluten free flours are nicely combined. This will give a uniform crumb at the end of baking.
After whisking, you can either leave in a bowl to prove or if you are making a loaf, transfer to a warm (not hot) loaf tin. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for 40 minutes.
Do not leave for more than 40 minutes because the mixture will over-prove. Again, without the gluten to hold on to the gases produced from the yeast, the air will escape and your loaf will taste sad.
After 40 minutes, very gently stir the risen batter. If you wish, smooth over the top with a spatula.
Bake in the center of an oven that is set at 180 degree (fan oven) and 200 degrees for anon-fan oven for 60 minutes.
The 60 minute bake time is the most crucial part. Your loaf will rise and brown after about 20 – 30 minutes. It looks done. Believe me, it is not ready.
After 40 minutes, the entire house will have the most delicious aroma of freshly baked bread. Everyone’s mouth will be watering.
After 50 minutes, you tell yourself, it must be ready. It has risen and has now stopped rising. The crust is darkening – surely it will burn if I actually leave it in for 60 minutes.
Please please please leave it in the oven or 60 minutes – no less.
We do not add fillers to our bread so the only thing holding up our very light textured crumb is the crust. We have to drive off all the moisture without disturbing it.
After that very long 60 minutes – take it our, place on a wire cooling rack and leave it to cool completely.
It may even feel as though it is soft inside when you lift it out of the loaf tin. It will not be if it has been in for 60 min.
If you choose to make rolls instead of a loaf, you have a little flexibility – there is more of a crust on a roll and there is less moisture to drive off.
Leave your gluten free bread to cool completely. Gluten hardens during cooking and so forms a soft crumb. We need out gluten free flours to solidify after cooking, in order for a nice textured crumb to be formed.
It takes about 2 hours to cool or overnight.
Good bread takes time. Our recipe is actually very simple but like everything in life, only when you know how!!
You will be baking gluten free bread that tastes as good as it should, in no time at all.
No, you will not form a dough that you can shape with our bread recipe. You will form a thick batter, that is a thick creamy consistency. That’s okay, you just need to shape it in a different way – add to a loaf tin and smooth or spoon into mounds and make rolls. You can even pipe into long thin sausage shapes and make hotdog rolls.
Ideally, you need a hand whisk. Gluten free flours don’t mix with water that easily and so you need to add quite a lot of energy in order for the bread mixture to be mixed well. You can hand whisk but it is hard work and the bread probably will not rise quite as well. You know when you have mixed enough as the batter become smooth in consistency and slightly paler in colour.
Unfortunately no. The mixing blade on typical bread machines simply does have enough energy to usefully combine the gluten free flours. The gluten free flours don’t really mix with water easily and so they require hand whisking to make sure you have combined all the mixture.
This is most likely to be temperature driven. If the container that you are proving in is cold, or the room you are proving in is cold, you will not get sufficient rise (just as with glutinous bread). The yeast & sugar will react slower therefore producing less carbon dioxide. It will still probably give you some rise upon baking though and taste acceptable, so it is not wasted. Other reasons may be that you have added boiling water and killed the yeast or indeed cold water and the yeast is inactive. You need to add tepid water.
You may have over-proved your bread. If you leave your bread to prove for much longer than 40 minutes, you start to lose the gas that you have worked so hard to produce. Upon baking, this is then driven off even more and the resulting bread is hard.
Bake for longer. In glutinous bread, the gluten proteins solidify at a certain temperature and all the gas & moisture within bread is trapped – and you get a nice spongy, light bread. With gluten free bread, we do not have gluten to solidify and capture the air/moisture so you need to bake for longer to drive off excess moisture.
You need to knock it back gently after proving to ensure large bubbles of carbon dioxide are lost. You have to be gentle though because you want all the small bubbles to give you a nice textured bread.
We hand bake our bread from our small private bakery in Surrey. We only bake gluten free so there is no chance of cross contamination. We also perform ELISA analytical testing by an accredited laboratory to ensure the bread is gluten free.