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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chris's Favorite GF Bread

Although I use a box mix, I've modified the mixing and baking procedure to produce a lighter, larger, more flavorful loaf.  Like traditional wheat bread, I allow the dough to rise twice.  This gives it more time to develop the characteristic yeast flavor and a finer, more even texture.  This bread makes an excellent peanut butter sandwich that can be eaten at room temperature - the ultimate palatability test for GF bread!

You'll need:

Heavy Duty Stand Mixer - hand held mixers will not do the job
Wire Whip Attachment - do not use a dough hook
2 Wilton 9 x 5" bread pans - do not use shiny or dark nonstick pans
Kitchen Timer
Time & Patience - From the time you begin mixing ingredients to the time the bread is  sliced and put away is about 4 hours.  So I bake two loaves at a time, every other week.


2 boxes Gluten Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Mix (includes yeast packet)
1/2 c. canola oil or melted butter
4 eggs (or 2 whole eggs and 4 egg whites)
3 1/2 cups water or skim milk


Slowly mix eggs in mixing bowl to break yolks.  Gradually add oil and water.  With beater still on low, sprinkle both yeast packets into liquid mixture.  Then add both bags of bread mix, one at a time.  Turn beater speed up to medium speed, and beat for 3 minutes.
Cover mixer bowl with a damp towel for about 35 minutes.  While waiting, prepare your pans and foil tents.  Spray pans lightly with any GF cooking spray.  I use a canola spray.  Set pans aside. Fold two piecees of aluminum foil, shiny side up, as pictured to cover loaves as they bake.
After first rising, beat on low speed for 60 seconds. 
Scrape dough into pans.  Use a wet spatula to spread dough evenly across each pan and smooth top of dough.  You will need to moisten the spatula several times, and dough will look glossy on top.

Cover both pans with a damp towel and allow to rise for 35 minutes, or until dough reaches 1/2 inch below edge of pan (whichever comes first).  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

After second rising, place pans in center of preheated oven.  Bake for 10 minutes, then cover each pan loosely with foil tent to prevent excess browning.
Bake an additional 45-50 minutes. Using a thermometer, make sure the center of the bread has reached 200 degrees or higher. If bread is not fully cooked, it is likely to fall as it cools.  When bread reaches 200 degrees, place pans on cooling racks for 10-15 minutes. 

Then turn bread out onto rack.  Allow to cool at least one hour before slicing.  Ideally, you would not slice the bread until completely cool.  GF baked goods need time to "firm up" as they cool.  Handling a warm loaf will damage the bread's structure.

Slice loaves.  I divide my bread into 4 bags, each containing 1/2 loaf.  Three go to into the freezer, and one goes into the refrigerator.  When I get down to my last few pieces of refrigerated bread, I pull a frozen bag out and put that in the refrigerator.  This way you only need to microwave the bread 15-20 seconds to take the chill off - rather than trying to work with frozen bread slices.  I cut the heels into cubes for stuffing or croutons, and brush the crumbs into a small container I keep in the frig for sprinkling bread crumbs on top of baked fish.

While I love the flavor of this product, I have struggled with the fact that the baking instructions on the box result in a loaf that is raw in the middle.  I also object to the statement on the box saying it's a cholesterol free food.  Yes, it is - in the box!  But if you make it according to the instructions - with 2 whole eggs per loaf, you've now had your weekly allotment of egg yolks. Yes, one can substitute egg whites - but the claim on the box is misleading.  I have contacted the company, and received only the standard response (thank you for your interest...etc., etc., etc.).

Despite these misgivings, I keep coming back to this bread.  It simply has the best flavor and moisture content.  I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do! :)

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