A Fabulous Gluten-Free French Bread
The brilliance of Karen Morgan’s Gluten-Free Bread & Pizza Blend is that it really and truly does what it’s supposed to do and that’s provide chew and substance to breads, pizzas and flatbreads. Look at the image. It looks like the kind of fabulous crusty outside, airy and chewy inside French bread we have all been missing in our GF diets. This recipe – and Karen’s blend – are masterpieces. Read our interview with her and do not miss her New York style bagels and our full book review. Her methodology to GF baking will change your approach as well.
Excerpted from The Everyday Art of Gluten-Free: 125 Savory and Sweet Recipes Using 6 Fail-Proof Flour Blendsby Karen Morgan with permission of publisher, Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Photos by Knoxy Knox. Copyright 2014.
A French boule may be the odd man out in an all-American cookbook, but I’m sure the pioneers made bread similar to this one when they parked their Conestoga wagons. I love to use this bread to make pressed sandwiches or slice it thin to make crisp pieces of toast that are the hallmark of a good cheese plate.
- 3½ cups (395 g) Bread & Pizza Blend
- 2½ teaspoons gluten-free active dry yeast
- 2⅛ teaspoons kosher salt
- 2½ tablespoons pure olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons clover honey
- Butter, for greasing
- Glutinous rice flour, for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the Bread & Pizza Blend and the yeast. With the mixer running, add the salt, followed by 1¼ cups (300 ml) lukewarm water, the oil, eggs, and honey. Beat vigorously on high speed for 3 minutes, or until the dough is very sticky.
- Liberally butter a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turn it to coat the surface with butter, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or overnight (at least 8 hours) for best results.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Set an oven rack in the middle position and have a 6-quart (5.7-L) Dutch oven ready on the counter.
- Dust your work surface with glutinous rice flour. Turn out the dough and knead it until it’s very smooth and elastic, about ten turns. Using the heel of your hand, fold the dough over and over, rotating the dough clockwise as you work, until you form a nice tight ball. The top should be perfectly smooth. Coat the dough with a thin layer of glutinous rice flour and slash the top with a razor or sharp knife, cutting just ¼ inch (6 mm) in.
- Set the dough into the Dutch oven (with the slash facing up), put on the lid, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is domed and doubled in size. Remove the lid and continue baking until the crust is crisp and brown, 10 to 20 minutes more. Remove the bread from the Dutch oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. (The bread will continue to bake internally as it cools, so resist the urge to slice it when it’s piping hot.)
- The bread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Double-wrapped, this bread freezes beautifully for up to 3 months.
Classic Dinner Rolls
For a classic dinner roll, follow the recipe above but divide the dough into 8 rounds, each weighing about 110 grams. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Place the rounds on a rimmed baking sheet and bake them at 425°F (220°C) for 15 minutes. Brush them with the egg wash and bake them for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the rolls are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. The rolls will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen double-wrapped, for 3 months.