Baking Gluten-Free Bread in a Breadmaker
Every time I teach a cooking class or publish a new gluten-free bread recipe, I invariably get the question: “Can I bake gluten-free bread in a breadmaker?” I love that I can answer, “YES!”
The sad truth is that most folks are afraid to bake gluten-free yeast bread. We’ve all had those hard bricks-posing-as-bread foisted off on us by well-meaning friends and relatives, and some of us have even tried to bake gluten-free bread with such disappointing results. So it’s understandable that soft, delicious homemade gluten-free bread might seem like a mirage. That’s where breadmakers come in.
For anyone leery of baking gluten-free bread from scratch, and for those who don’t have a stand mixer, a breadmaker is your new best friend. It can be as simple as dumping ingredients into the pan and pushing a button. Then wait for that yummy nirvana of heavenly yeasty bread aromas to permeate every room of your home, beckoning you to make a sandwich … without having to toast the bread first!
My Breadmaker Pointers:
1- You don’t have to have the most expensive breadmachine to have the best bread. I travel with my breadmakers for many cooking classes, and I won’t risk a big investment being in the hands of the TSA. So I buy mid-range breadmakers: Oster, BreadMan or Cuisinart (my favorite). These are all in the $50-$125 range. Check out my Recommended Products tab up top for my preferred brands and models.
2- You don’t have to have a breadmaker with a gluten-free setting to bake gluten-free bread. But it helps. If you have an older breadmaker without a GF setting, make sure it’s totally clean from any gluten residue. If there are scratches on the pan or the paddle, buy new ones because they could house gluten left-over from the last loaf. If you are in the market for a new breadmaker though, buy one with a Gluten-Free Setting.
3- For breadmakers without a gluten-free setting — read your manual to find out how to override the pre-programmed settings. Program the machine for 1) a mix cycle 2) a rise cycle 3) a bake cycle. Do not allow the machine to do a “punch down” or second rise! Those are settings specific to gluten breads, but they will damage your gluten-free loaf.
4- Always bring ingredients to room temperature before mixing a gluten-free bread dough. For eggs, heat a bowl of water and put the un-cracked eggs in the bowl to bring them to room temperature.
5- Always put liquid ingredients into a breadmaker pan first. Dry ingredients go on top. If you can whisk the dry ingredients together before pouring them into the pan, that is best.
6- Keep a rubber spatula handy and help the breadmaker out a bit during the mix cycle. Go around the pan with the spatula to help the ingredients incorporate.
7- Buy an instant read thermometer. They cost around $5 and can be found at most grocery or baking stores. Always take your bread’s temperature before you take it out of the oven or the breadmaker. It might look and smell done, but if it’s not 205-210° F, it’s not done in the middle. Add extra time to your breadmaker or put the breadmaker’s pan into your oven on 350° F for another 5-10 minutes (keep taking its temperature).
8- Let your bread cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. Lay the pan on its side for a few minutes, then shift to the other side for a few minutes. Gently remove it from the pan after it has cooled a bit, then cool completely on a wire rack before cutting (if you can resist!).
9- Store cooled bread in a zip-top bag on your counter – depending on the recipe and ingredients, it should stay fresh that way for a few days.
10- Never refrigerate your breads or you will dry them out! You can also slice the bread and freeze it in a zip-top freezer bag so you always have bread handy.
Bonus #11 – If you really want a tall, fluffy loaf of bread, beer bread or bread made with other carbonated beverages like club soda or gingerale, is the way to go! Check out the height of my gluten-free beer bread! And here’s another wonderful sandwich bread you can bake in your bread maker or oven!
So get baking!!