Crackly, crunchy French bread

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MAN.  This bread.  Seriously.  I made it flawlessly 3 times, making it a little more my own each time.

Then, I bought a French bread pan, so I could stop making rigged French bread pans with tin foil.  THEN, I accidentally filled my white rice flour container with sweet rice flour.  Then it was fail after gooey French bread fail.

Before rising

I wasn’t sure if it was the pan, making the baking needs different, the starchier sweet rice flour, too much xanthan gum or the devil making it gummy, but gummy it was.  So I decided to tweak all of it.  Including kicking the devil out of my oven.

And I think I got it now.

French bread (gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free)

(adapted from here)

2 cups white rice flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
1 scant teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tablespoon active yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil
additional oil for brushing (optional)

Combine the first four ingredients thoroughly.  Slowly mix in the water, honey and yeast (if you aren’t sure if your yeast is still active, proof it in the water and honey for 5 minutes – if it gets foamy, it’s good to go), egg whites, and canola oil.

Beat with a mixer on medium for2-3 minutes.  It should be a fairly thin batter, for a bread dough (slightly thicker than pancake batter)

The goopy battery dough

Divide the dough in half, and put half into each side of the French bread pan, lined with parchment paper, sitting on a baking sheet.  You really need to use parchment here, because French bread pans have holes, and gluten free bread doughbatter will drip right through them.  Brush with the reserved oil, if you wish.  You can add diagonal slices across the top of the bread, every few inches.  They may not appear right now, but they’ll show up eventually.

Allow to rise for about 35-40 minutes, until it is doubled in bulk (but not higher than the sides of the french bread pan).

Risen too high!
(Whoops!  Too high!)

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 400 degrees for an additional 30 minutes.

Remove pan from oven – the bread should be light, crusty, and make a hollow sound when you knock on the crust.  Remove loaves from pan, and let cool (or don’t if you like hot bread!) on wire racks.

Baked

Serve with butter (if you can eat it), plain, or with Italian sausage and peppers (recipe forthcoming!!)

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4 responses to “Crackly, crunchy French bread

  1. I love french bread but need gluten free. You have made me a very happy woman. You know if you add a pan of hot water in the oven while baking the bread, it should make a chewy crust on the bread? Something French like that!

  2. I’ve never tried gluten free breads and such- but you make it looks sooo yummy!

  3. Thank you for this recipe! You are going to make my 6-year-old gluten-free gourmet a very happy little boy. :)

    -Mandy

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