Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread–great review of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes/Day in Columbus Dispatch

Columbus Dispatch Review of GFin5

“Hertzberg and Francois offer foolproof recipes for (gluten-free) bread…”

I was in Columbus recently, and had the distinct pleasure of driving around town at dusk, looking for a hotel (I’d made my reservation for the wrong month). Great town, dumb business traveler!

Lisa Abraham (@DispatchKitchen), the Food Editor at the Columbus Dispatch, has covered all of our books–and she’s just reviewed Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Dayclick here to read the whole article, which includes our Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Cornbread. Thanks Lisa!

And click here to buy the book. 

Tips on great results with gluten-free dough: We’re on KTSP-TV Minneapolis (ABC)

Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day was released today, and we went on Twin Cities Live with Elizabeth Ries and Joe Schmit to spread the news. One of the things I liked about this TV segment was that you get to see what gluten-free dough looks like when it’s nicely emulsified in the stand mixer (you can use a spoon or dough whisk, but you have to keep going to get it really smooth). One other thing to clarify from the TV segment: This book was tested with Red Star Active Dry Yeast and Red Star Instant Yeast, both of which are completely gluten-free. Gluten-free folks shouldn’t use the Red Star Platinum product because it has some dough conditioners derived from wheat.

Lesaffre Yeast Corp. provided samples of yeast for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities.

Videos from TV segments on Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

How do I get more whole grains into my gluten-free breads?

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A reader asks: Are there any substitutions for the rice flour or the potato starch? I’m trying to boost the nutrition.

One easy thing to do is to swap brown rice flour for all the rice flour that we call for in Mixture #1 from our 2014 book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a DayIf you do that, you need a slight increase in water because whole grains always take a little more (see page 61 of the book). With the swap, Mixture #1 will be 75% whole grain by weight, since U.S. sorghum products are whole grain (at least, any that we’ve seen). People have asked about basing breads on almond, millet, or quinoa, but we found that if you try to base a yeasted bread on any of those, it just doesn’t work–the texture and flavor weren’t close enough to traditional bread for most of our tasters and readers.

The other thing is to focus on the recipes that use Mixture #2, which appears in Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day on page 62 (and use it in the recipes on pages 96-108). Mixture #2 is 100% whole grain in the first place.

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Substitutions for ingredients in our gluten-free recipes

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We tried to accommodate a wide variety of food sensitivities in our gluten-free book, but some people have asked about substitutions for what we call for in the book’s flour mixtures, and on this page, we’ll summarize swaps for flours that some of our readers don’t eat. Others may be possible, but these are the ones we’ve tested and liked.

Our Flour Mixture #1 is based on rice, sorghum, tapioca, and potato, with xanthan gum or psyllium providing structure. If you’re sensitive to the bold-faced ingredient in the list below, you can try swapping one of the suggestions. But keep in mind that if the recipe already has some of that ingredient, you may throw off the flavor or consistency. Are other substitutions possible? All we can say is that they might work, but we just haven’t tested them yet. Experiment, and adjust the liquids as needed:

White rice flour: can be replaced by brown rice flour, but you need to increase the water by 2 tablespoons per full batch of our dough recipes. We have not been able to get good results without some rice flour in the recipes.

Sorghum flour: can be replaced with oat or amaranth flour

Tapioca starch/flour: can be replaced with arrowroot starch/flour or cornstarch. However, cornstarch cannot be omitted from our brioche recipe– it doesn’t go both ways!

Potato starch: You can try proportionally increasing the other starches/flours in the flour mixture, but you may have to adjust the water to keep the consistency at about the level that you see in our TV segments.

Finally, some readers have asked why we didn’t base our gluten-free flour mixtures on ingredients like almond, millet, or quinoa, and while we use those in some of our recipes in the book, we’ve found that they don’t make a good yeasted bread unless they are used in relatively small amounts.

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Dense or gummy interior, or inadequate rising. What am I doing wrong?

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If the breads in Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day are coming out dense or gummy, or don’t seem to rise as much as you expect, here are the things to check:

Expectations: No question about it, gluten-free breads are denser than wheat breads, and they don’t rise as high. Plus, they get most of their loft in the hot oven (that’s called oven spring). Don’t expect to see a lot of visible change while the loaf is resting (after its shaped).

Wrong hydration: In other words, too much or too little water relative to the flour mixture. If you’re swapping for a flour that we didn’t test with, go back to Bob’s Red Mills gluten-free flours, which are the only ones readily available in U.S. supermarkets, and test again. Other flours may absorb water differently, and you may need to adjust. If you can’t find Bob’s, you may need to adjust the water–take a look at our videos so you can see what the dough looks like fully mixed. If there’s no explanation for your overly wet dough, consider mixing it a little drier next time–increase the flour by 1/8-cup, or decrease the liquids a little.

Swapping in a flour or other ingredient we didn’t test with: As above, all bets are off if you aren’t using what we tested with. In particular, we did not have good results with rice flours from Asian markets.

Measurement  problems: You’ll get most accurate results if you weigh the ingredients rather than using cup-measures. We’ve had good experience with the Escali and the Eatsmart digital scales. Cup measures may be allowing too much (or too little) flour, which throws off the hydration.

Oven temperature may be off: Always check with an oven thermometer.

Adequately preheat your baking stone: Some ovens require a longer preheat than the 20 or 30 minutes we specify in the book.

Resting time: Make sure you’re resting for the full interval that we recommend in the book.

Large loaf: In general, we tested these as small loaves (usually one pound), so if you made something larger, rest them for longer, and bake them for longer.

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Gluten: What is it? And what grains contain gluten?

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Short answer: it is a protein that’s found in wheat, wheat variants, barley, and rye. These grains are found in many of the foods we eat.

But I am chagrined! It seems that I, the doctor on the team, was destined to write the six pages in our gluten-free book called:

So what’s the problem with gluten? For whom? A wee bit of science

But my “wee bit of science” never tells our readers exactly what gluten is! So my apologies for that. Maybe I should ask Jimmy Kimmel if I can be in his “What is Gluten? video (not to single out Angelenos, but they don’t seem to know, and I didn’t help matters!):

The longer answer: Gluten is formed when two proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye (gliadin and glutenin)–are mixed with water. It’s gliadin that causes the immune reaction in celiac disease. Plant scientists call these “storage proteins” because they serve as the protein source for the emerging seedling (remember that these foods are seeds).

Even if you understand what gluten is, and the fact that it’s found in wheat, barley and rye, you may not know all the varieties of wheat that don’t contain the word “wheat” in their name. Here is a longer list of grains that contain gluten, but remember, many foods contain hidden gluten sources based on these grains:

Wheat (all-purpose flour, bread flour, whole wheat flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, graham flour, pastry flour)

Barley and barley malt

Bulgur

Durum

Einkorn

Emmer

Faro (sometimes spelled farro)

Freekeh

Kamut

Rye

Semolina

Spelt

Sprouted wheat, sprouted wheat flour

Triticale

Yeast brands that contain enzymes or dough enhancers which enhance wheat doughs. Most yeast brands are fine. These enzymes/enhancers are often derived from wheat, so check to be sure your yeast is labeled “gluten free.”

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