A sweet neighbor of mine cannot have traditional bread....as she was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. I cannot imagine a world where I can't have bread. Well, she can imagine living without bread...in fact, she says she doesn't even miss it as it made her so sick. You can read her story HERE.
Then she offered to teach me how to make gluten-free bread. It was an offer I couldn't resist, so here it goes!
She highly recommends the Bette Hagman Bakes Bread cook book, where this white bread recipe hails from. It starts with a Gluten Free Mix, which you can find HERE. The mix consists of rice flour, potato starch (NOT potato flour), and tapioca starch.
I asked her if I could grind white rice in my wheat grinder. It is possible, BUT....I have ground wheat in my grinder and it is nearly impossible to avoid cross contamination. Some people cannot even have the tiniest trace of wheat in their foods.
3 cups of this mix is put in the bowl, along with 1/4 cup sugar, 3 1/2 t. of xanthan gum. This is a binding agent that holds the dough together.
1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of active dry yeast is dumped on top.
1 3/4 cups of warm water is mixed with 1/4 cup of vegetable oil and 1 teaspoon of rice vinegar. This mixture is dumped on top.
I was surprised to see her use a whisk...
This is mixed on high speed for five minutes...I was surprised at how white this dough is...
Next, 3 whole eggs are dumped into the bowl. Eggs add fat and tenderize the bread. The whites act as a binding agent as well.
This is mixed until everything is fully incorporated...
and is divided between two lightly greased 8"x5" pans.
Huh? No kneading?
"Nope," she said. This was looking waaaaaay too easy!
Can I smooth out the tops?
Sure! There....that looks so much better!
The loaves are baked in a 375ºF oven for 30-35 minutes.
She just moved into a darling home and was baking bread for the first time in this gas oven...This was also the first time I had ever seen a gas oven. Cool....she didn't know what to expect, but here it is....
Wow! Look at that oven spring! I am totally impressed!
We didn't let it cool much and were anxious for a crumb shot...
You know, I was very surprised by this bread. It was crusty and had a smooth, slightly chewy texture. The flavor was very good. It tasted great with some butter on it and I could definitely eat it as a sandwich bread.
She did give me a warning ~ Gluten free bread has a very short shelf life....maybe three to four days at the most as it will dry out. No problem...I'd gobble it up or slice it and put it in the freezer!