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sreese68

Can gluten-free Version Taste Like Mil's Bread?

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After my MIL passed away way too young, my husband and I have hosted Christmas for unmarried BIL and widowed FIL. Christmas was a BIG deal to my MIL, and my husband has baked her recipes every year as a way of remembering her. I'm trying to give myself plenty of time to figure out gluten-free replacements to stuffing, etc.

It's the bread and cinnamon rolls I'm concerned about. For the record, I have VERY little experience with gluten-free baked goods, so I don't know how most of them taste. Brown rice gives me terrible stomach pains and constipation, and since it's in most commercial products, I can't eat them. I've read that gluten-free baked goods have a different texture than regular, so I know that may be hard to replicate, but what about taste? Is it possible to replicate the same taste? I wasn't sure if this was a realistic goal. Oh, and I'm perfectly happy to include brown rice flour in the recipe and just not eat any myself.

Is there a good website that talks about techniques for adapting bread recipes to gluten-free? I know I don't need to knead, but I don't know anything beyond that! Hence giving myself plenty of time to learn!!

We actually own a second house across the street from ours, so my husband could bake over there if I can't make a gluten-free version that works. I'm just worried about crumbs getting all over the house since the bread would be eaten over here.

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As far as I've been able to tell in 10 years of being gluten-free, you're talking Mission Impossible. You can come up with things that taste all right, but the same taste and texture as wheat? No.

richard

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I know it's possible to duplicate the taste of a cinnamon roll/bun because Anza Gluten Free Bakery in Cameron Park, CA, can do it - and they're vegan, to boot. They also have the texture pretty close. Thank God I don't live really close or my waistline would be ..... :rolleyes:

I don't use much rice flour, and there are so many other types of flours/nut/seed/other gluten free flours & meals out there this isn't really a problem.

One of the best blogs to read for technique is Gluten Free Girl & the Chef by Shauna Ahern. She uses oat flours, however, so you have to substitute for that if you're oat sensitive.

Most commercial bakeries are using rice flour mixes because most people can handle rice and it is inexpensive. But rice flour tends to make a crumbly item that needs some help. This is usually xanthan gum. Some people either do not care for the taste of it or it does not agree with their systems, and they use guar gum or something else.

The basic rule of gluten free baking is that any combination of 3 or more is preferable to one single flour to replace wheat.

If you bake gluten free, you need to have something replacing the stickiness of the gluten, either by using a stickier sort of flour mix, egg, vegetable gums, boiled water and flax or chia seed, gelatin, or a combination of all. If you do a search, we also had "rice guy" here experimenting with adding some plain psyillium to his sweet potato flours.

"stickier" sorts of gluten free flours:

*buckwheat

*amaranth

*almond meal

bean flours, such as garbanzo, navy, pea

potato starch

teff (if soaked)

tapioca (used with egg and cheese to make little single rolls, also in Chebe mixes)

by soaking buckwheat flour in some vinegar or lemon water or yogurt mix, you can make it behave more like wheat flour. This also seems to work for teff. You can make eggless gluten-free pancakes, for instance, without any added gum, by using buckwheat, potato starch, and garbanzo flour, just some vinegar added to the liquid, with the other ingredients.

Most people who are baking with the goal of recreating regular type flours use some sorghum flour as part of the mixture, some people also add in a bit of millet. A lot of people also use some tapioca starch, so the combination might be sorghum, rice, potato, tapioca for a typical mix, but it can just as easily be done minus the rice and add in something else.

If you are just starting out, you might wish to pick up a small bag of Pamela's gluten-free mix and start playing with it to see what it does, they also have a lot of recipes on their website. But this has rice flour, so you'd have to feed the results to somebody else for a taste test - do they like it or does it annoy them. But you can take the Pamela's "Clone" mix recipe, and re do it for your own baking mix.

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My computer is acting wonky so instead of risking losing the above comment, edit to add:

If you can get a copy of Bette Hagman's The Gluten Free Gourmet Bakes Bread, that is a great classic book to have around, because a lot of these commercial baking mixes used her original flour blends. You can alter the "4 bean mix" for bread and add whatever you wish. If you start out with quick rise breads using baking soda and vinegar, they are easy and successful compared to wondering why the yeast failed again :ph34r:

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I'm sorry for your loss. You may not be able to duplicate it even if you were baking with wheat flour and following her recipe exactly. There are a lot of things my grandmother made that I will never taste again because she did little things that were not written on her well worn recipe cards. It may just be time to start a new tradition. You can still make bread and cinnimon rolls as a way to remmember her and her love of baking those things but why not focus on finding the best gluten-free recipes that you can instead of trying to duplicate the taste of her recipes? Or as a concession (since you said you were willing to not eat a recipe with rice flour) can you ask someone else in the family that doesn't live with your to make those recipes and bring them? You can serve them at a separate area to try to contain the crumbs. I really do think your trying to do the impossible however by wanting to duplicate her recipes AND make them gluten-free.

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It is definitely impossible to replicate gluten action - meaning the texture and chew. I miss kneading dough rather than spreading it (usually) into pans. It is possible, others have said, to come up with flavourful breads/baking but it will never be the same as those made where gluten is key for elasticity and so on.

Some of my favourite flours are millet, sorghum, almond, garfava, corn, buckwheat and coconut. White rice flour has virtually no nutrient value so I use it less often than others. I always add flaxmeal for fibre when I bake.

So far I have found cinnamon buns, etc. to taste alright but the texture too cakey for my taste. I really have not found one single purchased muffin, cinnamon bun, etc. to be up to snuff. So, I make my own and enjoy playing with flours.

I like the Culinary Institute of America book as it includes recipes for bagels, elcairs, pastry, English muffins and so on.

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