I have made this recipe so many times now that I have lost count, and it never fails me. If you have to eat gluten free, you will probably miss bread more than anything. This recipe is your answer. This protein bread tastes, looks and smells just like wheat bread to us! It has great texture and is soft, pliable, does not crumble, and is not too dry or too wet like most gluten-free bread recipes. It is sturdy enough to handle any sandwich filling, toast, or you can eat it plain. So enjoy, "BONNIE'S 24 SLICE" !
Cook's Note: This will be a combination recipe and tutorial, because learning to bake good gluten-free bread is a challenging process.
No substitutions, please. Bring ALL ingredients to room temperature before you begin! This includes the eggs and yeast.
Always use a kitchen scale to accurately measure your flours and ingredients. If you use measuring cups to measure flour, it can throw off the recipe as much as 1/4 to 1/3 cup difference! All flours measure differently. Always use superfine flour to get light bread. If it isn't superfine, pulse it in the food processor.
Assemble all ingredients for Dry Ingredients and Wet Ingredients before you begin, and prepare the steps in the order given below.
Line a 12 X16 pan with parchment paper and then spray with kitchen spray or oil. I use a lasagna pan with 2 inch sides. Leave parchment paper up two sides to form a "sleeve" to lift the bread out of the pan.
FIRST: Weigh and mix all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed. Set flour mixture aside.
Proof the yeast. Measure exactly 2 cups of warm water -- Use a thermometer and it should read 110 degrees for the yeast to become active. Add one tablespoon of sugar, stir, and then add 2 1/4 teaspoons of Active Dry Yeast. Stir and let it sit to get foamy and form a slight dome while you assemble the wet ingredients. This will take about 10 to 12 minutes for it to activate.
THIRD: Mix all the wet ingredients together in the large mixing bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attachment. Beat the eggs and then add the vinegar, honey, and the melted butter. Mix on medium speed until well combined.
Add about a 1/4 of the flour mixture and then add the proofed yeast. Then gradually add the rest of the flour. Do not add extra flour or liquid. Beat a full 5 minutes on medium speed. (Set the timer) The batter will be glossy, thick, and smooth like cake batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a frosting knife that has been dipped in water. I use a thin Wilton frosting knife, and it works great for this purpose.
It is important to get the bread as smooth as possible. It makes a difference in the final appearance of the top of the loaf.
Cover with a towel and set in a warm place to rise. I warm my oven slightly, then turn it off and put the bread in it to rise. Rise for 20 or 30 minutes until bread has doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
MAKE EGG WASH: Combine 1 beaten egg, 1 pinch of salt, and 1 tsp of water and mix well. Then gently brush on the egg wash.
Lightly brush the egg wash over the top of the smoothed bread in the pan to give it a lovely sheen and enhance browning. (You won't use all of the egg wash.) I use a silicone brush.
Bake in a 350 degree pre-heated degree oven 25 to 30 minutes until done. (Some ovens may be hotter) Watch the bread carefully the first time you make this recipe, because each oven is different. After 20 minutes baking time, if your bread is nicely brown, check it with the thermometer. If it needs a few more minutes, lay a piece of foil on top of the pan to keep it from over browning. The bread is done when a thin knife inserted in the center pulls out clean.
To make sure it is done, I always check gluten-free bread with a thermometer in the center, and when it reaches 200 degrees, it is perfectly done.
This bread will also pull away from the sides of the pan when it is done. It will have a nice rich, shiny, brown top.
Cool 10 minutes in the pan.
Carefully lift the bread out of the pan with the parchment sleeve.
Slide it over onto the rack.
Cool the bread until it can be handled easily.
When it is cool enough to handle, slice the bread on a cutting board. Slice the loaf in half.
Then cut SIX uniform pieces of bread from EACH half. That makes 12 thick slices.
Then slice each piece of bread down the middle to make two regular slices of sandwich bread for a total of 24 slices. (See next photo.)
Store bread in the freezer. TIP: Wrap two slices in a sandwich baggie or one quart zip lock bag with browned sides together, instead of the white sliced sides together, and they won't stick when frozen. To avoid moisture inside the bags, take a select-a-size paper towel and wrap it around the two pieces of bread before putting them in the baggie. Put all the baggies in zip locks to freeze.
Cook's Note: Sometimes, substitutions are necessary because of dietary considerations. This recipe is successful as written; however, you can use water if you can't tolerate milk. Be aware that it will change the texture of the bread somewhat. You can use oil in place of butter, but again, it will affect the texture and appearance of the bread. Do not substitute active dry yeast. Do not omit protein whey. Protein, milk and butter is what gives this bread such great wheat-like texture.