We would like to thank the kind folks at Surrey Books, who sent us a copy of this book to review. The book is Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise Roberts. The book is rather short, weighing in at 72 pages, and very much to the point. It is about making a dozen or so varieties of gluten free bread with a Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine. Annalise Roberts is the author of the very popular book Gluten-Free Baking Classics.
The bad news: When we embarked on reviewing this book, we were discouraged by the fact that we don’t have a Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-pound Bread Machine. In the book, Roberts discusses what bread machines can be used. She notes that the V20 Zojirushi is basically interchangable with the X20. She also had people test her recipes using bread machines other than a Zojirushi. The machines she lists are Panasonic, Breadman, and Cuisinart. She notes that “Most were able to maneuver their programmable cycles to produce bread of fairly comparable taste, texture, and appearance.” (The italics are hers.) We were able to get our hands on a Zojirushi for testing and didn’t notice much of a difference in our own tests. See our Gluten-Free Bake-Off here.
Here’s the good news: We were still able to use these recipes to make delicious bread.
More about the book: Besides the Dedication and Acknowledgements and the index, the book is broken up into five chapters. Chapter one is an introductory chapter telling about the methods she used to develop the recipes in the book. The index looks like it’s pretty well built.
Chapter two talks about baking in general and includes a lot of helpful information about gluten free flours (the different kinds, what they do, how to store them, etc.), xanthan and guar gum, making substitutions, measuring, and thermometers. Chapter two also includes the basic bread flour mix she uses throughout the book. She uses millet flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, and tapioca flour in her base mix.
The third chapter is about using bread machines generally, and the Zojirushi BBCC-x20 bread machine specifically. She took recipes from her book Gluten-Free Baking Classics and updated them to work with a bread machine instead of baking in an oven. This includes a discussion of the main differences between the two. She also came up with ideal settings to program into the Zojirushi bread machine to make the perfect gluten free bread and presents them here.
The next two chapters are bread recipes. Chapter four includes recipes for “sandwich breads”—various recipes that use eggs and milk. Chapter five includes recipes to make bread without eggs and milk, which she calls “artisan breads.” The artisan breads are basically vegan. Roberts notes that artisan breads do not stay as flexible as sandwich breads.
Here is a list of the bread recipes in the book. Almost all of these have at least one variation. One of the recipes has a total of five variations. For example, the Multi-Grain recipe has two variations—one with pecans and another with walnuts.
- Basic Sandwich Bread
- Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
- Rye Sandwich Bread
- Pecan Sandwich Bread
- Walnut Sandwich Bread
- Multi-grain Sandwich Bread
- Cinnamon Swirl Bread
- Challah Bread
- Babka (Ukranian Style)
- French-Italian Sandwich Bread
- Oatmeal Artisan Bread
- Rye Artisan Bread
- Pecan Artisan Bread
- Walnut Artisan Bread
- Multi-Grain Artisan Bread
- Golden Italian Artisan Bread with Raisins and Fennel
You get extra points if you noticed that there are a suspicious number of duplicates in these two lists. I didn’t go over these with a fine toothed comb, but it would appear to me that, for instance, the Walnut Artisan Bread is very similar to the Walnut Sandwich Bread, just without eggs and milk. I would expect that more experienced bakers will know that they would be able to figure out how to adjust a recipe to exclude eggs and milk, but I am glad to have the assistance of someone who had the time and patience to come up with variations that work.
On to the bread. We decided to make the Walnut Artisan Bread. I should note here that our really really ridiculously good looking Head of Research for Gluten Free Portland dot Org, Sienna, made the bread and also probably saved the day by being able to figure out how to make our bread machine act as much as possible like a Zojirushi BBCC-X20 with her special program. We have a Breadman Pro bread machine. Sienna used course 2.11, which is the “Rapid White Dark 2.0 LB” setting. This was the course that most resembled the program Roberts came up with. Here are the differences: Ours had no preheating. Ours kneaded five more minutes. Ours rose ten minutes more and had two punch-downs. And last, ours baked ten minutes less. (We were able to make up for the ten minutes baking time by finishing the loaf in our toaster oven.)
Here it is on the cooling rack. You can’t really see from this angle, but the bread is shorter than most of the breads we make with this bread machine. The color is good, however.
The walnut bread is dense and delicious! The crust is perfect. The bread toasts up well, makes good sandwiches, and is amazing with some honey or humus spread on it. We both agreed that this was our most favorite gluten free bread recipe yet. Our previous champ was Gluten Free Mommy’s Gluten-Free Millet Oatmeal Bread (click here to go to the original recipe on Guten Free Mommy).
Now that we have tested to compare making these recipes with two different bread machines, including the one the author recommends, we feel more comfortable recommending it to people who don’t have a Zojirushi. We do feel that the recipes are the best we’ve had as far as flavor goes, but we’ve been a little disappointed with how well they rise.
We’re really curious about this one: Would you buy this book knowing that it’s written for only one bread machine? Would you buy a bread machine because of a book? Do you like this author? Let us know in the comments!
Times we have visited: 10+ (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same
Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine
by Annalise G. Roberts
Surrey Books – An Agate Imprint
Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine on Amazon