This isn't my first experience with gluten free bread.
Huge difference!! Not only in looks, but texture, crumb, flavor and recipe! A girlfriend and I had gotten together to give it a try a few months ago.
It was a lumpy, dense mix with an awful, AWFUL after taste!!!
It was my first experience with gluten free anything in any form. And I was grossed out. Thoroughly.
So when HBin5 had a gluten-free bread dough as the assignment back in April....
I passed. And you can go to Big Black Dog's Gluten Free Bread Braid and see what the rest of the crew did
It was a painful decision. I wanted to participate in everything that the group did but that first loaf...well, no pun intended, but it left a bad taste in my mouth.
Apparently the stars were lined up against me though.
The May Recipe Challenge in BakeSpace was to make something gluten free!
This gluten free stuff just wasn't gonna leave me alone.
So I did what any good blogger / foodie would do. I bit the bullet, gritted my teeth...and forged ahead.
And thank God...a wonderful person in BakeSpace participated in this months challenge who has to eat gluten free, and she really gave us some great tips. I have to say....I learned more from this challenge than I have in any of the other challenges I've participated in over the past couple of years.
I did use the HBin5 Gluten-Free Olive Oil Bread recipe, as assigned in April, with a couple of changes.
1. Instead of brown rice flour, I used white rice flour. Not on purpose, really. I bought the white rice flour a while back...so I decided to use it instead of buying more.
2. I know people who can't eat soy, so in order to avoid soy I used Oat Flour instead.
3. The thought of using SO much cornstarch (which I believe contributed hugely to the nasty flavor of the first bread I made) grated on my conscience and taste-buds. Therefore I used Potato Starch instead.
The dough is extremely lumpy
I was tempted to get in there and smash all those lumps with my fingers....but I refrained.
I let it sit on the counter for 2 hours...and was bummed when there was barely any rise at all. I then put it in the fridge for 24 hours as recommended.
I then divided the dough in half and formed two baguettes. In the BakeSpace Recipe Challenge thread, our gluten-free experienced member said that the dough should be smoothed out before baking. GREAT tip!!! It was kinda like playing with clay. The dough doesn't stretch like wheat dough does....it gets formed and molded with damp hands.
I didn't want to go too crazy with the smoothing out part cuz I didn't want the dough to get soggy.
I let those little guys rise for about 2 hours. Once again, I was bummed that there was very little rise. So with trepidation, I slid them into a hot 450' oven and baked them for 30 minutes. Actually, I think I ended up keeping them in there for 35 minutes cuz they weren't all that dark. I have a feeling that gluten-free bread just doesn't get very brown.
When I removed my baguettes, I was pleasantly surprised with how much they had popped in the oven
And how smooth the crust was....and how nice of a crumb it had. And for the big test....the taste. It barely had a bit of that "gluten-free" aftertaste. With a little butter, it was undetectable.
And made into a little mini smoked mozzarella grilled cheese sandwiches....
I'm so glad I went ahead and made this bread. Now I won't be afraid or turned off by the idea of participating the next time HBin5 has a gluten-free assignment. And there will be more. I mean, this bread baking thing will be going on well into 2011! :)
BLOG Note: I added something new to my blog....you see the bar at the bottom? (it can be collapsed by clicking the arrow on the far right side if you don't want to see it). Well....It has some fun little tools. I thought I'd give it a try and see if it turns out to be useful. One of the fun little gadgets is the "chat" option. I'm not sure if anyone will ever be in there at the same time as anyone else....but it would be fun to run into you once in a while...if for nothing else then to just say "Hi". Anyways....let me know what you think of my new "toy". If its a pain, I can easily remove it.