Mother Earth Living

Gluten-Free Bread Baking 101

Discover the importance of gluten in traditional bread baking and how to replace it in three delicious gluten-free bread recipes.
By Ellen Brown
June 2014
Add to My MSN

Making gluten-free bread is easier and tastier than you might think.
Photo by Fotolia/milanmarkovic78
Slideshow


Content Tools

Related Content

Gluten-Free Sweet Crepes Recipe

Swap conventional flour with a gluten-free blend in this sweet crepes recipe.

A New Favorite Flour

Organic spelt flour makes for a simple and healthier replacement for white flours in many recipes.

Lunch=Wheatgrass

At lunch today I downed a shot of wheatgrass. What does it taste like? Brocolli and grass, shaken no...

Food Wise: The Gift of Homemade Food

I make the cookie-of-the-month for my brother-in-law, and he loves it.

There’s nothing better than the comforting taste of homemade bread straight from the oven. But with a gluten-free diet, suddenly this tasty treat seems out of reach. Learn how you can make delicious brioche, sandwich bread, flatbread and much more with the recipes and tips in Ellen Brown’s Gluten-Free Bread (Running Press, 2013). In this excerpt from chapter one, learn the role gluten plays in traditional bread baking.

You may purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Gluten-Free Bread.

The first step in gluten-free bread baking is to understand the role that gluten plays in traditional breads. Most bread depends on gluten to succeed; gluten is that versatile protein that, when developed, forms a strong air-trapping network that creates breads’ characteristic honeycomb structure and crumb.

Gluten-Free Bread Recipes

Gluten-Free English Muffins Recipe
Gluten-Free French Baguette Recipe
Gluten-Free Naan Recipe

In gluten-free breads, the goal is no different. But it is more complicated to re-create wheat breads’ thick crusts and inside soft airy pockets without what many would consider a very essential component to what makes bread, well, bread.

While eliminating rye and barley from the gluten-free diet presents some challenges, eliminating all forms of wheat and wheat flour is a Herculean task—especially when baking bread. Wheat flour contains as many as thirty proteins, and two of those—glutenin and gliadin—form gluten when moistened with any liquid ingredient. These two proteins grab water and connect to form elastic strands of gluten. If flour has a lot of these proteins, it grabs up water faster, making the strong and springy gluten that is needed to bake bread; that’s why high-protein bread flour is frequently specified in recipes for wheat breads. The formation of this elastic gluten network serves many functions in a bread dough. Like a net, gluten traps and holds air bubbles created by the natural leavening of yeast or the chemical leavening of baking soda or baking powder. When a dough is baked, the stretched flour proteins become rigid as moisture evaporates from the heat of the oven, and sets the breads' structure.

Replicating this structure is no easy task. There is no magic wand to wave that can remove the gluten from wheat flour, because the proteins are built into the DNA of the wheat plant. But with the addition of a few other ingredients to nonwheat flours, the results can be just as good.


Reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Bread © 2013 by Ellen Brown, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Buy this book from our store: Gluten-Free Bread.








Post a comment below.

 

Joyced
8/29/2014 9:05:50 AM
One thing with gluten free, be sure that the flour mixes or baking mix has some flour added that is high in fiber and protein. I add Garbanzo flour to breads and coconut flour to things like cookies. Many of the gluten free products are now found to have too many starches that are high in the glycemic index and can be hard on your blood sugar.








Subscribe today and save 58%

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living!

Welcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.