If you need to eat gluten-free bread for health reasons or simply personal preference, it may get frustrating that it is much more expensive than ordinary bread in the supermarket. The solution? Making it from scratch at home with just a few ingredients. If you don’t want to put in all the work, though, a bread maker can help. They make delicious gluten-free bread as easily as any other loaf type.
What Is Gluten-Free Bread?
What makes gluten-free bread different from other bread? To understand gluten-free bread, we must first understand what gluten is. Gluten is a protein found in many types of grains such as rye, barley, and wheat. It is responsible for many characteristics of bread, such as its soft texture, its moisture, and even the binding of bread. Considering that most bread products are made from flour derived from wheat, it’s pretty hard to avoid without buying specialty bread products.
Gluten-free bread is made without the grain products that contain gluten. Instead, they use cornstarch, potato starch, rice flour, or tapioca starch. Gluten-free bread isn’t as chewy or spongy as normal bread. To improve their texture, xanthan gum or gaur may be used. This bread is notorious for being crumbly and dense, any many products try to combat this with long lists of additives. This is why you may prefer to make GF bread at home. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need a gluten-free bread maker to do so – any bread maker will do.
Why Do People Eat Gluten-Free Bread?
Some people need to avoid gluten due to dietary restrictions, but others prefer it for personal reasons. People with celiac disease or another gluten disorder can’t enjoy bread unless it is gluten-free. Gluten-free bread also promotes a healthy digestive tract, as well as delivers a healthy dose of fiber. People may also choose to eat gluten-free bread to avoid complex carbohydrates found in standard loaves. Many gluten-free breads are also organic and dairy free, which are two more reasons to enjoy gluten-free bread on the regular.
Is Gluten-Free Bread Healthy?
Gluten-free bread is often characterized as lacking in essential nutrients like protein and fiber. They are also typically higher in sugar and additives compared to other loaf types. While gluten-free bread is essential for managing Celiac disease or a low gluten tolerance, people without these issues would be better off consuming regular loaves of bread that have a higher nutrient count. A gluten-free loaf may also be higher in carbohydrates, but it depends on which loaf you buy as some may be lower in carbs. If you’re looking to manage high cholesterol, the lack of fiber can be an issue, so make sure you’re using whole grains in your bread.
Benefits of Making Your Own Gluten-Free Bread
There are several reasons why it may benefit you to make homemade gluten-free bread. First, you can control the additives used to make it healthier, sustainable, and organic. Second, it is more cost-effective if you go through a lot of bread since you can buy ingredients in bulk and eliminate waste by making only what you can consume before it spoils and goes stale. Third, you can make custom loaves with your favourite mixins without paying a premium. There are hundreds of GF recipes out there to satisfy any of your gluten-free carb cravings.
Is Gluten-Free Baking Different from Normal Baking?
To make bread at home, you’ll follow the same steps whether it is gluten-free or not. Though you may need some different ingredients for gluten-free bread, the physical process of baking the bread will be the same. A GF setting on your bread maker is helpful, but it can be done following the standard baking cycle as well.
First, you’ll add in your ingredients after measuring them accurately according to the recipe you’re using. Then, start the gluten-free cycle on your bread machine. It will start the mixing cycle first, followed by the kneading cycle and the rise cycle. Once those are complete, the bread will bake. The cook time will vary depending on the loaf size (usually either a 1lb or 2lb loaf). The baking time is very similar to white bread or whole wheat bread since the ingredients are similar, though the total time may be a bit longer since gluten-free bread is not a quick bread to rise and requires a bit more time.
How to Make Gluten-Free Bread With a Bread Maker
There are a few ingredients you can use to improve the result of gluten-free baking with a bread machine.
Ingredients You Need
- The most important ingredient in gluten-free bread is gluten-free flour.
- Psyllium husk powder is a necessary ingredient in a lot of gluten free baking since it assists with the binding, elasticity, and flexibility you need to shape the dough without any problems
- Brown rice flour is a popular choice for gluten free bread to add extra fibre (using a flour blend with gluten-free flour is acceptable as well)
- Egg whites can help with the structure and nutrient value of your GF bread
- Room temperature or warm water is needed for adding a bit of liquid to the dough
- Honey can be used for flavour and to add moisture to the bread
- Apple cider vinegar helps the yeast rise and produce a better-looking, more tender loaf
Using Your Bread Maker
With bread makers from brands like Hamilton beach, Zojirushi, Breville, and Cuisinart, you can use a gluten-free setting on your machine to make the process even simpler – highly recommended if it’s your first time making baked bread at home. All you have to do is add your ingredients to the bread pan in the proper order, start the cycle, and let the bread maker take care of the rest.
If your bread machine doesn’t have a specific program for gluten-free bread, don’t fret! You can use the manual mode to set the time and cook temperature according to the recipe you’re following. You’ll follow all the same steps as using the automatic setting, but you’ll manually input a few key details. You’ll want to choose a recipe that is specifically for bread machine bread rather than handmade bread so you have all the information you need.
How to Enjoy Gluten-Free Bread
There are many uses for gluten-free sandwich bread, buns, and various types of dough. You can enjoy virtually any type of bread product by using the dough cycle and baking on a cookie sheet in your oven. To get the most out of your bread, enjoy it with sandwiches, grilled cheese, alongside soups or stews, toast, or make fancier Focaccia breads beside pasta. The options really are endless when you can make custom loaves at home in just a few hours.
Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipe For Easy Gluten-Free Bread at Home
Here is the best gluten-free bread machine recipe:
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1 TBSP of active dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- 1 TSP of apple cider vinegar
- 2 TSP of xanthan gum
- 2 1/2 cups of gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 TSP salt
- 1 1/2 TSP of vegetable/olive oil
- 1 TBSP of white sugar
- Add the ingredients in order: water, eggs, oil, vinegar, flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, and yeast.
- Run a basic or gluten-free cycle on your bread machine with a light or medium crust selection.
- Cool fully before slicing.