How to Make Gluten Free French Bread
No longer will you look longingly at the bread basket, because you can now make your own gluten free French bread!
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If you crave bread like no one's business, then this easy-to-follow recipe on how to bake gluten free bread is made for you. Learn how to make gluten free French bread with this how-to guide. The bread itself is soft and fluffy on the inside and crunchy and golden on the outside. Plus, this recipe will teach you the best way to make bread so that you can make it whenever you want. Making your own homemade bread can be one of the best budget-friendly ways for you to get your fill of bread while on a gluten free diet. Bread is one of the things people miss most when they have to go gluten free, but no more! You can easily make your own gluten free French bread with our test kitchen recipe so you'll never be without your side of bread at dinner.
Cooking Time25 min
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon rapid-rise yeast (see note)
- 2/3 - 1 cup warm (100 degrees F) water, divided
- 3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (we like using King Arthur Multi-Purpose Flour)
- 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1 tablespoon soft butter
- 1 egg white, beaten well
Want even more tried and true recipes? Check out our full collection of gluten free test kitchen recipes!
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and 1/3 cup of the water. Let stand 5 minutes until slightly foamy.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, gum, cream of tartar, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds on low to combine well. Continuing on low speed, add 2 egg whites and then begin to add the remaining water very slowly until a slightly shaggy dough forms. You will probably not use all of the water. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl, and mix on low for 1 minute.
Using a smooth-surfaced but unfloured work space (like a pastry board or a silpat sheet), scoop the dough out. Knead the dough very briefly with your hands just until it comes together smoothly. It will be slightly sticky but do not add any flour.
Using a knife or pastry scraper, cut the dough into two pieces. Roll each on the board using your palms to form a log about 9 inches x 1- inches in diameter. Dip your hands into the remaining warm water and continue to roll the logs just to smooth them. Pinch together any large cracks.
Place the dough onto a baking sheet or French bread pan which has been lined with parchment paper and sprinkled lightly with corn meal (see note). Allow the dough to rise in a warm, moist, and draft-free place for about 45 minutes.
When the dough has risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place about 10 ice cubes into an ovenproof pan. Rub the loaves very gently with the soft butter. Use your fingers instead of a pastry brush to be sure you do not deflate the dough. Slash each loaf diagonally 3 or 4 times using a very sharp knife blade.
Place the loaves and the pan of ice into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Brush with the remaining beaten egg white. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or more until the loaves are golden brown.
Although it is tempting to eat it immediately, the bread will not slice properly unless it is cooled to room temperature. After cooling, slice the bread with a serrated knife.
One packet of dry yeast contains two 1/4 teaspoons, not a tablespoon, so you will need to open a second packet and measure carefully. Since gluten free bread does not rise as much as traditional yeast breads, the extra yeast is important for success.
The warm water for bread baking with yeast should be at 100 degrees F. It is best to use an internal thermometer to be sure it is not too hot so that it kills the yeast. Or use your finger to judge - your personal temperature should be at just over 98 degrees F so the water should feel very much the same, not much warmer.
Using cornmeal on the surface of the baking pan is optional – this simply gives the baked loaves a very professional baker’s touch. Use about 1 tablespoon for the two loaves.
Putting a pan of ice in the oven as the loaves begin to bake will add moisture as they begin to rise and bake. The ice will help them rise and it gives them a better crust. You can skip this step if you wish.
Looking for more bread recipes to try? Check out our collection of 8 Great Gluten Free Biscuit Recipes
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