Yeast Bread: Gluten-Free Bread

posted by Polar Bear 02-17-103 4:41 PM

Gluten-Free Bread
Bette Hagmanís Gluten Free Gourmet

1 c garbanzo-fava flour (4 oz)
1/2 c sorghum flour (2 oz)
1-1/2 c cornstarch (8 oz)
1-1/2 c tapioca flour (7 oz)
1/2 c corn flour (not meal) (2 oz) (or other non-gluten flour)
4 tsp xanthan (or guar) gum
2 tsp each: salt; baking powder
4 tbsp + 1/4 tsp sugar (divided)
2 c water (divided)
1 pkg plain gelatin (2 t)
1 pkg active dry yeast (2-1/4 t)
4 lg eggs (or two, plus three whites)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp white vinegar


Combine flours, cornstarch, xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and 4 T sugar in work bowl of standmixer fitted with beater (not dough hook). Or, see Alternate Mixing Methods, below.

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 c water; let soften two minutes; bring just to a boil, preferably 1 minute by microwave; stir until gelatin dissolves. Stir in another 1/2 c water; should be quite warm but not hot, about 105 degrees. Stir in yeast and 1/4 t sugar; let stand until bubbles form, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, oil, vinegar and remaining 1 c water.

Add liquid mixture to bowl and process at minimum speed until combined. Increase to medium-high and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 4 minutes, stirring down sides halfway through.

Divide batter between two lightly greased large (5 by 9 inch, 2 qt) loaf pans, 1 lb 9 oz for each. Let rise covered in a warm place until batter just reaches top of pans, 45 minutes to an hour.

Bake in 325 degree oven until cooked through and lightly brown, about an hour and ten minutes. Cover with foil if browning too quickly. Remove to wire rack and cool completely before slicing.

Notes and Variations:
General: The batter wonít resemble conventional bread dough. Itís more like pound cake batter, i.e., soft and fluffy. Indeed, whatís happening is that the xanthan (or guar) gum forms a foam, which holds the non-wheat starches in suspension while theyíre being cooked. The final product isnít a dead ringer for regular bread, but it's surprisingly close.

Alternate Mixing Methods: The standmixer works best, but a food processor will work; prepare in two batches, and mix only 2 minutes for each. Alternatively, combine xanthan gum, salt, baking powder and 2/3ís the flours; add liquid mixture and beat with a hand mixer until totally smooth, about 6 minutes; gradually beat in remaining 1/3 the flours with a spoon. Or, a half batch can be prepared with most bread machines, i.e., those with at least a 1-1/2 lb capacity and a short (single rise) cycle; monitor kneading to be sure ingredients mix thoroughly.

Flour Variations: Corn flour may be replaced with quinoa, teff, buckwheat (not actually a variety of wheat), amaranth, millet, potato starch, or simply more tapioca flour; but donít use soy flour, which tends to scorch in this preparation. Cornstarch may be replaced with arrowroot. Garbanzo-fava and sorghum flours may be replaced with rice flour (white and/or brown); also replace 1-1/2 T corn flour with potato flour (not to be confused with potato starch). Donít use rye, spelt, kamut, triticale or semolina, all of which have gluten. Sources are divided on whether oat flour or bran may be used; indeed, a few sources disapprove of quinoa, teff, millet and amaranth, though the better view seems to be that theyíre fine.

Other Variations: At the end of Step 3, gently stir in one of the following: 6 oz grated cheddar or other cheese (1-1/2 c); 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil, thyme, marjoram or other herb; 2 c pitted and chopped medium cure olives (not kalamatas); 12 oz mushrooms (diced and sauteed until moisture evaporates); 3 cl minced garlic; 1/4 c finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes; or 1 c raisins (also, in Step 1, replace white sugar with brown and add 2 tsp cinnamon). Or, for a faux rye, in Step 1, add 1/2 tsp rye flavor powder (gluten free) and 2 tbsp caraway seeds, replace white sugar with brown, and (optional) replace second cup water with coffee; for pumpernickel, also add 4 tbsp cocoa.

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