Monday, 22 March 2010

The Bread Baking Babes go Gluten-Free

This month our fabulous baker Babe Breadchick Mary of The Sour Dough challenged us to a new sort of baking - both no-knead and gluten-free!
I have had my share of experience with no-knead bread before but the gluten-free was new to me, as was the combination of the two.

Well, they say the gods wear very large boots, for giving you a swift kick in the rear when you are getting too proud of yourself. Just when I thought I was becoming quite the bread baker.. I definitely got my buns kicked with this one. Let's just say I am not a gluten-free sort of gal. I admire the people who can bake that way but all that starch gives me the willies. It's a texture issue, we all have them. Gluten-free bread is just not my thing. It's okay, I have other things. Gluten-free bread may very well be your thing, certainly other Babes quite enjoyed this bread.

If you would like to try your hand at this no-knead gluten-free hearty seeded bread, and earn yourself a Bread Baking Buddy badge, post your results on your blog and email Mary by March 31st.

Gluten Free No Knead Hearty Seeded Sandwich Bread
from Nancy Baggett's Kneadlessly Simple

1 2/3 cup white rice flour, divided (may need more depending on your dough)
1/2 cup cornmeal or brown rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup flax seed or golden flax seed meal
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/3 cup ice water
1/3 cup corn or canola oil
1/4 cup molasses (not black strap)
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup plain yogurt, drained of excess liquid
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tablespoon of mixed seeds (millet, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, etc)

First Rise:
In large bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of white rice flour, cornmeal or brown rice flour, tapioca flour, flax seed meal, salt, yeast, and 2 Tbsp seed mixture. In another bowl, whisk together water, oil, molasses and mix thoroughly with flour mixture. If too stiff to blend, add more water to form a barely firm dough. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. For best flavor, refrigerate dough for 3 - 10 hrs then let stand at cool room temperature for 12 - 18hrs. Dough will stiffen as it stands and it is alright if it doesn't rise very much.

Second Rise:
Whisk egg and set aside 1 Tbsp to brush top of loaf. Stir the yogurt, baking powder, and 1/3 cup white rice flour into the remaining egg. Vigorously stir the yogurt mixture into the First Rise dough until completely mixed. If it is too soft, you can add more of the rice flour (white or brown, doesn't matter which). Turn dough into a well greased 9" x 5" loaf pan and brush a little oil on top of loaf. Brush the reserved egg and seeds over the surface. Using a well oiled serrated knife, make a 1/2" deep cut lengthwise down the loaf. Cover the pan with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap.

Let dough stand for 2 1/2 - 4 hrs in a warm room until dough extends 1/8" above the pan rim. Loosen plastic wrap as dough nears top of pan to prevent dough from smooshing down.

15 minutes before baking, place a rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake bread on the lower rack for 55-60 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. If the top starts to over brown, cover with a piece of foil. Continue baking until a skewer inserted comes out with few crumbs or the internal temperature of the bread reaches 206-208 degrees. Bake for 5 minutes more. Remove bread from oven, and leaving bread in pan, let cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely before slicing.

My notes: At no point did I get a "dough". More like a cake batter, and after standing I got a spongy cake batter. Thus I baked it in a cake tin. I had added extra rice flour and cornmeal.. but still had batter. Our experiences with the dough varied, it might have something to do with how the ingredients are milled in each country.

The Bread Baking Babes
click to see how they did.