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Tips for Celiacs – Bread Baking Tips

Bread baking was a skill passed along from one generation to the next in my family. Beginning when we were little girls, my mother taught my sisters and me how to mix and knead yeast breads, how to shape the dough into loaves, rolls, and fancy twists, and how to know when bread had baked long enough. Very little of what I had learned as a child about making regular yeast breads applied to the gluten-free bread I needed later in life, however.

When I tried using traditional bread making techniques with gluten-free flours, my bread fell in the middle, had a grainy texture, and crumbled when it was sliced. There was one principle that still applied, though, and it was that if I did not succeed on first attempt, I should keep experimenting! Over time, I experimented with various changes in recipes and methods, and I had results ranging from bread that failed to rise to bread that rose up and dripped over the edge of the pan, and from loaves whose centers had the consistency of bread pudding to loaves with the texture of sand.

After eleven years of gluten-free baking, I am still experimenting with new flours, new recipes and new techniques. While I still have not achieved the status of expert baker, I have learned a few principles for making and storing gluten-free bread:

Homemade Dough Enhancer

One-third cup granular lecithin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid (Vitamin C powder)

Mix ingredients together. Use the same amount of dough enhancer as the amount of yeast required by the recipe, adding it to the dry ingredients. Store remaining dough enhancer in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container.

Allergy warning: lecithin is usually made from soy or egg yolk.

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