FeaturesAug/Sep 2014 Issue

A Lofty Loaf: How to Make Gluten-Free Bread

Anxious about making homemade bread? With a bread machine, there’s no knead!

Brian Ambrose Photography

Brian Ambrose Photography

Beth Hillson with a fresh loaf of Sesame Seed Italian Bread.

Indeed, for ten years, finding a decent gluten-free yeast bread was impossible. All my attempts turned out crumbly, flat and dense. Then one day, gluten-free bakers discovered that a pinch of xanthan or guar gum put back some of the elasticity missing in gluten-free flours. These gums, which were used in chewing gum and ice cream, became the darlings of gluten-free baking, adding structure and stretch to gluten-free dough. “Miracle” and “breakthrough” are two words that come to mind.  

Something like blowing air into a balloon, the gum allows the gases from the yeast to inflate the dough, no small feat considering our dough is so much heavier than gluten-based dough.

There are other differences, too. Unlike conventional yeast bread, gluten-free dough behaves more like a batter. It’s difficult to handle and its structure is more fragile. The multiple kneading, punching and rising that are necessary for wheat dough actually destroy the structure of a gluten-free loaf.  

For all these reasons, a bread machine is an excellent choice for gluten-free bread. There’s minimal handling. You just add the ingredients and press “start.” Several brands of machines let you bypass extra knead and rise cycles or they have a gluten-free setting, making them ideal for our cranky loaves.

The Basics

A bread machine lets you dump in the ingredients and return later to find a beautiful, fully baked loaf of bread. The biggest complaint is that the blades used to mix the dough leave an indentation in the bottom of the loaf. Some people reach into the dough and remove the blades once the kneading cycle is completed. I’ve done this but it’s a mess and requires watching the clock to know when the cycle ends. My old machine took a chunk out of the bottom of every baked loaf. Many newer machines have smaller or collapsible blades and leave only minor indentations. The blades are one thing to consider when purchasing a new machine. Here are other factors:


-Price: The cost of a bread machine ranges from $60 to $250.

-Loaf Size: Machines produce a 1, 1½, 2 or 2½-pound loaf. The amount of flour and liquids varies depending on the size of the pan.  

-Shape: Some machines produce a horizontal loaf while others are vertical. Horizontal pans come with one or two blades. A good choice for gluten-free bread is a horizontal pan and two blades or a collapsible blade.

-Settings: In addition to settings for regular white, whole wheat and dough, some machines offer a gluten-free cycle and/or customized settings. These leave out additional knead and rise features and are ideal for gluten-free bread. If these features aren’t available, a short or quick cycle will work.

-Good Choice: These machines are well suited to gluten-free bread baking: Breadman TR520 Programmable Bread Maker for 1, 1½ and 2-pound loaves; Breville Baker’s Oven BBM 100; Cuisinart CBK-100 2-Pound Automatic Bread Maker; Hamilton Beach HomeBaker Breadmaker; Oster CKSTBRTW20 2-Pound Express Bake Breadmaker; T-fal ActiBread; West Bend Hi-Rise Breadmaker;  Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso and BB-HAC10 Home Bakery Mini.

Bread Machine Tips

-If you’re sharing a machine with a gluten-eating baker, buy a second bread pan and paddles from the manufacturer’s website to prevent cross-contamination.

-Don’t be afraid to open the machine about 5 to 10 minutes into the mixing process to scrape down the sides so that all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Don’t open the lid during the rise and bake cycles except to brush the top and sprinkle with seeds.  

-If your user’s manual recommends adding ingredients in a different order than indicated in these recipes, follow your machine’s instructions for best results.

-Some manufacturers recommend using rapid rise yeast but it may not be up to the task of lifting gluten-free dough. For best results, use active dry yeast.  

-If your machine has a rest cycle at the beginning of the program to warm ingredients, add room-temperature ingredients. If not, warm your ingredients before adding them to the machine.

-A 1-pound bread machine can handle 2 to 3 cups of flour. A 1½-pound machine can handle 3 to 4 cups of flour.  

-Most bread machines have a delayed cycle, allowing you to place ingredients in the machine several hours ahead. To avoid bacterial growth, don’t use this cycle if your recipe contains eggs or dairy.  

-A programmable cycle lets you customize the settings for gluten-free dough. Here are the ideal settings: Warm 10 minutes; knead 15 minutes; rise 40 minutes; bake 55 to 60 minutes. Always set on Medium Crust.

-These recipes were created for larger bread machines (1½ to 2-pound loaf). To customize them for a smaller machine, reduce all the ingredients by a third.

My bread machine and I have been best buddies for decades. My expectations are lofty—but so is my bread. With these recipes, your loaves will be, too.


Brian Ambrose Photography

Brian Ambrose Photography

Sesame Seed Italian Bread

MAKES ONE 2-POUND LOAF

This bread is wonderful served warm with a bowl of olive oil for dipping. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

1½ cups milk of choice, room temperature or warmed to 110ºF
3 large eggs, lightly beaten (reserve
1 teaspoon to brush top of loaf)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup rice flour
½ cup millet flour
1¼ cups cornstarch or tapioca starch/flour
1 cup potato starch (not flour)
1½ tablespoons potato flour (not starch)
1  tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, optional

1. Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute) knead and one (40-minute) rise cycle and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively, use a quick white bread cycle.

2. In the bottom of the bread pan, combine milk, eggs, olive oil, honey and vinegar. Stir with a fork to blend well.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, millet flour, cornstarch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum and salt. Sprinkle over liquids in the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquid is visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.”  

4. Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  

5. When the bread has advanced to the bake cycle and baked about 10 minutes or when the top is set, brush with reserved egg and sprinkle sesame seeds over the top. Close the lid and continue baking.

6. Remove the bread immediately when the bake cycle is complete. Turn bread onto a wire rack to cool.  

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 225 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 48mg cholesterol, 278mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 5g sugars, 4g protein, 25 Est GL.
Variations

For Sesame Seed Italian Herb Bread, add 1 teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon dried thyme and ¼ teaspoon garlic powder to the dry ingredients.

For Egg-Free Sesame Seed Italian Bread, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flax meal into ¼ cup hot water. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients in the bread pan in Step 2. Then add 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods’ egg replacer powder to the dry ingredients in Step 3. If your bread machine struggles to mix the dough, add water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough mixes more easily. Add water cautiously, as too much will cause your loaf to collapse while baking.


Oksana Charla

Oksana Charla



Teff Pumpernickel Bread

MAKES ONE 2-POUND LOAF

This bread has a chewy texture and plenty of fiber and nutrients. Don’t be tempted to omit the coffee. You won’t taste it but it is intrinsic to the pumpernickel taste. For a special treat, warm a slice in a 325° toaster oven and smear it with orange marmalade or honey. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.
    
1½ cups water, room temperature or warmed to 110°F
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons safflower oil or other vegetable oil
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not flour)
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup teff flour
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup low-fat powdered milk, whey or dairy-free milk powder
¼ cup gluten-free cornmeal
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1. Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute) knead and one (40-minute) rise cycle and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively use a quick white bread cycle.

2. In the bottom of the bread pan, combine water, eggs, oil, molasses and vinegar. Stir with a fork to blend well.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, teff flour, tapioca starch/flour, powdered milk, cornmeal, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, instant coffee, and salt.  Sprinkle over liquids in the bread pan.

4. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquid is visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.” (If your bread machine manual recommends adding the ingredients in a different order, follow those instructions.)

5. Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the pan to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

6. Remove the bread immediately after the bake cycle is complete. Turn the bread onto a wire rack to cool.  

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 216 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 46mg cholesterol, 298mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 25g fiber, 5g sugars, 5g protein, 23 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Teff Pumpernickel Bread, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flax meal into ¼ cup hot water. Combine this mixture with the wet ingredients in the bread pan in Step 2. Add 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods’ egg replacer powder to the
dry ingredients in Step 3.



Gluten-Free Molasses Oat Bread

MAKES ONE 2-POUND LOAF

This not-too-sweet bread has a light, chewy texture. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

1½ cups water, room temperature or warmed to 110ºF
3 large eggs, lightly beaten (reserve 1 teaspoon to brush loaf)  
3 tablespoons safflower oil or other vegetable oil
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup rice flour
¾ cup gluten-free oat flour
¾ cup cornstarch or tapioca starch/flour
¾ cup potato starch (not flour)
½ cup chickpea flour
1½ tablespoons potato flour (not starch)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon gluten-free oat flakes, optional

1. Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute)knead and one (40-minute) rise cycle and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively, use a quick white bread cycle.

2. In the bottom of the bread pan, combine water, eggs, oil, molasses and vinegar. Stir with a fork to blend well.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, oat flour, cornstarch, potato starch, chickpea flour, potato flour, sugar, xanthan gum and salt. Sprinkle over liquids in the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquids are visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.”  

4. Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  

5. When the bread has advanced to the bake cycle and baked about 10 minutes or when the top is set, brush with reserved egg and sprinkle oat flakes over the top. Close the lid and continue baking.

6. Remove the bread immediately after the bake cycle is complete. Turn the bread onto a wire rack to cool.  

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 207 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 45mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 36g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 3g sugars, 4g protein, 22 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Molasses Oat Bread, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flax meal into ¼ cup hot water. Add this mixture to the wet ingredients in the bread pan in Step 2. Then add 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods’ egg replacer powder to the dry ingredients in
Step 3.


In the Oven

If you’re baking a gluten-free loaf in your oven (not the bread machine), follow these instructions. For best results, use a heavy-duty hand-held or stand mixer.

1. Lightly oil two 4½x8½-inch loaf pans. Set aside.

2. Combine the dry ingredients (except the yeast) in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Blend well at low speed. Add the yeast and blend.

3. Warm the milk or water to 110°F. Combine remaining liquid ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the warm milk or water, stirring to combine.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, beating at low speed until combined. Increase speed to medium and beat about 3 minutes or until mixture is shiny and smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl in long strands.

5. Transfer dough evenly to prepared pans. Smooth the tops and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Place dough in a warm, draft-free spot to rise to the top of the pan.

6. Preheat oven to 375°F.

7. Remove the plastic wrap and place pans in preheated oven. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190°F to 200°F.

8. Remove loaves from pans and turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.


Oksana Charla

Oksana Charla


Multigrain Bread

MAKES ONE 2-POUND LOAF

This bread is filled with nutrients and has a subtle whole-wheat flavor—without the gluten. Flax meal adds fiber and lends structure to the loaf. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

1⅔ cups water, room temperature or warmed to 110ºF
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons safflower oil or other vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 cup rice flour
1¼ cups potato starch (not flour)
¾ cup sorghum flour
½ cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup low-fat powdered milk, whey or dairy-free milk powder of choice    
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons flax meal
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1. Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute) knead and one (40-minute) rise cycle and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively, use a quick white bread cycle.

2. In the bottom of the bread pan, combine water, eggs, oil and vinegar. Stir with a fork to blend well.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, amaranth flour, tapioca starch/flour, powdered milk, sugar, flax meal, xanthan gum and salt. Sprinkle over liquids in the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquid is visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.” (If your bread machine manual recommends adding the ingredients in a different order, follow those instructions.)

4. Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

5. Remove the bread immediately after the bake cycle is complete. Turn the bread onto a wire rack to cool.  

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 222 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 46mg cholesterol, 292mg sodium, 39g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 5g sugars, 5g protein, 23 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Multigrain or Egg-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flax meal into ¼ cup hot water. Add to the wet ingredients in the bread pan in Step 2. Then add 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods’ egg replacer powder to the dry ingredients in Step 3.


Corporation/Thinkstock

Corporation/Thinkstock

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

MAKES ONE 2-POUND LOAF

The subtle flavor of cinnamon makes this a favorite breakfast bread. It’s delicious at room temperature but also makes great toast. This recipe can be made with egg replacement; see instructions below.

1½ cups + 2 tablespoons water, room temperature or warmed to 110ºF
3 large eggs, lightly beaten  
3 tablespoons safflower oil or other vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup rice flour
1 cup potato starch (not flour)
¾ cup sorghum flour
½ cup amaranth flour
½ cup tapioca starch/flour
½ cup low-fat powdered milk, whey or dairy-free milk powder of choice    
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 cup golden or dark raisins

1. Program a 2-pound capacity machine for a 10-minute warm cycle, one (15-minute) knead and one (40-minute) rise cycle and bake 55 to 60 minutes or set it to the gluten-free cycle, if available. Alternatively, use a quick white bread cycle.

2. In the bottom of the bread pan, combine warm water, eggs, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir with a fork to blend well.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together rice flour, potato starch, sorghum flour, amaranth flour, tapioca starch/flour, powdered milk, sugar, xanthan gum, cinnamon and salt. Sprinkle over liquids in the bread pan. Make a shallow indentation in the center of the dry ingredients, making sure no liquid is visible. Add the yeast. Close the cover and press “start.” (If your bread machine manual recommends adding the ingredients in a different order, follow those instructions.)

4. Midway through the knead cycle, open the lid and scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula to make sure all the dry ingredients are incorporated.  

5. Near the end of the kneading cycle, the bread machine will beep to let you know it’s time to add raisins. Sprinkle them over the top of the dough. Close the lid and let raisins blend into the dough. Check in a couple of minutes and assist with a rubber spatula if the raisins are not blended.
6. Remove the bread immediately after the bake cycle is complete. Turn the bread onto a wire rack to cool.  

Loaf yields 14 slices. Each slice contains 251 calories, 5g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 46mg cholesterol, 298mg sodium, 46g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 12g sugars, 6g protein, 28 Est GL.

For Egg-Free Multi-grain or Egg-Free Cinnamon Raisin Bread, omit 3 eggs. Stir 1 tablespoon flax meal into ¼ cup hot water. Add to the wet ingredients in the bread pan in Step 2. Then add 1 tablespoon Ener-G Foods’ egg replacer powder to the dry ingredients in Step 3.


Food editor Beth Hillson (bhillson@GlutenFreeandMore.com) is a chef and cooking instructor. She is founder of Gluten-Free Pantry, one of the first gluten-free companies in the United States, and author of Gluten-Free Makeovers, available at GlutenFreeandMore.com.

Comments (1)

if i use a gluten free flour like bobs red mill 1to1 in my recipes do i need to add anything else to them to make the turn out ok and can i use it to make bread as well thanks

Posted by: bigred | June 4, 2015 1:33 PM    Report this comment

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