Thankfully, for the adventurous baker, there are a few GF baking mixes now available. As of yet, I have never tried any of them. I am having fun trying all the different flours instead! In fact, last fall I did a flour test where I lined up several different flours: brown rice, white rice, sorghum, buckwheat (it's not wheat), oat, potato starch, tapioca starch, quinoa and coconut. I placed 1/2 cup of each in a glass bowl and added 1/2 cup of boiling water while stirring, to test the thickening power of each.
Because it depends completely on gluten for it's wonderful texture, bread is the most challenging thing to get right when it's gluten free. Warm from the oven, a GF loaf can send the gluten starved soul into giddy delight, but once cold, it becomes dry and crumbly because it's missing gluten's structural support. That same structural support affects the yeasty rise, the flavor, and the moisture retention. What's a bread lover supposed to do?
Make my Herbed Focaccia Bread! Trust me, of all the gluten free baking I've done, this one delivers true relief for the bread starved soul. It's quick bread easy since there is no kneading required, proofs fast, and you can be in focaccia nirvana in about an hour! This one stays moist for a couple of days (if it lasts that long!)...AND...can become the base for your gluten free pizzas! Here is "proof" that gluten free can be delicious!
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch, or tapioca starch
½ cup GF oat flour
2 tsp psyllium husk (Wholefoods 365 brand is the best buy)
½ tsp xanthum gum
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1 pack dry yeast
1 1/3 cup warm water (100-105 degrees)
2 tsp honey
½ tsp rice vinegar or lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
Oil Herb Drizzle:
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
1 TB olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
½ cup diced grape tomatoes (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 10” glass baking dish, a 9” square dish, or a pizza pan with oil and GF flour, or cooking spray.
Into a glass bowl or measuring cup, stir the dry yeast into the warm water with 2 tsp honey, until yeast dissolves. Let sit, undisturbed, while measuring out the remaining ingredients. The yeast should begin to foam, which means it’s good and active. This should take about 15 minutes.
Mix the oil and herb drizzle and set aside.
In a large bowl, measure the dry ingredients and mix. When the yeast is ready, add the egg, vinegar, olive oil and yeast mix to the dry ingredients and stir well. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Drizzle the herb and oil mix over the batter. Swirl slightly into the batter. Place pan in a warm spot to rise for 30 minutes or until double in bulk. Top with cheese and tomatoes. Bake for 25 minutes, until lightly browned and it sounds hollow when thumped.