Gluten-free breads were the #2 request from our readers of ABin5, more of a plea than a request. The options for buying gluten-free bread are both unsatisfying and expensive, two qualities we try to avoid. We wanted to create wonderful bread that anyone, celiac or not, would want to eat. Along the way we learned a lot about baking with flours that don’t have gluten, which is what gives wheat breads their desired texture and ability to rise. It took several failed attempts, some sleepless nights and ultimately the advice of experienced gluten-free chef Shauna from Gluten Free Girl before we landed what we think is a dynamite crusty loaf, that just happens to be gluten free: Gluten-Free Crusty Boule.
Several readers have asked about the olive oil dough on page 238. While the Crusty Boule has a chewy and toothsome texture, the bread made with the olive oil dough has a much lighter, almost fluffy interior. Replace the neutral flavored oil in the Gluten-Free Crusty Boule recipe with olive oil if you prefer the texture of that loaf. They are both wonderful and give you fantastic options for free form loaves, sandwich breads, pizzas and even crackers. You will find all of these, plus many other gluten-free breads and awesome sticky buns in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.
For those of you who are celiac or just baking for someone who is you will find all of the directions and tips for handling gluten-free dough below. It is just as easy as our other recipes, but requires slightly different techniques and a new list of ingredients.
Gluten-Free Crusty Boule
Makes enough dough for at least four 1-pound loaves
2 cups Brown Rice Flour
1 1/2 cups Sorghum Flour
3 cups Tapioca Flour (also called tapioca starch)
2 tablespoons yeast (can be reduced but you will have to increase the rise time)
1 tablespoon kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)
2 tablespoons Xanthan Gum
2 2/3 cups lukewarm water
4 large eggs, whisked together
1/3 cup neutral-flavored oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or sugar
Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a 5-quart lidded Round Food Storage Container. Combine the oil, honey and water, set aside.
Dump the eggs into the dry ingredients and then stir while you pour in about 1/3 of the oil and water. Unlike our wheat doughs we do not add all of the liquid at once and stir. If you do that it will result in a lumpy dough.
continue to stir while you pour in another 1/3 of the liquid.
The dough will start to come together in a thick dough. Add the final 1/3 of liquid and
stir until the dough is nice and smooth. Cover with the lid, but do not snap it shut. Allow it to rest on the counter for about 2 hours. Place the dough in the refrigerator and store for up to 7 days. (I have a piece in the freezer and I will report back about how that turns out once I defrost it and bake it up. Stay tuned.)
On baking day take the bucket from the refrigerator. The dough will be quite fluffy still and you want to try not to handle the dough too much. Just like our other doughs the trick is to keep as much of the air bubbles in tact as possible.
Use wet hands to remove 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough from the bucket.
The dough will be quite scraggly when you take it out, just place it on a piece of parchment paper.
Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the dough.
This may take dipping your hands in the water a few times…
to get a nice shape.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter for about 90 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm you may only need about 75 minutes.
30 minutes before baking time preheat the oven with a 5 1/2 quart Dutch Oven in it to 500 degrees. Be sure it is fitted with a metal Replacement Knob, the original plastic knobs can only be heated to about 400 degrees. To find directions for baking on a stone see page 237 of HBin5.
The dough will not have grown much while resting, but it will seem a little bit puffier. Use a serrated knife to cut slashes in the dough.
Remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid.
Lift the bread on the parchment and VERY CAREFULLY lower the parchment and bread into the pot, replace the lid onto the pot. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes remove the lid, turn the heat down to 450 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
Once the bread is done baking remove it from the pot using a spatula.
Allow the bread to cool completely before eating or the center may seem gummy.
The loaf is also wonderful toasted and served with butter and marmalade. Enjoy!
To read an interview Jeff and I did about the gluten-free chapter of HBin5 visit Wasabimon.
10/12 update: WEIGHT of GLUTEN-FREE FLOURS
Brown Rice Flour: 1 cup = 5 1/2 oz = 160 grams
Tapioca Flour (Starch): 1 cup = 4 1/2 oz = 130 grams
Sorghum Flour: 1 cup = 4 3/4 oz = 135 grams
Corn Starch: 1 cup = 4 1/2 oz = 130 grams