I set out to make bagels yesterday. I took my 500g urid lentil flour, added a teaspoon of yeast and one of agave syrup, and whisked it into 900ml warm water. I use filtered water as there is a lot of chlorine in our water and it is not good for the yeast.
I covered the bowl with plastic wrap and left it on a windowsill while I got on with other tasks. To put it simply, I forgot all about it. When I next looked the dough was pushing against the wrap and about to escape. OK, so it a very liquid dough, not like bread dough, and it probably wouldn't have been able to crawl off and live a life of its own, but it did mean I needed to get on with the next stage.
I didn't feel like starting the next stages of bagelling - 900g tapioca flour and two eggs beaten in, shaping 125g rings, leaving to rise, boiling for two minutes, draining, baking...OK, these stages can be separated and I could have just mixed in the flour and put the bowl in the fridge to finish the job the next day. So, I stirred in 100g yellow cornmeal for colour and crunch, added tapioca until the dough was stiffish - you can see it holds its shape a bit, and put it into a greased and lined tin.
I try to remember to put paper in the bottom of bread tins when I make a loaf. The dough definitely sticks a lot more than wheat loaves, and it is annoying gouging 'non-stick' pans when trying to lever bread out.
I dolloped the dough into the tin and sprinkled a little water on top. I would normally have been neater....
I put it into a warm oven (about 40C) to rise, with a bowl of hot water on the floor of the oven to keep the air moist. A little while later I realised the dough was up to the top of the tin and it looked hazardous to move it. Normally at this stage I would take the loaf out and pre-heat the oven to 170C before putting the bread back in. This time I just left it where it was and turned the oven on, setting the timer for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes I turned the heat down to 100C and left it another 15 minutes. I then turned the heat off and left the loaf in the oven for another ten minutes before taking it out. I have found my gluten-free bread tends to be sticky in the middle and thought this long slow cooling process might help.
I used a long, high-sided tin called a Pullman tin. It comes with a lid so that you can make completely square bread for sandwiches if you are using wheat. It is the only bread tin I found available that gives a slice that is big enough to fit properly in a toaster and gives a good sized sandwich. I got it from http://bakerybits.co.uk. A tip, don't use the lid or you will struggle for ages to get the tin open!
I did consider ordering custom-made tins from Alan Silverwood, who will make tins at quite a reasonable price to suit your needs. (alan-silverwood.co.uk - really charming friendly people). However, when I found this tin I decided to use this for the moment. You can also use the Silverwood adjustable tin to make small square loaves if you want. Normal tins designed for wheat flour just give such a sad shaped loaf as you need the tin to be as tall as you want the finished loaf to be.
The loaf is the best gluten-free loaf I have made. It has a nice squeeziness when compressed as a whole, it cuts easily, doesn't granulate in the mouth, and toasts to a crunchiness that is very satisfying.
Having been developed as a solution to a burst of baking idleness I will now use this process for future loaves.