Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Best Gluten-free Sandwich Bread Recipe

Whenever I see that a recipe has been made vegan, I'm immediately suspect that it has been made to be flavorless.  This is not the case with vegan bread.  After all, a traditional french baguette is only water, flour, yeast, and salt.  Bread is supposed to be made vegan.  Once you get the gluten-free part down, the vegan part should be easy, right?

Well... it did take me several tries to get this.  For my baguettes and small round loaves I can get it to rise just fine without the eggs.  However, sandwich loaves have more volume and need a little something extra for the vertical lift I was looking for.  Fortunately, by the time I got done with it I'd crafted the best gluten-free sandwich bread I'd ever made.

To make it egg-free, this recipe calls for just a little bit of flax seed to give the dough some extra structure so it can rise well.  It also gives the bread great flexibility, so your sandwiches can stay together.  I ended up liking the flax better than the eggs.  Go figure.

I've been doing all my gluten-free sandwich loaves in a Pullman Pan.  It gives you a much taller loaf than a traditional pan.  It's 4x4x9 inches and often comes with a cover.

The Best Gluten-free Sandwich Bread

Makes 1 loaf

Prep time: 10 min
Rise time: 1 1/4 - 2 hours for two rises
Bake time: 45-55 min

Mix in the bowl of your stand mixer:

350g (about 1.5 cups) warm water 100-120 degrees
30g whole psyllium husk - or - 20g ground psyllium husk
4 tsp apple cider vinegar

When the wet mixture thickens to form a gel, add:

36 g (3 Tbsp) sugar
1 package (7g or 2 1/4 tsp) Red Star Quick-rise Instant Dry Yeast (or similar)
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 tsp salt
450g Bread Flour 

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients for several minutes until well-combined.  Turn the dough out into a lightly-oiled bowl to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.  Gently turn the dough out onto a lightly-floured working surface and shape it into a rough rectangle, deflating the dough gently as you go.

Fold the dough like a letter.

Then fold the dough again to make an even tighter, smaller dough package.

Tuck the ends under and place the formed dough in a loaf pan to rise.

Let it rise for 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hour, or until the dough no longer springs all the way back when dented with a finger.

Bake the bread in a 450 degree oven for 25 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 and cook until done, another 20-30 minutes.  The loaf is done when the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees or the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

You can slice the bread as soon as it cools.  The bread stays fresh in a plastic bag on the counter for at least four days.  After that you can choose to slice and freeze it or store it in the fridge for a few more days.  

Enjoy being gluten-free!


Kath said...

This recipe looks interesting. I have been searching for a good gluten free sandwich bread since going GF almost 12 months ago. My problem is that I cannot get the No7 bread flour or the No4 Boule bread mix as I live in Australia , what would be a good substitute as I would really like to try this recipe .

Alaine @ My GF DF Living said...

Wow, almost sounds too good to be true! I have been on the lookout for a good gluten-free bread since well, going gluten-free! I will definitely need to give this a try. Thank you so much for sharing! :)

Gina said...

Kath - I was just having a conversation with one of my other followers from the southern hemisphere today. I wish I could distribute my flours and baking mixes in Australia and NZ! It sounds like teff flour is hard to find there - or at least in New Zealand. Have you heard of the website Recipes for Living? It's based in Tasmania, so all the ingredients he uses should be easier to find.

What I like to do is use a recipe as a base and experiment with different flour blends until I get something I like. However, it's not quick or easy! Hopefully you'll find the sandwich bread you're looking for!

Gina said...

Alaine, Thanks for visiting again! I hope you like this vegan sandwich bread as much as I do!

Kath said...

Thanks Gina
I will look up Recipes for living, also will try subbing some flours for your bread mix (perhaps some sorghum, millet and rice flours)

Gina said...

Kath - sounds good! One thing I'd recommend - for making bread, try eliminating rice flours from your blend. They tend to be a little stiffer/heavier and inhibit the rise. I know lots of people have good results with millet, and I use sorghum in all my flour blends - it has a very good flavor. My Teff sandwich bread gives you a blend of flours that maybe you could use as a template or starting point:

Have fun! I'd love to see what you come up with!

Samantha said...

How would I go about with quadrupling this recipe? I'm assuming timesing the ingredients by 4 but not sure of how to go about with the directions? Any advice?

Gina said...

Samantha - If you are making four loaves of bread, you should just multiply everything by four and divide the dough into four parts before setting out to rise. I've never tried this, so of course it would be a bit of an experiment. If I were doing it, I might be tempted to let it all rise together, knead it again, and then divide the dough and shape.

If you are doing two double loaves, I'm not sure if additional adjustments would be required, such as the hydration levels. Report back what you find out!

Samantha said...

Well great minds think alike Gina cause the way I'm going to try is as you say, rise altogether, knead, divide and shape. I'll let you know how I get on!

Rachel Whitehouse said...

OMG a gluten free bread with out eggs yeah. And it's not runny you can actually knead it. So going to try this.

Anonymous said...

Looking forwards making this one!
What size loaf pan do you use for this recipe please?

many thanks,
Catharina _NL

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me what type of yeast you're referring to (quick instant or active dry) and how many grams/ volume (tsp/ tbsp)a package contains?

Many thanks,
Catharina _NL

Gina said...

Catharina - Those are two good questions. I've edited the post to reflect these concerns. I use Red Start Quick-Rise Instant Yeast, but I'm not sure it matters too much as long as it's gluten-free. The pan I like is a Pullman Loaf Pan that's 4x4x9. It gives you a much taller loaf than a traditional size.

Alia M said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gina said...

AshDe - I haven't created a sourdough sandwich bread recipe yet, but I think it will follow the techniques of my sourdough recipes more than this one. The hydration will probably have to be reduced, then the folding technique of this recipe will be used. I hope that helps!

Unknown said...

Excellent!! First GF dairy free, egg free bread recipe - that you can actually knead - that I've made in 10 years that actually works! And it tastes good!

Gina said...

I am so glad this recipe worked for you and that you like it!

Pascale said...

Hi Gina! I am very curious once more: does it make a difference if i mix the instant dry active yeast and sugar to the psyllium mix or is it better to add them to the flour mix? Alternatively in one of your recipe you advise adding the psyllium to the flour and then the wet ingredient, what is the rationale? Thsnks in advance! Pascale

Gina said...

Hi Pascale, thanks for the question! These different bread recipes represent various stages in my experimentation. I'm not sure that it really makes a difference when the yeast is added. By the end, I think I was just throwing it in with the dry ingredients because it's easier. I also stopped waiting for the psyllium to gel completely because it could take up more than its fair share of water sometimes. But that being said, I'm not sure how some of these recipes will change if the order of events is tweaked, but the change would probably be minimal.