Gluten-free bread making

19 Jan

For Christmas I was very kindly given a couple of gluten-free baking books. I have been working my way through this one  to start with and I thought I would review my progress so far with “Gluten-free Baking Classics” by Annalise G. Roberts.

http://www.foodphilosopher.com/assets/docs/classic.cfm

GFBC

I was given all the necessary flours to make the bread in this book, so that is where I started. I have so far made;

  • Buttermilk sandwich bread
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  • Multigrain sandwich bread
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  • Buttermilk biscuits
  • English Muffins
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I have to say I was disappointed in the appearance of the loaves, I thought they would rise more- despite putting them in a warm place. They all turned out like those squat little half size loaves you generally get in the supermarket. The buttermilk bread promised a tender, softer loaf which would make a great sandwich- it did not. I’m afraid the taste was reminiscent of previous gluten-free baking attempts but I did get past that, especially with the author’s explanation of how wheat flour adds great taste and ways you can substitute for that- for example, using certain flours or seeds.

The multigrain loaf was much better, even though it didn’t rise much during proving it rose well in the oven. It looked impressive, though still quite squat. It had a better flavour (due to the seeds no doubt) and on the day of baking, it could be eaten as bread. I have enjoyed eating that loaf much better. But both these loaves toast up well and have that crustiness you just don’t get with shop bought bread. They do also tend to burn in the toaster, so you have to watch that!

The muffins have the appearance of anaemic looking Vienesse whirls- nothing like muffins at all. I have put them in the freezer because I have some other bread to eat up. I will report back about taste in due course.

The biscuits could not be described as biscuits, they were not crisp at all- even straight from the oven! More like scones, only scones taste better. They did not keep well and I had to bin them in the end because the dried out and went stale. It was a poor recipe- they weren’t sweet enough in my opinion. Also the recipe made such a small amount, it wasn’t worth bothering.

However, none of these loaves keep well either in the freezer or out. You need to eat them within 2-3 days which is impossible for one person. Even in the freezer, they are only good to be toasted after defrosting- they do not keep their freshness as bread.

One of my main downsides of this book is that there are no pictures whatsoever inside! I really like to see what it is I am attempting to make and it also helps to compare if yours has turned out right, against the picture. On the plus side, the recipes are reasonably clearly laid out.

In the interests of budget, which is a key consideration when you are gluten free and having costed the recipes out. I think you would get around 8-10 loaves or other baked goods from all these bags of flour. In addition to all the other ingredients you have to buy and the cost of running the oven, they work out about the same. Then you’d have to factor in the time it takes to bake them! I am basing this off buying the most expensive gluten free loaf out there (Genius seeded which is about £2.90). Plus, I’m sorry to say they cannot compare in terms of taste, texture or shelf life. That said, after having attempted my own and costed it out, I now do not feel half so bad about the amount I have to pay for a loaf, particularly one as good as the Genius seeded!

I am going to continue making items from this recipe book, to see if there is anything which means I could recommend it to you.

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