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Mike12345

Baker Baffled By Bean Breads

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I thought of titling this post "who is Bette Hagman and why does she hate me?" after all but 1 failure on her 4 flour bean mix I'm lost (and the one that worked was barely edible).

Question, Bette says the dough should look like cake batter, explain that to me. We all have a different meanings for words. Cake batter, like pancake batter, should "pour" out of the pan (as per my understanding of batter). I've tried that and it has plenty of gooey paste inside once it's baked. Cut the liquid back a bunch and it looks a lot more like rice dough mix but the bread is still too heavy and doesn't rise as much or collapses.

Today I made the GFG Bakes Bread, pg 132 yeast free mix. It actually collapsed! Never had a baking powder bread collapse before, gooey inside to boot. I'm tempted to make the dough like rice dough, firmer but sticky. I question the 400F oven used for bean bread flours, that is hot for bread afaik. I generally use 325-375F max (measured with 2 thermometers) for a gas oven, no convection.

It seems the only thing that the bean flour works good at is the Cran Muffins, pg213, I've already modified that one after only two tries, it's flexible and loves to be made in toaster ovens @ 350F. But getting the hang of the bean breads has a mean learning curve as I see it.

I have found using quick rise yeast really makes a big difference on rice breads in the bread machine, not so with bean breads in the oven. I've gotten some to rise 150%, rising even while in the oven but the end result is always the same, the breads fail. If you want to see what they look like after I bake them, just tune into the SuperBowl, the NFL told me it's going to use them for footballs and force the losers to eat them after the game is over!

I've used various yeasts, temps, amounts of liquid, etc... I use Bob's Red Mill GarFava and Sorghum flours. They have good dates on them, the yeast is fresh, any suggestions as to what is going wrong? I can drastically cut back on liquids, use less yeast, change rise times, but this is an expensive flour mix to keep tossing out the window. Last time I did that the wildlife outside tossed it back! Seriously, I'm getting annoyed and want to make just one loaf come out perfect and be edible.

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I might not be much help, since I haven't tried the bean flour mix for bread. Have you tried something like the Gluten Free Pantry bread mixes? The "Country French" turns out really well. After making that and seeing what the consistency of the "dough" was, it helped me try from scratch. It was more like quick bread than cake batter. Anyway, I have had good luck with a couple of loaves of bread made with brown rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, montina flour and Bob's Red Mill gluten-free Flour mix by trying to copy the amounts of flour and then following the directions on the bag of Gluten Free Pantry bread. It rises nicely, doesn't fall and has a good texture (for gluten-free bread). The only problem for me is that I have to use eggs, which I've found is the only way to make it work, so my son gets to eat it and I sneak a bite and wish...

Good luck!

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so sorry to hear about your disappointing experiences! I do a lot of cooking/baking, but have never attempted bread. I'm actually 'afraid' of making anything with yeast - yes, a personal paranoia I guess.

I do however have great results whenever using gluten-free Pantry all purpose mix for almost everything else.

Just yesterday, for the first time I tried Bob's Red Mill all purpose mix (with bean flour in it). I made 2 regular recipes and simply replaced the 'flour'. I loved both of them! Bean flour is my new fav since I like the earthy flavor, and thought the 'elasticity' was better too.

Hope there's a bread baker who can help you further! I know, I just hate having spend so much for our safe ingredients, and then having to toss them makes it that much worse - especially when the wildlife didn't even appreciate it! LOL

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I made the Bette Hagman Touch O' Bean bread (Bakes Bread) and the consistency came out great. DD was not so thrilled with the taste though. I have not tried gluten-free breads in the bread machine yet but I'm having a lot of luck with the regular hand making. I use my Kitchen-Aid mixer. I have to say, I found a GREAT bread - Tapioca Rice Bread (GFG revised pg 61) - not as dense as bean breads, mild flavor, does not fall apart at all, very light & springy. No need to toast. I use brown rice instead of white. No bread machine instructions - you need 2 loaf pans. This makes the most amazing french toast - blows the bean bread french toast away! I make both loaves, cool them, slice them, cut off the crusts (dd won't eat) and freeze the slices between waxed paper in a freezer baggie and leave the crusts out on the counter overnight to dry. In the morning I put them in the blender and pulse them until they are fine bread crumbs. Store in the freezer - the 2 loaves will make a lot of crumbs. I am concerned about protein and was hoping to utilize the bean flours - so I am using lots of garbanzo (bob's red mill) in cookies & stuff like that. I tried garfava because I though that would be milder but everything I made with it was very funky - don't know if that's the real taste or if I got a rancid batch. I also modified a wheat cookie recipie using 1/2c brown rice flour, 1/4c garbanzo flour & 1/4c quinoa flour for the cup of flour called for and added a little xanthan gum - the cookies were amazing and I am happy with the nutrition.

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You have my sympathy. I've tried a bunch of the Bette Hagman recipes and had some spectacular failures (I think some of the recipes need proofreading or more testing), and I've had some good results. I just started using the 4-flour bean mix and haven't had much experience with it, but overall I get better results making buns than loaves. I got the GFG Bakes Bread for Christmas and had success with the caraway rye on p. 99 as a loaf. I made the Oregon Bread on p46, but made it into lumps for rolls and they were good - in fact they would be a good bagel replacement, with a chewy texture. I haven't tried it as a bread. The mock pumpernickel from the Gluten Free Gourmet has always been successful for me, but I haven't tried it with the bean flours. But you're right, many of the breads will fall and that beautiful loaf you take out of the oven will crash in the next few minutes. If you go to Clan Thompson's site they have an Ask the Cook section and Connie Sarros has a lot of tips on baking bread. Some of the advice is to lower the oven temp 25 degrees (but you'd think if it was printed in a cookbook they would have tested that, wouldn't you?), bake in smaller pans, use less liquid, etc. I think it takes a lot of trial and error with these recipes because the flours are very sensitive to humidity, etc. It's also easy for them to not be baked all the way through and I tend to see uneven air pockets in mine, even using the Kitchenaid to mix (I tried to do it by hand, but when that xanthan gum gets wet it just seizes up like concrete). I used to bake wheat breads a lot before my diagnosis and so I keep trying to bake these gluten-free breads because I can't bring myself to pay the outrageous prices for the store-bought stuff and I like to bake, but I've learned not to expect success every time. Fortunately I don't eat a lot of bread in slices now but I still like to use bread crumbs, so more often than not those buns in the freezer end up as breading or in meatballs. I'm not sure we can ever get normal sized bread loaves that give normal-sized slices for sandwiches from these flours, no matter what Bette Hagman claims. I think there may be only a few scratch bakers using this website and I wish I could give you more advice, but keep us advised on what works for you. Keep trying! I think Bette Hagman has gotten so good at it and maybe has just the right set of pans (right size, right metal, right finish) that she doesn't remember the struggles we mere mortals have to go through. She doesn't really hate us, but I haven't been able to find a website or e-mail address for asking her questions, so she doesn't really love us, either! :rolleyes:

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I think something that helps me tremendously is that the loaf pan I use is the stoneware one from pampered chef. The breads stick horribly to my pyrex no matter what I do to grease and flour it beforehand. One option if the breads are not cooking through is to just remove some of the batter before you bake it (put it in another pan, a mini-loaf pan, etc.) which will yield a smaller loaf but that may be what is needed to get the inside to cook through.

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my 14 1/4 year old daughter has never baked regular wheat bread in her life, but after she was diagnosed with celiac she made a wonderful loaf of gluten free bread--------on her first try!!! she used GFG bakes bread. she made the basic featherlight bread using the featherlight mix. i kept having meltdowns and crying about my 3 girls' diagnosis, but that loaf of bread was the turning point for me. when it was fresh out of the oven, it tasted just like regular homemade white bread---didn't exactly look like it, though.

christine

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You have my sympathy. I've tried a bunch of the Bette Hagman recipes and had some spectacular failures (I think some of the recipes need proofreading or more testing), and I've had some good results. I just started using the 4-flour bean mix and haven't had much experience with it, but overall I get better results making buns than loaves. ...But you're right, many of the breads will fall and that beautiful loaf you take out of the oven will crash in the next few minutes. If you go to Clan Thompson's site they have an Ask the Cook section and Connie Sarros has a lot of tips on baking bread. Some of the advice is to lower the oven temp 25 degrees (but you'd think if it was printed in a cookbook they would have tested that, wouldn't you?), bake in smaller pans, use less liquid, etc. I think it takes a lot of trial and error with these recipes because the flours are very sensitive to humidity, etc. It's also easy for them to not be baked all the way through and I tend to see uneven air pockets in mine, even using the Kitchenaid to mix (I tried to do it by hand, but when that xanthan gum gets wet it just seizes up like concrete). ...I'm not sure we can ever get normal sized bread loaves that give normal-sized slices for sandwiches from these flours, no matter what Bette Hagman claims. ...but keep us advised on what works for you. Keep trying!

I've experimented a bit more w/her recipes. It seems they all have too much liquid in them. The last one I baked P122, "Featherlight Sweet Bread" called for 1 cup water, I reduced it to 3/4c and cut back the sugar to 1/4c. I also used the bread machine and reduced the bake time from my initial 65 min's to 55 min's.

This one is a keeper. Soft, chewy, moist, not much flavor but it is good for nibbling or w/jam, butter, etc... I'll continue to cut back on liquids in all her recipes as well as oven temp. Not all that fond of the bean bread taste nor the price for GarFava flour so I'll continue w/rice, tapioca, corn starch recipes. May go back to using the toaster oven and the 10x7x2" Nordic pan for experimenting w/the bean flours. I used soy and corn meal yrs back and learned they don't take well to the 9x5 loaf pans, too deep, never cook all the way through. The Nordic did the trick, especially w/the soy flour.

Thanks for all the replies. If I can get the bean breads to work I'll let you know in this thread.

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Have you tried any of the Carol Fenster blends?

I have had success w/her banana bread (made into muffins) using a bit of a modification:

1 1/2c. sorghum flour

1 1/2c. potato starch

1 1/2c. tapioca starch

I also used that blend to make her "sandwich bread" into muffins. They are very good out of the oven. OK toasted the next day or so.

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