Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘Panasonic’

Gluten-free Betty Crocker + Bread Baking Disasters

Oh, the ups and downs of gluten-free life.

On the plus-side this week, I was in line at my local supermarket when this caught my eye:

After I laughed for a minute at “Pizza! Yes you can!” I picked the thing up and threw it on the conveyor belt.  When I looked through it, I was happy to see  the ingredients in many of the recipes are both less expensive and less hard to find than some more substantial gluten-free cook books and cooking manuals.

According to Celiac Facts, gluten-free expert Jean Duane and the Betty Crocker test kitchen collaborated on the magazine-style book to create GF recipes for sweet breads, dinner rolls, pizza (yes you can!), pies, muffins, cornbread, sugar cookies, waffles, scones and even gravy.  Plus, it boasts that “The Sandwich Bread is sure to become a regular in every gluten free household.”

Well, I’m gonna have to check that last part out ASAP because, on the downside this week, I have gone through three unsuccessful loaves  of sandwich bread in my beloved breadmaker (that’s $18 worth of mix).   I have found that there’s nothing more heartbreaking than waiting for four hours, and even smelling delicious bread cooking, only to open the machine to see a half-risen, rock-hard ball of what can only be called breadfail.

Breadfail 3; a moderate success, comparatively.

I troubleshooted (troubleshot?) via the Internet for a little while, and at first thought it was a problem with the kneading blade coming loose mid-knead and causing the loaf to become malformed.  But then I made two successful loaves of Cinnamon raisin bread for some friends and decided this couldn’t be it.  After the third failed loaf (the one you see above, and actually the most successful of the three), I decided it must be a problem with the yeast activating.  I bought some new ingredients and a bag of the mix at a different store and I’ll give it a go tonight.  I’m also ordering some new kinds of mix to test out, but what I’d really like to do is make my own from scratch.

Which is why I’m very excited for my next interview, with Mary Frances of the Gluten Free Cooking School.  I intend to find out exactly how one gets started creating brand new gluten-free recipes without  going crazy (and with three kids no less!).  I’ll also be talking about the e-book she wrote with her husband, The Gluten Free Survival Guide.

Look for that in the next couple days, along with an update of my loaf-baking success or failure.  The next loaf that comes out wrong will be sent flying across the room.

-Taylor

Gluten-free Christmas Wish Fulfilled: Hello New Breadmaker!

When I posted my list of gluten-free gifts a week or so ago, I jokingly posted on Facebook that “If anything good comes out of this blog, I hope it’s a bread machine for yours truly.”  Well, I have Facebook, this blog, and seven of the greatest friends to thank for this little guy:

bread maker

He’s a Panasonic SD-YD250 Bread maker, complete with automatic yeast dispenser so I don’t have to wait around to dump the yeast in.  It also has a 13-hour timer so, if I so desire, I and the rest of the house can wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread.

I’ll let you know when I find out what I did to deserve such a heartfelt gift.

Being quite a novice at the art of baking non-dessert breads, I decided to buy a pre-measured mix the first time out rather than attempt to do potato flour/millet flour/rice flour/xanthan gum measuring myself.

bob's Following the directions on that bag were fairly easy.  Figuring out how to set the right baking time, type of bread, size, and crust darkness took a little perusing of the user manual.  I chronicled my first attempt here:

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About 10 minutes in, the roommates and I started hearing the weird noises of the dough kneading, and it took a minute to realize what it was.  Then we were pretty stoked.  Forty-five minutes in,  it sounded like the dough was being spanked.  We determined that was the yeast dispenser working its magic.

Finally, around 3 hours in to the 4-hour process, we started to smell the finished product.  I’m the only GF eater in this house, but it was clear everyone was waiting for bread.

When it finally finished, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it actually looked and tasted like a loaf of bread.  It turned out so well I just feel like baking all the time now.  I’ve got one more bag of bread mix, and then I think it’ll be time to test my kitchen chemistry skills.  I’ll keep you posted.

-Taylor

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