Monday, 28 May 2012

gf bread without tapioca - first tests

I started testing bread recipes using a flour mix that has no tapioca in.  For a long time I have used a standard flour mix with urid lentils, tapioca and cornmeal that gives very good results.  However, my step-daughter seems to be unable to tolerate the tapioca, and I know that some people do find this flour difficult.

What with my travels, catching up on normal life and then wrenching my foot badly my planned experiments took a back seat.  However, I tried a plain loaf and a fruited loaf the other day using one third each of the urid lentil flour, brown rice flour (which I just bought from the supermarket so do not know what kind of rice) and yellow cornmeal.  To 600g of this mix I added 1.5 tsp yeast, a tbsp of agave syrup and sufficient water to make a batter ( I think about 800ml).  I also included 30g of potato protein, which helps gf breads not slump, but this is not yet available to domestic consumers.  In the past I found that provided I kept breads below 5cm/2inches and didn't let them rise above the tin they were fine without this.

I poured the batter into the tins, left them to rise in a warm moist oven, and when they nearly reached the top of the tin put the oven on.  The loaves were baked for 50 minutes at 175C, the little rolls baked in muffin tins were baked for 25 minutes.  Remember that this includes the time taken for the oven to get hot.  I find that it is better to leave a gf loaf for longer than you think necessary rather than have an inadequately cooked middle, so if you don't feel sure the bread is done take it out of the tin and put back in the oven for a few more minutes.

The plain loaf did slump a little but does not have a layer of gluey dough.  It is ok to eat plain - just a bit more crumbly than my usual loaf.  I made good croutons with some diced bread, a squirt of oil and some garlic, baked until crisp.  Any left over bread can be turned into breadcrumbs and kept into the freezer until you want to crisply coat something.  Two days later it is still easy to slice without crumbling.

The second loaf and the buns were made from the same batter but with added ingredients.  As this was a first test, and my foot still wouldn't bear my weight, the recipe was an informal and unrecorded handful of this and that.  I added more sugar, some vanilla, a bit of cocoa, about a cupful of chopped dried apricots I had cooked with water to go with breakfast pancakes, some dried blueberries and cranberries.  I also added a tablespoon of oil.  This mixture made a smooth loaf with good  holding qualities.  Two days later it still slices well and is moist without being cloying.  It is sufficiently good that I will work up a proper recipe.

The basic loaf needs a bit more work, but it is promising.  I found that tapioca gave a smooth chewiness to baked goods, whereas rice tended to give a gritty texture.   I always disliked Doves Farm flour for anything other than pancakes and choux pastry because things fell apart and had a lousy rough texture, and thought it was due to the rice.

I am hoping to create a bread mix as tasty and well-behaved as my usual lazy seedy bread. I think next time I will add buckwheat for the additional flavour a well as seeds.

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