If you have been keeping up with recent posts, you know my mom was recently diagnosed with celiac disease, and she has made many menu adjustments. The biggest challenge so far has been finding a gluten free bread she likes. There are a lot of options available, but Mom found them lacking in taste, texture, or both. She tried both off-the-shelf products and frozen ones, but none made good toast or sandwiches, both of which had been a regular part of her diet for years. I briefly toyed with the idea of making gluten-free bread for Mom. Dismay quickly set in as I searched for recipes and saw the number of different gluten free flour products necessary to bake a single loaf of bread! My research turned up a gluten free bread mix from King Arthur Flour, and since I already enjoyed using other King Arthur products in my kitchen, I bought the bread mix with a sense of cautious optimism.
Based on my experience (which is now up to a half-dozen loaves), I recommend using a stand mixer (like my KitchenAid) for making the bread. You might be able to successfully mix it with a hand mixer, but my KitchenAid mixer makes it very easy. The recipe on the box allows for a vegan version, but I chatted online with one of King Arthur’s friendly bakers who recommended butter and milk, rather than oil and water, for a softer texture. The bread dough is very soft and moist, and not nearly as stiff as wheat bread dough would be, but just like wheat bread dough, it rises twice before baking. The bread smells heavenly while baking, and makes a very nice 9″ x 5″ loaf. The recipe indicates the bread can be baked in an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan, which I tried, but the 9″ x 5″ loaf is better suited for toast and sandwiches. I was very pleasantly surprised at the taste and texture of the first loaf I baked, but it had to be frozen before I could get it to Mom and I wasn’t sure how it would fare after thawing. My concerns were quickly put to rest when I had a text from Mom raving about the toast she had made, and later the same day, a second text arrived saying she had enjoyed a sandwich for lunch for the first time in weeks!
Here are some tips Mom and I have developed to successfully bake and enjoy the bread.
- Definitely use milk and butter in the bread mix if you can. The bread’s texture is excellent with those ingredients.
- Let the bread cool completely, then slice it as soon as it is cool. Use an electric knife or slicer for more uniform slices. (Mom gave me her vintage Oster slicer, and it does a great job.)
- Freeze whatever you aren’t going to eat right away. We individually wrap 2 slices of bread together so it is easy to remove a single serving from the freezer without continually exposing the entire loaf to air and potential freezer burn. (Love the Ziploc Perfect Portions freezer bags!) Put the wrapped bread slices in a freezer bag or plastic container before freezing.
- When ready to serve, remove the bread from the freezer bags, wrap the slices in a paper towel and warm in the microwave for about 10 seconds on full power (your microwave could vary).
Gluten intolerance is a problem for many people, but as Mom is learning, there are many good alternative selections. King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix is a delicious option for those who have given up traditional wheat bread by choice or necessity. I’ve found the bread mix in several markets in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, but you can also order it online. Buy several boxes, because chances are, you will love this bread as much as Mom does!
Where to buy King Arthur Gluten Free Bread Mix