Friday, January 6, 2012

Back to the Bread Board

In the early days of our marriage we made a lot of bread, yeast bread that involves you up to your elbows.  It was all new to me (I'd never worked with yeast before) but Tom was a seasoned baker.  He'd experimented with it over the years so much that he had perfected his technique and had tweaked several recipes. As our family grew, we moved to a bread machine, preparing the ingredients in the evening and being roused from sleep by the aroma of fresh bread. A little less work and still as much joy.

And then we learned that three of the four of us have food issues and could no longer eat wheat.

We gave away the bread machine and started working with alternative grains. Our early attempts at feeding the family with the ingredients remaining on our "legal" list proved to be quite a challenge. Over the years new things were found that caused trouble for one or another family member, with the occasional lifting of the restriction on other items. We ended up with some great muffin recipes, but never had much success making bread. Until lately, that is.

After 11 years of store-bought bread we are moving back into the bread business. We're still in the experimental stages, but it does look promising!

With the help of a couple of books by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois from Artisan Bread in Five, we have found a simple and fun way to provide our family with fresh, home-baked bread.

This book includes a section on gluten-free bread.
The bread dough is mixed up and stored in a 7-quart container and requires no kneading. The system is quite similar with either gluten- or gluten-free flours, with the gluten-free being a bit more fussy.  Here we are, making up a recipe of Gluten-Free Crusty Boule. You mix it together and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours while it rises.  You can bake it the same day or leave it in the fridge for two or three days for later use.  This batch makes enough for two round loaves. We've also used it for pizza crust and it turned out mighty fine!

We use a Danish dough whisk to mix the ingredients.
Because of the consistency of the gluten-free dough,
it is important to smooth the top of the bread
before you let it rise.
Forming the loaf
This pizza paddle makes it easy to slide the bread onto the baking stone,
which has been heating in the oven.
Taking the gluten-free loaf out of the oven
No more waiting -- time to try it out!
Tom's loaf, made with wheat flour, has a more traditional texture
and taste than the gluten-free bread.

1 comment:

Karen S. said...

If only you could download the aromas of your scrumptious looking breads! Very inspiring!