I’m not sure what prompted it, but I had a major hankering for some crusty chewy bread today and I had an idea about getting a gluten free bread to rise into something airy, that would also have a crisp crust.
This was a chance to put everything that I’ve learned about gluten free bread making, over the years, to the test. I added egg for structure, made the dough more of a batter, so that the rise would not be hampered and the high oven temperature, steam bath and a half & half wash make for a nice crisp crust.
What a happy experiment this turned out to be. I must admit that I had a bit of trouble getting the loaf out of the pan but with some coaxing it finally let loose.
In future, I may use parchment or I may add a little more flour to the dough and try to free form the loaf on a sheet pan on silpat and hope to preserve the rise and airiness. After all my hard work, I treated myself to a lovely fresh mozzarella & brown tomato sandwich. it was simple perfection.
bread = happiness
3/4 c water, at 95-110 degrees F
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast (I use SAF)
192g (1 1/2 cups) Cup4Cup gluten free flour blend
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon half & half, for brushing on unbaked loaf
3 cups boiling water, for steam bath
1 teaspoon extra flour for dusting bread
1. Proof the yeast (stir the warm water and sugar together until the sugar dissolves, add the yeast and wet all the yeast.) Set aside until bubbly, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs at high speed for about 15 – 30 seconds until they are bubbly. Look for many large bubbles, but do not over-beat the eggs.
4. Add oil, vinegar and yeast mixture to the eggs and beat for an additional 15 seconds on low speed, until just combined. Add flour mixture, all at once, and beat on low for 5 more minutes.
5. Very generously, oil a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with olive oil and pour the dough into it (the dough will be very soft and sticky, almost a batter). Lightly, brush loaf top with half & half. Let the dough rise in a warm place, about 80 degrees F, for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
6. Place a half sheet pan on the lowest shelf of a 425 degree F preheated oven. Place bread pan on middle shelf of oven and pour the boiling water into the sheet pan on the lower shelf. Close the door immediately to keep the steam from escaping. Bake for approximately 25 – 30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. About half way through the baking, brush the top with more half & half. If the water has evaporated add more boiling water to the sheet pan. About 5 minutes before the end of baking, dust the top of the loaf with about 1 teaspoon of flour and finish baking. Remove from pan and cool on a rack.
Note: If you want to make free form loaves please see my update to this post.