My first experience of gluten free bread was a relative disaster. My sister-in-law is coeliac and was coming to stay, so I thought that I would make her some bread and some muffins. I bought gluten free baking mix and already had cornmeal, so I made muffins and they were fine 🙂 Emboldened by this, I used the breadmaker and made some bread.
Mistake #1 – I used the breadmaker!
Mistake #2 – I only used cornmeal to replace the flour. The resulting texture was kind of shiny and slippery on the teeth. Tasted fine, but was only edible when it was JUST cooked.
Hmmm. Back to the drawing board. Left the bread making alone for quite some time. Then a friend gave me some information from an Alison Holst cookbook about making gluten free bread. The first piece of advice? Don’t use a standard breadmaker unless it has a gluten free cycle! The second piece of advice? Use a variety of flours. The third piece of advice? Use a binding gum like guar gum or xanthan gum.
So I tried again. This time, I adapted a late bake focaccia recipe, so I mixed the dough in the breadmaker, and then left it to rise and cooked it in the oven. Difficulties? It lost its shape, got very flat and even then, didn’t look it had cooked and on the inside, didn’t appear cooked! So I haven’t tried bread again, but I have used the bread flour mix from the Alison Holst cookbook as my standard baking flour mix time and again. Here it is:
Gluten Free Flour Mix
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 2 cups tapioca starch
- 4 cups maize cornflour
- 4 cups rice flour
- 9 tsp xanthan or guar gum
Measure chickpea flour and tapioca starch into a large bowl or canister. Thoroughly stir the mixture using a large whisk. If using a canister, put the lid on and give it a good shake to blend.
Add cornflour, and repeat the mixing process, then add the rice flour and repeat again.
Store in an airtight container until required.
Just a note, when I’m using this for baking, I tend to add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp baking soda as rising agents.