Gluten-free baking is a science of its own. Each parameter in the recipe is important, including ingredients, water temperature, the amount of yeast, the amount of salt etc. Each ingredient interacts in a specific manner with the others. Here are all our tips to maximize your chances of success.
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An essential baker’s tool is a thermometer. Because gluten-free baking requires more precision than conventional baking, temperatures indicated in recipes must be carefully respected. Yeast activates with heat. Too high a temperature kills yeast activity. Conversely, too cold a temperature slows down yeast activity and prevents bread from leavening properly, making it too dense.
In gluten-free baking, the more accurate, the more successful. For greater precision it is recommended to use a scale. Measuring cups do not have the same accuracy; in some cases, the smallest discrepancy can make a huge difference, especially if the gluten-free recipe is eggless. If a recipe calls for gram measurements, we strongly suggest using this measuring method.
Eggs are commonplace in gluten-free baking. They are a binding agent and they help bread rise higher, with a fluffier crumb. If you do not eat eggs, please refer to our chia-based egg substitute recipe:
Size of the baking mould
Gluten-free bread baking is specific… including the size of the mould! Because gluten-free dough looks and behaves like very thick cake batter, choosing the proper mould size is important. The dough needs to lean on the sides of the mould to rise properly. If the size of the mould is not proportional to the amount of dough, it will either overflow or leaven insufficiently.
Yeast makes bread dough rise but also liquefies it. A batch that is too liquid will stall while a dough that is too thick will not rise enough. The type of yeast and the quantity indicated in the recipe are key factors. Please use the proper type of yeast as indicated: regular active dry yeast or instant yeast. Regular active dry yeast must first be activated in lukewarm water before mixing with other ingredients. However, gluten-free recipes often require instant yeast. This type of yeast mixes directly with the dry ingredients, before adding liquid ingredients.
A common belief is that the more the dough is proofed, the more beautiful the bread. However, gluten-free dough is ready to bake as soon as a slight pressure of the finger leaves a mark.
Unlike conventional bread, which is inserted in the oven only once the preset temperature is reached, gluten-free bread proofing finishes as the oven reaches the preset temperature. The dough will continue rising and then start baking. This allows the yeast to complete its action and help the loaf leaven as desired. However, if the original temperature of the oven is too high, yeast activity will stop too quickly and prevent the bread from reaching an optimal height.
Mould liner: alternative to parchment paperchemin
To prevent gluten-free bread from sticking to the sides of the mould, parchment paper is often recommended as a liner. As an alternative, sunflower, hemp, pumpkin or sesame seeds may be used. Just oil the bottom and sides of the mould and cover with seeds. The bread will not stick to the mould and its crust will be simply delicious!
There you go! Now you are ready for the next step, making your own gluten-free bread!