Getting Ready for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread!

Getting Ready for Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread!

Overhead view of bowls of ingredients for bread [pinit] Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread is coming! I promise it. It will not be delayed again (PROMISE). I know that many of you pre-ordered (thank you thank you thank you). I know what a leap of faith that is (the Look Inside feature on amazon isn’t even live yet!). I appreciate it more than you know. More than words can say. And since this is the Internet, words and pictures are all we have to connect us. I can’t bake for you, you can’t hear my voice and we can’t hug it out (at least not yet). I don’t take any of it for granted. Please do know that. You know that, though, right?

About that delay … I think I can put your mind at ease. Although yes, the official pub date was delayed by another week (but it’s all printed and on its way to my publisher (and me!) right now), my publisher has been promised by their Amazon.com rep that Amazon will still do everything they can to ship pre-orders on November 25. That’s in 10 days! That’s a week from Monday. That’s … soon! Stay calm, Nicole. Stay calm. Oh, hey, and Mel of Kitchen Cafe fame has posted the recipe for Gluten Free Hawaiian Rolls from the book—and is running a giveaway right now! So be sure to click on the link and enter (and get that preview recipe)! (p.s. I think she kind of loved the book)

Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread - What Bread Is That? [pinit]

Since, aside from giveaways, there isn’t a whole lot I can do for you in the meantime, I want to do everything I possibly can. Many of you have written to me to ask me, what do we need to get started once the bread book comes (finally!). And when you saw Mel’s post, you saw that you needed whey protein isolate* (see “recipe” below for discussion of dairy-free alternatives) and Expandex modified tapioca starch to make the Gluten Free Bread Flour that makes such beautiful gluten free bread. I can help with that. Scroll down and you’ll find a “recipe” with the list of everything you need (with descriptions wherever necessary) to get started as soon as you get the book, including sources for those less common ingredients.

Electric mixer on wooden surface

Now I know I’ve said it a million times before but it bears repeating: this is NOT the same gluten free bread dough you’re used to. It’s not like cookie dough. It doesn’t pull apart in shards, and … you don’t mix it with a paddle. It’s so special that, when you shape it, you actually get surface tension on the top of, say, a loaf of bread or a roll. You don’t “pour” the “batter” into a loaf pan. You shape it. But to get that smooth and stretchy dough, you need a machine with dough hooks.

“What if I don’t have a stand mixer? They’re expensive!” I know, right?! So expensive. I have had one forever, but since I know that they’re simply out of reach for many, I tested a few of the handheld mixers with dough hook attachments. And, frankly, some of them just don’t work. But I found one that does. The KitchenAid 5-speed handheld mixer, which comes with dough hooks, does a really good job of approximating a stand mixer, at a much, much lower price. (This is Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, after all!)

“Why can’t you just give me a stand mixer?” Well, that is another possible solution, I guess, right? Next week, I will announce another giveaway that you can enter to win the 6-quart KitchenAid stand mixer of my dreams (it’s way better than the one I have! and that is not an affiliate link), sponsored by KitchenAid. And that giveaway will include lots of other amazing things, including a possible chance to win A Day of Baking … with ME! I will fly out to your house and be at your disposal for a day, but that’s all going to be announced next week!! That’s the one I’m the most excited about, of course. Before I get ahead of myself, here’s what you’ll need to hit the ground running when you pre-ordered copy of Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread ships on November 25!:

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: Gluten Free Bread!


Gluten Free Bread Flour Ingredients (all purpose gluten free flour* + whey protein isolate** + Expandex modified tapioca starch)

An oven thermometer

A digital food scale (although approximate volume measurements are provided most everywhere in the book, except where impossible)

A liquid measuring cup and a set of measuring spoons (for liquids)

A home proofer . . . or a heating pad

A basic digital calculator

A glass jar and wooden spoon (for making a wild yeast sourdough starter and the corresponding recipes)

Mixing bowls and whisks

Bench scrapers (ideally a metal one and a more flexible plastic one)

An instant-read thermometer (for testing to see if bread is done)

Rimmed baking sheets

Unbleached parchment paper

A French rolling pin

8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pans

Sharp knife or lame for slashing

Cooking oil spray (I prefer a simple olive oil spray)

A large serrated bread knife

Machine with dough hook (Stand mixer or 5-speed hand mixer with dough hooks)

Lidded plastic proofing buckets (really a “want”)

*The main all purpose gluten free flour blends I recommend is the Mock Better Batter blend here on the blog (or Better Batter itself, if you prefer). The other all purpose gluten free flour blend I recommend is the Basic Gluten Free Flour Blend, but with a bit of xanthan gum.

**Dairy-free substitutions: The two non-dairy protein powders I recommend are NOW Foods Pea Protein (just read the description to ensure that it is, in fact, a protein isolate) and Growing Naturals Rice Protein Isolate (Original Flavor), both of which are readily available online. I speak more about how to replace whey protein isolate with them on page 10 of the book.


  • *UPDATE 1/21/14*
    1. Currently, the best source in the U.S. for Expandex is Montana’s Gifts of Nature. You must order over the phone at 1 (888) 275-0003, but they are generally available to take orders 7 days a week. If you don’t get an answer, Larry said to leave a message and he will call you back.  For complete sourcing information, please see my Resources page.

    2. Readers outside the U.S.: I have arrived at a formula for using Ultratex 3 in place of Expandex. Please see #6 on this link of resources for details (including where to find Ultratex 3). Please google “Ultratex 3” in your country’s search engine and you should be able to find an online source in your country.

  • You must be sure to use whey protein isolate, which is different from simple whey, whey protein or sweet dairy whey, all of which have at least as many carbohydrates as protein. Whey protein isolate is nearly all protein. I use NOW Foods whey protein isolate, and I buy big bags of it. The source with the best price varies from time to time, but I usually order it on amazon.com. It is also often sold at health food stores and vitamin stores, as it is frequently used by bodybuilders. I … am no bodybuilder.

  • You absolutely will need a machine with dough hooks to get the smooth texture that you see on the surface of the bread in all the photos in the book—ideally a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. I have a KitchenAid and it’s nothing fancy, but it gets the job done (even though it’s super old). Don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer? Well, next week you can enter to WIN the 6-quart KitchenAid stand mixer of my dreams (way better than the one I have!) here on the blog. In the meantime, and on the off-chance that you don’t win, I have had good results with a 5-speed handheld mixer with dough hook attachments. I was pleasantly surprised.

  • Proofer … or a heating pad. The initial rise in each recipe in the book takes place in (ideally) lidded proofing buckets in the refrigerator, which leads to a slow rise and great yeast flavor development. The most important feature of a good rise is a constant, even temperature, and the refrigerator absolutely provides that. The second rise, however, must be in a warm, draft-free location (also with a constant, even temperature). There are ways to accomplish that without a Brod & Taylor proofer (although it sure does make things easy and lovely). But … the wild yeast sourdough starter necessary to make the sourdough recipes in Chapter 5, cannot be made without a warmer environment. In the book, I describe how to jury-rig a heating pad for this purpose.



P.S. Don’t forget to enter the Bread Memories giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book and most of the “must have” items listed above! It ends 11:59 pm EST Wednesday November 20, 2013, so get right on it!

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