Making your loaf the best it can be – Tips for successful bread-making:
New gluten free bakers please note: gluten free bread is very solid compared to a standard loaf of bread. This is due to the lack of gluten, a protein which makes normal breads soft and flexible and helps them to rise. As a result, gluten free breads have a smaller volume and a finer, heavier consistency. Because gluten free breads do not contain wheat, the taste and smell will be somewhat different also due to the different grains used.
All quantities must be measured accurately for the best results. Level metric cup and spoon measures were used for these recipes, however for best results we recommend weighing the ingredients.
If an accurate scale is not available 500g of Simple Bread mix can be obtained in the following way: loosen the flour, scoop into the measure (cup or spoon) and level off with a spatula. Do not compact or pat flour down into cup.
3 cups + ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp OR
3 cups + ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp
A Panasonic SD-253 Bread Maker was used to develop and test most of these recipes. On this bread maker a 3 hour cycle can be obtained by pressing the Select button to obtain the Whole-wheat setting and the Option button to obtain the Rapid Bake setting. This is not under the gluten free section of this machine. If you have a Breadmaker you may need a shorter cycle (2-2.5hrs). Do check that the recipe size suits your bread-maker based on liquid and dry ingredient quantities.
Ensure that all ingredients used are wheat and gluten free by reading the ingredient list and any allergen statement on the product pack before using.
Check the yeast has not expired, old yeast gives poor breadmaking results. Always store yeast in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. A warm cupboard will inactivate the yeast. If you are noticing poor performance from normal breadmaking, try another batch of yeast.
Be sure to use the correct quantity of yeast – either 5g or 10g yeast (depending on the baking method), and 50 – 60ml of oil.
- To measure 5g of yeast: 1 level metric teaspoon + 1 level metric teaspoon.
- To measure 10g of yeast: One slightly heaped metric tablespoon of yeast.
Allow the yeast to soften and dissolve in the water for a few minutes before adding the other ingredients especially when large granules of yeast are used. This helps the yeast to disintegrate and become well dispersed within the dough and helps it to rise. We recommend adding the water/yeast mixture before the bread dough as the bread maker is loaded, so that it is mixed thoroughly into the mixture. If the water is too warm then overproofing and hole formation will occur.
When using the bread maker, use a little less yeast to prevent the bread from becoming overproofed. If the dough is overproofed, there is insufficient yeast action remaining to allow oven rise during baking. This will create a hole in the middle of the loaf.
Check the bread mixture in the breadmaker is the consistency of moist mashed potato before the baking process starts. If it looks dry add more water.
If adding salt, never allow it to come into direct contact with the yeast as this will inactivate it.
Sugar and Honey
The addition of sugar or honey produces a lighter, less dense and less chewy loaf. Use one teaspoon of sugar or honey per 500g Bread Mix and add to the yeast solution at the start. Check frequently as the mixture may rise quickly within 20 minutes. Oven baked breads will require only 30 minutes of baking with the addition of sugar.
We recommend using 500g of Simple bread mix with 420ml of water. However water may be adjusted in small (± 20ml) increments for subsequent loaves if the results are not as desired. Addition of too much water results in a loaf that is dense and ‘rubbery’.
Gluten free breads are improved by the addition of extra protein from milk powder (cow, goat, or soy – add 1 ½ cups powder), eggs (add one egg per loaf), ground nuts, or gelatine to assist rising and baking. If there are no intolerances to these ingredients eggs give the best results
followed by milk powder.
Adding ½ cup grated cheese to the bread mixture makes the bread moist and last for up to a week. For a fan bake oven, bake at 170 degrees C initially, and then for the last 15 minutes lower temperature to 150 degrees C.
Improve Loaf Size
Add one banana and one teaspoon of honey to the mixture (it will only have a banana taste if the banana is brown). For consistent results mix all the ingredients in a bowl before putting them into the breadmaker. Banana makes the loaf moister and less dense, and the honey keeps it fresh for longer.
The addition of ¼ cup chopped nuts, especially almonds or walnuts, along with sunflower or pumpkin seeds whole or ground, will improve the nutritional benefits and protein levels of your bread.
To increase fibre content add 1 to 2 heaped dessertspoons of Healtheries Ground Linseed, or Healtheries LSA (ground linseed, sunflower and almond meal) to each recipe.
Some recipes are more successful if hand mixed rather than using the paddle in the Breadmaker. However if bread is made in the bread maker, the dough should have soft lines on the top of the dough indicating the path of the paddle, and be thin enough to be smooth and shiny, not dull.
A second rising is not required for gluten free breads and adds unnecessary time.
When the bread rises and sinks or creates a hole in the middle of the loaf – usually a result of cooking too long, too much yeast, or the water being too warm (i.e. in summer). It also indicates insufficient yeast action remaining to allow oven rise during baking. Loaves baked in a conventional oven can also become overproofed if left to proof for too long before being baked. When using a breadmaker use less yeast to prevent the bread from becoming overproofed.
If your loaf is not cooked / doughy / not risen, it is usually due to not enough yeast/old yeast, not cooked long enough, water being too cold (i.e. in winter).
Store unused Bread Mix in a sealed bag in a cool dry place.
Do freeze bread, either whole loaf or individual slices, that aren’t to be eaten on the day it is made, otherwise bread will dry out very quickly. Be sure to wrap tightly in plastic film wrap.