Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Gluten Free Bread - Baguette Style

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!

I love bread.  In fact I sadly consider myself a bit of a bread-a-holic.  But I am sure you know that if you eat a lot of traditional bread, and by that I mean wheat-based, not gluten free bread, it does not always sit well in your digestive tract.  I am not gluten free, nor do I have issues/sensitivities at all with gluten.  I simply think it is a good idea to give your system a rest occasionally.  And since I had the opportunity of working with a girl that was gluten free when I was the Head Baker at Lifethyme Natural Market in the Village, I really learned to appreciate the fact that I can purchase relatively inexpensive healthier breads and not worry that they will taste strange or have a funny texture. 

So I began my gluten free bread quest basically out of curiosity and a desire to make an inexpensive, relatively easy, and tasty gf bread.  Believe me, in the beginning, the results were pretty terrible.  I had no idea what to look for or what recipe looked doable or tasty.  I just googled several gluten free bread recipes that weren't even vegan.  I just substituted the eggs and dairy as I went.  Those first several loaves were absolutely disgusting.  I even tried making a gf crusty bread which seemed like it would work and was very tasty.  The dough even looked similar to "normal" wheat bread, but it never baked completely through in the very center.  Yuck.  The longer I baked it, the harder the outside became, but it just never really baked through on the inside.  I should revisit the recipe later to see if there is anything else I can do to it to make it better.  Once I have some more time, I am going to finally order myself a vitamix (I know, I still can't believe I don't own one at this point!), make my own flours and make some more tasty gf bread!

Gluten Free Vegan Baguette:

The Bread Shaped After Mixing, Not Proofed

Fresh Baked GF Baguette! The warm yeasty aroma!

Yields 2 Loaves

¾ cup millet flour (Arrowhead Mills is the best brand.  Bob's Red Mill doesn't work well here)
½ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup brown rice flour
1 cup potato starch
½ cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons raw sugar/turbinado sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons warm filtered water
Pinch raw sugar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  
2.  Place the warm water, yeast and pinch of sugar in a glass, stirring with a fork to combine. Place in a warm place while preparing the flour mixture and assembling ingredients. It is ready when the mixture starts to grow and has a strong yeasty smell.  If it does not grow, chances are that your yeast may be dead.  Try again.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (note that you can make this by hand, just be prepared to use a lot of elbow grease!), place the millet flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, sea salt and raw sugar. On low speed, mix until all ingredients are well combined.
4. Once the yeast mixture is ready, lower the bowl and pour into the flour mixture. Add the olive oil and raise bowl. On low speed, begin mixing the batter until all ingredients are combined, then continue mixing for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until batter is very thick and sticky. It will look nothing like a wheat dough, but don’t worry, it will be delicious.
5.  Once the dough is mixed, portion it out into two blobs on your parchment paper lined baking trays.  Have a bowl of warm water nearby to help you mold the loaves, as the dough will be sticky. 
6.  Dip your hands into the bowl of water, shaking off the excess and shaping the dough into long, thin loaves.  Try to make them as even looking as possible.  It's difficult to make them look perfect without the aid of a french loaf baking pan, which I do not have and am assuming you do not have as well.  (It's next on my list of cooking items to purchase!)
7.  Using a very sharp paring knife, make diagonal slices across the surface of the bread - this is purely cosmetic - you don't have to do this if you don't want to, but it looks great as it rises and bakes - the slices become larger and prettier.
8.  Lightly spray the loaves with some spray oil and lightly place a piece of plastic wrap over top of the free form bread loaves.  We're using the spray oil so that the plastic wrap doesn't stick to the bread and ruin the design we created.  And we're using the plastic wrap so that the bread will not develop a skin while it is proofing. 
9.  Place the bread in a warm spot and allow it to rise for about 30-45 minutes or until roughly doubled in size. 
10.  Once the bread has risen to your liking, carefully remove the plastic wrap and place in the oven.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until doubled in size and golden on the top.
11.  Allow the bread to cool in its own pan - it will continue to cook a little bit anyway when you remove it because the pan is so hot.  Once the bread is manageable and not too hot, go ahead and slice it, slather it with Earth Balance and enjoy!  Seriously so delicious!  Amazing as garlic bread too!  I want some more now!



1 comment:

  1. Delicious looking baguettes - I like millet flour and buy a frozen GF Millet Bread regularly. A good friend of mine is baking gluten-free bread with a Zojirushi Breadmaker and having terrific results (and you can bake regular bread with it). To learn about his experience and see photos of his Harvest Bread and White Sandwich Bread, visit my blog: