I think one of the biggest struggles when we went gluten free was bread, or rather the lack thereof. You don’t even realize what an integral part of your food life that bread and baked goods are until you can’t eat them. Being a person who loves to cook and to bake before being gluten free, it was a huge obstacle to challenge, but I did it. One flop at a time, sometimes. Now that I’m over a year into this, I can pretty much make most things. Some items just don’t transfer well into gluten free, you’re looking for a certain taste and texture that you’re just never going to get without gluten. But, I don’t feel deprived very often, because I’ve come to accept and to even love the food that we now eat.
I would just like to offer a few observations on GF bread baking particularly. If you ever baked bread before you know you have to be careful not to over-mix or over-knead your bread. This is not so with GF bread. I haven’t made any GF bread so far that you could actually knead, I make all of mine in my Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle not the dough hook. You actually want to mix it pretty well to make sure that all the various flours, gums and ingredients are well incorporated. It also helps activate the xanthan or guar gum.
Also, I’ve found that you want the batter to be much, much thinner than traditional bread. I bit thicker than cake batter, not so thin that you can actually pour it out of the bowl, but still much thinner than gluten bread. GF breads can tend to be on the dry side if you’re not careful, but if they are too wet they will fall after baking. It’s a fine balance that can be affected by your environment, weather and ingredients.
A vital component is also a thermometer. You want your bread to be between 190°-200° internal temperature when fully baked. I bake my bread for 20 minutes, cover with foil and bake 20 minutes more. Remove from oven check internal temperature and then bake 5 additional minutes as needed.
Pan size is also important. You really need to use a pan that is close to 8X4 or maybe 9X4. If it’s bigger you won’t get a good rise, at least I never have. Also, when you let it rise, don’t let it rise over the top of the pan or as it bakes it will fall off the sides into the bottom of the oven and burn. Without the gluten to hold it up it just doesn’t respond like gluten breads.
It will be a bit of a trial but hopefully, with these tips, not the terrible failures that I had. I would love to hear your experiences, ideas or questions.