Bread is obviously the number one thing that people who have to go gluten-free miss the most. Or maybe I should say real bread, that really tastes like bread. Since I went gluten-free I’ve only found three breads that I like. Udi’s breads and bagels, a recipe that I tweaked a little from a gluten-free cookbook, and Gluten Free Pantry’s french bread mix.
The first time I tried Gluten Free Pantry’s mix, I did not like it at all! But because gluten-free baking can be kind of persnickety, I decided to give it another try with my own flair. I’ve made it numerous times with all kinds of additions since then and have loved it every time. This is also the bread that I use to make gluten-free croutons and gluten-free bread crumbs (minus the herbs).
A french bread pan is a must. They aren’t expensive, just look around in your local kitchen stores. If you’ve never made gluten-free bread it’s important to know that it doesn’t react like regular bread dough. Most gluten-free bread mixes come out more like a batter that needs to be spread. If you place it onto a baking sheet or stone, it will spread out and end up too thin and a little weird. But don’t fret, it’s incredibly easy. Much easier than making “real” bread.
Italian French Bread
1 Package Gluten Free Pantry French Bread and Pizza Dough Mix
1 Heaping Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Heaping Tablespoon Dried Basil
1 Heaping Tablespoon Garlic, diced
Mix the bread dough according to the directions except substitute the water with almond milk, use olive oil instead of regular oil, use sea salt instead of regular salt, and add the oregano, basil, and garlic and mix on medium-high for 4 minutes instead of the suggested 2 minutes.
Line the french bread pan with parchment. You probably don’t have to but I hate washing bread pans and baking sheets so I always line them with parchment. (I also think that cookies and breads bake more evenly when using parchment.)
Dollop the batter as evenly as you can on each side of the pan.
With a spoon, spread the batter and even it out into the shape of baguettes.
Place in a warm place (I used the warming drawer in my oven) to rise for about 40 minutes.
Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush over both baguettes and then slit each loaf down the middle with a very sharp knife.
Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven (375 if you’re using an electric oven) for a minimum of 40 minutes. Gluten-free bread isn’t necessarily done when tapped on and makes a hollow sound like regular bread. I always cook mine for the amount of time the recipe suggests plus 5-8 minutes longer to ensure that the bread isn’t too moist in the middle and is going to collapse when it cools.
If you can stand it, allow it to cool a little bit before slicing so the loaf doesn’t squish down. We can never make it that long. If you’re careful when you slice off a hot piece, it will be just fine. And really, there’s nothing better than fresh bread out of the oven, so don’t miss out!