Back before going gluten-free, I ate a LOT of bread and craved starchy carbs often. Since giving up the gluten, I find that I don’t need bread, but every so often I still enjoy having it. I particularly miss cheese and Branston Pickle sandwiches and cinnamon toast. Unfortunately, gluten free stuff can be really expensive, and it rarely seems to go on sale, but I recently picked up a box of Gluten Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread Mix at a decent price.
The mix comes with the required packet of yeast and is made from white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, skim milk, whey, corn starch, cane sugar, guar gum, and salt. I was disappointed to see sugar included in the ingredients list, but for the most part this stuff makes a decent loaf of bread.
The texture is very similar to that of real bread, if a bit heavier and more moist, and there is a slight aftertaste, but it’s easily ignored or overpowered depending on what you have with/on your bread. The instructions say to slice the loaf and keep it in the freezer, which I have done, but I notice that the bread seems even more moist–almost to the point of having a soggy mouthfeel when thawed, so perhaps this is something that is best consumed the day it’s made.
Making the bread is easy enough. Just combine the mix and yeast, then add 1 3/4 cups water or milk (warmed), 4 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil, and 2 large eggs (lightly beaten) and beat with an electric mixer for 3 minutes before pouring into a greased loaf pan to rise.
Okay, confession time! I forgot to add the butter (notice it’s not in the mise en place photo), and my loaf turned out just fine. But this makes me think it would have been even better had I followed the instructions. Perhaps butter would cover up or do away with the aftertaste, and the addition of fat might help the texture.
Notice that like other gluten-free bread dough this is very soft–more like batter. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place for 30-40 minutes. Then (remove the plastic wrap) bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or until the top is browned and tapping the loaf makes a hollow sound.
It will rise even more while baking, so be sure to allow for that as lowering an oven rack may be necessary. Mine didn’t rise very evenly for some reason. Maybe I didn’t spread the dough in the pan very well, although it looked level enough to me. The side that was towards the back of my oven, where the temperature is hotter, didn’t rise very well, so maybe that has something to do with it.
But it still tastes good. Both of my kids like it, and they normally eschew gluten-free stuff. Here are some photos showing the texture. The crust, while nicely browned, is still pretty soft like that of sandwich bread. I guess now I’ll have to be on the lookout for this bread mix on sale. If nothing else, just so I can try it again and remember to add all the ingredients.
Oh, and there are also instructions for making the loaf in a bread machine, as well as a suggested variation for cinnamon raisin bread. Next time, in addition to remembering the melted butter, I would really like to try baking this mix in a muffin pan to make rolls. That way it’s already in serving size and much easier than attempting to slice a loaf evenly. But , then of course you can’t make sandwiches with it.