Going Gluten-FreeFebruary 9, 2010

My Love Affair with a Bread Machine

Comments (26)

Posted by Beth Hillson

I am in love with my bread machine. Well, technically, I’m in love with the bread it produces – that coveted wonderful-tasting and smelling loaf that is so difficult to create in a gluten-free world. It’s almost as if my machine is able to intuit my desire for a fresh slice of yeasty bread. Two or three hours after I deposit ingredients in the baking pan and command the buttons to “start,” I gratefully accept another luscious loaf. No wonder I love this gadget.

Truthfully, however, creating a decent loaf of bread was not all that easy at first. It was only through years of experimenting that I have found formulas that were satisfying enough to make me forget my gluten-filled past. These formulas are mixtures of gluten-free flours (mostly flours with fiber), liquids, xanthan gum and yeast. Two secrets make them work. First, xanthan or guar gum helps to create an elasticity that approximates that of gluten. Second, a delicate balance of wet to dry is necessary to help the bread rise, but not too much, and to give it texture and mouth-feel.

Once I have a formula that works for me, I vary it with strategic little tweaks – replacing some of the liquid with maple syrup; exchanging rice flour for sorghum flour or quinoa flour; using milk instead of water or the other way around. But I never change the quantities.

I rely on flour choices from Living Without magazine (see “Flour Power” in our Dec/Jan 2010 issue) and recipes from our great chefs, like Diane Kittle whose gluten-free, dairy-free Oatmeal Maple Bread or Mock Rye Bread fill my tummy and satisfy my cravings. For variety, I often adapt a tried-and-true bread recipe by replacing some of the flours with those that have higher fiber and nutrition content.

What recipes or products help you fulfill that need for bread since you became gluten-free? Tell us which articles in Living Without helped you and let us know which bread machine you are using or if you prefer baking your bread in the oven.

Comments (25)

I just used my new Oster bread machine for the first time using a Bob's Red Mill bread mix. It turned out great, but I would love to get recipes for flavored breads. Does any one have some that work in a bread machine?

Posted by: laurel w | June 10, 2013 9:03 PM    Report this comment

I have an Oster bread machine--makes 2# loaves. I'd like basic recipes for white & a darker bread.

Posted by: Mary D | May 4, 2013 7:10 AM    Report this comment

I have an old Black and Decker Deluxe All-in-one B1600 bread machine. I recently bought the book by Donna Washburn but many of her recipes refer to settings that I don't have. Does anyone out there have bread machine recipes for non-gluten bread, etc. for an older machine which comes with basic/rapid/sweet/whole grain settings or that they would be willing to share?

Posted by: S T | January 10, 2013 1:41 PM    Report this comment

I have a mybready machine and I must say the bread mixes taste great! My brother and I can't even tell that they are gluten free from the taste. The mixes are a bit pricey and from what I've heard some of the machines mess up some of the time. The mixes are quite a treat when we do make them though! The company said the next generation of machines are coming in after July 9th and should be a lot more dependable so if you're planning on getting one, I'd get one after that date.

Posted by: danoodle | June 28, 2010 10:50 PM    Report this comment

The magazine's new issue mentioned shelf life of flours. Rice, tapioca, corn, and potato starch all keep fine in a closed container in the pantry. Nut flours and flax need to be refrigerated. (I use a big plastic tupperware-type container for my High-Protein Flour Blend and haven't had any problems.)

Posted by: Patricia M | March 3, 2010 10:02 PM    Report this comment

The bread mixes for the MyBready gluten free bread machine are $6.19 each. I am still trying to decide if it is worth it. I don't always want to make bread from scratch. I also wonder about the shelf life of all the different flours you need to keep on hand to make really good gf bread.

Posted by: Kim B | February 27, 2010 2:43 PM    Report this comment

I forgot to add: Glutenfreeda tested the Jules Gluten Free flour which won "5" (which is excellent) in every category. Not many items/recipes get that. Plus, there are lots of gluten free recipes there.

Lore T / February 2010

Posted by: Lore T | February 25, 2010 11:38 AM    Report this comment

There is a website julesglutenfree.com belonging to Jules Dowler + her married name, who has a GF flour mix that can be used cup for cup in recipes. She also sends recipes from time to time if she has your email (whether or not you have yet bought her flour); plus she says you can substitute soy or almond milk for cow's milk in her recipes but not rice milk as it is not as rich.I too and gluten and casein free. Her flour mix is trademarked and she's applied for a patent. She has a recipe for bread makers. I bought the flour because the pictures of her baked goods appeared to have the same crumb as baked goods made with wheat flour. I have not yet used it as I have quite a stash of Whole Food's gluten free breads, etc. After this, I will use it. If results are as she pictured, it will be a permanent staple at my house.

I bought my flour (expensive, but not so bad if you don't have to buy 5 or more types of flour) while she was offering fee e-cookbooks with it. There is a recipe for a bread machine. I can't use the one here as my husband uses wheat flour in it.

Lore T / February 2010

Posted by: Lore T | February 25, 2010 11:03 AM    Report this comment

I have been baking GF bread in the oven using receipes and their premixed flour from Huck Finn Co. Not very good luck. I'm not sure where "warm place" is the best place in my kitchen. I've put the bread on my oven door with over set @ about 150-200. Result: rock hard crust that fell apart. Then I used an electric warming tray. Result: rock hard bottom that broke away. I need help!!! Would investing in a bread machine eliminate these results? I read an article months ago (somewhere in the computer) that said as Zojirushi was really good for GF bread. It's pretty expensive too. I would love comments or suggestions any of you might have.

Andrea N / February 2010

Posted by: tomson123 | February 20, 2010 4:18 PM    Report this comment

I'm happy just baking bread in my oven. It's fairly fast and easy since we don't have to knead or allow for a second rise. The best I've found so far: I use the High-Protein flour blend from this magazine in the True Yeast Bread recipe from Bette Hagman (the Gluten-Free Gourmet), with one other twist -- I substitute ground almonds for the milk powder in her recipe. This recipe makes two loaves, so I freeze the second one til I'm ready for it. I've tried it on two other GF eaters with good results. To answer Cynthia, I always use brown rice flour instead of white, and no problems so far.

Posted by: Patricia M | February 13, 2010 7:52 PM    Report this comment

The best bread that I have found using my bread maker are the bread mixes from Breads by Anna. These are so great that you don't have to toast the bread in "order to make it taste better." In addition to great bread for sanwhiches, it's great to eat as toast or when making french toast. I don't eat anything else!

Posted by: adrienne n | February 12, 2010 7:24 PM    Report this comment

Love the comments! I have copied and pasted these into Word so I can refer to some of the tips later.
Thank you!

Posted by: Mari C | February 12, 2010 7:11 PM    Report this comment

Janet W. 2/12/2010
I too am contemplating the Mybready Machine and was wondering if anyone has actually tasted the
bread from the machine. It is quite expensive and I want to be sure it is worth the money.

Posted by: Janet W | February 12, 2010 4:29 PM    Report this comment

We haven't had much success with GF bread in our bread machine or by hand. The machine one turns out better but we end up only having a 3"x3"x3" square. Smells great and tastes great but all the work for so little. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Posted by: FE MARIE E | February 11, 2010 6:43 PM    Report this comment

I bake my bread in the oven. A customer told me about a flour company called Tom Sawyer that has fantastic flour. Their flour comes already mixed and they send you reciepes to bake prize winning bread among other things. I was having a terrible time trying to get a loaf of bread that would even rise. Using their flour and reciepe now the bread turns out beautiful.

Posted by: Libby M | February 11, 2010 2:24 PM    Report this comment

I, too, love my Breadman. I use the recipe in the manual. One hint that I would recommend is to have everything measured before you fill the bread machine. This seems to make the process more efficient. Does anyone know if white rice flour and brown rice flour are interchangeable?

Posted by: Cynthia N | February 11, 2010 1:57 PM    Report this comment

Has anyone been part of a test group on the new mybready bread machine? I am wondering how good the bread is that it produces is, and how expensive the bread mixes are. If you haven't heard about it go to www.mybready.com and check it out. I will say it looks promising. I recently aquired an old welbuilt, the one that looks like r-2 d-2, anyone have the instruction manual?

Posted by: celia-c | February 11, 2010 1:34 PM    Report this comment

I have Celiac, and I'm also allergic to corn and sulfites. I have severe reactions when exposed to them. I can't find many GF foods, or any GF mixes that don't contain them. And, I can't find any GF bread or other baked good recipes that don't contain food starches (sulfites). Some recipes are, or can be, corn free. But sulfites are in just about all GF food products. I have not eaten any bread since I went gluten free, in 2004. I'm getting sick of eating just rice cakes. I tried a couple bread recipes in a new Zo, but they didn't turn out well, because of the substitutions I had to make, to replace food starches. Same thing with biscuits.


Posted by: Donnie | February 11, 2010 12:34 PM    Report this comment

Thanks for the post. I gave away my bread machine a few years ago, but it looks like they have gotten more advanced..and that I need another one. I appreciate the ideas.

Posted by: AllergiesAndMe | February 11, 2010 11:56 AM    Report this comment

Our marvelous bread machine (a Panasonic) used to do gorgeous gluten breads. Since I was diagnosed as gluten and dairy intolerant eight years ago, it has been saving my life, and now, we all prefer the bread it makes. My bread Bible is "125 Best Gluten-Free Recipes" by Donna Washburn and Heather Butt (2003, Robert Rose, Toronto). Among many other delicious recipes, it includes 14 for bread. I continually experiment with these (and, with the help of Living Without, fearlessly substitute for dairy). There are two recipes for each bread: one for hand mixing wet into dry ingredients, then into the bread machine, and another for using a mixer and baking in a regular oven. Our favourites are the cornbread (the kids always request that one), sun-dried tomato rice loaf, and the tomato rosemary bread. The Panasonic also does just dough. It's a fantastic machine.

Posted by: LisaL | February 11, 2010 11:42 AM    Report this comment

Does anyone have a yeast free, dairy free bread recipe?

Posted by: Janice H | February 11, 2010 11:22 AM    Report this comment

Hi! I have a Regal--Kitchen Pro Bread Machine and I made my first gluten-free bread last week from a bread mix (Bob's Red Mill White Bread); it was better than any other gluten bread that I had ever made, except I thought it needed a bit more salt. I am going to try making my own from a recipe I got from Angie's Gluten-Free Club. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Posted by: NeeNee632010 | February 11, 2010 11:12 AM    Report this comment

I also have a Breadman and have been experimenting. I have found that the gluten free function does not bake the bread enough and the bread turns out better on the normal white bread setting. My favorite recipe so far is on the back of Bob's Red Mill's potato starch package. It turns out like white bread and is spongy and works great for sandwiches. The ingredients in this recipe are ones we use in other recipes, that's why I really like it. What other recipes are simple and yet really good?

Posted by: amy s | February 11, 2010 11:02 AM    Report this comment

I have a Breadman, which I love, but I haven't spent alot of time trying gluten free recipes yet. Do you have a favorite, all around bread recipe? I love sandwiches, so I am looking for a recipe that I could use for them. Thank you so much! Mari

Posted by: Mari C | February 11, 2010 10:29 AM    Report this comment

I too have been having an affair with my bread machine! I bought it two years ago after several miserable attempts at making GF bread by hand. I have a flax seed recipe that I found at recipezaar.com that is so forgiving and I will occasionally switch out the flax seed meal for corn meal, the honey for GF molasses or agave and I add about a half tsp of gelatin which gives it a great texture!

I have learned that weather has an impact in the rise and that not paying attention can cause a house full of smoke! I have also found that a little more liquid (2-3 Tsp) can keep the contents in the cooker.

Thanks for this article and go bread machines!

Posted by: Robin l | February 11, 2010 9:16 AM    Report this comment

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