Because of my lack of satisfaction with the bread you can buy (even the artisan loaves are mostly like bricks), one of the first things I did when we had a confirmed coeliac diagnosis was to buy a bread-maker. Although I was very careful to pick one that had a gluten free programme, I have to say that I rarely use it and find that I am largely developing recipes to suit the general settings. My bread-maker is made by Panasonic and has not let me down yet, but I am sure that bread-makers differ from make to make and it may be that a good recipe for me, needs a bit of extra tweaking for you.
Bread-making by hand can be a very therapeutic process, but this is probably down to the need to knead the dough (which was always good to work off a bit of stress and frustration). Gluten free bread does not require kneading (in fact it positively shies away from it), so half the fun is gone.
Although hand-made bread will often taste very different (and may in some cases taste better, even when using the same recipe as for a bread-maker), I do love the convenience of my bread-maker. I can throw the ingredients together and set it running with only 10-15 available minutes and then get on with my day, knowing that I will have a tasty fresh loaf to come back to. If you haven't invested in one, I thoroughly recommend you think about it, particularly if you want to be freed up to spend your cooking time on other things.
My Chestnut and Rice Flour Bread is a bread-maker loaf that we have been eating for some months. It makes great sandwiches, but mostly we love it because it makes amazing toast, - crunchy, well browned, holds its shape and is delicious when topped with almost anything. I developed it after I was mooching around in our local wholefoods shop one day and the owner suggested I try using chestnut flour, which she advised was nutritious and flavoursome. The flour is quite 'heavy', has an unusual scent, and a deep, rich, slightly bitter, nutty flavour. Used in moderation, it adds a distinctive depth of flavour to breads and cakes and I think, tastes fabulous in this loaf. I use Allinson Dried Active Yeast for this recipe and again, have not tested any alternative brand.
I will be honest, that I have never tried making this bread without using a bread-maker, and have tweaked the recipe to get it just right for my equipment, but I can see no obvious reason why it wouldn't work in any other bread-maker or in a conventional oven, providing it is mixed thoroughly and allowed time to rise sufficiently. If anyone risks it, let me know..............
Chestnut & Rice Flour Bread (for bread-makers)
Ingredients150g brown rice flour
125g white rice flour
90g chestnut flour
85g potato starch (flour)
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
4 tablespoons dried milk powder (I use semi-skimmed)
1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
23g dried active yeast (1 ½ tablespoons + 1 teaspoon)
- Mix together the flours, xanthan gum, sugar, salt and milk powder in a bowl and set aside.
- Whisk the eggs with the water until light and airy and pour into the bread-maker pan.
- Add the oil and lemon juice to the pan.
- Spoon the flour mix evenly on top of the wet ingredients.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top of the flour mix.
- Set the bread-maker to Basic, Large, Medium Crust and leave to cook.
- When cooked, remove from the bread-maker immediately and tip onto a wire rack to cool.
- If the dough paddle has become stuck, remove when the loaf is cool.
- Eat as fresh bread, toast or slice and freeze.
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated