I’m fortunate to not have many allergies. I’m allergic to a couple of medications and, randomly, Star Fruit of all things. But apart from that I have no other allergies (that I’m aware of) and for that I’m very thankful because there are two fairly common intolerances that I would hate to have – the first being peanuts; I love peanuts, and especially peanut butter. The other is gluten; as an avid baker and lover of bread in general I’d stuffed if I had a gluten allergy.
But I know that not everyone is as fortunate as I am when it comes to food allergies and quite a few of my friends can’t tolerate gluten. So, after a request to look into gluten-free breads, I looked into how to make a gluten free white loaf as the starting point into my glutenless investigations, determined to make the very best loaf that I can.
I can report, for a first foray into Gluten Free territory, it turned out rather well! It was a new experience for me because, unlike regular bread, the “dough” is more like a very thick cake batter, it only has a single proving, and there’s no need to, er, knead. So to give the bread a lighter structure you need to include egg whites and vinegar along with the yeast to give it that lift. Why? I honestly don’t know the science behind it, but all of my research seemed to point to the necessity to do this. Just make sure you don’t use malt vinegar, since it’s made from barley which is a gluten-containing ingredient! I use either cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
Naturally, I tried my bread after it was finished and it was actually pretty good! It looks slightly more “cakey” than standard bread, it’s very hard to get a true, traditional loaf shape using gluten free dough, and it had a slightly different flavour to a regular loaf which, I believe, is down to the vinegar and egg white. If you put a gluten free loaf and a regular loaf in front of me, then I would choose the regular loaf every time. But, if you can’t have regular bread, then this is a perfectly good alternative.
I will be looking further into Gluten Free recipes, and if I manage to improve upon this recipe then I will update it accordingly!
Gluten Free White BreadPrint Recipe
- 500g Gluten Free White Bread Flour
- 20g Fast Action Yeast
- 10g Salt
- 30g Sugar
- 100ml Olive Oil
- 400ml Water
- 2 Egg Whites
- 1tsp Cider or White Wine Vinegar
Separate the egg whites from the yolk and place into a mixing bowl. Add in the sugar, vinegar, salt, and half the olive oil and whisk the mixture for a couple of minutes until it looks light and airy.
Pour in the water to the mixture and whisk again for another minute.
Sift the flour into the liquid mixture and add the yeast. Now slowly fold the flour into the mixture until it's completely combined, making sure it's as smooth as possible.
Preheat an oven to 220°C (200°C Fan)/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
Grease a 2lb loaf tin with a little olive oil, and transfer the dough into tin and then drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the top of the dough.
Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for one hour or until the loaf has risen to the top of the tin.
Place into the oven on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 40 minutes - It should sound hollow when you tap the bottom - and leave to cool on a wire rack.