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I am new to gluten free baking and I am having much trouble getting my breads to rise. I have tried several recipes, with no luck. Can anybody give me some fool proof suggestions? I am desperate. Thank you

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This is one of those cases where a recipe would help, so we can see if there's something that might be strange or easy messed up. –  Joe Oct 31 '12 at 23:33
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What happens to your dough? Does it never rise, or does it rise first and then fall? The second possibility could happen when you have nothing to trap the gas bubbles. Are you using xanthan? –  rumtscho Oct 31 '12 at 23:48

4 Answers 4

A few months ago, I bought a bread machine specifically to make GF bread. (A risky venture as I didn't cook or bake.) I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and tasty my first loaf was; but it was a little thicker and gummier than I liked. I used Pamela's Bread Mix http://www.pamelasproducts.com/products/baking-mixes/pamelas-gluten-free-bread-mix/.

Sooo, I tried a few other mixes (and my own combinations)--melchhhh, I didn't like any of them. Back to experimenting with Pamela's and researching sites/books.

Here's where I landed. Follow the standard recipe on the Pamela's bag with the following changes to HELP THE YEAST do its work better:

  • use very warm (but not hot) water (yeast likes warmth)
  • add additional 2 TBS of water (the extra water is for more moisture--too much will make the dough fall)
  • whisk the liquids together
  • add a small amount of sugar (Stevia, maple syrup, honey, or coconut sugar) to the liquid (extra food for the yeast)
  • A tiny smidge more yeast (heaping vs. flat)
  • Baste the top of the loaf with a little olive oil during the last rise and leave the top open the last 2-3 minutes of the baking (if the top crust is too hard, the yeast has a harder time working the dough)

DELICIOUS, soft and much lighter. Hope this helps and happy baking!

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stevia and other non-caloric sweeteners will not help the yeast rise. –  sourd'oh Jan 6 at 1:15

Quite honestly, I'd much rather buy Gluten free bread than try to make it myself. It's just not worth the trouble! Luckily, I've been able to find gluten free bread to my liking so it's all good.

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Why do you preffer buying the bread than making it yourself? I've heard many many peopley arguing just the opposite. –  J.A.I.L. Nov 26 '12 at 11:08

I had limited success making gluten free bread. The best result I got was from the recipe at http://www.healthyfood.co.nz/recipes/2010/august/no-knead-gluten-free-bread , which resulted in a half-decent, moist loaf.

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I imagine you have tried recipes already with an appropriate quantity of xanthum gum and starches... are you making any substitutions, or omitting ingredients?

Substitutions really change the game significantly, even unwitting substitutions like sweet rice flour vs white rice flour, potato flour vs potato starch. Substituting an alternative flour directly for wheat flour in non-GF recipes won't work (unless you find a GF flour blend that specifies so - for bread, I haven't).

And when I started GF baking I omitted some tiny amounts of ingredients as I didn't want to go out and buy a whole packet/bottle of something just to use a few grams. Turns out some of those little things were absolutely essential. Don't skimp on them. Also, if using yeast, you can take a little bit and proof it to make sure it's not the dud.

Try finding a specifically gluten-free bread recipe with many positive comments, so you are sure it's not the recipe that's the issue.

Personally, my first proper attempt with no subs or omissions at making bread (my first GF bread, and first bread loaf ever - so it had to be foolproof for me) was with this recipe and it rose nicely, much to my relief and delight. Maybe give it a try, and once you got the rising bit down, work on other recipes from there?

If they are not working even though you are following them to a T, perhaps temperature is your issue - is the water too cold or hot for the yeast? Are you leaving the bread in a cold spot? I have a cool kitchen, so when my oven is pre-heating while rising I place the loaf above the stove to rise, as it receives ambient warmth from the heated oven.

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