Well, I did include “making” in my blog description, and this is the project which has consumed most of my spare energy this year.
First – the most important part
275g Shipton Mill bread mix
1 level teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tbsp olive oil
255g luke warm milk (or water, if you prefer)
Line your 1 pound bread tin and place on a baking tray.
Weigh out the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. I put the honey directly on the yeast on one side of the bowl, and the salt on the other side. There are scientific reasons for that, but really I expect it’s unnecessary ritual…
I heat the milk in the microwave for about a minute, then add it to the bowl.
Beat the dough for three or four minutes. It starts very wet, but does thicken up during that time, but it is more of a batter than the kind of dough you can knead.
Preheat oven to 200C or Gas Mark 6
Scrape into the lined loaf tin, and level it out, banging it down to make sure it settles.
Cover and leave in a warm place for between half an hour and an hour until the dough rises just over the top of the tin – don’t let it rise too much or your bread will be too holey.
Place a dish of boiling water at the bottom of the oven to create steam.
Slash down the middle of the loaf with a sharp knife and spray with olive oil frylight – it does really make a difference to the finished crust.
Bake in the middle of the oven for fifty minutes.
Turn out of the tin to cool – and it really is better if you wait until it is properly cooled before slicing.
(OK, I know you’re not going to – in which case turn the loaf on its side and very gently saw the crust off with a serrated knife and eat the crust hot and dripping with butter. )
Once it is cool, I slice thinly and freeze most of the loaf – like most freshly made gluten free bread it gets stale very quickly. You can toast it straight from the freezer so it’s worth slicing and interleaving.
And that’s it – bread in under two hours plus waiting for it to cool!
This recipe is from the back of the packet, with my own adaptations.
I really do recommend buying the Shipton Mill bread mix – link here
I have tried lots of other ready made mixes and followed other recipes, but this is by far the best and easiest way to make an everyday bread. It’s easy and quick (with some waiting and baking time)
I also recommend this bread tin, and that you make your own liners with parchment paper or the re-usable liners. You’ll see why it needs lining below.
Now the rambling –
I was diagnosed as coeliac on the 29th December last year, and it took me until the middle of May to produce a really good sandwich loaf – to restore the possibilities of egg sandwiches and chip butties. Food for the soul.
I began by trying various commercially produced gluten free breads, and they were nearly all completely inedible. The texture is the worst- they all turn to something resembling cotton wool in the mouth, sometimes cotton wool with seeds in, but still…
Or maybe I lie – the chemical flavours are the worst. Really, none of them taste particularly like bread.
The only commercial version I find at all edible are the Warburton Gluten Free thins. I keep them in the freezer, and toast on both sides from frozen and then split and butter them for a bacon sandwich. They are really far nicer lightly toasted than ‘fresh’.
Hobbs House Bakery also produce an utterly delicious gluten free bread – and a bread mix. I have some in the freezer, but it’s so expensive it really is a luxury rather than a staple.
I’m used to baking though – in fact what breaks my heart is the loss of my home made sourdough bagels.
So I started working my way through various mixes and recipes. I began with Dove’s Flour – and their white bread mix is easy and ten times more edible than any of the commercial versions. It’s not really a sandwich bread though, and nor is the bread made with their brown bread flour.
I moved on to the recipes in the River Cottage Gluten Free Cookbook. These were much better. They involved buying a range of different flours – brown rice, buckwheat, teff, and chestnut. It also has an excellent section where the different kinds of flours are described as well as their various properties. Very useful indeed. Their brown rice sourdough starter recipe is brilliant and easy. All the loaves I made were really delicious in their own ways, but still not the perfect bread for my longed for egg sandwiches.
I was not expecting great results from the Shipton Mill bread mix – but I am so glad I gave it a try.
For now at least, I have settled on the perfect sandwich bread. It’s easy and it works and it makes good egg sandwiches. It even toasts without the crust bursting into actual flames, which is more than can be said for any previous attempts!
I may well do more experiments in the future. I need to find a good pizza base recipe as the commercial versions are lacking and my early attempts are a little to similar to cardboard.
I plan to try some cookies and cake recipes too, and maybe chocolate brownies.
Please do let me know if you have any gluten free recommendations – commercial or home baking recipes!
I apologise for the UK bias for ingredients etc. If you are US based, I recommend the Gluten Free on A Shoestring blog
Shipton Mill Bread Mix – here
(They also have lots of other gluten free flours. I know mail order is a drag, but their gram flour is wonderful, and the teff and chestnut. So worth it.)
I love this one pound loaf tin, even though it’s a faff to make the liner. It produces the perfect loaf shape for sandwiches and a good crust.