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Dec 16, 2010 04:45 PM

Gluten Free Baking

I recently baked GF bread from a package that was not good at all - do not remember the brand name - the only person who had a full slice was the gluten intolerent one who has not tasted a fresh-out-of-the-oven bread for a long-long time; the others just took a bite and spit it out . I do not know what it was but it tasted like a nitrate or a similar chemical; I thought it was one of the "gums" that is typically added to GF baked goods.

I would love to have a good recipe to try next time.

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  1. When I get the energy I'll post some for you. To me the purchased ready-made stuff as well as the packaged stuff taste absolutely putrid. Hate it. The homemade stuff isn't good, either, but better than the alternative. Most of my recipes use about 4-6 types of flour as each has different qualities. Still - there is unfortunately no replicating good old gluten. I find that GF bread/bagels/English muffins must be toasted for improved flavour and texture.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chefathome

      I would very much appreciate it! I do not care how many flours I use as long as it results in bread that tastes good. I took a GF baking course a few years ago and remember pretty good bread that we tasted - they called it "Vancouver" bread - it was yeaty bread that the instructors baked at home and brought to the class. Anyone heard of it?

    2. I'm afraid gluten free baking is an acquired skill. It takes some practice and understanding of ingredients and their role in the finished product. It's a totally different animal from baking with gluten. While some commercial mixes are decent, and retail availability of different flours, grains, and specialty ingredients is increasing, it still takes some research and practice to learn how to turn out tasty gluten free baked goods. Most mixes aren't quite it, IMO.

      The short version is that in order to turn out good GF breads and baked goods, you're going to need a fair amount of instruction, more than can be related in a CH thread, to be honest. If you tell me what kind of bread in particular you're interested in, I'd be happy to direct you to a particular recipe in a book. But, you're really going to benefit from having the book in hand. It's best to use a mix of flours, for instance, and which mix with which flours, will make a difference in the finished product. In my experience, breads for sandwiches benefit from different flours than say, a rustic style loaf you'd serve alongside a soup, or a quickbread, or biscuits, even. So, tell me what you're looking for in specific, and I can direct you to some personal favorites.

      I recommend only a couple GF baking book authors: Annalise Roberts and Bette Hagman. Annalise Roberts is my personal favorite, because she doesn't use bean flours, which are not for me and not to my family's tastes. Some people really like Bette Hagman's 4 flour blend, however, and it's available commercially, as well as other mixes of hers. Roberts' Gluten Free Baking Classics has become my standby, and I highly recommend it both for reference and for the recipes. If you want to check out Bette Hagman, Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread is a good place to start.

      1. You may be sensitive to the gums. I dunno. Plenty of GF bread doesn't have a hokey taste to me...but some sure has a baby-food-bland quality to me. I'll go snag a recipe for you now. I'm very curious to see what you think. If you want a sourdough recipe, I think I have that at work. If you want that, email me at litigious.gourmet at gmail dot com.

        1. OK, here goes. If you don't have a scale, you need one, and not just for this recipe.

          227 grams potato starch
          100 grams almond flour
          85 grams certified GF oat flour
          85 g millet flour
          1 T yeast
          2 t xanthan
          1 t guar
          1 and 1/2 t kosher salt (I usually increase to 2 t)
          1 and 1/3 c warm water
          2 room temp eggs
          roughly 1/6 cup quality oil
          1 T honey

          Mix the dry ingredients super well. Add wet ingredients. Mix (kitchenaid paddle really helps here!). It's soft dough but firms up with a little beating. Beating = gums work. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, let rise till doubled. Either bake it off like the no knead bread in a blasting hot dutch oven, or try forming into baguettes with wet hands and baguette form(s), and slash with a very sharp knife when risen. Both work. It really does make a pretty baguette. Even more than conventional bread, let cool most of the way before you cut. (Sniff.)

          I've replaced some of the flours with sorghum or buckwheat before - there is room to play here, if you are careful.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Vetter

            I'd recommend herby beat it for two to three minutes on at least medium speed of a stand mixer, or higher if she's using a hand held. You can also add a teaspoon of gelatin to the dry ingredients for extra stability. Don't put the batter in an overly warm place to rise. The gums will have time to set better if you give it a cool rise. The gums are what take the place of gluten that is in wheat flour and holds the yeast's rise. Bob's Red Mill is a good source for many of the flours mentioned above, though some are more coarse than other brands. For this style of loaf, you can grind GF rolled oats to flour in a food processor if you can't find the flour retail, but be sure it's GF rolled oats. (Quaker is not GF.)

            1. re: amyzan

              Good point about the beating. It amazes me how much better my stuff got when I started beating the heck out of it! I recently ordered some oatmeal flour on Amazon, and it's lovely, soft, fine stuff from Montana. I'm having fun trying it in things.

              1. re: Vetter

                Thanks, will look that oat flour up!

                1. re: Vetter

                  Vetter, is it the Proatina oat flour from Montana GF Processors? i've been curious about their products but never bought any. the Bob's Red Mill GF oat flour suits me just fine, but i wonder how they compare..

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    I'm sorry, I didn't see this question when it went up. My flour is from - I originally bought it from Amazon, but I don't see it there now. I really like it and have worked through at least a couple of pounds of it now. I bought it instead of Bob's because the price worked out much better per lb.

                    1. re: Vetter

                      no worries on the delay, i forgot about it anyway :) but Legacy Valley? really? have you tried the rolled oats or oat bran? i've had awful experiences with both. they smell & taste terrible, and i sliced my mouth on sharp pieces of oat hulls in the oat bran.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        How odd! No, I haven't tried any of their other products. Yuck, I HATE oatmeal that cuts up the mouth. I really like oatmeal, and eat tons of BRM steel cut and rolled oats, so I don't feel like I'm weirdly calibrated, either. Just made a gorgeous batch of granola yesterday, in fact. The flour is just kind of what I'd expect oatmeal flour to be like. Maybe I got a good batch?

                        1. re: Vetter

                          i don't know what to tell you - i'm glad your flour is good! the products i tried - purchased separately and from 2 different stores - both had a very distinct barnyard odor and a strangely sweet off-putting flavor. i've spoken to a couple of other people who encountered the same thing. considering that i like BRM products much better and they're always cheaper than the Legacy where i shop anyway, i'll stick with 'em...just have to keep grinding them into oat flour myself since they don't offer it.


              This blogger likes to do as little with prepared gluten-free mixes etc as possible, and she enjoys baking. Maybe you'll find something helpful there. Good luck!