In episode 001 we learn how to conquer the hardest thing when transitioning to a gluten-free diet, soft sandwich bread that actually tastes good! Learn how to make this audio recipe for the best gluten-free bread, along with helpful tips for baking and serving. Join Melissa as she turns you into a gluten-free baking all star!
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recipes and Resources mentioned
- Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer
- Flex Edge Paddle Attachment
- 9X4-inch USA Pullman Bread Pan
- Instant Read Thermometer (Thermoworks)
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Hey everyone. I’m Melissa Erdelac, host of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge podcast and creator behind the gluten-free website, Mamagourmand. Here we take beloved recipes you thought you’d never enjoy again and transform them into easy copycat versions, just as good as the originals.
Let’s just dive right in to what sucks the most when going gluten-free. What the hell am I supposed to eat for lunch now? Because what is our number one go-to? A freaking sandwich. If you have been gluten-free for more than five minutes, you have gone through these five stages of bread grief.
Stage one. Well, that was easy. There’s gluten-free bread right in my grocery store. I’ll just shell out some extra money and do a little easy-peasy swap. Problem solved.
Stage two. Why does this bread taste like impressed sawdust? Why is it disintegrating as I’m eating it? And why does this shit actually cost three times as more than good bread?
Stage three. Okay, maybe we just have to finesse the bread a little. Toasting seems to make it at least hold its shape. Slathering with butter and slapping it on a griddle kind of even tastes good.
Stage four. I’m going to have to take out a line of credit in my house or figure out a way to make my own gluten-free bread Plus these tiny slices with gigantic holes are making me hangry.
Stage five. Wow. I can’t believe how many gluten-free bread recipes there are? Wow. I can’t believe how complicated they are. Wow. I can’t believe how many of them taste just as bad as what I bought at the store.
So yeah, it sucks. Until now. When I say this bread is easy it isn’t just some superfluous adjective.
It hand to God is if you’re having a hard time trusting my word, here are what some other people have said. Just so you know, I won’t put you through all the praise and glory for all my recipes, but every time I read how happy this bread makes people, I just get so happy. I’ve reached another miserable gluten-free bread soul.
Kara says, “Wow, this bread is just like regular homemade bread. I can’t believe it. I’m so excited and grateful for my son and I to finally have a good loaf of bread for sandwiches that doesn’t cost a fortune or taste like cardboard”.
Teresa says, “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for this recipe. Not only are the store brands way too expensive, but they taste like cardboard. I have been putting off trying to make my own sandwich bread. I kept picturing the expensive ingredients, the work involved, and having the final product and edible. This bread is amazing. The recipe came together exactly as pictured in your post. It rose. It smelled like regular bread. It didn’t crumble. Thank you for figuring this out.”
And finally Amy says, “I don’t usually leave comments, but this bread recipe is amazing. It is the best gluten-free bread I have ever made. The texture and taste are both perfect, I’ve been trying to make a good gluten-free bread for years, and they never seem to turn out. I will be making this bread weekly.”
There you have it.
Before I walk you through how to make it, I want to share what you’ll need to make the spread for it to really live up to its potential. All the recommended equipment and ingredients will also be in my show notes page.
First, you will need a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. The paddle attachment is the one that kind of looks like an anchor. My paddle attachment has silicone scrapers on the side, so it scrapes on the dough as it mixes. That way you never have to stop and scrape everything back in. It’s kind of a genius game changer. I’ll link to that too.
Next. I like to bake it in a Pullman bread pan. These are a little different than your standard loaf pans because the bread shape will be more tall, like sandwich bread instead of wider, kind of like what a quick bread, like banana bread, would be baked in. I use a USA pan brand and it’s a Pullman’s small loaf. It measures nine by four inches. I’ll link to that as well.
Every time I bake any GF breads, I use an instant read thermometer. I have a Thermoworks one. I think, I believe it’s a Therma works thermo pen, and I just put that in to tell when it’s done baking. It should read 190 degrees inside when it’s done. I do this because gluten-free breads are harder to tell when they’re done cooking because they often looks set and golden on top, but the interior is under baked.
If they aren’t cooked through, they can fall or get very dense and gummy. So using the instant read thermometer just takes out any guesswork . For the ingredients I highly recommend using Cup4Cup flour. I use this for all my gluten-free baking recipes after having experimented with a lot of different brands.
It makes the softest loaf without any grittiness. However many people have made this successfully with King Arthur Measure-for-Measure, Bob’s Red Mill, and even Namaste, which I don’t really recommend that brand, but people have said that it works. I will say that while these brands work successfully, I’ve also done side by side taste and texture tests with different flours and Cup4Cup outperforms them all.
It does include milk powder though, so if you can’t have dairy, I recommend using King Arthur Measure-for-Measure instead. Lastly, you will need psyllium husk powder. If you have never heard of this and you want to learn all the reasons why it greatly improves gluten-free baking, I did publish a fascinating article on it.
I will link to that in the show notes as well. Basically though, psyllium helps absorb moisture when used with gluten-free flours. GF starches aren’t the best at absorbing liquids. Therefore, a lot of recipes just add more flour to help this process. But adding more flour also makes the bread really dry and crumbly after baking.
While you can omit the psyllium from the recipe, I really recommend adding it to make the crumb that much better. Also, it’s really cheap and it lasts forever. I’ll link to the one that I use because some of them are darker color and they can make your baked goods look almost gray or purplish. It doesn’t affect the taste, it just kind of looks weird.
The other ingredients in the recipe are pretty basic. First, you’ll need instant rise yeast. I prefer instant rise because then you don’t have to proof the yeast first. That proofing is when you put it in a little warm water to activate it. Instant yeast, you could just throw right in with the dry ingredients.
I also use baking powder with the yeast, which is a little unconventional for bread baking. But with GF recipes, it really helps with the rise making the bread airy. You’ll need warm water, which is warm to 110 degrees fahrenheit. I also use my instant read thermometer for this to tell when the water is the correct temperature.
Two eggs should be at room temp. If you forgot to set your eggs out, which I do all the time, just keep them in the shell and set them in a bowl of water for five minutes. A bowl of hot water, I should say. I personally haven’t tried it, but some people have written in and said that the recipe works with egg replacers as well. If you need an egg free bread.
You’ll also need oil. I use canola oil, but any will work and judging from Instagram, people have very strong opinions about what kind of oil they use. You could use melted butter as well. Lastly, honey. I’ve replaced this with sugar, which also works fine.
Okay, let’s make the recipe. So begin by adding the dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.
Add three cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour, one packet of instant rise yeast, which is the same as two and a half teaspoons, one tablespoon of psyllium husk powder, one teaspoon baking powder, and one teaspoon salt. Mix that on low using your paddle attachment just to combine the ingredients. Next, add in the warm water, eggs, honey, and oil.
Mix on low speed to combine everything. Then you’re going to increase the speed to medium and beat for five minutes. This aerates the starches and helps with a better rise, lighter crumb and structure. After that, you’re done with the hardest part, which was pretty much throwing everything in a bowl and mixing it.
Grease your loaf pan with cooking spray and spread the dough in. It won’t really look like bread dough. It’s more like a thick cake batter, but it’s easy to scrape in and spread evenly. Cover the pan with a piece of plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until it reaches about three-fourths to the way of the top of the pan.
This usually takes about 45 minutes in my kitchen, but it might differ depending on how cold or warm your kitchen is. During this time you can preheat your oven to 350. At this point, the bread won’t be all the way to the top, but it will rise more as it bakes because of the baking powder.
Bake it on the middle rack for 40 to 45 minutes, and this is where I use my thermometer to tell when it’s done. The top will begin to look brown and very set, but the inside temperature may still not be hot enough. If that happens, I just loosely tent a piece of foil over the top until it comes to the right temperature inside, which is around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Let the loaf cool in the pan for about five minutes and then remove it to a cooling rack. If you’re using the Pullman pan, it’s kind of a taller loaf so you can lay it on its side to cool. Cool for about two hours before you slice it.. When serving the bread, it’s best served at room temperature. If it’s at all cold or chilled, it’ll have an adverse effect and become a little crumbly.
It’s absolutely amazing, freshly baked, but I also freeze it because it’s only me in the house who eats it. Just make sure it’s the tiniest bit warm when it’s defrosted. There are a lot more storage and freezing tips on the linked recipe, along with step-by-step pictures so you can see what the dough looks like.
If you make it be sure to leave me a comment below the recipe.
So that’s all for this episode of the Gluten-Free Recipe Challenge. Remember, you can always find the full printable recipe on my show notes page. To get to it, go to my recipe website mamgourmand.com and click on the podcast tab. You can also click on the link provided in whatever podcast app you are listening on.
The show notes page includes the full recipe tips along with recommended ingredients or equipment I’ve mentioned. If you have a recipe idea, something you’d love to enjoy a delicious version of again, don’t be shy. Reach out. DM me on Instagram. My handle is mamagourmand. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One last thing. Can you please do me a solid? Since this podcast is just starting out, I would be so appreciative if you could rate and leave me a comment on your app. Also, don’t forget to follow or subscribe to the show so you never miss a new recipe.
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