Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is released

GF Book and Cloche 01

After a long year of testing, writing, and thinking about gluten-free bread, Zoe and I are proud to announce that our new book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is going to be released for sale tomorrow, October 21, 2014. It’ll be available in independent bookstores, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and all the online sellers, all over the U.S. (and actually, the world). Continue reading

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).

Inadequate mixing: Consider using a stand mixer if you’re finding the loaves to be denser than you like. It’s certainly possible to get good results by mixing with a spoon or dough whisk, but you really have to work at it, to get a completely smooth mixture, and some of our readers are giving up too soon. Bottom line, the stand mixer will give more reliable results. One thing to be aware of–the very high capacity stand mixers (eg., 6.5-quart) don’t work well for this gluten-free dough–it seems to “climb” up the flat beater and avoid the mixing process. Stick with the 5-quart capacity, or the 5.5-quart.

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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Onion Poppy Seed Twist Bread

onion twist bread | Breadin5 13

Onions and poppy seeds have to be the most aromatic and delicious combination of flavors. They have been featured on Jewish breads from Bialys, Pletzels and Bagels for centuries. Here’s a new twist (sorry couldn’t resist the bad pun) on the classics. I started with whole wheat bread, spread the savory filling on the dough, rolled it up and then cut the log in two before twisting them together, so you can see the filling peek out. The result is beautiful, but the best part of this loaf if the aroma as it bakes.  Continue reading

Jeff at the Twin Cities Book Festival this Saturday October 11

Jeff At Twin Cities Book Festival

Jeff will be at the Twin Cities Book Festival this Saturday, October 11, located in the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, at 2:00pm at the booth for Common Good Books (Garrison Keillor’s St. Paul bookstore). Jeff will be talking about the upcoming Gluten Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Author hub at there’ll be lots of other Minnesota authors on hand. 

Jeff will be at the St. Louis Park Costco for a book-signing on Saturday, October 25, 2014, from 1:00 to 3:00pm

Jeff measuring the water

Well, the picture’s a little deceptive because I won’t be demonstrating the method, but I will be signing Costco’s copies of Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! Zoe’s in Los Angeles at another event, but I’ll be at the store in St. Louis Park, at 5801 W 16th St., St Louis Park, MN 55416, from 1:00 to 3:00pm

Crock Pot Cinnamon Rolls

crockpot cinnamon rolls | bread in 5

Well, we’ve made our Master recipe in a crock pot, our brioche in a crock pot, dinner rolls, and even our gluten-free dough in the slow cooker. It seemed a good time to add to the list, and so we took on cinnamon rolls. I’m happy to report that they work just as well; it’s as easy as rolling out dough, brushing some butter and sprinkling sugar, shaping rolls, and then letting them bake for an hour. My family couldn’t tell they weren’t baked in the oven, and my kids had the best after school snack of the year.

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We’re in Living Without’s Gluten Free & More Magazine!

Cover

Our new book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which officially goes on sale October 21, appears in this October-November issue of Living Without’s Gluten Free & More Magazine. Click here to read the whole piece on-line, or squint and try to read below–we’re one of Living Without’s “Favorite Books”… Continue reading

Apple and Honey Challah

Apple Challah | Breadin5 12

Tomorrow I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with family and friends. It is traditional to eat lots of honey and apples during this high holy day to usher in the new year with sweetness. The challah dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with honey, then I fold chopped apples into the dough and braid it into a circle. You can do any shape you like, but the circle is meant to symbolize the full cycle of the coming year. This bread may be ubiquitous at the high holy days, but it is wonderful anytime, especially during apple picking season here in the Midwest. 

Apple Challah | Breadin5 17 Continue reading