When making gluten free bread, you can expect a different consistency than that of typical wheat breads. While wheat breads require kneading to develop the gluten proteins into an extensible but elastic dough, gluten free bread dough gets its consistency from xanthan gum added to the flour. This means kneading isn’t required and simply a good mix will do. Here in the Bob’s Bakery, we like to mix on medium-high speed for about 4-5 minutes.
Take care not to overproof your bread before putting it in the oven. Letting it rise high above the pan will let too much air into the dough and cause the loaf to collapse either in the oven or after removal. When we make our gluten free breads in the bakery, we seldom need to let our loaves proof for more than 20-25 minutes. While your loaf might not look doubled in size, it will most likely gain height through oven spring during the first few minutes of bake time.
Gluten free bread keeps best in the fridge or freezer, unlike typical wheat bread, which can last just fine at room temperature. Slice your bread while it is still slightly warm and then place it in one or two plastic bags. It will then be able to last for a while and maintain its consistency. To create the right-out-of-the-oven flavor and texture, heat a refrigerated slice in the microwave for 10-20 seconds before enjoying!
When making gluten free bread (or any yeasted product), measure out your flours ahead of time so they are at room temperature. Gluten free flours, unlike wheat flours, store best at refrigerated temperatures. Simply pulling cold flours out of the fridge will cause the yeast to take a much longer time to react. We sometimes hear people asking why their bread is having trouble rising and often the case is that the ingredients are too cold for the yeast.
When you start experimenting with gluten free baking of any kind, you should stick to gluten free recipes until you feel comfortable with the changes of consistency and workability. Once you start getting the knack for it, you can try adapting some of your favorite “regular” recipes with some of these tips:
Find flours with higher protein contents to build structure. For instance, a rice flour will not give your bread the same sturdiness as an amaranth, sorghum, or teff flour would.
Gluten free breads will require more liquids than the equivalent wheat bread recipes require. When you convert wheat breads to gluten free, be sure to add extra water, milk, oil, honey, or other wet ingredients to make sure that all of the flour is properly incorporated in the dough. Your gluten free bread dough should be too wet to knead but thicker than cake or muffin batter.
Try out alternative ingredients in your favorite recipes to see what the effects are on the finished product. Ingredients such as eggs, carbonated water, and even gluten free beer can act as natural leaveners that can give a fluffier crumb and a fuller volume.
Have fun! Gluten free baking of any kind can take a while to get used to so be sure to take it lightly and have a good time.
Below is our gluten free, dairy free bread recipe. Give it a whirl to try out your new skills!
Bob’s Red Mill Dairy Free Wheat Free Bread
Mix together with a spoon in a small bowl:
5 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Cup Water
Yeast Packet (found in Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Bread Mix)
When cornstarch is dissolved, pour into large bowl and mix in the following (with spoon or dough hook on upright mixer):
1 2/3 cups Rice Milk
¼ Cup Vegetable or Safflower Oil
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Bread Mix
Pour mixture into a bread pan and let rise until dough is just above the top of the pan (30-40 minutes). Bake at 350 degrees for one hour, rotating pan once during the bake. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack Enjoy!
Tip: For a lighter crust color, cover pan with tinfoil or place a cookie sheet (above the bread pan) on a higher shelf in the oven during the bake.