Last year I was given a bread machine by my mother in law. The whole family, when catering for Zac, has experienced the frustration of spending £3 on a tiny loaf that falls apart before you can do anything with it, and has great big holes in the slices. My mother in law had a bread machine of her own and suggested I borrow it and see if I could make something more usable and tasty. A lot of the gluten free breads taste pretty rough. So I had a go and the result was pretty disastrous. I blamed the machine! It didn’t have a setting for gluten free bread and I guess that is pretty crucial as the process is quite different.
This weekend, I did my usual ‘Saturday Kitchen’ with Sophia while the boys were at football and we made pancakes, rock cakes and brownies. Whilst reaching into the cupboard for my flour, I came across my packet of Doves Farm White Bread Flour blend. I noticed that there was a recipe on the back for oven baked gluten free bread. So decided I should have another try and prove to myself that it was the bread machines fault last time and not down to my poor baking skills.
It looked simple enough.
450g/16oz white bread flour
half a teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons quick yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
325ml/11oz warm milk (I used almond – didn’t have any other dairy free milks left)
1 teaspoon vinegar (I used white wine vinegar – not sure if that is what they meant, but it was all I had)
6 tablespoon (I used 2 sunflower and 4 olive oil – not extra virgin) – again, this was all I had to hand!
Method was easy enough – although it would have been much easier with a larger mixing bowl. Couldn’t find mine. Must buy a new one.
Mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar.
In a large(!) bowl beat in the milk, vinegar and eggs.
Add the flour and mix to form a sticky dough.
Continue mixing adding the oil.
Place the dough in an oiled 1kg/2lb bread tin, cover and leave. I didn’t have a bread tin. I had a glass loaf dish and used that. Not sure of it’s capacity. I would say ‘medium to large’!
Leave the dough tin in a warm place for an hour. Then bake in a preheated over for 40-45 mins. Oven temperature should be 220c or 200c for a fan oven, 425f or gas mark 7.
There was no kneading required, as with ‘normal’ bread making because that is all to do with activating the gluten, but we don’t have, need or want gluten, so that is why that step is left out – I am pretty sure. The dough came together nicely and looked and felt pretty much like a bread dough. When I put it in the oven after the hour, it did look like it had risen/grown a bit, so I guess the yeast had started to do it’s job and you still need the ‘proving’ step in gluten free bread making.
The baking time guidelines were pretty bang on and after 40 minutes it looked like bread! It had a lovely golden crust and slipped out of the glass baking ‘tin’ – no problem. It made a good sound when I tapped it on the bottom. I think I saw this on TV once. Once it cooled I cut a slice. It looked a little bit more like cake than bread – but at least it wasn’t full of holes or falling apart in my hands. I showed it to Zac and asked him what it looked like. His face lit up and said it looked like yummy bread and he would like a slice.
So I did us a piece each. He had his with his Pure dairy free spread and a smear of marmite. He took two bites and said it was quite nice but would like to save it for later – which is Zac’s polite way of saying, ‘I don’t really like it’. I have to agree with him. It was a bit rough. I guess we are so used to shop bought breads having so much salt that home made breads do taste a bit bland. The marmite went some way to fixing that. The texture was still a bit heavy though, compared to the shop bought stuff. It certainly made better toast than bread, but put it this way, Zac hasn’t asked me to make it again. Warburton’s and Genius – you can rest easy…for now! I haven’t cracked it yet, but I will get there in the end. I always do.