I use this for more than just sandwiches – I’ve made french toast, used it to dip in soups, and even packed a slice or two in my lunch when I have a long day of classes. It holds up beautifully. And, it will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving table.
This bread doesn’t taste like sourdough. Instead, I’ve purposely used a small amount of starter in this recipe to help create a lighter loaf. It does, though, have a more complex flavor than any of the other gluten-free breads I’ve had.
Please forgive me upfront for being a little more technical than I usually am. I’ve been playing around with this recipe based on what I’ve learned about wheat-based sourdough starters and bread baking. The only way to ensure that you can replicate this at home is to tell you exactly what I did.
Weighing versus Measuring
Professional pastry chefs weigh (or scale) their ingredients – and most weigh the liquids. It’s more precise than using measuring cups. Grams and ounces are the two different units of measure used. I prefer grams because it’s more precise than ounces.
So, yes, the recipe is in grams. I could roughly translate it into cups and tablespoons, however, it wouldn’t produce the same results and you’d have a failed loaf of bread. I’d rather have you frustrated with me about the measurements than because of expensive ingredients that end up in your trash can.
Making it Pretty
Before popping the loaf in the oven, I used a fine mesh strainer to sprinkle flour over the top of the bread dough. Then, I took a very sharp serrated knife, sprayed it with cooking spray, and cut three slashes in the top of the bread. Professional bread bakers call this ‘scoring’ the loaf. I’ve found that my gluten-free breads bake better with a slash about 1/4 inch deep.
It also lets the bread expand during the baking process and create the gorgeous, irregular holes that one finds in wheat bread. This makes me happy deep down in my soul.
A hotter oven will set the sides of the loaf so that it doesn’t collapse when it comes out of the oven. I’ve baked this loaf at 350°F and 375°F and I like how the top looks better at 350°F but the loaf has more stable sides when baked at 375°F. The loaf in the picture was baked at 375°F – try both in your oven and see what works best for you.
You can tap it and look at the top if you want. I’ve been using an instant read thermometer and baking my loaves to an internal temperature of 206°F – 210°F. This has been producing a loaf with a nice crust and a crumb that’s moist without being wet.
Pushing Your Limits
You may not be comfortable with how I put this recipe together – and I’m sure that it will push some of you outside your normal comfort zone. This recipe makes a fabulous loaf of bread. And, honestly, I think that’s worth it.
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Have fun baking!