Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oh, yum, it's gluten-free!

I have friends who are gluten intolerant, and so I am always interested in testing gluten-free products.

Today I used Gluten-Free Mama's Rice Almond Blend (made in Polson) to make Honey Sandwich Bread. Doesn't that sound delicious? It is!

The flour blend is white, with the velvety texture of cornstarch. Mama uses rice, almond, and tapioca flours mixed with potato starch.

Add your own xanthan gum, yeast, honey, and butter, and the dough begins to resemble cake batter as it whips around the mixer at high speed.

This is my first loaf, but it seems that making gluten-free bread is somewhat different from creating a loaf of regular bread. Although it needs time to rise in a warm place, the dough is handled more roughly initially.

As you mix the dough, the faint aroma of almonds in this particular mix is lovely, but it disappears during baking.

When you spread the dough in the pan, the instructions say to "smooth the top." The dough is quite sticky, so I recommend wetting your fingers first so the dough doesn't stick to them. Although that isn't all bad since it is a very delicious treat to lick your fingers afterward!

This bakes up into a luscious-looking loaf with a distinctive honey taste.

It is a heavy loaf and slightly -- only very slightly -- gummy, which you would expect using these flours. But it is a serviceable bread for sandwiches, and if you cannot tolerate gluten, I think you would like it very much. I can eat anything, and I love it!

For this recipe I bought xanthan gum, which is pricey but is necessary to substitute for gluten in gluten-free baked goods, which are otherwise tough and dry. Most recipes use only about a teaspoon, so if you can get some from a gluten-free cook to try it out, do so.

I must admit I ignored the instructions that said to wait 30 minutes before slicing. I never wait until bread has cooled so long that butter no longer melts and oozes into the nooks and crannies of the first slice. I believe that is the reward of homemade bread.

I was afraid this bread would be difficult to slice when warm, but it wasn't. As always, you just need a good serrated bread knife to do the job.


  1. Congratulations on a successful loaf. Save some for me, please!

  2. Your loaf looks beautiful! I am so glad you enjoyed it. There are even more wonderful bread recipes coming soon.