Posted by: Budger | May 16, 2010

Budger’s Baking Adventures – Crusty Rosemary Boule Bread

I am not a huge bread eater.  I have never been a sandwich fan, and I generally don’t eat bread with my meals unless I’m eating out, and the bread basket is on the table.  However, I always had either a slice of toast or an english muffin every morning for breakfast.  Since I started Budging Gluten, I have yet to find bread that I thought was decent.  So when my mom and I made plans to get together over Mother’s Day, I went in search of a bread recipe that we could try.   

I was looking for something that was more suitable for breakfast, but when I saw this recipe on Tasty Yummies, I had to try it.  It looked so good.  It was the first picture of gluten-free bread that actually made me salivate as I pictured dipping it in olive oil or tomato sauce.  I sent the link to my mom, and she agreed that we needed to give it a try.   

The first attempt at Gluten-Free baking was in the morning.  My mom and I made Mini Cheddar Biscuits to go with the frittata that I made.  They did not turn out very good, and so I went into the bread baking in the afternoon with low expectations.  But the recipe sounded so easy that I thought maybe it would go better.    

So not only was this my first attempt at baking gluten-free bread, it was my first attempt at baking bread.  (Hence the reason for inviting the expert to come down and join me in this adventure.)  Before we get into how our day went, let me explain one reason why I don’t like to bake.  I hate flour.  Not the taste, or what it does, but the fact that it seems to get everywhere.  Whenever I, or anyone else, is using flour in my kitchen, I feel like I have to follow them around trying to catch flour like ash off of a cigarette.  The other thing I hate is having sticky stuff on my hands.  Some people love to get their hands into food when they cook.  I don’t and to have something that was going to be sticky and gooey was not in the least appealing to me.  But in order to try new adventures, sometimes you have to force yourself out of your comfort zone.  So I put my big girl panties on, sucked it up, and dug in.  

One of the first benefits was that I finally used the stand mixer that I inherited from my mother-in-law.  When the hubby and I were cleaning out her house, I wanted to sell it at the garage sale, and my husband convinced me to take it.  I told him I would never use it, but he twisted my arm, and it made the trip home from Wyoming.  That was 3 years ago.  I dug it out of the cupboard, where it had been stored for those 3 years unused, and my mom gave me a quick lesson in how it works, and away we went.   

My first impression was that Sorghum Flour looks like something I would use to patch the grout on my kitchen tile.  It just was not appetizing while making the dough.  I kept waiting for that flashback to when I was little and I would watch my mom make bread, and the mix started to look like dough, and you knew when it came out of the oven it was going to be warm, light, yummy goodness.  That never happened here.   

We got it mixed, and set it aside to rise.  Amazingly enough, it did rise, and it even had a nice smell while it was baking.  We served it with our dinner of Braised Short Ribs, and it was very good.  Even hubby liked it.  I think my oven is running a little hot, and it got browner than I prefer, so next time I will watch that a little more carefully.  And here it is.  My first attempt at bread baking, and it is gluten-free.   

Gluten-Free Crusty Rosemary Boule Bread


 Following is the recipe from the Tasty Yummies post.   

Gluten-Free Crusty Rosemary Boule Bread

Adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois via Gluten Free Girl & the Chef
Makes enough dough for  two 1-pound loaves  

1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 tablespoon granulated active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (heated to 110°F)
2 large eggs, at room temperature*
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, taken off the stem and finely chopped
olive oil
coarse sea salt  

*Tasty Yummies recommends  putting the eggs in a lukewarm bath for about 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature.  We did this, and it worked well.  

Mix together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you are doing this by hand).  

Add the water, eggs, oil, and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix with the paddle attachment (or with a large spoon if you are mixing by hand) for a few moments until the dough has fully come together. It will be soft. It will sort of slump off the paddle. Don’t worry. That’s the right texture. Add the rosemary and mix one more time.  

Put the dough in a large, clean bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Put the dough in a warm place in your kitchen, then leave it alone to rise about 2 hours.  

When you are ready to bake, take about 1 pound of the dough (1/2 of the total amount) out of the container and place it on parchment paper, using wet hands form it into a squat oval shape or small ball.  Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest for 40 minutes. (If you are pulling the dough out of the refrigerator, let it rest for 1 1/2 hours before baking it.)  

Half an hour before you will put the bread into the oven to bake, turn on the oven to 450°.  

Before baking, make 1/4-inch-deep cuts with a serrated knife to the top of the dough. Pour on a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.  

Put the dough and the parchment paper on the baking sheet and return it to the hot oven. Close the oven door and bake the bread until the top has lightly browned and the bread feels firm, about 35 minutes. (Also, the internal temperature of the bread should be at least 180°.)  

Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool at least 15 minutes before slicing.  

So lessons learned: I now know how to use a stand mixer, and I am glad that we schlepped it back from Wyoming.  I can make bread without having a haze of flour all over my kitchen, and  although I did have dough sticking on my hands, I survived.  And finally,  I can bake.   As I said in my previous post, our adventure into gluten-free baking was a little more than a 50% success.  This definitely fell into the success column, and I am anxious to try this again.


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