Excerpted with permission from Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef (Wiley, 2010) and GlutenFreeGirl.com.

Gluten-free bread is the great quest of those who cannot eat the protein. It can be done. But here's the key: don't expect gluten-free bread to be the familiar gluten bread. Without gluten, bread is always going to be a bit less pliable, a little drier, and more of an unexpected texture than you wish. But once you get past the stubborn notion that everything should be the way it always was, you can have bread again. … This bread has air pockets, a crisp crust, and an earthy, warm taste. Yields 2 small loaves.

 

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (227g/8oz) potato starch

1 1/4 cups (100g/3.5oz) almond flour

2/3 cup (85g/3oz) oat flour (make sure it's certified gluten free)

1/2 cup (85g/ 3oz) millet flour

1 tablespoon active dry yeast

2 teaspoons xanthan gum

1 teaspoon guar gum

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/3 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)

2 large eggs

1/6 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon canola oil for oiling bowl

 

1. Mixing the dry ingredients.

Put the potato starch, almond flour, oat flour, and millet flour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Whirl them up together for a moment. (If you don't have a stand mixer, sift the flours together into a large bowl.) Add the yeast, xanthan gum, guar gum, and salt. Stir to combine.

2. Adding the wet ingredients.

Pour the warm water, eggs, canola oil, and honey into the dry ingredients. Mix with the paddle attachment (or with a large spoon if you are mixing by hand) for a few moments until the dough has fully come together. It will be soft. It will sort of slump off the paddle. Don’t worry. That’s the right texture.

3. Letting the bread dough rise.

Put the dough into a large, oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth, then set in a warm place in the kitchen. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours. The risen dough will have a texture closer to traditional bread dough than the unrisen dough had.

4. Preparing to bake.

At the end of the rising time, turn the oven to 500 degrees F. Or, put a cast-iron Dutch oven into the hot oven to come to heat. Cut the dough in half and form two small boules (rustic-looking oval loaves). Make three 1/4-inch deep cuts with a serrated knife on the top of the dough.

5. Baking the bread.

If you have a pizza stone, put the loaves directly onto the pizza stone. When the Dutch oven has been heating for 30 minutes, take it out of the oven, carefully. Put a piece of parchment paper, wider than the Dutch oven, over the edges. Flour your hands to coax the bread dough into a coherent mass. Plop it onto the parchment paper, which will settle down into the Dutch oven. Tuck the edges of the paper into the pot, cover, and slip it back into the hot oven. Bake for at least 30 minutes, or until the bottom of the bread is brown and has a good thump to it. The internal temperature should be at least 180 degrees F, and the thermometer should come out of the bread dry. Allow the bread to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing it up.