UPDATE Thursday, May 15, 2008. I feel it’s only fair to share that my Mom and Fred both call this bread “only edible”. Neither of them are GFCF, but they are in agreement that this bread doesn’t taste “normal”. The boys and I both like it, but I admit to being on the lookout for new recipes. I want something that meets my high standards of pleasing all, not just GFCF folks. On the other hand, the muffins from the previous post are magnificent no matter who you’re cooking for, so that’s at least 1 big success. CLOSE UPDATE
First off I want to give Tom all the credit for the recent photographs. He’s getting really good at it and has been unbelievably cooperative. Praise God! And thank-you Tom.
Next, we’ve tried 2 types of store-bought GFCF bread, both by Ener-G–White Rice Loaf & Brown Rice Loaf. Both of them are best toasted, but for the most part the guys said “Yuck! too dry.”
My bread however, has been met with much approval. It’s dense, like homemade whole-grain bread, but still velvety and moist. The flavor and texture are divine. It’s easy to slice thinly after it cools completely. I baked it in a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and it didn’t get as tall as we like for sandwiches. Next time I will bake it in an 8 by 4-inch pan for a taller slice of bread.
This bread is good enough (especially after trying the store-bought stuff) that we can eat it every day and not feel deprived. It doesn’t taste exactly like wheat bread, but it doesn’t taste like it’s not wheat bread either.
First you must prepare the flour mixture.
MAGGIE’S FIRST GF FLOUR MIX
- 24 ounces or 4-1/2 cups white rice flour
- 1 cup soybean flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
Combine all together. Makes about 7 cups. Store on the pantry shelf in a clearly labeled, resealable container. This recipe uses ingredients that are inexpensive in my local stores, assuming I grind my own rice flour. If I have to buy pre-ground rice flour, then it’s cheaper to order it off of the Internet. I haven’t tried it with brown rice flour yet, but hope to soon.
Now you can prepare the bread. It is loosely based upon the True Yeast Bread recipe in The Gluten Free Gourmet by Bette Hagman.
MAGGIE’S FIRST GF YEAST BREAD
- 1-3/4 cups soymilk, heated to luke warm
- 1/4 cup melted butter-flavored shortening or vegan margarine
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 cups GF Flour Mix (above)
- 1 tablespoon Xanthan Gum
- 1-1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Up to 1/4 cup water, as necessary
- Coconut Oil or Solid Shortening for greasing the pan
In a large stand mixer combine the soymilk, butter and eggs. Beat with regular beaters (not dough hooks) until well mixed. Add the brown sugar, flour, xanthan, yeast and salt. Beat with beaters until you have a stiff dough. If the beaters are laboring and the dough is crawling up the beaters out of the bowl then gradually add a little water until the dough stops crawling. The beaters may strain a little bit, but the dough shouldn’t crawl. Beat for 3 minutes. Remove the beaters from the bowl and scrape any dough back into the bowl.
Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours. It will get puffier, but won’t exactly double in bulk. After rising smash the dough down with hands that have been well coated with oil or shortening. Generously rub a bread pan with solid shortening, it works better for keeping bread from sticking than anything else. Scrape the dough into the pan and coax the top into as smooth a surface as you can manage. As you can see from my picture my surface was not smooth in the least, but it still tastes good.
Lightly grease the plastic wrap and place it loosely over the bread dough. Let rise for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, or until risen slightly higher than the top of the pan. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes. The bread will be golden brown and crusty. Allow the bread to cool for an hour and then place in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap. When completely cooled the crust will be softer and the bread will be gloriously easy to slice.
I have stored the bread in the pantry at room temperature because we have gone through it quickly. If I were keeping it more than a few days I would store it in the fridge. Since it’s easy to slice thin, it seems to provide more slices than conventional bread.
I haven’t tried it, but suspect this recipe could also be mixed and risen in a 1-1/2 or 2 pound bread machine on the dough cycle. Then it can be punched down, shaped into a pan, risen and baked in a regular oven. I do not know how it would perform when baked in a bread machine, but if anyone tries, please let me know your results. If your bread machine has been used for wheat-breads in the past be certain to clean it fastidiously before making gluten-free bread. This will eliminate cross-contamination.
I think it will make great rolls and may even try it for pizza another time. Next time I make it I’ll double the recipe for 1-loaf of bread and about a dozen hamburger buns.
I found the bread easy to mix and easy to prepare. Since I didn’t know exactly what would happen while it was rising, that was definitly a learning experience, but similar enough to conventional wheat-bread that I wasn’t too surprised by anything.
Any questions feel free to ask.