The word Gluten comes from a Latin word that literally means "Glue." Regular sandwich breads are made from wheat and other grains in the wheat species because they make sticky dough that rises up in the oven. The best dough is bouncy, resilient and malleable, and won't bake up into a brick. How does one go about making good gluten-free breads, then? The tastiest and lightest gluten free breads are made with various blends of flours including but not limited to: tapioca flour, white rice flour, sorghum flour and potato starch flour. The rice and tapioca alone would make the bread too plain, so the addition of potato starch really gives the bread a richer “mouth-feel.” Don’t be afraid to experiment—more exotic ingredients like buckwheat flour or garfava flour! They are heavier in consistency and have excellent dietary fiber levels, but both add a pleasing richness and texture to gluten free breads.
There are alternatives for emulating the sticky action of wheat gluten in your gluten free breads. Xanathan gum or guar gum are commonly used. The trick, when using alternative grains, is to avoid a sandy quality in your dough—super-finely milled flour will help greatly in this regard. It is sometimes also a challenge to avoid recipes that produce breads which taste too much like vegetable soup. Make extra double sure, if you do use yeast, that your yeast is guaranteed gluten free. For gluten-free bread recipes and cooking tips please visit Celiac.com.
When exploring a new direction in home-baking your gluten free breads, if your goal is to emulate a puffy kind of sandwich bread, or any new bread for that matter, try a few bread starters or kits from the Gluten-Free Mall first. This way you'll be acquainted with excellent gluten free breads ahead of time, without having spent too much time and energy finding your favorite bread recipe on Celiac.com. Take note of texture and consistency before you head out on your gluten free baking adventure. When you do venture out, be sure to write up your experiences on our forums! Who knows, you may be the new Gluten-Free Betty Crocker!