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crystalbannon

Gluten-Free Bread, Can't Get The Crust Right

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I've been trying (unsuccessfully) ever since I changed over to a gluten-free diet about 2 years ago to make decent bread. I've tried a number of different packages (Pamela's most recently) and have not been able to get the crust, or the consistency for that matter, right. The crust always comes out too thick and dark even though I am using the 'Light' crust color option on my bread maker. Would spending the money on a bread maker with a gluten-free setting make a difference when it comes to the crust? I've also been looking at the Bready but it's a pretty big investment into something I'm not sure I'm going to like and with such limited bread options. Conversely, would making the bread by hand and/or from scratch make a difference with the crust? I really miss sandwiches and would love to be able to make them again, especially in picnic season.

Crystal

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I find the crust too "soft" when I make bread in the bread machine. I have used the pamela's mix in the machine and it turns out fairly good, makes good bread crumbs. Lately I've gotten the nerve to try and make bread from scratch. This is the recipe I have found works great for me and it has a good crust. I have small loaf pans so this would make three loaves if uing the small aluminum pans. Now I cut the recipe in half and make it in my Sassafras Superstone Covered Baker and it turns out great. I have found that if you get too much water/liquid it will sink in the middle. I also put in extra olive oil.

http://glutenfreesoyfreevegan.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/mark-engelberg%E2%80%99s-gluten-free-vegan-bread/

I bought the covered baker from here:

http://www.breadsfromanna.com/node/53

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One hint I read for crustier bread is, once the loaf is baked, remove it from the pan and pop it back in the oven for a few minutes. Obviously, this hint is not for bread machines. :)

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Another thought on this -- maybe it is your bread machine? I have a CuisinArt that I received for Christmas, and my loaves turn out perfectly. Crusty, but not hard. I don't think you ever going to get a fully cooked gluten-free bread that is soft on the outside like regular white bread, but I haven't had an issue with hard crusts, either.

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Perhaps experimenting with the gluten free flour mixes you are using would make a difference, as the substitutes we use all react differently than wheat flour, usually taking a bit longer at a lower temperature to bake.

Sounds like too high a temperature, to me.

Underbaking is the problem we oven or microwave bakers usually trend towards. :P and popping the bread out of the pan and baking or broiling it to finish the crust is something I also do. Otherwise the middle dries out too much.

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Another thought on this -- maybe it is your bread machine? I have a CuisinArt that I received for Christmas, and my loaves turn out perfectly. Crusty, but not hard. I don't think you ever going to get a fully cooked gluten-free bread that is soft on the outside like regular white bread, but I haven't had an issue with hard crusts, either.

Would having a bread machine with a gluten-free setting make the difference? I've had my bread machine for at least 8 years (barely ever used it) and have only been using it since I started eating gluten-free for a little over 2 so I'm not sure if it would be the deciding factor.

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Would having a bread machine with a gluten-free setting make the difference? I've had my bread machine for at least 8 years (barely ever used it) and have only been using it since I started eating gluten-free for a little over 2 so I'm not sure if it would be the deciding factor.

While I'm no bread machine expert (make all mine the old-fashioned way :)) I do believe that the gluten free setting would make a difference, unless the machine you have has a setting for only one rise. Regular bread calls for two risings while gluten-free bread only rises once (no punch-down).

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