This recipe is an adaptation from the book Easy Gluten-Free Baking by Elizabeth Barbone
This bread recipe gives you air pockets! Air pockets—see them? If you’ve never made gluten-free bread, you won’t appreciate that beautiful feature. This bread is NOT gummy nor crumbly. It is a great base for adding herbs, cheeses, and sweeteners if you feel so inclined (but try it first exactly as it’s written here so that you get a boost of confidence when you make a beautiful, gluten-free loaf of bread).
This Gluten-Free Bread is as easy to make as a batch of chocolate chip cookies. The key is precision. The amount of precision required for yeast bread baking is so opposite of my natural disposition, I feared that I would self-destruct as I painstakingly followed each instruction. As an artsy-fartsy person, I’m much more relaxed in my cooking, sauteing, and garnishing habitat where I have the freedom to experiment with my food. That being said, I did experiment a little with this recipe after following it exactly the first few times, and I had some great results. The original recipe was written for one, single, huge loaf of bread. I don’t eat huge sandwiches, nor do I want to spend all that time on one loaf of bread, and doubling gluten-free bread recipes is scary, for some reason, they just have a mind of their own. So, I made three small baguettes with this, and it was perfect for my needs. (such as the Sun Dried Tomato and Chicken Sandwich Bites recipe)
- -1 3/4 cup warm water (I gauge this temperature by how I like my shower temperature in winter---hot but not uncomfortable)
- -1 Tbsp yeast (active dry yeast is better than instant for this)
- -2 Tbsp vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- -2 large eggs at room temperature (have not tried subbing these yet---bread is already so temperamental!)
- -2 1/2 cups brown rice flour, very finely ground
- -2/3 cups arrowroot starch (bob's red mill is good)
- -2/3 cup powdered milk (you can actually use Powdered Soy Baby Formula for a dairy free alternative here!)
- -1 Tbsp xanthum gum
- -2 tsp white sugar
- -1 1/4 tsp salt
- Prepare a large ceramic stone (ideal) or a cookie sheet with oil and a light dusting of rice flour.
- Combine warm water and yeast and let sit while you prepare dry ingredients
- Place all dry ingredients in an electric mixer (like a Bosch mixer) fitted with cookie attachments (paddles), and mix together for 30 seconds.
- Add yeast/water mixture, oil, and eggs and mix vigorously for 5 minutes. Dough should be like gak. You know, that fun stuff you made as a kid from glue and borax? If you haven't made gak, then think of warm taffy---it wraps gently around the beaters, but not stiff and not runny. If the dough looks too hard, add a little more water a tablespoon at a time, waiting between additions for it to incorporate.
- Spoon the batter into a gallon-sized plastic baggy. Cut one of the bottom corners off. You are going to pipe the dough out like frosting. So you will want to cut off a triangle leaving about two inches of open, cut bag.
- Squeeze out three 10-12 inch long baguettes leaving at least two inches between them for rise.
- Spray a length of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover dough LOOSELY.
- Leave in a warm place to rise. (I like to put a frying pan of very, very hot water in the bottom of my oven, turn the oven onto lowest setting for a couple minutes, turn it off, then place the dough in the oven on the center rack to rise.
- Let rise 1 hour.
- About 10 to 15 minutes before bread is done rising, preheat oven to 375 deg F. It's really important the bread goes in a hot oven for best yeast performance.
- Remove plastic wrap and place dough in hot oven. Set timer for 25 minutes. At 25 minutes, check on bread, it should be lightly golden. This is the part where I take the bread's temperature with my digital meat thermometer for exact doneness. A finished loaf will be to 208 deg F (don't touch thermometer on bottom of pan/stone).
- Remove when ready. Let cool on cooling rack (really important to get it aerated immediately).
- Don't refrigerate this. Either slice it up and freeze it (when fully cooled) then toast it later, or eat it all within 24 hours.
- **If you'd like to make this in a regular loaf pan, reduce oven temp to 350 and increase baking time to 55 min. Gauge readiness by taking temperature. The larger loaf may brown faster on the outside while still being raw inside. If this happens, cover it with tin foil.
- Phew! Don't be overwhelmed or intimidated, if I can do this, anybody can do it!