Glutten-Free Tales #2: Screw You, Guar Gum

So last time I had some, ah, digestive distress after eating a gluten-free bread with guar gum in it. If you google for guar gum laxative, well, there you go. Supposedly small amounts of guar gum, as used in baking, should not result in a laxative effect, but Cybele Pascala compared xanthum versus guar in gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. So yeah.

Anyways, I’m not using Bob’s Red Mill’s pre-made gluten-free bread mixes—nor other pre-made gluten-free bread mixes, as many (if not all) use guar gum. Sigh.

However, I did turn to using a GF sandwich bread recipe from Bob’s Red Mill anyways for my second attempt at gluten-free, guar-gum-free bread in the Zojirushi Mini Home Bakery, along with some other tricks.

I know the recipe is made for a conventional oven, but the wonderful thing about bread machines is that you often can just use straight conventional recipes straight. Just make sure you put the ingredients in the pan in the order that the manufacturer suggests, not the recipe.

This is getting longs—pictures and stuff beneath the cut.

Step 1: Adjusting for the Mini Home Bakery

Unlike the Deluxe Home Bakery, the Mini can only handle small 1lb loaves. This is perfect for me, since I live alone and hate bread going to waste. So any recipe you run across usually needs to be halved. This can lead to some awkward measurements, but here’s the resized recipe—and in the order that they need to be put in the pan.

3/4 cup warm milk or “milk”; I used unsweetened plain almond milk
3/8 cup whole egg (i.e., 3 fl oz); two large eggs are exactly this
1/8 cup vegetable oil; I used olive oil, which isn’t a vegetable oil per se
1/2 tsp cider vinegar; if you can find dough enhancer instead, use it

I didn’t mix the liquids, though I did beat the eggs to get an idea of what 3 fl oz of eggs looks like.

Dry Ingredients:
1.5 cups GF All Purpose Baking Flour
1/2 Tb potato flour
3/8 tsp soy lecithin granules
1/2 Tb plus 1/2 tsp Xanthan gum; the 1/2 tsp was the guar gum
1 Tb sugar; next time I want to use honey granules
3/8 tsp salt; for serious 3/8, this is 1/4 + 25% to help prevent overproofing

I didn’t mix the dry ingredients, or mix then with the liquids; you need to stack a pile of them on top of the liquids, for the….

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast (rapid rise or bread machine)

Make a well in the dry ingredients and sprinkle the yeast into the well. This well was pretty shallow compared to my wheat recipes, since so much liquid protein is used.

Step 2: Settings Ideal for Gluten-Free Breads

Gluten-free breads don’t need as much rising time, especially with rapid rise yeast. Thus having a “quick baking” setting, with light crust (eggs tend to make crusts darker than usual) is necessary, and is what I used here.

Step 3: Watch the Kneading

The batter will be more wet than the wheat doughs one is usually used to, although some wheat recipes do result in this wet of a batter and it’s expected (usually for wheat breads, one would add more flour, but not here).

This picture was taken a couple minutes after kneading started, and it looks like cake batter:

This picture was taken about 15 minutes into the kneading period, where the dough is pulling away from the sides, but not as much as for most wheat breads:

This picture taken just after the kneading finished (and thus starting the first rise period).

Step 4: Remove Kneading Paddle

I’m not able to turn off the two stir-downs that occur during the normal rise/stir-down cycle of the Mini Home Bakery (the Deluxe Home Bakery, on the other hand, has this capability). So I need to remove the kneading paddle—carefully, as the bread pan has non-stick coating, which doesn’t mesh well with metal tongs.

The dough is liquid enough that you can just reach in with some silicon-tipped tongs—I use Orca tongs—and gently, patiently work the paddle off. I had to use a scraper to scrape some dough back into the pan—it’s sticky alright, not tacky like a wheat dough would be at this point.

Without the kneading paddle, any stir-downs won’t stir anything down, and the dough will continue to just rise.

All in all, needing to stick around for the kneading to finish means 30 minutes of very loose supervision of something else doing the kneading, and then a couple of minutes working out the paddle.

Step 5: Wait

And this part is just like the usual bit of waiting for any bread to finish in a machine.

Here we in the middle of the third rising, maybe 15-20 minutes before the baking stage starts. No stir-downs have occurred due to previous step.

Here the baking is just starting, with the dough continuing to rise:

OMG, it rose all the way to nearly the top of the bread maker, and over the bread pan (without dripping down the sides of the pan)! This is how my wheat breads would turn out. Although they had smoother tops, given that they could be worked into balls by the kneading paddle—not so much here, so the top is a bit unusual.

ETA: Missed a picture. Here’s the OMG:

Step 6: Wait some more for it to cool off

Here’s the bread just finished baking!

You can definitely tell that this batter is more like a soda bread and less like a wheat bread just due to the top. Perhaps guar gum would have made the top still smoother, but I’m fine with this.

Here’s the finished product, cooling. It definitely still has a head.

The top is a little weird, but on the other hand, it’s present. You can see the bumps that correspond to the drippings above.

Step 7: Into Mah Belly

I sliced it carefully less than half an hour after cooling with a serrated bread knife with a very light coating of PAM. Oh-ho-ho.

It is bread, and it is glorious. After it cooled down quite a bit more and the slices had firmed up a bit, I made a very plain turkey sandwich from two slices.

I, ah, got a bit too enthusiastic and was already eating part of the bottom slice before I realized I should try it as, you know, a sandwich bread. It worked quite well, and did not fall apart at all. One odd thing is that, while it resembles a slice of refined white wheat bread, its taste is much closer to a whole wheat bread. If you’re used to the sweetness of a white bread, this might surprise you. If, in fact, you hate whole wheat bread, you won’t like this.

Indeed, it’s an ideal gluten-free sandwich bread. Put some little slices of meat or meat substitute on it, or spread egg salad or tofu salad on top.

This bread is very, very filling. One hefty slice is indeed the right serving size. I had two thin slices, so I’m good for the night.

Nutritional Notes

It’s not quite the recipe on Bob’s Red Mill’s page, so I calculated it out again. The count is thusly, if you split a 1lb loaf into six thick slices, per slice:

Calories  	187.4
  Total Fat 	7.8 g
    	  Saturated Fat 	1.2 g
    	  Polyunsaturated Fat 	0.3 g
    	  Monounsaturated Fat 	0.6 g
  Cholesterol 	70.8 mg
  Sodium 	238.9 mg
  Potassium 	52.8 mg
  Total Carbohydrate 	26.1 g
    	  Dietary Fiber 	4.0 g
    	  Sugars 	3.2 g
  Protein 	5.3 g
  Vitamin A 	3.4 %
  Vitamin B-12 	2.8 %
  Vitamin B-6 	1.5 %
  Vitamin C 	0.1 %
  Vitamin D 	5.3 %
  Vitamin E 	7.1 %
  Calcium 	5.4 %
  Copper 	0.2 %
  Folate 	2.0 %
  Iron 	7.7 %
  Magnesium 	1.2 %
  Manganese 	0.4 %
  Niacin 	0.2 %
  Pantothenic Acid     	2.1 %
  Phosphorus     	4.1 %
  Riboflavin 	5.0 %
  Selenium 	7.4 %
  Thiamin 	0.8 %
  Zinc 	1.3 %

One can slice it thinner, of course; or leave it thick and just eat a half sandwich (but what a half sandwich…).