GLUTEN-FREE FRENCH BREAD -- BONNIE'S
The original recipe is by Carol Kicinski at Simply Gluten-Free, and I included tweaks by Daisy Janie. The photos are my own. Thank you, ladies for pointing me in the right direction!
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- tablespoons dry active yeast (do not substitute)
- teaspoons sugar
- 1 1/2
- cups warm water--warm to the touch, not hot
- teaspoons xanthan gum
- tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2
- cups super fine white rice flour
- cup superfine sweet rice flour
- cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2
- teaspoons fine sea salt
- large eggs
- teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- teaspoons cornmeal
- tablespoons melted butter
- **in place of the flours and starch you can use 3 cups of a good, pastry quality gluten free flour blend
Assemble all ingredients before you make the recipe. Prepare two bread pans or one large bread pan, grease generously. If you are making French bread, spray a French bread pan (with 2 forms) with gluten-free, non-stick cooking spray or brush with more olive oil and sprinkle a teaspoon of cornmeal onto the bottom of each pan. You will need to put it on a cookie sheet or have corn meal everywhere.
Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to dissolve the sugar. Let sit for 5 -6 minutes (10 if the yeast has been in the fridge) or until it is foamy and doubled in size. Mine was cold from the fridge, so it took about 15 minutes to double in size.
In a small bowl stir the xanthan gum with the olive oil until the xanthan gum is dissolved. Set aside. (Mixing the xanthan gum and olive oil together before adding to the batter makes it work better)
Beat the egg whites of two eggs in a small bowl until frothy, but not peaks. (beating the egg whites gives it its sponge texture) Slightly beat the other eggs and the yolks in another small dish, add the vinegar. Set both aside.
(Don't mess with these flours because this recipe really works) Combine the flours, tapioca starch (or gluten-free flour blend) and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (or just the regular beaters – don’t use a dough hook) and mix to combine.
Add in the yeast mixture, xanthan gum mixture, and the frothy egg whites and beaten eggs and vinegar mixture. Turn the mixer to low to incorporate the ingredients (so it doesn't fly all over the kitchen), then to high and mix for 3 minutes on a timer. Do not add any more flour! Do not beat any longer! This will be a very stiff batter type dough.
Spoon the batter into greased bread pans, or the forms and shape into an oval with a spatula. If you are making French loaves, using a razor blade or sharp knife cut 3 or 4 diagonal slashes on top of each French loaf.
Cover the loaves with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place to rise. Let rise for 30 minutes or until the loaves have doubled in size.
Place a baking pan on the floor of your oven (or on the bottom shelf) and fill it with about an inch of really hot water. This keeps it humid and makes the inside of the bread moist and the crust crusty. Position the rack you are baking the French bread on in the middle of the oven, or if making sandwich bread, put the bread pans side by side on the rack. Turn the oven on and preheat to 400 degrees. Brush the top of the loaves with the melted butter and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. The bread pulls away from the sides of the pan.
A gluten-free recipe that makes 2 loaves of French Bread or 24 Crusty Rolls or 2 small loaves of sandwich bread or one extra large loaf. If you are making the extra large loaf of sandwich bread, do increase the time 10 to 15 minutes more. You can make crusty rolls by scooping the dough into 2 standard sized muffin tins, letting them rise 30 minutes and baking for about 20 minutes.