One of the hardest projects I have undertaken was to bake gluten-free bread that Alistaire would enjoy. The compost bin has eaten many loaves over the years, as I would dabble, get frustrated and stomp off. What really got me motivated was the price of the Franz white bread loaves going up in price again – and the perpetual issue of it getting moldy if you leave it out on the counter (you have to chill it once it is open – even though the packaging says you don’t have to!) . At the local store it sells for $7.29 a loaf now! That alone was reason to try again. The base cost of ingredients isn’t much, as Kirk and I talked about it, that I would waste the ingredients till it worked. And when a loaf turned out perfectly, I was so happy. I didn’t believe it was good until I sliced it, and watched Alistaire enjoy the first slice. I tried it, and was shocked: you couldn’t tell it was gluten-free.
Having said all this, I run on a pretty nice bread machine – a Zojirushi – so making fails made it sting even more so. But as I tried more often, I realized that I was making simple mistakes that kept me from having perfect bread. I was treating it like I did wheat bread: dumping it all in and walking off. You cannot do this. I love this bread machine, it makes loaves of bread that look like bread should. We have been using it for over 5 years now. It isn’t cheap, but if you make a lot of bread and don’t have a ton of spare time, it is well worth it.
Two easy rules: weigh all flours/starches and be there for the mixing cycle, to help the machine mix up the dough. All you need is an affordable digital scale that goes up to 5 pounds.
*And if you don’t have a bread machine, I have a gluten-free bread recipe coming up soon that is baked in the oven.
Bread Machine Gluten Free Sandwich Bread
- 1½ cups milk, full fat preferably
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp avocado or neutral oil
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 222 grams brown rice flour
- 327 grams potato starch
- 1 Tbsp xanthan gum
- 1½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
In a 2 pound bread machine, add the milk, eggs, vinegar, oil, and honey.
Place the rice flour and potato starch on top, sprinkle xanthan gum and salt on top.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add yeast.
Turn machine onto a standard loaf of bread.
When the mixing/kneading starts, carefully scrape the sides to ensure all the starch is mixed in, and helping it mix. Do not miss this step! If the starch is not mixed in the dough will be lumpy. The dough should be smooth, looking like a quick bread versus the stiff dough of wheat bread. But watch your spatula, and use a small one, so the kneading paddles don’t grab at it.
Once baked, immediately remove the bread pan and knock out. Do not let it sit in the pan, as the moisture will make a gummy loaf.
For best results, let cool fully on a rack, then using a serrated bread knife slice the bread firmly and quickly. Store tightly sealed overnight on counter, for long-term storage wrap in freezer bags and freeze. Bread thaws quickly for use, or can be toasted on the “frozen” setting.
Makes 1 loaf.