After looking at some Tweets on Twitter yesterday, I noticed that there was quite a lively discussion referencing of all things gluten free bread. Now, we Celiacs know that, well, to put it mildly, GF bread lacks the wholesomeness of its gluten counterparts. The breads I have sampled (and we are talking a lot) over the years have left me asking the question Why can’t GF bakeries get it right? I have walked through many a wonderful bakery both locally and in the travels just to smell the enticing aroma that is real bread. Oh, how I envy the Gluteners out there that can buy a terrifically fresh baguette from the boulangerie and pile it high with fresh ingredients, ever anticipating the hypnotic crunch as they take their first bite – a whirlwind of culinary sensations. Blast!
I know that the GF replacement flours used behave differently than those chock-full of gluten but come on already. I want to eat a sandwich that A) does not rip the insides of my mouth to pieces when toasted; B) does not STICK to my freaking hands; C) is SOFT with the ability to become perfectly toasted when need be, if I want cake I’ll eat dessert – can I get an Amen!
True to my Living Well mantra, I decided to do something about it. When you are gluten free and fabulous one simply cannot sit around. So here is GF Mike’s quick fix, not perfect by any stretch of the imagination because I am in no way a baker.
I like to use Bob’s Red Mill Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix which when made following the package instruction is a typical, cakey, GF bread – and by no means bad. However, through much trial with my trusty bread machine, I found a way to make the crust crustier and combat a bit of the cakeyness.
Instead of putting 1 egg and the rest of the required egg as whites only (to ¾ of a cup), I put 1 jumbo egg (or two small) and increase the oil from ¼ cup to just under ½ or sometimes more depending on the weather. Now this serves two purposes: (1) it gives the thick mix a bit more lubrication through the kneading processes and (2) helps the bread create a WONDERFUL crust. When using a bread machine be sure to set the crust level to Dark which usually adds 5 minutes or so to the baking process and makes all the difference.
The result is a crusty loaf that mimics more traditional breads. No, it is not an exact match but I will take what I can get. This version is PERFECT for garlic bread – see my recipe in the recipe section.