Friday, January 27, 2012

Gluten Free We: Adventures in Breadmaking

We found a great deal on a breadmaker at Costco during one of our weekly trips - yes, I understand a weekly trip to Costco is a bit excessive for a family of two, but considering the amount of produce we're consuming, it's the best quality fruits and veggies (mostly organic!) for the money - and snatched it up right quick. 

I was surprised Ben was not only supportive of the purchase, but excited about it as well. 

This is our model, and it doesn't have a ton of bells or whistles, but it does have a gluten free setting, and I can throw my ingredients in and let it do it's magic. 

A few posts ago I recommended Amy's post on why her and her hubs went GF, and in it she recommended this bread mix, by Gluten Free Pantry (which is Glutino). So, with our brand new bread maker in the trunk, we headed to New Seasons to pick up a box because I had no clue where to start making my own bread. Brownies and cakes from scratch is as advanced I have gotten in the baking department, and I was feeling a bit intimidated. New Seasons didn't have the mix Amy likes, but they did have this, and the picture on the front had me salivating for a warm, chewy piece of french bread. 

I got the machine ready, added my ingredients in the specific order as directed and pressed go. Three hours later, we had this:

It was pretty to look at and yummy to eat! Not quite the french bread I was used to (I think doing this mix by hand instead of in the machine may help), but it was really quite good! Success! Unfortunately, it was quite late when it finished baking and we put it away warm, so it became a little stale seeming the next day. 

Lesson learned, let bread cool completely before putting away.

A few days later Ben and I ventured to Bob's Red Mill and I nabbed a bunch of ingredients for GF baking. I wish I had thought to take a picture of this store - it's amazing! I used my two new cookbooks (this and this) as references, I purchased a bunch of flours and ingredients I had never otherwise heard of.

GF All purpose flour mix, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, buckwheat flour, potato starch, corn bread mix, pizza dough mix, xantham gum, and more...

Last Sunday, I couldn't fall back asleep after a call from my work woke me up (I always panic that I forgot I was scheduled and they are calling to remind me to come in, but that was not the case this time, thankfully) so I decided to use my early morning wake up for good.

I brought up my new go-to site for recipies, Pinterest, and found a bunch of recipes for bread made by hand. I searched a little further and found this tutorial on how to convert a recipe to be used in a bread machine. I had most of the ingredients, and the original recipe had a bunch of positive comments, so I started my first bread from scratch. 

The only thing I didn't have was sorghum flour, and the best substitution for it was brown rice flour, which I was already using as a major ingredient. I decided to throw caution to the wind and use some buckwheat flour instead of sorghum or extra brown rice and just see how it came out. Well, it was also a success! You can definitely taste the heartier flavor from the buckwheat, but the rice flavor is really mellow in comparison. The bread is soft and chewy and toasts up really nicely. 

The only thing is, it's super ugly. My first bread mixed into a nice round ball in the machine, but this one didn't. It never smoothed out, and I didn't know (or think) to try to smooth it out before cooking it...on well. This may be a good recipe to mix by hand and then cook in the bread machine, but the most important thing is that it tastes good, and it does!

My ugly little lumpy loaf
That's all the bread I've made so far, and considering it's only been two weeks and we still have bread in the fridge, I'll take a little bit off, but this is a whole new world of baking and experimenting and I'm excited to do more!

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