In 2007, when our first book hit the stores, I had never heard of celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In the past 7 years I’ve had quite an education on the subject. It all started here on the website. People were writing in to say they loved our method, but couldn’t eat wheat. There were many, many requests, so Jeff and I set off to develop recipes that fit our fast and easy method but used flours that were gluten-free. We’ve put gluten-free breads in all of our books since then, but they were just small chapters among a bunch of wheat filled recipes. It seemed unfair to the folks who couldn’t eat wheat to buy a book filled with recipes that didn’t suit their needs, so we decided to write a book for them. Last week Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day came out and we are thrilled to share the Master Recipe with you here.
We’ve had great feedback from our original gluten-free recipes, but we wanted to simplify the method even more. That meant developing two flour mixes that all our recipes are based on, so you just have to mix the flour once for many loaves. You just mix up a big batch of our Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix and/or our Whole-Grain Gluten-Free Flour mix and you’ll be able to quickly mix and bake all 90 gluten-free artisan bread recipes in our book. (We’ve tried commercial flour mixes, but haven’t found one that is as tasty, nor do they produce as nice a texture. If you have a brand of GF flour that you like to use, give it a try, but you may need to make some adjustments, so we recommend making a small batch to make sure you like the results.)
We also wanted to provide recipes that are mostly vegan (no eggs) and dairy free. Because eggs are a leavening ingredient, we do like the Master Recipe made with eggs for a lighter loaf. In fact, we find that the dough made with egg whites is the lightest of all the options. You can also use an egg substitute if you choose not to use eggs. And as always with our method, you save time by mixing a large batch and storing it in the refrigerator, pulling off dough to use as you need it.
The following recipe is our Master Recipe from GFABin5 made with egg whites, but you can make the same recipe with whole eggs, egg substitutes or without any eggs at all.
Gluten-Free Master Recipe from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on page 64, and the egg variation can be found on page 73). For a video of this recipe’s steps that’ll open in a new window, click here):
6 1/2 cups (2 pounds 3 ounces / 990 grams) flour mixture #1 from our book, which is reprinted at this link. We tested all our recipes with Bob’s Red Mill unblended flours, not their gluten-free flour mixtures.
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar or honey (we find that the gluten-free dough needs the sugar to brown nicely, although it is optional)
4 egg whites, plus enough warm water to equal 3 3/4 cups (*see picture below) – if you don’t want to use eggs, then just use 3 3/4 cups water.
To mix the dough:
*Put 4 egg whites in a large measuring cup, fill the cup with water until you have 3 3/4 cups liquid.
In our GFABin5 we suggest using a Stand Mixer with the paddle attachment for the smoothest dough and ease of mixing. You can still do the mixing in a bucket or bowl, as we recommended in our past books, but it will take a bit more effort to get a really smooth dough.
In a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the yeast to the flour mix #1. We tested all of the recipes with both Active and Quick Rise yeast from Red Star and find that they work equally well in our stored gluten-free dough. You can’t use their Platinum yeast, since it contains trace amounts of wheat, but we love it for our wheat breads.
Add the Kosher salt and the sugar (if using) to the flour mix. You can add more or less salt, depending on your preference.
Blend all the dry ingredients for a few seconds.
While the mixer is on low speed, slowly add all the liquid.
Once all of the liquid is added to the mixer, turn it up to medium-high speed and let it blend for about 1 minute.
The dough will look and feel like soft biscuit dough.
Transfer the dough to a 4+ quart Food-Storage Container. The dough will rise some, but don’t expect it to double in size.
Cover the container, but it shouldn’t be airtight. I poke a very small hole in the lid (you can see it in the exact center of the above lid) to allow the gas from the yeast to escape. If you don’t poke a hole…
…then you will want to place the lid on the container, but don’t snap it all the way shut (see above photo). Don’t allow too much air to get into the bucket or the dough may dry out.
Allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. If your kitchen is cool, it may take 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You can use the dough after the initial rise or refrigerate the dough for about 5 days (10 if you don’t use eggs).
When you are ready to bake, sprinkle some GF flour on a piece of parchment. Dust the surface of the dough with more flour.
Scoop up a 1-pound piece of dough. Store the rest of the dough in the fridge for up to 5 days if using egg whites, or 10 days if you only used water. That’s where our method saves you time–all your subsequent loaves are made from pre-mixed, stored dough that will develop sourdough flavors as it ages.
Unlike our wheat dough, this will not have any stretch when you lift it out, it will just break off.
Place the dough on the parchment and shape it into a ball. It may not be smooth at this point.
Using wet fingers, smooth out the surface of the dough. Creating a smooth surface also seems to help trap the gas from the yeast and improve the rise of the bread.
Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rise for about an hour. If you are using fresh dough, then just 30 minutes.
Preheat oven with a Baking Stone to 450°F. It is very important that your oven be hot enough, so use an oven thermometer to check the actual temperature. If you are using a thick Baking Stone, this can take 45 minutes or longer. Put a broiler tray on the bottom of the oven, which will be used to catch water to create steam in your oven.
Once the dough is ready (it may not rise much while resting), dust it with more flour and slash the top with a serrated knife.
Slide the loaf onto the preheated baking stone, add 1 cup water to broiler tray to create steam and quickly close the door.
Bake the loaf for about 45 minutes or until nicely browned.
Allow the loaf to cool to room temperature before cutting into it. The gluten-free artisan bread will be quite gummy if you cut into it before it is totally cooled. Using a sharp serrated Bread Knife is the best for cutting this loaf.
If you don’t finish the loaf in one or two days, wrap it well and freeze it for another time.
This gluten-free artisan bread also makes wonderful toast the next morning, and you can use up the remaining dough over the next 5 days (if you used egg whites), or 10 days (if you only used water).
See also our Gluten-Free Frequently-Asked Questions.