I have found that ready-made gluten-free breads are ok, but not great. They usually come frozen and don’t last very long unless you keep them in the refrigerator – I can never use up a whole loaf before it goes bad if I leave it out. They tend to be either soggy or too dry and crumbly. I usually toast them, mostly because they are cold from being in the refrigerator, but also because it keeps them from falling apart as much when used for a sandwich. Canyon Bake House 7-Grain bread is my favorite right now. It has a good texture and flavor. Rudi’s Multigrain comes in second, but it is sometimes a little bit dry. (Both of these breads contain sorghum) If I can’t find either of those I get the Food for Life Rice Pecan bread. It was the first GF bread I tried that was tolerable, but it is very dense and is definitely better toasted. I don’t really care for any of the gluten-free white breads I have tried.
I never baked a yeast bread, so I decided to try one of the gluten-free bread mixes to start me off and see if it would be very difficult. Pamala’s Bread Mix has sorghum listed as the first ingredient, so I thought it would be a good choice.
I used the directions under the “Oven Baking” heading because I don’t have a bread maker. It says to use a “heavy duty stand mixer”. Hmmm. I don’t have one of those either. So I used my handheld mixer with regular beaters. I used Canola for the oil and 2 eggs rather than egg whites. The dough was sticky and stiff – not kneadable like wheat bread dough would be. I decided to add sunflower seeds for the added nutritional value and because I like bread with texture.
It had to sit for an hour to rise and then bake for 60-70 minutes, which turned out to be a tad too long – it was starting to burn on top. I thought I had probably ruined it.
I let it cool for a few minutes and took it out of the loaf pan. It was actually very pretty and not burned on the bottom (yay!) I sliced off a few slices with a serrated knife and was surprised to find it very soft in the middle.
It was soooo good, although a little crunchy on top – Milo got to try some of the crunchy bits.
I put what was left in the refrigerator and sliced off some more for toast the next day. The texture had become denser after sitting in the cold, but it was still very good. I toasted it for a sandwich the day after that and it did very well – it was a little crumbly but not any worse than the frozen ready-made breads, and the flavor was much better.
It took about 2.5 hours from beginning to end to make this bread, but it wasn’t difficult at all. I’m definitely going to cook this bread again and will try some more variations. I would call this experiment a success!
Crunchy bits are GOOD! I’ll have some more, please.