Pamela’s Gluten Free Bread Mix
Another big “kudos” to one of my favorite gluten free companies, “Pamela’s.” I just tried her bread mix for the first time and it’s fantastic. it is slightly denser than the GF Pantry Favorite Sandwich Breadmix, but also less crumbly when it is packed for lunch.
It’s great for several reasons. First, it’s one of her typical “easy mixes.” It doesn’t require any difficult instructions, extra ingredients or items at different temperatures. Just put everything in the pan and you’re done. Second, it was easy to bake in the bread maker on the “light” setting (1:58) and a “medium” crust. (Although, next time I might do the 2:05 setting to see the difference.) Finally, it made a nice big loaf of bread, worthy of any sandwich items. It was a bit more “gluteny” than the Gluten Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread mix, meaning far less crumbling. It tasted great and held together well. It looked A LOT like wheat bread, actually. (see picture above)
Making homemade bread can be tricky, whether it’s gluten free or not. It doesn’t help to have a bread machine, either, until you figure out which setting works best for each mix. I say this because my wonderful little sister (recently baking gluten free!) said that my faithful stand-by gluten free bread (Gluten Free Pantry Favorite Sandwich Bread mix) was, let’s say, less than satisfactory. So, for all my gluten free friends and family out there new to the gluten free bread world, I have some tips for you!
Tip #1: You may have to try a mix more than once until you get your bread maker settings correct. I remember my first loaf of bread was just terrible. Then I got desperate for bread awhile later and tried again. Much better.
Tip #2: Pay close attention to the directions. If something in the mix is supposed to be at room temperature, ice cold, etc., then make sure that it is.
Tip #3: Liquids go first. Then the mix. Then the yeast goes on top of the mix. DON’T let the yeast touch the liquid. Bad juju, folks.
Tip #4: Understand that this is not WHEAT bread. It won’t taste like wheat. It won’t be mushy like wheat bread. Depending on the mix, your bread may be more crumbly. That’s because gluten proteins (wheat, rye, barley etc) are what make regular breads hold together.
Tip #5: You have to freeze un-used bread. Gluten free mixes use other binders, such as Xanthun gum, and no preservatives. The gluten free breads have a VERY limited shelf-life (less than a day) without drying out. I always let the bread cool overnight under a towel (I bake my bread at night) and then slice it in the morning. I put two piece of bread each in a ziploc bag for easy-to-make lunches. They thaw out well in the microwave at about 45 seconds. Once it’s heated up, it’s soft and warm like fresh bread.
Tip #6: All gluten free bread is better if it’s warmed up or toasted. Don’t let anyone serve you a cold gluten free roll or bun. (Side note: that happened to me at Disneyland and, at the time, I didn’t have the heart to interupt the waiter and ask him to just heat it up for me!)
Tip #7: Don’t give up if you’ve tried one kind of gluten free bread and you don’t like it. There are many brands of mixes and pre-made breads on the market now that are terrific. Feel free to email me your favorite!