Thursday, March 30, 2023

Adventures in breadmaking

My most beloved other half recently got me a bread machine.* I used to have one, but gave it away to an aunt because I barely used it, and because I developed an allergy to wheat.  

Gluten free bread is...expensive. And most of it really isn't good enough to justify the price charged for a Walmart brand loaf of standard white sandwich bread...on sale.  Gluten free flour is expensive, but not that much more than regular flour, really.  Not enough to justify the difference in bread cost.  

I went looking for bread machines for making gluten free bread.  Because I really don't have the energy budget to just do it by hand, not really.  

I found them.  Several, at several different price points.  I put the one I thought would do in my Amazon wish list.  

It's...a bread maker.  Fairly easy to use.  Has recipes in the back for a few different basic types of bread.  Including gluten free bread.  So, I gathered up my courage and got a new jar of breadmaker yeast, and gave it a try.  

It was easy enough: measure the ingredients, and put the liquid ones in the bottom.  Mix the dry (except the yeast, and dump them on top of the liquid. Then add the yeast on top. Set the cycle, and set it going. 

It smelled...almost right.  The recipe lacked eggs, and wheat flour smells different from other types of flour. The baking cycle finished while I was getting the kids. I fished the bucket out and dumped the loaf out onto the cooling rack. 

It smelled okay, but it didn't look quite right. Granted, gluten free bread lacks what browns on normal bread, so I was expecting the very pale look of the loaf, but it was...squat. I sliced into it, and found out why. It...failed to rise.  I made the 1.5 lb loaf, and it didn't rise.  My yeast was new.  I followed instructions.  I went looking for answers about what happened online.  

As it turns out, what happened was the breadmaker.  It was programmed to do two knead cycles.  Which is one knead cycle more than gluten free bread needs.  

Normal bread, for example, has gluten in it, which provides a protein structure for the yeast to inflate.  You have to punch it down part of the way through the knead cycle, or you end up with everything overflowing.  

Gluten free flour...yeah, it'll rise, but not as well as wheat flour, and it WON'T rise again if it's knocked down.  It's wimpy like that.

Still, in spite of making a loaf with the consistency of a small rock, the bread machine's recipe was fairly good on flavor. I will be trying the recipe again, but on the quick bread setting, rather than the gluten free setting.  We'll see how that turns out.   

*Bread machine is Amazon's house brand, and was a birthday gift. 


  1. At least you have a workable option, and a lesson learned. That'll allow you to do better the next time!!!

    1. Yeah, that cycle didn't work, either.

      However, it will do fine with making fresh, real bread, and I need to find a home for my stand mixer for my own "bread."


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