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Is Xanthan Gum Always Needed For Bread
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I'm having a really frustrating day with my bread machine. Tried to make a loaf of country white bread using my Breadman Pro recipe and they had a misprint for flour measurements and the dough looked like a rock. After a call to customer service and finding out there was a mistake in manual, I started fresh with right measurements. I think it looks iffy, but will let it bake and see how it does. I have had good luck with Pamela's mix but had all these flours from Whole Foods and was feeling brave. I did see a recipe on forum that doesn't call for xanthum gum. I'm assuming it isn't needed for bread?

Does anyone have a really good recipe for a hearty white bread? I finally got brownies down after two tries. Tell me this gets easier. My daughter said if this loaf doesn't work to back away from bread machine and try to salvage any sanity I have left.

(Just peeked in bread machine and it doesn't look good.)

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I'm pretty new at this, too, and don't have a bread machine. But I did tons of bread baking with regular flours, and I do know that it is absolutely necessary to substitute something - usually xanthan gum - for the gluten we can't have. Many of the premade mixes already contain xanthan gum, so if you came across a bread recipe that uses a prepared baking mix, it wouldn't have more xanthan gum added. But it needs something, or the dough won't have the stretchiness it needs to form the little air pockets that cause the bread to rise.

Hope your second attempt came out better than you expected.

I did see a recipe on forum that doesn't call for xanthum gum. I'm assuming it isn't needed for bread?
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As the previous poster said, something is needed to hold things together and keep the air bubbles from escaping. I use guar gum, but I've read xanthan is supposed to give a little bit more of a bread-like texture, while guar is said to be better for cake-like textures.

I've seen some suggest flax meal, soaked in water to give a sort of gel-like stuff, but have not tried it, and I don't know if it would avoid the need for a gum anyway. I'd recommend picking up one of the gums. It really does help.

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Is Xanthan Gum always needed for Gluten Free Bread ?

Something is needed for gluten-free bread because the gluten in wheat has this sticky rubberyness to it that is now missing. Part of it can be replaced with other proteins that also tend to set up when cooked, like egg or milk, cooked flaxseed, or even gelatin, to act as binders for the replacement flours, but most gluten-free breads will tend to crumble without either xanthan or guar gum.

There are a few specialized recipes around that don't require gum, like a nut meal pancake, or a bean meal socca flatbread, but if you want something resembling cake or a loaf, xanthan gum is necessary. The store- bought baking mixes tend to have it already added.

It may be better to try baking things in loaf pans in the oven first to see if you can get them to come out and then try adapting them to a bread machine. By hand mixing, you can add more water or flour as needed to get a proper dough consistancy, or try making a quick bread without yeast, using baking powder or baking soda and vinegar as leavening. A lot of times a slightly smaller loaf pan, like a 8" x 4", will give a better gluten-free loaf than a 9" x 5". I've also used mini loaf pans for quick breads. You can also try muffins, they take only 15 minutes to see if you have something edible or not once they go in the oven, and can be very convenient.

I am finding that some recipes work better in the smaller batches. I have this one I always cut in half or even quarters to make a little bitty loaf, and it worked. I just tried it by the full recipe, actually doing the amounts called for, and it didn't rise as well and came out drier. Still "okay", but not as good. If this happens again I will have to alter it to fix it. Always make notes so you can see what works and what does not.

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I have had a lot of luck with this recipe http://www.recipezaar.com/190906. It is called Gluten-Free Flax Bread. It's not exactly a white bread, but it's definitely the best one that I've tried. I've made some white breads, but the texture is not as soft. I don't have a bread machine so I don't know how it would work with one. I would recommend making it by hand first.

Here's the review I posted about the recipe with my suggestions on making it:

The best gluten free bread yet! I love that it's more healthy than most! I found that it comes right out of the pan if I grease and dust the pan with sweet rice flour before adding the dough. The one time I didn't do that, it was very difficult to get out of the pan. I let it rise in an oven that I warm up a little bit (no more than 125 degrees) before I put the bread in to rise. I cover the bread loosely with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking once the bread rises. I also put a pan of hot water on the rack underneath it. The last few times I made it I used

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As the previous poster said, something is needed to hold things together and keep the air bubbles from escaping. I use guar gum, but I've read xanthan is supposed to give a little bit more of a bread-like texture, while guar is said to be better for cake-like textures.

I've seen some suggest flax meal, soaked in water to give a sort of gel-like stuff, but have not tried it, and I don't know if it would avoid the need for a gum anyway. I'd recommend picking up one of the gums. It really does help.

The flax meal prep is supposed to be an egg replacer, for the protein and gelling qualities that egs give. It doesn't really have the same 'attaching' effect that the gums do, though it would be better than nothing. I've made a number of successful baked goods, not bread but quick stuff, without xanthan gum, but it all calls for an inordinate amount of eggs.

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