Loaf Bread Challenge Update

February’s monthly challenge is to create a loaf of yeast bread. This month has turned out to be pretty busy forme,  and as expected I didn’t have a lot of time for experimenting with loaf bread.  I did make two loaves, neither of which I was happy with.

sorghum bread

First I made a bread machine variation of the sorghum bread I have posted.  It did not turn out great with a slightly sunken top, and it was not very soft the next day.  My son didn’t mind it and said it made a pretty good sandwich, but I was not impressed.

focaccia loaf

Next, I used the recipe for focaccia bread and hamburger buns which always produces a nice soft bread for me.  I decided not to push it too far by trying to make a large loaf, but instead put half the dough into a small loaf pan and used the other half to make buns.  Well, it was pretty good bread but the loaf was way too small.  I probably should have let it rise longer than I did, but even so, it might not have been large enough for a sandwich.  This dough is pretty wet which works fine for flat bread and buns, but I’m afraid it has too much liquid for a large loaf.  That can be one reason that gluten-free bread sinks, but on the other hand not enough liquid makes a dry bread.

focaccia loaf sliced

I’ve just never had much luck with loaves and I’m very particular.  I want a bread that will stay soft and make a good sandwich the next day.   It doesn’t have to be round on top if it will just stay soft.

So I’m afraid I won’t have a new loaf bread recipe for you this month, but I did try.  Really I did.  I’ll keep trying as time allows too.

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  1. Janet says

    I recently tried Amy Green’s (Simply Sugar and Gluten Free) “Perfect Bread” recipe. I didn’t like it. She uses too much bean flour and it gives the bread a very distinct (and in my opinion) un-bread like flavor.

    I also tried her suggestion of letting the bread rise inside a plastic storage container. I found I had to pour hot water in the bottom of the container first, though, otherwise, there was insufficient heat to allow it to rise, even sitting on top of my oven, which is pretty darn warm. (I once had a loaf of bread sitting on the stove to rise while I preheated the oven. There’s a vent at the back that comes out on the stove top and so much heat came out of it the bread actually started to bake right on top of the stove!)

    In addition, I followed her suggestion to line the bread pan with parchment and after cooking and cooling for 5 minutes to turn the loaf pan on its side, scoot the loaf forward so the steam can escape – but leave it in the pan. Let it cool for another 10 – 15 minutes the move to a wire rack to cool completely. That seemed to help somewhat with the problem of the bread collapsing.

    I will say the loaf was moist, but I didn’t care for the flavor.

    Last night I tried Amsuka’s Teff Bread Heaven (link was on your Gluten Free Wednesday for 2/9/11). However, not having any teff, I substituted sorghum (since she listed that as an alternative). I was surprised that it didn’t rise as much as I expected in spite of making sure to warm up the milk and eggs. It also called for a lot more milk than most recipes I’ve seen (1 1/3 cups). It made me wonder what effect the percentage of fat in the milk has on the bread. I used a 1% organic cow’s milk (though I often have skim in my frig). The flavor is milder than Amy’s but not good enough on its own to eat without putting something on it.

    One of my beefs with recipes for use in a bread machine is the assumption that there’s a gluten free setting on it. Mine does not have one specifically for gluten free baking. It does, however, have the option of a custom setting. In “Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine” by Annalise G. Roberts, she gives the specific times for the various cycles. However, when I compared that to the times/cycles for a bread machine that came with a gluten free setting, they don’t match at all. So, I think it’s important for those writing recipes to specify what those cycles are if they are using a pre-set gluten free baking cycle. I spent quite a bit for the machine I have (a Zojirushi) and have no intention of buying different bread machines to match a particular recipe.

    Like you, I have very high standards for bread. It should have a nice crust on the outside and the inside should be soft and moist without being either crumbly or gooey. The bread itself should have a subtle flavor that is tasty enough to be eaten without any condiments. I also live alone so any bread I make I have to eat all by myself. The longer it can last and still have that fresh bread consistency, the better.

    I’m still looking.

  2. says

    One of the tough things about GF baking experimentation is that you hate to make mistakes, because the flours are so expensive comparatively. Sometimes, I’ll divide a large new combination batch into smaller portions, bake them up, try them, then make adjustments. So if I make a double batch of something, I’ll divide it into 6-8 smaller balls. The first ones out of the oven are never the same as the last ones. When I feel like I have a winner, then I’ll make a big batch of just that. Keep trying. You’ll find the perfect bread recipe for you.

    Janet, if a recipe’s flavor is too off because of the bean flour, you can usually substitute another higher protein flour like sorghum or soy flour with similar results.

  3. says

    Hi Janet, sorry to hear you had difficulties with my recipe- if you want details of the cycle times, I would be happy to share that with you.

  4. Peggy says

    I don’t have a yeast bread recipe, but I do have a way of ensuring that my bread is soft for every sandwich until the loaf is gone. I am the only GF person in the house, so I can’t use up the loaf in a few days.

    Once the bread has cooled, I slice the entire loaf. I then place it in a zipper bag with a square of waxed paper between each slice(this is to easily remove the number of slices I need) and after squeezing all the air out of the bag, I freeze it.

    When I want a sandwich, or toast, I pull out just how many slices I need – easy because of the wax paper:) – and by the time I get my sandwich ingredients out (or a few minutes time) the bread is thawed and I enjoy my sandwich.

    Also, I save all the “end cuts” in another bag in the freezer and use them for making stuffing, bread crumbs, croutons, etc.

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