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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Mixing is Key to Making Quality of Gluten-Free Bread

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Celiac.com 04/18/2013 - Does the way the dough is mixed have any effect on the quality of gluten-free bread? A team of researchers recently set out to answer just that question.

    CC--sea turtleThe research team included Manuel Gómez, María Talegón, and Esther de la Hera. They are affiliated with the Food Technology Area of E.T.S. Ingenierías Agrarias at Valladolid University in Palencia, Spain.


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    In the past few years, a great deal of research has gone into making better gluten-free bakery products, but there is still very little data on what impact mixing might have on gluten-free bread quality.

    In their study, the team focused on the way dough mixing effects two different gluten-free bread formulas; one with an 80% water formula, and another with 110% water formula.

    The team found that less hydrated breads showed no significant differences depending on the mixing arm (flat beater or dough hook). However, longer mixing time produced bread with higher specific volume.

    In the dough that contained more water, both mixer arm and mixing speed had a significant effect on bread volume and texture, with the wire whip, combined with lower mixing speeds and longer mixing time, producing softer bread with higher specific volume, compared with the flat beater.

    In more hydrated breads, proofing time improved bread specific volume, but in less hydrated breads, volume was decreased. The same pattern was seen when longer mixing times were used.

    The study shows the importance of mixing time and the type of mixer device in gluten-free bread making, something not well-studied. It also shows that mixing produces different effects than does kneading gluten-free bread dough.

    Based on the results of this study, corresponding changes to the mixing process of the gluten-free bread doughs can produce higher quality breads with higher volume and lower hardness.

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    I have developed my own bread recipe and would suggest that the flour you use also has an impact on the texture of the bread. I've had non-celiacs tell me that they can't tell the difference and I don't need or mix with anything other than a spoon. It does tend to be a wetish mix. There is a bread making video I have on youtube but unfortunately can't post it here.

    Tracey Allen

    Author of the Easy Gluten-free Lunches and Snacks: Simple Cookbook

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    The study that I would really like to see is one about the effects of GMO products used in gluten-free foods. Almost all gluten-free food (breads and flour especially) are made with GMO ingredients. It boggles my mind to think that we celiacs get so sick from gluten but no studies have come to light about how we are affected by GMOs.

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    The study that I would really like to see is one about the effects of GMO products used in gluten-free foods. Almost all gluten-free food (breads and flour especially) are made with GMO ingredients. It boggles my mind to think that we celiacs get so sick from gluten but no studies have come to light about how we are affected by GMOs.

    I agree that GMOs should be avoided, but I find it hard to believe that "almost all" gluten-free products contain them. Do you have any sources to support that claim?

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    This article was very confusing to me... first the authors mention a flat beater or dough hook, then throw in a wire whip. Maybe I'm a bit dense on the hydration issue, but what do they mean by 80% and 110% hydration? Gluten-free flours absorb liquids differently. The only thing I got out of this article was that researchers tested mixing arms and mixing time. Wish it was more clear to me...

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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