Something to spread the butter on…

I love my bread.

It’s taken a long time, but I now have a recipe and process which is foolproof. It reliably produces a tasty bread, chewy crust and that marvellous warm yeasty aroma when it’s baked. And this is surprising only because it’s also gluten free.

There are dozens of recipes out there for GF breads. I’m not going to reinvent the wheel, just tell you how I consistently get good results. If you really want a recipe have a look at one of my early posts about GF bread:

1. Measure out the flours, salt and xanthan gum first. Mix them up well. You need mostly rice, then potato, then tapioca or cassava, then soy.  A bit of dried milk powder doesn’t hurt either.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 7.59.24 PM2. Add lots of nice seeds and grains: pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, poppy, millet and linseed. Add two heaped tablespoons of psyllium husk for a bit of fibre.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 7.59.49 PM3. Make sure your dried yeast hasn’t expired. Mix it with water the same temperature as your hand. Be patient and let it bloom (with a thick raft of creamy froth on the top) before you add it to the flours.

4. Use a couple of tablespoons of a tasty vegetable oil like peanut, sesame, olive, walnut or macadamia. It adds an extra dimension of flavour. But sunflower’s fine too.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.00.08 PM5. Add yeast/water and oil to the flours. Mix them together with a spatula and then beat them on medium speed using a stand mixer with a dough hook. Don’t even try to use an electric hand whisk or do it by hand. You need to beat the c…p out of the mixture till the xanthan gum activates and starts to make the mix incredibly sticky and stringy. Don’t look for the same behaviour from this dough as you’ll get from regular flour, it just doesn’t work the same way.

6. If you need to handle the dough by hand, wet your hands first.  I make rolls in mini loaf or pie pans, and portion the dough out with a wet icecream scoop and smooth it out with a wet spatula.  Water is the only way you’ll stop everything getting massively sticky. Be sure you oil any bread pan very thoroughly. Don’t flour it afterwards.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.01.29 PM7. Let the dough rise. My favourite spot is on the dashboard of the car in the sun. It’s warm, draft free and I can keep an eye on it through the kitchen window. But an airing cupboard or some other warm place will do just as well. The smell at this point is divine, yeasty and mouthwatering.  Don’t try to punch it down. Do that and you can wave goodbye to any air remaining in the bread. This is GF, not wheat flour.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.01.45 PM8. Bake the bread quite hot and quite quickly – it cooks faster than regular bread. Once it’s done, tip the bread out of the pan as soon as you can to avoid the bread getting soggy – it ‘sweats’ inside the pan if you leave it.

Screen shot 2014-04-23 at 8.02.26 PM9. Don’t try and slice it till it’s completely cool. If you’re going to freeze rolls, slice them open before you freeze them, then defrost by nuking them for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

This process produces an open texture, tender crumb and nutty flavour. Like all GF bread, it goes stale quickly. Eat some now, freeze the rest. They defrost well and last indefinitely in the freezer unless you make a pig of yourself.

Fresh warm rolls, well buttered and slathered with yellow box honey.  There’s very little better…


7 thoughts on “Something to spread the butter on…

  1. Kirsten says:

    I’ve been experimenting with a bread recipe. I’m not quite there yet, but almost . . . Yours looks lovely.

  2. tialys says:

    Sounds lovely. Mr. T. is the breadmaker in our house – I’ll have to show this to him.

    • katechiconi says:

      Gluten free breadmaking’s a bit tedious compared with the normal stuff. You need lots of different kinds of flour and you can’t take out your frustrations in the kneading process because there isn’t one! That said, it’s pretty good bread, and not at all penitential.

  3. […] Something to spread the butter on… ( […]

  4. […] Something to spread the butter on… ( […]

  5. I’ll eat anything that can have butter spread on it, but I was never happier than when the doctor confirmed that gluten is not a problem for me. I’m sorry to hear you are on restricted rations, but it look likes you have found a delicious substitute.

    • katechiconi says:

      There’s one thing I really, really miss, and that’s a fresh, hot jam doughnut. They’re working on a vaccine for coeliac disease and I’ll be at the head of the queue when they want to test it!

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