The Grand Experiment: A Report

I know. It’s Saturday. And I’m blogging. WTF? Read on.

Seeing as how the last time I posted, I was talking about the quest for the perfect loaf of gluten-free bread, I’ll give you the report on that and some updates.

The America’s Test Kitchen sandwich bread was, as I said, okay. It was softer than Udi’s, but much denser and a bit chewier, which makes it less palatable. It was okay untoasted, but seemed to do really well when it was toasted…a lot.

Then I moved on to the Gluten Free On A Shoestring “Soft White Sandwich Bread.” It was, as I’ve said before, almost like performing chemistry instead of making bread: in addition to the flour mix which is required for any gluten-free baking, there was the addition of the myriad of oddball ingredients which, while all very well-reasoned in the book, seem just a bit over the top.

I mixed it up as instructed. Put it in my spiffy new proofing bucket and put that in the fridge. Where it sat. For two-plus days. On the third day, much like Jesus, the stone was pushed aside, and the dough was removed from the fridge. I reviewed the instructions and proceeded to knead and then form and then place the dough in the pan.

Where it didn’t rise quite as expected.

I baked it anyway, tried out the cooled loaf, and found that it was almost inedible. Dense, hard, and disappointing. About the only plus going for it was its nice crumb.

So I went back to figure out where I went wrong. And there, in the fine print was a reference back to a different section of the book telling me that kneading isn’t really kneading (more just folding over on itself while flouring lightly), and forming is nearly the same, just a bit more delicate.

Yep. So any chance I had at having the bread turn out right was blitzed almost the minute I pulled it out of the fridge. At some point, though, I will try again. And I’ll remember not to knead.

WaffleSince then, I’ve made gluten-free Belgian waffles, which turned out quite well. This bodes well in a household where the breakfast cake of choice is a waffle. So that one’s highly recommended.

But tonight, I moved on to the next experiment which actually has great importance: pie crust. See, Jenni loves pies. Pumpkin, lemon meringue, apple…and she loves the quiches I make, but prefers them to have a crust rather than the crustless versions I’ve made lately. If this one goes as well as it sounds, she’ll be in pie heaven once again. And I can give mom the recipe so she can make a gluten-free lemon meringue pie for Easter.

Fingers crossed. More coming.

See you tomorrow.