February 3, 2011


Make a Loaf of Yeast Bread Challenge

Monthly Challenge7

A good loaf of yeast bread is one of the most difficult challenges of the gluten-free diet.  The two biggest problems are that the loaves often sink in the middle, and they do not stay soft once they have cooled. 

While I have made some decent loaves of gluten-free bread over the years, I have never made one that was all I wanted it to be:  large, rounded, soft for days, and made in part from whole grain flours.  That may never happen, but I haven’t given up hope. 

When my oldest son went gluten-free last fall, the need for a gluten-free sandwich bread became greater.  I solved the problem by using my hamburger bun recipe.  I usually divide it into 10 rings, making a nice size and thickness for a sandwich.  This bread does stay soft.  After the bread has cooled, I place each one in a zip lock bag and then put them all inside a large freezer bag and place them in the freezer.  I remove one bun the night before he needs a sandwich so it is ready in the morning.  This has worked well for us, but a nice loaf of sandwich bread would be good for a change.

humburger bun cut
One thing I have found in my experimenting is that most gluten-free bread is good while it is fresh and still warm from the oven.  I haven’t done this in a while, but I have often made a loaf of bread in my bread machine to have with dinner.  My family loves the fresh yeasty bread.  If I’m experimenting, I save a slice or two for the next day to see how soft it is.  My point is that even if a loaf of bread isn’t great for making a sandwich, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth making.  Homemade gluten-free bread can be a real comfort and treat.

As I write this, I’m aware that I will not have a lot of time for experimental baking this month, but I’ve been looking forward to this challenge for some months.  I will try my best to make at least a couple of loaves, and I hope you give it a shot too.

loaf of sliced gluten-free sorghum bread
I only have one yeast loaf bread on my site, but there are other yeast bread recipes you could use to experiment with.  If you have gluten-free cookbook you like, try a recipe from that and then try modifications.  Some things you might try adding to a recipe include:
There are a couple of ways people have overcome the sunken loaf problem.  One is to bake the bread in smaller loaf pans such as 4 x 8 inch rather than 9 x 5 inch.  Another way is to place the bread on its side to cool.

I’ll you’ll join me for this challenge.  If you are a blogger, you can link your bread recipe to Gluten-Free Wednesdays during the month of February and on March 2nd.  Each week I will highlight challenge recipes from the previous week.  If you are not a blogger, send me an email and let me know how the challenge went for you.


Just wanted to say that I tried the "laying on it's side to cool" thing and it was a complete failure. It just sunk in a different direction.
We've had good success with the recipe in "Free for All Cooking". The bread tastes good, lasts three days (don't know about more because it's usually used up by day 3). One key, I've found, in every GF bread recipe I've made, is to make sure it reaches a critical temperature in the middle (use an instant-read thermometer) before you take it out of the oven to cool, even if it means extending the baking time past what the recipe says. Otherwise the texture is heavy and gooey, and the bread falls after baking. I don't have that temp handy, though. I think it might be 205-210 degrees F? I hope to be making bread later today and I'll try to remember to pop back in here and post that temp.
Yes, the internal temperature of 205-210 is right. More than one recipe I've made has stated that, and I know that when I thought 200 was good enough (early on in my baking experiments) I found out that it wasn't--the loaf fell. But using the very same recipe the next time, it was beautiful (and I made sure I took it out when it reached 207... even though it looked "done" much earlier). The thermometer test seems to be a good measure of doneness.
Yesterday I made your hamburger bun recipe but I put some of the dough in muffin tins for sliders. My meatball sliders were great with your buns!! Thanks for the recipe!

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