ARTISANAL SORGHUM BREAD
Some recipes are merely a list of ingredients, a guideline for what to try. But I have to say — as is true for most baking — the techniques and the order in which you use these ingredients really matters here.
The Chef told me recently that one of his favorite head chefs, when he was training long ago, said this, “Try a recipe exactly the way it is written, once. That way, when you adapt it for yourself, you will always have a memory of what worked for you.” I recommend the same for this bread. Then, go wild.
2 cups sweet white sorghum flour
½ cup potato starch
½ cup sweet white rice flour
1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (.28 ounces or 8 grams)
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup warm club soda (or as much as is needed to wet the bread)
Preheat the oven to 200°. Let it come to temperature.
Put all the dry ingredients into the bowl of your stand mixer. Turn on the mixer and combine the flours and other dry ingredients well. Turn it off.
Add the white wine vinegar and keep the machine running. Add the eggs, one at a time, and allow the mixer to beat them into the dry ingredients, on low speed. After you have added all the eggs, pour in the club soda, in a slow drizzle. Pour in only as much as is needed to wet all the ingredients completely and combine this into a dough.
Turn the oven off, immediately.
Attach the dough hook to the mixer and stir the dough on medium speed for three to four minutes. This will give the dough a chance to cohere more evenly. It will also whip air into the dough, which will cut the usual density of gluten-free bread. After those three to four minutes, turn off the mixer and transfer the dough to an oiled bowl.
Put the bowl into the oven, which will be warm, but not actively heating. Allow it to stay in there for forty-five minutes. It will not have risen much, at this point. Just a bit. It’s gluten-free, after all. There is no gluten to push along that rising. Accept that.
Take the bowl out of the oven and put it on the stovetop. Turn the oven up to 500°. Put a cast-iron pot, large enough to hold the bread, into the oven. A cast-iron dutch oven with an enamel surface is probably ideal. But any large pot or pan will do, as long as it has a lid. Leave the dutch oven in the 500° heat for half an hour. Meanwhile, the dough will be doing its small rising on the stove.
After half an hour, take the dutch oven out of the oven, carefully. Without worrying too much about the perfect shape, transfer the wet dough into the hot dutch oven. Put the lid on and push the dutch oven back into the oven, immediately.
Set your timer for thirty minutes. Do not turn down the heat. Allow the bread to cook in there, with the lid on, for the entire thirty minutes. By the end, it will really smell like fresh-baked bread. Take the pot out of the oven, take the lid off the pot, and voilå — a lumpy, wonderfully crusted loaf of gluten-free bread. Allow it to cool for ten minutes, then cut right into it.
(It really doesn’t hold up that well overnight. Eat as much as you want, just after baking. Slice up the rest immediately and put it in the freezer for another day.)
You can also use this dough and technique for any number of variations. For olive bread, put ½ cup chopped kalamata olives into the dough. For rosemary bread, add one tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary into the dough, the sprinkle thick crystals of sea salt on the top of the bread before baking. Be creative and do what you can.
Posted by Shauna at 7:02 PM glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2007/01/i-am-s
| current weight: 199.0