Friday, December 12, 2008

Bread Making Tips

I found a great set of tips from today. Please enjoy them just in time for the holidays.

Tips For Baking Gluten-Free Bread

From Beth Hillson, Founder of Gluten-Free Pantry.
Some bread machines knead gluten-free dough more effectively than others and some recipes work better in a particular machine than in other machines.

To Ensure A Great Loaf Of Bread Every Time, Try These Tips:

• Warm liquids to 100 degrees
• Use "flour" and eggs at room temperature (warm eggs by setting them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.)
• Add ingredients in any order you wish or follow the order for adding ingredients recommended by the manufacturer of your machine
• It's not necessary to mix ingredients in a bowl before adding to the bread machine
• A good gluten-free bread depends on a delicate balance of wet to dry ingredients
• Success is determined in the first kneading cycle where dough should be properly mixed and liquid or dry ingredients should be adjusted
• Proper mixing and proportion of ingredients allow the yeast to be evenly dispersed
• Too much liquid produces a floppy, gummy loaf with large holes and a flat or sunken top
• Too little liquid produces a lumpy, crumbly, loaf

A Few Tricks:

• A few minutes into the first knead cycle, lift the lid and use a rubber spatula to mix the dough, until it is smooth and moist in appearance.
• Don't be afraid to reach right down to the bottom of the pan. If the kneading blade hits the spatula, it will not harm the machine
• If dry flour is sitting on the top or in the corners, the bread needs more liquid and/or better mixing. Add 1 tsp. warm water at a time, mixing after each addition, until dough is smooth and "swirls" in the bread pan
• For soupy batter - Add 1 Tbs. of rice flour (of g-f blend of flours) at a time, stirring after each incorporation, until dough is thick and pulls away from the sides

If Your Bread Isn't Rising, Try One Or More Of These Suggestions:

• Gluten-free bread dough rises best in a warm, draft-free room.
• If the machine is programmable, increase the amount of time in the rise cycle. Make sure to begin with very warm (not hot) ingredients
• Add a little more warm liquid during the kneading cycle
• Add 1 tsp. cider vinegar to liquids or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. ascorbic acid (powdered Vitamin C) to the dry ingredients in the recipe
• The yeast may be old or liquids may have been too hot. (Over 120 degrees will kill the yeast.) Next time, use fresh yeast and water that is not quite so hot
• Don't worry if your bread has not risen to the top of the pan when it begins to bake. It will rise more during baking
General Suggestions:
• Avoid using automatic cool down cycle. Cool on wire rack to prevent bread from becoming gummy. To revive, heat uncut loaf in 350-degree oven for 5 min
• Use butter and milk rather than oil and water to add moisture and create a chewy crust. Egg replacer may be used in place of eggs
• Adding a sweetener helps activate the yeast. Molasses and honey help produce a silky texture in gluten-free yeast doughs. Be sure to count as part of the liquid ingredients
• If the same bread machine is used for all family bread baking, buy a second paddle and bowl or carefully clean blade and shaft of bowl to avoid any cross-contamination

To Store:

• Allow loaf to cool completely.
• Slice and place in a zip-lock plastic bag.
• If you are not using the entire loaf of bread in the next 24 hours, freeze the remainder and take out slices as needed.
• To revive, wrap slices in a paper towel and microwave 30-60 seconds. Toast, if desired, or just enjoy!

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