gluten free diet
mary

By Mary Frances Pickett

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Making Bread with a Gluten Free Bread Machine

Do I Need A Gluten Free Bread Machine or not? One of the more frequent questions that I get from readers who are starting a gluten free diet is, “Which bread machine should I buy?” There are a ton of choices and it can be rather overwhelming to try to sort through the option. The cost of bread machine does not make the decision any easier.

I’ll make things easier for you though: You don’t have to have a bread machine! Knowing what I do now, if I were to have refurnish my kitchen, I wouldn’t buy a bread machine.

Why?

Because the most important thing in gluten free bread baking is getting the consistency of the dough right. In order to do that, I need to mix the dough well and be able to adjust the amount of liquids. I can do those things better when I mix the bread by hand.

Now, I could bake the bread in the oven or bread machine once I have it mixed (and I’ve done both many times). But why go to the extra expense?

If I were to refurnish my kitchen, here’s what I would buy. A good loaf pan, a good baking stone, a decent hand mixer, a baking thermometer, and an oven thermometer, and a digital scale. That’s all you need for baking delicious gluten free bread!

But I thought you had to have a bread machine!

If you’re still unsure, here are the pros and cons of using a bread machine to bake gluten free bread.

Pros of Bread Maker

  • It’s less scary than baking bread in a loaf pan
  • You turn it on and then it beeps when it’s done – no thinking
  • You can program it to start baking at a certain time (if you don’t use milk or eggs in the recipe)
  • Bread machine pans are not as long as standard loaf pans, so the bread rises higher
  • It doesn’t heat up your house in summer, like the oven does

Cons of Bread Maker

  • You have less control over the entire process
  • Your bread will have a hold in the bottom from the blade
  • Bread machines are expensive
  • It doesn’t warm up your house in winter, like the oven does

But I really want a bread machine!

If you’re deadset on buying a bread machine, here’s what you need to know. First off, don’t buy a used bread machine or take a hand-me-down from favorite aunt. You need a bread machine that has never seen a grain of wheat flour. (You might need to read that sentence again if it didn’t sink in totally.)

Here are the other features that I’d look for:

  • A bake setting with only one rise since gluten free bread only needs to rise once
  • Good mixing capabilities – gluten free bread dough is more like a batter and it needs to be thoroughly mixed for 3 – 4 minutes. The knead cycle on some bread machines just doesn’t get the job done.
  • The ability to program a custom cycle would be awesome – that way you can control the length of the knead, rise, and bake times.

Alright, You’ve Convinced Me! What Should I Buy Instead?

Okay, here’s what the minimum equipment you need to bake gluten free bread, and to bake it well (I’ve linked to some Amazon search results for each suggestion):

This is probably not the list of equipment that most bloggers would tell you that you need. But, if you want to have the highest probability of success, this is the equipment that will help you make the best gluten free bread!

There aren’t any assignments for this lesson. But, if you haven’t studied the bread ingredient lists from the last lesson, you need to get to work. The next couple of lessons are all about the ingredients that go into gluten free bread, with a special focus on bread that will work if you have multiple food intolerances.

Making Bread

There is likely no better smell on earth than that of freshly baking bread. Finding a great tasting gluten free bread that also has a good texture can be a difficult task. There are a good number of gluten free breads on the market, but what if you can make one that is even better right at home? Gluten free bread machine bread will taste better and have a better texture than products you can find on a shelf, not to mention the amazing aroma that will fill your home.

Benefits of a Gluten Free Bread Machine

One of the best things about a bread machine is the labor that it saves. If you combine the time-savings of a bread machine with gluten free bread machine mix, you’ll be amazed how easily you can have freshly baked gluten free bread in your own kitchen.

What to Look for in a Gluten Free Bread Machine

Most gluten free bread can be made with any kind of bread machine, as long as you use it exclusively for gluten free bread. Don’t make a loaf of wheat bread for friends and family and then use the same machine for gluten free baking.

Here are some features that you should keep your eye out for when shopping for a bread machine:

  • Gluten free mode (this can be helpful as gluten free breads do not need to be kneaded as much as wheat containing breads).
  • Programmable
  • Keep Warm setting
  • Bake Only – If you like to knead and create your dough by hand.
  • Dough Mode – Combines and kneads but doesn’t bake. This can be helpful for pizza dough.
  • Rapid Bake – This can be a great setting for gluten free bread mixes. It cuts out steps and produces great gluten free bread.
  • Double paddles – Machines with double paddles tend to mix the ingredients a bit better but they are more expensive.

There is also a gluten free bread machine on the market specifically made for gluten free baking. Bready is a combination of machine (they call it a robot) and mixes. Put in a mix, add yeast and liquids and hit the start button. Bready will bake breads and gluten free cakes. The machine and 4 mixes runs about $300 with additional mixes running about $7 each.

A great way to evaluate which machine to go with is to read gluten free bread machine reviews. Find out what other consumers think of the Bready system versus traditional bread machines. The one drawback to the Bready is that you’re limited to using their mixes. With a regular bread machine you can use any combination of ingredients which may provide for more flexibility.

 

 

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