Yum Peaceful Cooking: Gluten Free...who woulda thunk it?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Gluten Free...who woulda thunk it?

This isn't my first experience with gluten free bread.

This is:

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....

It was wonderful!

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.


  1. Your bread looks great, Danielle! I avoided the gluten free assignment, too, but maybe I'll go back to it. And smoked mozzarella is my favorite!

  2. Wow, I thought your bread looked good over on BakeSpace but the grilled sandwich really looks good. I am glad you were able to tackle and conquer the gluten free challenge. It can be challenging!

    PS, I miss the public transportation humor. Waaaaaa.

  3. You are ahead of me on the gluten free bread, congratulations! It really looks wonderful and I too must make some for the same reasons you suggest.

  4. The gluten-free bread looks great, but I think I'm in love with your grandmother's green beans!

    Have not seen this new toy anyplace before...

  5. gluten-free grilled cheese porn! me likey. :)

  6. Whoa that bread looks awesome! I can't believe it's gluten free. Seriously amazed right now.

  7. I can't imagine gluten free bread being good, either. But you look like you nailed it, especially with that cheesy pleasy sandwich! Yum.

  8. Glad you didn't give up! These loaves looks really nice and I love the cheesy yummy sandwich shot! :)

  9. Danielle

    I would have done the same thing! However I am glad you changed your mind and we get the benefit of your experiences. This bread does look great and the mini sandwiches with the cheese oozing out! Yum!

  10. Oh, it looks so nummy! That grilled cheese is calling my name...mmmmm. Where's the gadget? I don't see it!? (or am I late...I didn't look at the date of this post??)

  11. Looks great! I'll have to try gluten free again. Thanks for the cornstarch comment. I'll try more potato starch, too!

  12. Good to see you finally got a gluten-free bread you liked. It certainly looks very good, much like the regualr kind.

  13. I'm so glad you decided to make the gluten-free bread. It looks great! I used some potato starch in my gluten-free bread as well.

  14. Great looking bread! I didn't try the gluten free either, but now you may have inspired me.

  15. I used the potato starch and oats as well. It was ok for us but not great. I am glad it worked out for you and more importantly that you did not let one bad loaf ruin you trying again. Sounds like you had a great teacher in your other challenge.

  16. You definitely met the gluten free challenge with your loaves. You took on the most difficult part of baking gluten free.
    Most people start out making brownies, cookies or crustless pies.


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