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Gluten Free Breads

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I want to start baking gluten free breads at home. I have a terrific oven. I am wondering if I should get a breadmaker and or a kitchen aid stand mixer. Is it better to bake the bread in a breadmaker or in a convection oven? Do I need the kitchen aid mixer anyway to make the dough? From what I heard I need to do some heavy duty mixing for the gluten-free dough. Thanks for any input!! Also, any ideas on good bread mixes or recipes?

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Guest nini

I have a Kenmore bread machine and I like it ok... I have to scrape the sides when it is in the first mix stage, and sometimes it doesn't rise like I'd like it to. Most of the recipes and mixes work very well in either a bread machine or the oven... you can do them with a hand mixer or a stand mixer with bread hooks, I don't think it matters which way you do it, it's all a matter of personal preference.

oh and for bread mixes, I like The Gluten Free Pantry mixes the best... but I'm sure there are some other brands that are good too.

Edited by nini

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According to how you plan to bake and what your budget is, there are several options. (And if I can get my kitten to stop trying to type for me I'll list them.)

1- A heavy duty stand mixer is a must no matter what you do. It is required for most baking processes and certainly if you plan to bake in the oven instead of a bread machine.

2- A good quality (though not necessarily an expensive) bread machine. One with a 1 - 1 1/2 lb loaf is better because our breads do better in smaller loaves. Some people prefer the programmable ones but I have not found that to be necessary to get a good loaf.

3- Either lots of money to buy pre-packaged flours and mixes or a good mill such as the WhisperMill or WonderMill. You can save money in the long run by buying bulk grains and milling them yourself. There have been posts specifying how to do this and where to purchase. Do a search or contact me for further info if you choose this route.

4- Time and patience to experiment and find the mix of flours that suits your taste and texture requirements. Some people love the taste and texture of the bean flours, others cannot handle the strong flavor. The same holds true for varying reasons with each of the kinds of flours. Test out several recipes on several loaves. You will have to adjust not only for flavor, but also for humidity and altitude for your particular location.

5- A small spice or coffee grinder to grind flax or other oily flours that add nutrition and texture to loaves of bread and are not readily available pre-ground into flour.

Don't hesitate to ask questions or post frustrations. There are many of us out here who do this regularly and have run into most of the problems you might face. We can usually give advice on a possible fix.

Good luck!

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Thanks for the info! Are there any baking cookbooks that are essential? I love the gluten free pantry mixes but they are too pricey if I am using them on a regular basis. Do you order bulk baking products from somewhere (like xanthum gum and tapioca starch)?

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I want to start baking gluten free breads at home. I have a terrific oven. I am wondering if I should get a breadmaker and or a kitchen aid stand mixer. Is it better to bake the bread in a breadmaker or in a convection oven? Do I need the kitchen aid mixer anyway to make the dough? From what I heard I need to do some heavy duty mixing for the gluten-free dough. Thanks for any input!! Also, any ideas on good bread mixes or recipes?

I couldn't agree more with the previous post...You definitely need a good stand mixer for all your baking. I have a Kitchen Aid from Walmart = $169. No bells and whistles, just a nice sturdy machine. I use it for everything; mixing bread dough, pizza dough, cakes, cookies, etc. I even use it for cutting the shortening into flour for pie crust. I really don't know how I got along without it.

I do have a bread machine, but I only use it for making an extra loaf of bread that I'm going to chop up for dressing, bread pudding etc. because mine has a cool down cycle so I can just throw in the ingredients and walk away and come back whenever I'm ready-l hr or 5 hrs or whenever. The cool down cycle keeps it from getting soggy.

For sandwiches, we keep buns in the freezer. For a bun mold, I take miniature aluminum foil pie tins and remold them into a bun shape by turning a qt mayonnaise jar upside down and reshaping the pie tin on the round bottom of the jar. If your hands are sensitive you may want to wear gloves. Spray them before you spoon in the dough and these can be tossed in the dishwasher and used over and over. I make buns every week and I use the same forms for over a year.

I like the bun idea because they bake faster - 20-25 minutes vs 50-60 minutes for a loaf and I'm all for fast. I just let them cool, slice them, and place each in sandwich bag and then store them in a bagel container in the freezer.

My husband especially likes the bun idea because he can grab just one from the freezer and toss it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it is like it just came out of the oven. Of course, they are perfect for hamburger buns too. You can use the same trick for hot dog buns by reshaping the miniature loaf pans over something. (I use the lid to my butter dish) The nice part about using this method is you never have any waste, because gluten free breads are only good for a few days tops.

I still make loaves of bread in the oven, but mostly for specialty breads like, rye, cheese, focacia, etc. for special occasions when I know they will be consumed quickly. We keep a loaf of Kinnikinnick Italian Tapioca Bread in the freezer for things that won't work with buns; like french toast, grilled cheese, toast, blt, etc. (so far its the best purchased bread I've found)

Good luck with your baking and always feel free to email me if you like - wkcrow@mchsi.com

Kay

PS I don't have a convection oven yet, but we are shopping.

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I bought Bette Hagman's books and used them to start out with. If your budget is tight, search this site, especially the message board, for recipes and where to purchase items. As a quick reference, I'll add the following items:

For bulk flours already milled, try Bob's Red Mill (can order by the buckets) or Authentic Foods (come in bags).

For bulk grains that you mill yourself, try Breadbeckers. They are familiar with the gluten-free diet though their primary business is not with celiacs.

gluten-free Bread

2 cups gluten-free flour (I use B. Hagman's - 2 parts brown rice flour, 2/3 part potato starch, 1/3 part tapioca flour)

1/3 cup ground flax seed

3 Tbs Sugar

2 tsp Xanthan gum

1 tsp salt

1.5 tsp yeast

2 Tbs Oil

2 Eggs

1 cup gluten-free buttermilk

This bread turns out great every time. It is great for grilled cheese sandwiches or just toasted with jelly or cream cheese. If you have "texture issues" like we do at our house, add a tablespooon or two of bean flour to the mix. It will smooth out the texture.

This mix works very well if you mix larger amounts of the dry ingredients and place them in the refridgerator. Be sure to mix the dry ingredients well so that when you draw out the amounts for a single loaf, you get the right mix of flours. A large bowl and whisk work well for this. Pull out 2 1/2 cups for each loaf.

Brownie Recipe (Gluten Free)

Note: this recipe is a modification for the gluten-free diet of a recipe in the Hershey’s Chocolate Cookbook , 1989.

½ cup butter or margarine, melted

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

½ cup gluten-free flour (I prefer the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose gluten-free Baking Flour)

¼ teaspoon xanthan gum

1/3 cup Hershey’s Cocoa

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Blend butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add eggs; using a wooden spoon, beat well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a separate bowl. Gradually blend flour mix into egg mixture. Stir in nuts if desired.

Spread in greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Cool; frost if desired. Cut into squares.

(Note that a double recipe works nicely in a 9 x 13 inch pan.)

Creamy Frosting (by Donna Ford)

In small/medium bowl, stir together ¼ cup cocoa and ½ cup confectioner’s sugar. Add ½ teaspoon vanilla and just enough milk to make a creamy frosting (start with 1 tablespoon and add a little at a time until it reaches your preferred consistency). Adjust cocoa to your favorite levels as well. If you like a buttercream frosting, start out with about 4 tablespoons softened butter and lessen the milk used.

gluten-free-Chocolate Chip Cookies:

3/4 C sugar

3/4 C brown sugar (firmly packed)

1 C butter or margarine

1 egg

mix together; then add:

2 1/2 C Gluten-free Flour Mix

1 tsp. unflavored gelatin

1 tsp baking powder OR ½ tsp baking soda

12 oz. chocolate chips

NOTE–adjust flour to more or less according to the humidity in your area. In Georgia, we have to add a little more due to the extra humidity. If your mix does not have gum in it, add 1 tsp. xan. Gum)

Bake @ 350 for 10-14 minutes

Tips I found helpful:

Let the oven preheat well

The recipe made 3 1/2-4 dozen "average" cookies or it can make 6 dozen ity-bity cookies

HAPPY BAKING!

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Kay, About that Kitchen Aid from Walmart. Have you used it very many years? I have been reading that we need a mixer with at least 325 watts of power like the Artisan (very expensive). The Walmart model sounds like the ones that have only about 250 (I think). It would be great to know that I could pay a lot less and still get a machine that will handle the gluten-free doughs.

Sue

I couldn't agree more with the previous post...You definitely need a good stand mixer for all your baking. I have a Kitchen Aid from Walmart = $169. No bells and whistles, just a nice sturdy machine. I use it for everything; mixing bread dough, pizza dough, cakes, cookies, etc. I even use it for cutting the shortening into flour for pie crust. I really don't know how I got along without it.

I do have a bread machine, but I only use it for making an extra loaf of bread that I'm going to chop up for dressing, bread pudding etc. because mine has a cool down cycle so I can just throw in the ingredients and walk away and come back whenever I'm ready-l hr or 5 hrs or whenever. The cool down cycle keeps it from getting soggy.

For sandwiches, we keep buns in the freezer. For a bun mold, I take miniature aluminum foil pie tins and remold them into a bun shape by turning a qt mayonnaise jar upside down and reshaping the pie tin on the round bottom of the jar. If your hands are sensitive you may want to wear gloves. Spray them before you spoon in the dough and these can be tossed in the dishwasher and used over and over. I make buns every week and I use the same forms for over a year.

I like the bun idea because they bake faster - 20-25 minutes vs 50-60 minutes for a loaf and I'm all for fast. I just let them cool, slice them, and place each in sandwich bag and then store them in a bagel container in the freezer.

My husband especially likes the bun idea because he can grab just one from the freezer and toss it in the microwave for 30 seconds and it is like it just came out of the oven. Of course, they are perfect for hamburger buns too. You can use the same trick for hot dog buns by reshaping the miniature loaf pans over something. (I use the lid to my butter dish) The nice part about using this method is you never have any waste, because gluten free breads are only good for a few days tops.

I still make loaves of bread in the oven, but mostly for specialty breads like, rye, cheese, focacia, etc. for special occasions when I know they will be consumed quickly. We keep a loaf of Kinnikinnick Italian Tapioca Bread in the freezer for things that won't work with buns; like french toast, grilled cheese, toast, blt, etc. (so far its the best purchased bread I've found)

Good luck with your baking and always feel free to email me if you like - wkcrow@mchsi.com

Kay

PS I don't have a convection oven yet, but we are shopping.

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I have had my kitchenaid for about three years now and it is still going strong. I use it regularly.

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I'm pretty simple...I use the bob's red mill gluten-free bread mix, and bake it in the oven. Turns out wonderfully (this coming from someone who is very very picky about gluten-free breads).

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