If you prefer gluten free breads, you can make home-made tasty loaves that are healthy and cost less than what you find in stores.
I rarely make gluten-free bread. However, my experience has been that using gluten-free boxed bread mix or purchasing gluten-free flour mix is an economic and easy way to produce a quality gluten-free loaf.
The advantages of using a commercial mix to make gluten-free bread include:
- You don’t have to purchase multiple types of flour typically used in gluten-free loaves.
- There’s no worry about using the proper ratio of flours in your recipe.
- No need to search for a recipe you can count on. Your box mix or gluten-free flour mix should produce a satisfactory loaf (check out my recommended baking method here).
- There are multiple brand-name gluten-free mixes that are wonderful quality and readily available.
If you’ve had an unsuccessful experience baking gluten-free bread – either with a mix or from scratch – no need to give up. Gluten-free recipes are far different from wheat and other whole grain bread recipes. Learning how to manage them may take a bit.
One thing that both traditional bread and gluten-free bread have in common is yeast. The same method you can use to ensure you produce a high-rising, light traditional loaf of bread works equally well with the gluten-free: activate your yeast in recipe liquid that’s warmed to a specific temperature range and keep the dough warm throughout the mix/rising process.
- Warm your recipe liquid (water, milk, etc.) to a temperature range between 105- and 110-degrees (Fahrenheit). This is the temperature at which yeast thrives. Use a digital thermometer to verify that your liquid temperature is within that range. Instant-read thermometers are convenient, but any type of thermometer will register the liquid temperature.
- Thoroughly dissolve the yeast and give it time to develop a foamy top, which means it’s started working.
- Once you add the yeast mixture to your flours, keep the dough warm so the yeast continues to work.
So far, I’ve baked my gluten-free bread in my bread machine because it’s an easy way to handle the dough once it has risen. Late model bread machines will have a gluten-free setting and should provide details about using it in their manual.
The other thing that both traditional and gluten-free bread dough have in common: they thrive in a consistently warm environment.
To achieve that consistency, I recommend that you:
- Warm your bread machine canister with hot water before placing your bread ingredients into it.
- Warm the measuring cup/bowl you use to activate your yeast so the utensil doesn’t take heat away from your liquid.
- Use the bread machine to raise and bake your gluten-free bread. It’s an easy, hands-off way to make the bread and the dough will stay at a consistent temperature in the canister.
Be aware that gluten-free bread spoils faster than a traditional loaf. If you wish to freeze the bread, slice it, place plastic wrap between each slice, put all in a bag and place in your freezer.
Long time journalist Loretta Sorensen is the author of Secrets To Baking Your Best Bread Ever! and regularly shares information about whole grains and bread baking. You’ll find her book on her blog site at www.bakeyourbestever.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the Country Store at Our Dakota Horse Tales. Her weekly bread baking posts are featured at Mother Earth Living, GRIT Magazine, Our Dakota Horse Tales, and on Pinterest and Facebook.