Thursday, 25 July 2013

THE SECRETS - Gluten Free Bread tips from the expert

Now I love Cyndi's recipe, but I have had the occasional gluggy flop, and then it really piques my scientific brain when Lynne turns up to every cooking class with a PERFECT gluten free loaf.

Now to cut us all some slack, Lynne is the expert when it comes to bread - sourdough, gluten free - anything!! And she is a wonderful teacher as well. So last Tuesday, she finally let the cat out of the bag and told us her secret technique tips.

I tried to angle this picture to show you how bendy and flexible this loaf was. And it's delicious.
It's very simple! Ready:

1) There are some recipe modifications - but very minor, and she has not been forthcoming. For myself, I like to use 40g of sticky rice in place of some of the basmati for more binding. And I like to use the gluten free doctor's "pixie dust" to help reduce the amount of xantham gum. For start though, STICK TO THE RECIPE! you may add a tiny bit more yeast, but only by rounding your teaspoons.

For other modifications - like egg free you can use similiar ingredients to the pixie dust (like making a gel out of chia seeds and adding that instead of egg. I'll give that a go myself soon. For egg free, dairy free, gluten free and yeast free, I direct you to the wonderful work of Me and My Thermie and her new loaf

2) The mix. Both Lynne and I like to set aside the dry ingredients (leave sugar out) after mixing and heat the liquid on 37 degrees for 1.5 minutes WITH THE YEAST AND THE SUGAR. Then let it sit for 5 minutes while you go and get other things on, so the yeast has a chance to get started.

Then - proceed as normal and combine all ingredients for 15 seconds. THEN - KNEAD ON INTERVAL SPEED FOR 2 MINUTES. Haha! Now that's a sneaky manouvre.

3) THE KEY CLUE - is the long rise. I see some recipe community hints and Sarah Santos have all noticed that 30 minutes for a rise is better. Lynne's recommendation is an hour, or as long as you can. She even does a second rise sometimes...I'll get the details on that soon. For now, make sure you choose somewhere warm, but not too warm. My mostly defunct microwave is a good spot for us. Too warm and it will rise too quickly and give those larger holes in the loaf.

All of you science lovers can join me in the geeky question - WHY DOES THE LONG RISE MAKE SUCH A DIFFERENCE? Well the structure in the gluten free bread depends on the yeast breaking down the sugars in the loaf. The yeast interacts with the proteins to make it rise...but without the structure provided by the broken down sugars (think of all the starches you put in the loaf), it doesn't have a firm skeleton to stay risen when the heat goes away. Glug!

That's why it's important to have at least 30% starches in your gluten free mixes. This loaf has slightly higher. And the long sitting and yeast digesting the sugars is why Quirky Cooking's artisan loaf is so fantastic and has a great texture and flexibility.

4) The oven. Lynne puts her oven on 210-220 and then turns it down to 190 after the first five minutes of cooking. If you have an unreliable oven thermostat....I would buy one that hangs in your oven!

Cool huh? Have a play. Tell me your thoughts and Bon appetit!

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