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Fabulous French Bread Recipe
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I made this french bread last night to go with soup. I cannot believe how tasty it is.

I actually messed up and used my new sweet rice flour instead of white rice flour, so the inside is slightly on the gummy side, but my husband and I still ate an entire loaf last night.

The crust is really crusty and tastes like wheat bread. In fact, my husband thought I said I messed up and used wheat flour and he said "I can taste and smell the wheat in this." LOL, I have to agree with him though, it did taste and smell like wheat.

I am going to make it again today and try to use the right flour. It is really good even with the sweet flour. It is superior to anything in the way of bread that I have made to date, even with the error on the flour.

I took a picture and will post it later after I figure out how to do it.

Here is the link to the recipe. I used egg whites and no egg substitute. French Bread Recipe

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That recipe looks very good. I think I will try it ....I'm intolerant to tapioca and will need to substitute another starch. After trying the recipe, do you think that potato starch or cornstarch would work?

I currently use Gluten Free Pantry French Bread mix, but it would be nice to be able to make it from scratch :)

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This is exactly the same as Bette Hagman's Rapid Rise French Bread from "More from the Gluten-Free Gourmet". The original recipe calls for 2T egg replacer (from Ener-G, contains no egg), not egg substitute, but either way it's optional. I agree, it's very good and has made it into my "Keep" file. Once it's cool you can slice it the long way and make French bread pizza. I made a bunch of those, then vacuum sealed and froze. Take them out of the freezer and bake for 15-20 min and get crunchy hot French bread pizza whenever you have a craving.

I haven't tried it, but I'll bet cornstarch would work.

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My Carol Fenster cookbook says that Tapioca flour helps browning and adds a crispier crust. Unfortunately, she does not list a substitute for it like she does for other flours.

Potato starch lightens the dough

Corn starch makes it smoother

I think it is definitely worth a try. My bread came out really brown and crispy, so I would think even if it lost some of that property it would still be ok.

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Thank you both--I will try the cornstarch :)

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This is good French bread, although I have to make it egg free. My family would like to use it for sandwiches. Has anyone tried baking it in a regular loaf pan? Do you experienced bread bakers think this would work?

Jo Ann

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I have not made it as a loaf yet, but I plan to try it in the near future. In the reviews on reciepezarr someone says they made the loaf and it came out good.

We make sandwiches out of the french bread. We either slice it thin and make several mini sandwiches, or cut some lengthwise and make a sandwich, like a sub.

My gluten eating husband finally is giving up his gluten bread now that I make this. I never thought I would see the day, but he says he actually prefers this bread.

I plan to try some different bread shapes, like hamburger buns, hot dog buns, etc., as well as the loaf.

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Alright, I tried it. I'm so tired of trying bread recipes. Anyway, the texture is good B+ and the crust is good A. I made it as a round because I don't have a french bread pan. I was afraid it wouldn't hold it's shape if it just baked on a cookie sheet. But judging by the way it pulled away from the round pan I think it would hold it's shape. But I give the taste a C+. It's too eggy for my taste. Either there needs to be something, maybe a flour with more taste to counter the egg, or less egg white.

I used to understand how wheat bread worked, but I don't understand the mechanics of gluten-free bread. Is the egg white part of the reason why the texture is so good?

Violet

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What IS "xantham gum"? What does it do? Is it essential to the recipe? How about the sugar? We have no sugar in the house, would honey work? Or can I leave it out altogether?? I seem to remember it's in there to "feed" the yeast. True?

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I used to understand how wheat bread worked, but I don't understand the mechanics of gluten-free bread. Is the egg white part of the reason why the texture is so good?

Violet

Yes. Egg holds things together and makes the texture smoother, and not crumb-y. In gluten bread, the gluten itself helps tohold things together because it's so sticky. gluten-free bread needs something extra that's sticky. I enjoy egg-y flavored bread, so I'm not sure how to get rid of that flavor.

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What IS "xantham gum"? What does it do? Is it essential to the recipe? How about the sugar? We have no sugar in the house, would honey work? Or can I leave it out altogether?? I seem to remember it's in there to "feed" the yeast. True?

Xanthan gum is a bacterial by-product that creats a gummy effect and holds things together. I would think honey would work. It is probably there to feed the yeast, I'm guessing.

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That recipe looks very good. I think I will try it ....I'm intolerant to tapioca and will need to substitute another starch. After trying the recipe, do you think that potato starch or cornstarch would work?

I currently use Gluten Free Pantry French Bread mix, but it would be nice to be able to make it from scratch :)

You also might try arrowroot starch. I like how it behaves so far.

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I made this french bread last night to go with soup. I cannot believe how tasty it is.

I actually messed up and used my new sweet rice flour instead of white rice flour, so the inside is slightly on the gummy side, but my husband and I still ate an entire loaf last night.

The crust is really crusty and tastes like wheat bread. In fact, my husband thought I said I messed up and used wheat flour and he said "I can taste and smell the wheat in this." LOL, I have to agree with him though, it did taste and smell like wheat.

I am going to make it again today and try to use the right flour. It is really good even with the sweet flour. It is superior to anything in the way of bread that I have made to date, even with the error on the flour.

I took a picture and will post it later after I figure out how to do it.

Here is the link to the recipe. I used egg whites and no egg substitute. French Bread Recipe

Thank you for the suggestion! I made this bread this weekend and we had it Saturday and Sunday with dinner. My hubby (who has celiac disease) appreciated my efforts at making gluten-free bread - but kindly told me to stop a couple months ago. He just didn't like the way they won't hold as a sandwich - always falling apart on him. But this bread he really enjoyed and said I can make it with dinner anytime. I'd like to try it as a hamburger bun but think it might be to heavy.

Anyways - thanks again for posting. We really liked it.

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Alright, I tried it. I'm so tired of trying bread recipes. Anyway, the texture is good B+ and the crust is good A. I made it as a round because I don't have a french bread pan. I was afraid it wouldn't hold it's shape if it just baked on a cookie sheet. But judging by the way it pulled away from the round pan I think it would hold it's shape. But I give the taste a C+. It's too eggy for my taste. Either there needs to be something, maybe a flour with more taste to counter the egg, or less egg white.

I used to understand how wheat bread worked, but I don't understand the mechanics of gluten-free bread. Is the egg white part of the reason why the texture is so good?

Violet

With the gluten free breads, protein is added to replace the gluten protein, and when it cooks, it becomes more rubbery. Usually the protein is egg, egg white, or milk or lactose free milk like yogurt. Xantham gum is also added to some recipes to add extra "stickiness" to the dough. Also, tapioca flour, when mixed with liquid, immediately gets somewhat sticky and then when baked can morph into something resembling edible caulk unless another type of flour or cheese protein is added to it.

Then the dough is either inflated with air bubbles thru the process of yeast feasting on sugars and giving off gas, or baking powder or baking soda interacting with the acids in something like yogurt or vinegar and starting to bubble. Then the trapped air bubbles further expand when heated in the oven, expanding the dough as it bakes.

Egg white is high in protein, the yolks are higher in fat.

I am so used to egg "everything" that I don't taste it the way other people do.

If I wanted to disguise the flavor, I would replace some of the rice flour with a little bit of sweet sorghum flour.

I broke down Bette Hagman's 4 bean flour mix to these proportions:

1/3 of gluten free flour #1, like tapioca

1/3 of gluten free flour #2, like cornstarch (preferred), potato starch, or rice

1/3 of other stuff , consisting of a third each of sorghum, almond meal, garbanzo bean flours, because that is what I have.

The sorghum flour has a good reputation for flavor, I grind my own almonds all the time in a dedicated blender to use in a lot of things, and I can't find garfava anywhere but I did find garbanzo and that seems to work for the bean flour. This works out to about 2 tablespoons of flour per cup of gluten-free 4 bean mix. I would imagine if you didn't like bean flour (again, apparently my taste buds are a dud with this stuff, or I just ate way too much hummus in my life, because I can't notice it that much. Maybe it is the fava beans that taste bad) you could just subsitute another type of flour, which would change the texture a little but not be a crisis.

The other thing you could do with the bread is add something else you like the taste of to mask the egg flavor, such as some grated cheese, some olive oil for the butter, or some herbs or spices. A pinch of cumin goes well with anything with beans in it, this seems to also work with gluten free bread as well as chile.

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OK, I will try to answer some questions on this bread. I have made it 4 times now, but I am no expert.

Alright, I tried it. I'm so tired of trying bread recipes. Anyway, the texture is good B+ and the crust is good A. I made it as a round because I don't have a french bread pan. I was afraid it wouldn't hold it's shape if it just baked on a cookie sheet. But judging by the way it pulled away from the round pan I think it would hold it's shape. But I give the taste a C+. It's too eggy for my taste. Either there needs to be something, maybe a flour with more taste to counter the egg, or less egg white.

I used to understand how wheat bread worked, but I don't understand the mechanics of gluten-free bread. Is the egg white part of the reason why the texture is so good?

Violet

Yes, the egg white adds properties to the bread. However, if you don't like the egg taste you might try using an egg replacer. I have no experience with these, but the recipe does list it as an option.

I do use a french loaf pan. However, you can improvise on a cookie sheet using foil to create the french bread pan shape, or you can just bake it on a cookie sheet. It will hold a shape, but it won't rise as tall, as it will rise outward. You can find instructions on the internet as to how to use the foil, or let me know and I will find it for you.

Thank you for the suggestion! I made this bread this weekend and we had it Saturday and Sunday with dinner. My hubby (who has celiac disease) appreciated my efforts at making gluten-free bread - but kindly told me to stop a couple months ago. He just didn't like the way they won't hold as a sandwich - always falling apart on him. But this bread he really enjoyed and said I can make it with dinner anytime. I'd like to try it as a hamburger bun but think it might be to heavy.

Anyways - thanks again for posting. We really liked it.

Kelly - so glad you and your husband liked the bread. I made a hamburger bun with it yesterday. I put the dough in a little pyrex bowl and covered it with foil about halfway through the baking to keep the crust a little softer. I really liked it. I did not find it too heavy at all. It was much better than anything else I have found for hamburger buns.

(Johnny Cool @ Jan 27 2008, 12:05 PM)

What IS "xantham gum"? What does it do? Is it essential to the recipe? How about the sugar? We have no sugar in the house, would honey work? Or can I leave it out altogether?? I seem to remember it's in there to "feed" the yeast. True?

You do need either xanthan gum or guar gum for gluten free baking. It is a dough enhancer that helps hold it all together.

Now, I did make a regular loaf out of the bread. I don't think I baked it long enough, so I need to to try it again. It collapsed on the bottom and was more dense. I really think it may be due to not cooking long enough, so I will try it again and let you know the results. If I can get it to work, then my next experiment will be using the bread machine.

I have also experimented with using some other flours with this and it seems to be a very forgiving recipe. I used brown rice flour for 1 cup of the flour the last 2 times I have tried it. For the other cup of rice flour I have used sylvan border farms gluten free flour mix, and/or gluten free pantry's french bread and pizza mix. And of course the first attempt was with the sweet rice flour as I already mentioned. Actually, that had the best flavor, but not the best texture. Maybe adding some sweet rice flour would work. I always use the 1 cup of tapioca flour, as I find it does something a little special for all the breads or pizza dough I make.

Anyway, I hope that helps.

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Thank you for the explanations :D

Hagman's flour mixes are problematic for me. I cannot tolerate cornstarch or non organic corn flour, and potato anything is out for me too. I did just purchase some sorghum flour. Perhaps next time I'll try a mix of rice and sorghum with the tapioca. I've used bean flours before in breads, but I find the taste too strong, though it's a good flavor in wrap recipes.

One thing I will say about this bread, the smell is excellent. It's the closest yet to that real baking bread smell.

With the gluten free breads, protein is added to replace the gluten protein, and when it cooks, it becomes more rubbery. Usually the protein is egg, egg white, or milk or lactose free milk like yogurt. Xantham gum is also added to some recipes to add extra "stickiness" to the dough. Also, tapioca flour, when mixed with liquid, immediately gets somewhat sticky and then when baked can morph into something resembling edible caulk unless another type of flour or cheese protein is added to it.

Then the dough is either inflated with air bubbles thru the process of yeast feasting on sugars and giving off gas, or baking powder or baking soda interacting with the acids in something like yogurt or vinegar and starting to bubble. Then the trapped air bubbles further expand when heated in the oven, expanding the dough as it bakes.

Egg white is high in protein, the yolks are higher in fat.

I am so used to egg "everything" that I don't taste it the way other people do.

If I wanted to disguise the flavor, I would replace some of the rice flour with a little bit of sweet sorghum flour.

I broke down Bette Hagman's 4 bean flour mix to these proportions:

1/3 of gluten free flour #1, like tapioca

1/3 of gluten free flour #2, like cornstarch (preferred), potato starch, or rice

1/3 of other stuff , consisting of a third each of sorghum, almond meal, garbanzo bean flours, because that is what I have.

The sorghum flour has a good reputation for flavor, I grind my own almonds all the time in a dedicated blender to use in a lot of things, and I can't find garfava anywhere but I did find garbanzo and that seems to work for the bean flour. This works out to about 2 tablespoons of flour per cup of gluten-free 4 bean mix. I would imagine if you didn't like bean flour (again, apparently my taste buds are a dud with this stuff, or I just ate way too much hummus in my life, because I can't notice it that much. Maybe it is the fava beans that taste bad) you could just subsitute another type of flour, which would change the texture a little but not be a crisis.

The other thing you could do with the bread is add something else you like the taste of to mask the egg flavor, such as some grated cheese, some olive oil for the butter, or some herbs or spices. A pinch of cumin goes well with anything with beans in it, this seems to also work with gluten free bread as well as chile.

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Xanthan gum is a bacterial by-product that creats a gummy effect and holds things together. I would think honey would work. It is probably there to feed the yeast, I'm guessing.

Thanks Bunnie. You and ww340 are the only people on here to EVER answer a question or a post I've had on this forum. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and plan on trying this recipe this weekend.

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This is the recipe I use, too. I love it, and it works great for cheese fondue, too!

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Thanks Bunnie. You and ww340 are the only people on here to EVER answer a question or a post I've had on this forum. I'm going to the grocery store tomorrow and plan on trying this recipe this weekend.

I just looked at your posts and you have lots of responses to all of them. :)

I think I'm going to make this bread soon. It looks tasty! :)

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I made this on Monday, It was great to have fresh baked bread on an icky snow day! My 1st time not using a mix, I omitted the egg replacer part (didn't have any) and it turned out PERFECT!! My 2 kids ate 1 whole loaf by themselves that day. My DD actually asked me to never buy bread at the store anymore! Thanks for the recipe!

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WW340 -

Thank you! How many buns did you get out of the recipe?

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Piesmom - I was just experimenting with different sizes and shapes so I only made one. I would guess, and this is only a guess, that you could get 8 - 12 depending on how large you make them.

I just used a little pyrex bowl I got from walmart it is a 2 cup clear bowl about 41/2 inches in diameter made by anchorhocking. I have 4 of them. I can't remember if I bought them as a set or individually. I got them to make hamburger buns and chicken pot pies.

I put enough dough in to just cover the bottom and tall enough that by time it doubled it would be about the right size. I let it rise and bake in the bowl. The time has to be adjusted since it is much smaller than a loaf.

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Piesmom - I was just experimenting with different sizes and shapes so I only made one. I would guess, and this is only a guess, that you could get 8 - 12 depending on how large you make them.

I just used a little pyrex bowl I got from walmart it is a 2 cup clear bowl about 41/2 inches in diameter made by anchorhocking. I have 4 of them. I can't remember if I bought them as a set or individually. I got them to make hamburger buns and chicken pot pies.

I put enough dough in to just cover the bottom and tall enough that by time it doubled it would be about the right size. I let it rise and bake in the bowl. The time has to be adjusted since it is much smaller than a loaf.

Ok - I get it. ;) I'll try foing to Wal-Mart and see if I can find something like that. I know I could do it "free-form" too, but that is so hard since the dough is so sticky. I know someone else said to spray your hands with PAM and that makes it easier.

Thanks so much for getting back to me so quickly!!!

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You are welcome. I am having a snow day today, so I am crusing the internet.

Oh, and don't forget to cover with foil after it starts browning if you like a softer crust for hamburger buns. I hope it turns out good for you. I liked it a lot.

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I made this as a regular sandwich loaf today and it came out very nice. Hubby and I both liked it.

I mixed it as per the recipe in the stand mixer first, and then let it rise and bake in the bread machine.

When I get my bread machine fixed I will try doing the whole thing in the bread machine.

Celiac-mommy - I am glad you are enjoying this bread as much as I am.

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