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I did try it tonight...I made the white bread recipe from their website. The batter was thinner than I am used to with gluten-free bread, and it had a strong smell, almost like bean flour. The Expandex itself had a similar smell.
The bread didn't rise as high as I expected (although I know my yeast was good). I noticed the loaf was heavy when removing it from the oven.
Finally, I tasted it. It was dense, heavy, and gummy...almost "tacky." This was particularly strange since I didn't use any xanthan gum (although I guess this is what the "modified" part of the modified tapioca starch is). There was also a funny taste to the bread.
Bottom line: Expandex is not worth it. At more than $10 (with shipping) per pound, the results would have to be spectacular for me to justify spending that much. Judging from the results I had tonight, I can think of several "regular' gluten-free recipes that are far better.
Hope this helps everyone avoid this trouble and also save some money!
OK, everyone, I know this is going to be the question of the year, but is there ONE place that all of us can rate the different recipes and products we try? I am thinking something along the lines of allrecipes.com.
Is it really necessary for all of us to try a recipe that turns out like cardboard, or all buy that box of $12 cookies that taste like sand? Fortunately, there are lots of gluten-free products and recipes out there now, but like ones that aren't gluten-free, there are some that just aren't good.
If there is something I don't know about, or this has been already posted to death (like that 3-rice flour thing), I'm sorry. I just think it'd be a great idea if we could save each other the expense of buying something you don't like or spending 4 hours baking something not even the dog will eat.
This message board sort of meets that need, but you really have to search the posts about recipes and products.
I substitute almond flour for the graham cracker crumbs, and you can barely tell the difference if you bake the crust by itself until golden, then add the filling. It's easier to find that gluten-free graham cracker crumbs.
There is a recipe in a post by "catfish" under the "Does Anyone Bake Their Own gluten-free Bread" topic of this forum. I made it this week and it tops all of the bread recipes and mixes (probably 20 or so) that I've tried over the past few years, as far as taste, texture, and "durability". It's not dry and crumbly at all. I added 2 tsp of dough enhancer, but that was my only major deviation. Try this one in the oven as rolls or a loaf; I think you'll be surprirsed. Today I wondered, for the first time, whether or not it was gluten-free.
Just wanted to let everyone know I just tried the recipe that Catfish posted on this board, and it turned out GREAT. Even better than some of the mixes I mentioned. The only thing I did different was to let the dough rise until doubled, then bake. I used it to make hamburger buns, and just put 1/2 cup of the dough in some of the large cans you can buy tuna or chicken in (about 10 oz I think). They came out great. I also substituted chickpea flour for the northern bean flour, since I couldn't find it.
Thanks, Catfish, for such a great recipe!
I like to make home-made bread, but sometimes mixes are quicker and easier. They're a little expensive, but almost foolproof. I've tried several, and here are my thoughts on them. Anyone else feel free to respond:
Manna from Anna
It's the best texture I've found so far...almost identical to real wheat bread. It's also a good substitute for "wheat" bread since it's dark in color and has some whole grain in it. The loaves were a little short (I think my pans were a little big), and the taste was decent. Very soft and it did not crumble in the least. My only complaint is the taste...it had a strong taste of something, couldn't tell what.
Sylvan Border Farms Bread Mix
This is the best white bread I've had, home-made or otherwise. Not course or crumbly, it is almost as soft and bread-like as Manna from Anna. It has a kind of weird flavor, sweet, almost banana or nut like. But it toasts and keeps and acts just like real white bread. I just can't get over the softness of this bread and the Manna from Anna.
Tom's Light Bread Mix
Before I found Sylvan Border Farms Bread Mix, this is the mix I swore by. It is more course, dry, and crumbly than those above, but not as much as most gluten-free breads, store-bought or home-made. Also a little heavy and dense.
Gluten Free Pantry French Bread Mix
This bread was dense, heavy, dry, and crumbly. Some people seem to like it a whole lot, but I didn't.
As far as ready-made breads, I've not been satisfied with any. Most were inedible unless toasted. I also did not have good results with the gluten-free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread mix. I could have knocked someone out with the loaf.
Hope this helps. I wish everyone else would comment on their favorite mixes and how they compare (better or worse) to their favorite home-made bread recipes.
Deby, I don't know about that particular sorghum flour, but I wanted to let you know that I found some at an Indian grocery (Indian as in India, not Native American). It was called "Jowar Flour", but most importantly was only about $2 for a two pound bag.
I've also used the rice flour mix everyone is talking about in this thread; it is definitely cheaper and miraculously not gritty. But, things don'tn brown quite as quickly, and you do have to flatten the cookies out! I haven't tried yeast bread yet, but I am planning to do so soon.
As a result of some posts on this message board, I've recently found that I can find gluten-free flours such as rice, tapioca starch, potato starch, garbanzo flour, etc. at Asian and Indian grocery stores for a fraction of the health food store price.
BUT...has anyone ever worried about cross-contamination? Particularly since we don't know the manufacturing standards, etc., in other countries?
Also, does anyone know of an affordable at-home test for the presence of gluten n foods? If so, where can I get it?
I'm new to this baking for myself thing, so I'd appreciate any advice on the ingredients, etc.