Better Baking Through Chemistry Part 1
In the interest of full disclosure, I am NOT, I repeat, NOT a baker! Having said that I can, and on occasion do bake. For a while I was making gluten-free sourdough bread, because I like sourdough, and I figured if I had to bake my own bread I should like what I am baking. Obviously, I don’t have to bake my own bread, and neither do you, but considering the cost of the pre-made breads available to us, I find it is easier for me to bake a loaf of bread. Then I just stick it in the freezer and eat it as I need a sandwich.
So, I decided to use the revelation I had a while back about the flexibility that we have since we aren’t bound by gluten for baked goods to work. Let’s call it better baking through chemistry! I started with Bette Hagman’s Four Four Bread, and modified it a bit. Really all I did was sub out some of the standard flour mixture for the same amount of buckwheat flour.
- 1 1/2 cups Four Flour Bean mix
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
- 1 tsp egg replacer
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1 egg plus one egg white
- 3 Tbsp butter (I assumed melted)
- 1 tsp vinegar or dough enhancer (I used cider vinegar)
- 1 cup (more or less) warm water
Grease and dust with rice flour a standard sized loaf pan. They vary, but mine is 8 ” x 4″. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
Combine all of the dry ingredients including the yeast and mix well. I put everything into a ziplock bag, and mixed it all in there.
In the bowl of your mixer, combine the egg, egg white, vinegar, and about half of the water. Mix well on low speed, then slowly start adding the dry ingredients. You will need to add more water. The consistency you are looking for is pretty much like a cake batter. I needed the full cup of water, but depending on the weather, moisture content of your flours, etc. you may need more or less. Then turn the mixer up to high, and mix for three and a half minutes.
Place the loaf pan in the oven. After 10 minutes cover the loaf with foil to prevent the top from browning too much. Bake for another 40 to 50 minutes for a total of 50 minutes to an hour.
Now comes the hard part! Remove the bread from the oven, and allow it to cool completely before you grab a knife and slice yourself off a big piece. This should prevent the problem I have had in the past with the center of my bread collapsing on itself as it cools. I’m about five minutes away from taking my bread out of the oven right now, and it smells amazing!