gluten free diet

Making Gluten Free Bread Easy and Convenient

The key to staying gluten free is to make being gluten free as easy and tasty as possible.

One of my tricks is to keep a stash of gluten free bread mix in the freezer. It only takes 2 minutes to grab a bag of flour, mix in the liquid ingredients (handily noted on the bag), and pop the dough into the bread machine.

Even better, my husband can do it too, so bread making is not “my” responsibility. (This only works if he remembers that you showed him the new stash of bread mix in the freezer!)

I’ve talked a lot about the pros and cons of storebought mixes. If you need the convenience of a mix, but for whatever reason cannot or do not want to use a storebought mix, then this is a great way to make gluten free bread completely from scratch as quickly as you can make a storebought mix.

Just set aside a few hours one day to prep the mixes, and then you’ll be set for several weeks.

And, if you’re thinking that it would be easier to pick up a bag of bread mix at the store, you’re probably right. But it wouldn’t taste nearly as good, and that’s more important than being easy.

If you’d like to make your own stash, grab your favorite gluten free bread recipe and follow along.

How to Make Homemade Bread Mix

First, mix up a large batch of the main flours in your gluten free bread recipe. In this picture I’m making my gluten free flour mix because that’s the main ingredient in my favorite gluten free bread recipe. The recipe calls for 2.5 cups of flour (or 12 oz), so I need to mix up 20 cups of flour mix (or 96 oz) in order to make 8 bags of bread mix.

It takes a little bit of math to figure out how much of each flour to use. The ratio of flours in my bread mix is 3:3:2:1, so 9 parts in total. If I make 1 part = 5 oz, then the entire batch of flour will weigh 45 oz. Obviously, that’s not enough.

Since 90 oz. of flour would not be quite enough either, I’ll set 1 part to = 11 oz. Now, I can easily see that I’ll need 33 oz of flour #1, 33 oz, of flour #2, 22 oz of flour #3, and 11 oz of flour #4.

You can determine the ratio, by cup or weight, of any flour mix if you have the recipe for it. Then just use the mathematical exercise above to figure out how much of each flour you need to make a big batch.

The math is much easier if you use weight measurements, and when you’re working with this much flour it’s just easier to weigh the flour than to try to remember how many cups of flour you’re already measured out. I always lose count around the 5th cup!

Now, measure enough flour for one loaf of bread into each plastic freezer bag. I used a quart size bag. My gluten free recipe calls for two and a half cups (12 oz) of my All Purpose Flour Mix, so I just measure that amount of flour into each bag.

Next, take each additional dry ingredient and add it to each bag. For example, I add 1 Tbsp of yeast to each bag, and then 2 tsp. of xanthan gum to each bag, and then the sugar, and then etc.

It’s very important to pay close attention during this step because it’s really hard to tell the difference between 1 tsp. of xanthan gum in a bag and 2 tsp. of xanthan gum in a bag. (No need to ask how I know this!)

Now you can close each bag, lay it flat, squeeze all of the air out and seal. The reason that you need to get most of the air out is that it makes it much easier to write the recipe on the bag. The bread mix will be in the freezer and should stay fresh for at least 6 months.

Using a Sharpie, write the name of the recipe and the amounts for the wet ingredients on the bag. I love this part! If you do this, you won’t have to find your recipe when it’s time to make bread. Just add the ingredients that are listed on the bag! You can also write any additional directions, if you (or any other bakers) will need them.

Stack the bags in the freezer and forget about them till you need them. Be sure to tell everyone of baking age in your family about your stash, so that they can bake you bread in your time of need. (This is particularly handy if you’ve just had a baby or an illness in the family.)

When you’re ready to bake a loaf of breaduse this homemade bread mix just like you would a store-bought mix. Add the liquid ingredients, mix the dough, let the dough rise, and then bake it.

Or, just add follow your bread machine’s instructions as to the order in which dry and wet ingredients should be added, set the machine and enjoy your gluten free bread a couple of hours later.

– Mary Frances