FeaturesApril/May 2008 Issue

Gluten-Free Baking Tips

Chef Coppedge shares these secrets for successful gluten-free baking.

Wet  Gluten-free breads benefit from added moisture during the first five minutes of baking. To add a burst of steam, throw a few ice cubes onto the bottom of a preheated oven or place a small pan of water, about ½-inch deep, on the lowest rack when bread first goes into the oven.

Rise  Proofing (the time dough is allowed to rise) is best done in a humid environment. To create a proofing box at home, boil a bowl of water in the microwave, letting it simmer for a couple minutes. Remove the bowl (or if there’s room, push it to one side) and put the prepared dough into the steamy microwave, turned off, to proof.  

Bake  Gluten-free breads take longer to bake. To check for doneness, insert a digital thermometer into the center of the loaf. It will register 200 degrees when it's done.  

Fan  Baking gluten-free breads in a convection oven works only if the fan can be turned off for the first five minutes. If not, the bread tops will be misshapen.  

Mix  When combining ingredients, use your mixer’s paddle attachment. Don’t use a dough hook; it doesn’t work well with gluten-free bread dough.

Lift  Try adding a carbonated liquid, like sparkling water or seltzer, instead of milk. It helps lighten the bread.

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