Monday, 4 September 2017
Gluten free bread that you want to eat
When my older daughter was diagnosed with coeliac disease earlier this year, I mentioned to a few people who were following gluten free diets that I planned to do a lot of baking myself because I saw no reason to stop baking, I just needed to use different GF ingredients. People shook their head and offered dire warnings of how difficult GF baking is, how it was impossible to bake GF bread and GF flours were rubbish for cakes.
J doesn't eat a lot of bread and although the sliced bread we could buy was awful, some of the rolls were okay and so I focused on baking the treats instead. It was when my two younger children, both big bread eaters, were confirmed as coeliac as well that I started to work on bread.
I've tried a couple of recipes and some different flours and there are a few key things:
1. The flour mix is crucial - I get the best results, consistently good, with Dove Farm's flour.
2. Even if the flour mix has xanthan gum included, I always add a little more. It acts like glue and really makes a difference when you're baking without gluten.
3. Enriching even basic bread dough with milk and eggs improves the texture and gives you bread with good texture and flavour.
Ready to get baking?
Basic gluten free bread
450g white bread flour (Dove's Farm is the best I've used)
2 tsp dried quick yeast (the kind you just add to your mix without activating it)
1.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 eggs, lightly beaten
350g milk, warmed to luke warm
Using the flat beater of food mixer, mix all dries together. To make sure the yeast and xanthan gum are evenly mixed, I leave the mixer running slowly while I warm the milk and beat the eggs. Add milk and eggs to the dries and mix thoroughly. Turn the speed up for a few seconds to beat out any lumps.
The dough will be quite wet and sticky.
If you're making a loaf of bread, line the tin with baking parchment, grease it lightly and spoon the dough in (allow room for the dough to rise, don't overfill). Oil some cling film and cover the tin lightly. Leave to rest for 2 hours, then bake for 50 mins to 1 hour at 190. Test for doneness by tapping base of loaf - it will make a hollow sound when it's done.
If you're making rolls, oil cling film and cover the bowl of dough. Leave to rest for 2 hours. Heat a baking stone in the oven at 190 for the last 20 minutes of the resting time. Dust a sheet of baking parchment with flour (rice flour works brilliantly for dusting). Being careful not to knock the air out of the risen dough (it will only rise once as there is no gluten), break off roll sized pieces and gently shape on the parchment. I use a spoon to break off the dough and dust the top of each roll before shaping. For a soft crust, brush the tops with melted butter or oil. Take the baking stone out of the oven and dust lightly with flour. Transfer the rolls to the baking stone and bake for 25 minutes. For soft rolls, wrap in a tea towel straight from the oven and leave to cool.
The recipe can be doubled or halved easily.
If you make the bread, let me know! Leave a comment or share a photo on Instagram with @veraandbess. Happy baking.