Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday Basics: Perfect Gluten-free Bread

I was thinking that I would write about how the smell of this bread baking is simply intoxicating. The gentle scent of fresh baked bread that reminds you of your grandmother's home filters out of the oven and works its way into your memories and blooms all those memories of freshly baked chewy bread that was likely slathered in creamy butter and sweet jam.

The fact that this delicious bread is gluten-free makes it simply divine. It barely lasts in my house. Seriously. The crust is perfectly crumbly and crisp, the inside soft and airy. This recipe came out of poring over recipes and some very serious experimentation. I often find that gluten-free bread is basically compacted flour, meaning it crumbles into a dry little pile of what I thought was bread until I breathed next to it. This bread does not to do that. At. All. It's fabulous. You need to make this!

The Bread

160 g white rice flour
100 g brown rice flour
60 g soy flour
6 g guar gum (about 2 teaspoons)
4 g salt (1 teaspoon, there about)

120 ml warm water
15 ml liquid honey
15 ml quick rise yeast
20 ml olive oil
2 eggs

1. Bloom the yeast in the warm water and the honey. It is important that the water is warm, yeast iskind of like goldilocks: Not too hot, not too cold ... warm is juuuuuust right. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast, too cold and nothing will happen.

2. Measure and sift the dry ingredients.

3. Mix the dry ingredients into the activated yeast. Add the eggs and olive oil.

4. Pour into a loaf pan. This is not your typical bread dough, there is no kneading involved and it is more like a batter than dough. I generally let it rise for almost an hour in the warm oven. To get the oven warm enough, turn on the oven light when you start getting everything together.

5. Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes. When it is finished the bread should sound hollow when you tap on it.

To store: Wrap in wax paper or wrap in a clean dish cloth. Generally gluten-free bread is frozen because it can turn rancid quite easily because of the flour. I'm sure you could pre-slice and freeze this bread like a commercially prepared loaf, but I don't know from personal experience since it simply won't last.