Crusty, Delicious Gluten-Free Bread

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About four years ago, I was having a lot of tummy troubles. After seeing two different GI doctors and many uncomfortable tests and procedures, one of the doctors suggested I go on a FODMAP diet. This diet basically meant I couldn’t eat anything besides meats, fruits and vegetables. There were even some fruits and vegetables I was not aloud to eat. The doctor had given me a list of things I couldn’t eat. When I got home from the doctor with my list in hand, I showed it to my husband and asked him to look it over and tell me what I CAN actually eat. Well, one of the items on the list of food to avoid was gluten. AHHHHHHHHHH, not gluten! I LOVE LOVE LOVE bread! I love crusty sourdough bread. At the time, I was eating cereal for breakfast every morning, and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. I basically thought I might starve without gluten in my life. I went to the grocery store and tried every gluten free brand of bread out there. They were terrible. They fell apart, crumbled, and had a terrible taste.

I had discovered the wonderful book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois a year or two prior to my tummy troubles. I was devastated to find out that I may have to give up the delicious crusty bread that I had come to love. Well, after trying the many brands of gluten-free breads with no luck, I opened up my Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook and flipped to the gluten-free section for the first time since I got the book. The recipe for the gluten-free loaf required many more ingredients than the traditional recipe I was used to that only requires four ingredients. It also required many ingredients I had never heard of like sorghum flour and xanthan gum. Thankfully, we have a few health food stores in my town that carried all of the ingredients I needed. I whipped up the dough in my kitchen aid stand mixer and baked a loaf of bread. To my delight, it was delicious! I gave it to my  husband, and he said that he would not have been able to tell that it was gluten-free if I hadn’t told him! YES!!!! I finally found a wonderful, delicious alternative to my beloved crusty bread. I used it for toast, sandwiches, or just to eat with butter.

This master gluten-free recipe I am including today is from “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day,” cookbook by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois. It takes about 5-10 minutes to mix up the dough. The dough is then stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days (or two weeks in the freezer.) When you want to bake a loaf, you pull off a portion of dough, let it rest on the counter, then bake.  The authors recently released an all gluten-free cookbook with 90 recipes called Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Some of the recipes include gluten free Challah bread, brioche, cinnamon rolls, pizza, and breadsticks. The master gluten-free recipe in the GF ABin 5 cookbook does differ slightly. This cookbook gives you a recipe for two all-purpose flours that are mainly used in the book. They also tried to make most of the recipes vegan and dairy free. You may want to check out that book if that sounds like it suits your needs. I am giving you the recipe that I used and have had experience with from “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” cookbook. Click on the links to view the books on Amazon. Also, here is a link to the master gluten-free recipe from the all gluten-free cookbook. Here is another link to the gluten-free FAQ from the author’s website. I encourage you to check out the author’s website. If you do a search for “gluten-free,” you will get many more recipes.


This photo was taken the artisan bread in five minutes a day website

Gluten-Free Master Recipe

Makes enough dough for at least four 1-pound loaves

1 cup (5 1/2 oz) (155g) Brown Rice Flour

1 1/4 cups (5 1/2 oz) (155g) Sorghum Flour

3 cups (13 1/2 oz) (385g) Tapioca Flour (also called tapioca starch)

2/3 cup (4 oz) (115g) Potato Flour (not starch)

2 tablespoons (3/4oz) (20g) granulated yeast

1 tablespoon (0.6 oz) (17g) kosher salt (increase or decrease to taste)

2 tablespoons (1/2 oz) (15 g) Xanthan Gum

3 cups (1 lb 8oz) (680 g) lukewarm (100 degrees F or below) water

4 large eggs (8 oz) (225g), whisked together or you can substitute 1 TBS finely ground flaxseed with 3 TBS water for each egg

1/2 cup (4 oz) (115g) neutral-flavored oil, unsalted butter, melted or olive oil

The authors strongly recommend weighing the ingredients for this recipe…especially the flours. If you prefer to use volume measuring cups, be sure to pack the flour tightly into the cup. I know this differs dramatically from how I have instructed you to measure flour in previous posts. But we are dealing with gluten-free flours here!

Click HERE for a link to a video from the authors that shows what the dough should look like and how to shape the dough.

Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a stand mixer or large lidded food container. Combine the liquid ingredients and gradually mix them with the dry ingredients using a spoon or a stand mixer. This recipe comes together more easily using a stand mixer.

Stir until the dough is nice and smooth. Cover with the lid, but do not snap it shut. Allow it to rest on the counter for about 2 hours. The dough can be used after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Place the dough in the refrigerator in a lidded (not airtight) container and store for up to 5 days. Or store the dough for up to two weeks in one pound portions. You can also bake the loaves and freeze them if you do not plan on using all the dough within the five days.

On baking day take the bucket from the refrigerator. The dough will be quite fluffy still and you want to try not to handle the dough too much. Just like our other doughs the trick is to keep as much of the air bubbles in tact as possible.

Use wet hands to remove 1-pound (grapefruit-size) piece of dough from the bucket. Place it on a piece of parchment paper. Use wet hands to smooth out the surface of the dough.This may take dipping your hands in the water a few times…to get a nice shape.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest on the counter for about 90 minutes. If your kitchen is very warm you may only need about 75 minutes.

30 minutes before baking time preheat the oven with a 5 1/2 quart Dutch Oven in it to 500 degrees. Be sure it is fitted with a metal Replacement Knob, the original plastic knobs can only be heated to about 400 degrees. Alternatively, Preheat a baking stone near the middle of the oven to 450 degrees with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with the rising of the bread.

The dough will not have grown much while resting, but it will seem a little bit puffier. Dust the top with brown rice flour.  Use a serrated knife to cut slashes in the dough 1/2 inch deep.

Remove the pot from the oven and take off the lid. Lift the bread on the parchment and VERY CAREFULLY lower the parchment and bread into the pot, replace the lid onto the pot. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes remove the lid, turn the heat down to 450 and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Or, slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 40 minutes or until richly browned and firm.

Once the bread is done baking remove it from the pot using a spatula.

Allow the bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before eating or the center may seem gummy.


Variation: Gluten Free Sandwich Loaf

On baking day, grade and 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch nonstick loaf pan. Using wet hands, tear off a 1 1/2 pound piece of dough. Quickly shape it into an oval. Gently press it into shape and use wet hands to smooth the surface. Place the dough into prepared pan, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 90 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a pastry brush, paint the loaf with water and bake for 55-60 minutes until the loaf is browned and quite firm to the touch. Remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing and eating.

Recipe Source: The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Cookbook. 

Is there someone in your life that you can bless with this bread? Whether you share the recipe with your gluten-free friend, or surprise them with a delicious loaf of bread, just think of how special it will make them feel! Happy baking!

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