Friday, 14 June 2013

From the Ashes of Disaster (Gluten-Free Bread)

Today (yesterday, actually) I decided to try making gluten-free bread. I'm not celiac, nor do I have any allergy, but I do have some health issues my doctor thinks might be helped by cutting back on gluten. And being an obsessive baker, I've been wanting to try making it for a while.

I decided to simply convert my favourite bread recipe, which may not have been the best idea. I realize now that most of what makes this bread awesome comes directly from the gluten, but hey! I love experimental baking. 

It started off well enough, the flour looked nice. 

Mmm, yeast....

The resulting dough was much more cake-like than bread-like, but I figured I'd just go with it. Into the oven (with just the light on) overnight with you!

Next morning it looked... Exactly the same. This does not bode well.


Oh well. I'll just bake it anyway! What's the worst that could happen? ....time to take the lid off, let's see what mess I've got here. What's this?

It worked! It puffed up! I appear to have achieved bread! Fantastic!

Final verdict: I'm not impressed. I'm not really keen on the flavor. Or the texture. This gluten-free thing is going to be really difficult.... I think I'll definitely try another, actual, from-someone-who-knows-what-they're-doing recipe before I give up, though. And the kids seem to like it, so there's that. 

3 cups all-purpose GF flour
3 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp yeast
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 cups water

Mix flour, xanthan gum, yeast and salt in a medium sized bowl.

Add flour, mix well. 

Cover bowl with Saran Wrap and leave in a warm place for 12-18 hours. (Note: this had virtually no effect on the dough, so may not be necessary. But it was in the original, so I've kept it here)

Scrape dough out onto a piece of parchment paper, knead gently a few times and then shape into a round. Lift the dough and parchment into a clean bowl, let sit for 1.5 hrs. 

After 1hr, place a clean Dutch oven in the oven and start preheating to 500 degrees. After half an hour, move the dough and parchment paper to the Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and return to the oven. 

Bake at 500 degrees for half an hour. Remove lid, reduce oven to 450 and bake for another 15-25 mins. 

Remove from oven, remove from Dutch oven and cool on a wire rack. 

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