A few days ago I posted the recipe for my amazing bread-maker brown sandwich loaf which (I am thrilled to see) has been met with a positive response. It is a wonderful loaf…… full of flavour and with the perfect texture that us gluten-avoiders thought we could only dream of. I am still really excited to have managed to develop the bread, which has firmly put sandwiches back in my life and has revolutionised gluten free lunch!
I have however received a few comments as to whether the recipe works made by hand without a bread maker. In my enthusiasm for achieving great bread that I could make in the bread maker (it is great that it is no longer sitting idle on the worktop), it would seem that some of you (who don’t have a bread maker) have been feeling left out…… For this I am sorry!
In an effort to make sure this is a more inclusive bread, I have now tested the recipe twice using exactly the same ingredients, but mixed and baked by hand to find out the answer to the question. I think you can see by the photos that the answer is a definitive YES!
I have slightly changed the order of mixing the ingredients, but otherwise the recipe is the same. The method of course includes the usual hand-baking processes of ‘kneading’ by dough-hook or knife (you rarely make a gluten free dough that is kneadable by hand) and of course, allowing the dough to rise (you don’t need to ‘knock back’ gluten free dough, so will only rise it the once).
You will see that I made two one pound loaves. I did make a larger loaf which was as good in texture and structure as the smaller loaves, however I forgot that the tin I made it in (which was quite old) had lost some of its coating and this meant that the loaf stuck and broke as I tipped it out. Having thrown the tin away, I could then only find smaller tins in my cupboard…… hence making the two on the second run. I also made sure I lightly oiled the tins with butter-wrapping just in case!
A small amount of dough was used to further test the bread as mini-loaves. I have a particular liking for little loaves as I think they are extra fun for picnics and make for an easy breakfast of warm bread slathered in butter and marmalade.
I can safely say that the dough makes the most amazing little loaves! I haven’t tried making standard rolls, but I think they would be easy to make by using a muffin tin and the dough may well be just about ‘shapable’ into rounds on baking paper (but I haven’t tried this yet)…..
As with the bread-maker loaf, the hand-baked version has an incredible texture and along with it’s machine-baked brother, is the best gluten free bread I have had…… Of course the advantage with hand-baking is that while it takes longer to prepare, the resulting loaf will also look far more rustic and attractive and gives you the option of sprinkling oats and seeds for decoration too.
My head is whirring with all sorts of variations and permutations and I can’t wait to experiment further to see how far I can take it!
I have also been considering how to substitute the dairy milk powder for those of you who are dairy free. Although I have not yet tried it, my research indicates that there are a number of alternative (non-dairy) milk powders on the market. These range from nut based, to soy and rice milk powders. My favourite-looking alternative is an almond milk powder made by Ecomil……. I hope to check it out personally soon….. Alternatively, I would hazard a guess that some ground almonds (substituted by equally amount) would also work equally well……
I am sharing this amazing bread with the following linkies, as I want as many people as possible to know about it and hopefully enjoy it as much as we are :
Simply Eggcellent with one of my favourite bloggers, Dom, over at Belleau Kitchen. This month ‘anything goes’.
Tasty Tuesdays with Honest Mum.
Brown Bread Revolutionary Loaf – Hand-Baked Version (makes 2 x 1 lb or 1 x 2 lb loaves + approx 3 mini loaves/rolls)
Ingredients (all spoons are levelled)
14g active dried yeast – I used Allinson’s Easy Bake Yeast
370g (by weight) hand-warm water at 46 C/115 F
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 egg and a little milk beaten together for glazing
a sprinkle of GF oats for decoration
Method – by hand
- Prepare your bread tin by base-lining with baking paper and very lightly oiling the sides.
- In a large bowl, weigh and whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, salt, bicarbonate of soda, gelatine/vege-gel, milk powder and yeast, making sure the ingredients are fully and evenly combined and all lumps are broken down.
- In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, lemon juice and warm water until fully combined, frothy and airy.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the oil then the rest of the liquid. Fold together until the mixture just comes together as a wet sticky dough.
- Use either a hand mixer with a dough-hook attachment or a flat knife to mix the bread dough to ensure it is fully combined (I used a dough-hook for about 3 minutes)
- Spoon the mixture into the bread tin(s) so that it is about half to two-thirds full. Cover lightly with cling-film and place somewhere warm to rise for about 45 minutes until the dough has about doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- When the bread is risen, brush with the egg-milk mixture to glaze and sprinkle on a few oats for decoration.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes (loaves – 30’ish for smaller loaf; 40’ish for larger loaf) or 15 minutes for mini rolls, until the top is golden and a knife inserted comes out clean.
- Remove from the tin(s) to a wire rack and leave to cool. Best eaten completely cool or slightly warm. Will stay fresh for 3 to 4 days!