Here’s our next candidate in the series of gluten-free bread recipes we’re reviewing here. We’re looking for the best gluten-free bread recipe that the Internet has to offer. This next one comes to us via Gluten Free Cooking School dot Com and is their “Really Good Sandwich Bread.” I picked this one simply because it came up as number one in a Google search and looked like a basic gluten-free white bread. As we’ll be doing with all the recipes in this series, we used our bread machine to bake it. (Shameless plug: don’t miss our guide to gluten-free bread machines.)
I’m not going to include the recipe here. I followed this one to the letter. To make the bread, you need to make up a batch of their all-purpose gluten-free flour mix, here, and then add basic bread ingredients that go in most breads. The one item that’s a little troublesome is that the flour mix calls for masa harina. This is a special kind of corn meal that you can usually find in the Mexican food area of your local supermarket. Masa is corn (usually hominy) that has been boiled with lime and water and then dried. In Mexican cooking, this is what corn tortillas, tamale shells, and other corn items are made from. Strangely, our local Whole Foods didn’t carry it. Fred Meyer transferred me all over the store looking for it, and finally told me that they didn’t have it. I ended up going there for something else later that day, and it turned out that they did have it on the shelf. The proportion of masa harina in the mix is pretty low,
and I think that a person could probably just substitute a fine corn meal. Later note: we heard from the author that a better substitute is almond flour. In the recipe, they tell you to throw the mixed ingredients into your bread machine and set it to the “80 minute setting.” This ends up being infuriatingly general. I would have liked to have known what that meant. For example, does that mean 20 minutes of rising and 60 minutes of baking? Or 20 minutes of kneading, 20 minutes of rising, and 40 minutes of baking? Who knows? Many times with recipes on the Internet, a person can check the comments section for more information or better ways of doing a recipe. Unfortunately, this recipe has almost 300 comments, half of which seem to be people discussing baking the bread without a machine. The more I read, the more confused I got. Later note: The author has updated the cooking time information so that it is very clear.
I would tell you what we did, except that it didn’t really work. We ended up having some bread machine problems, too. When we tried to program 20 minutes of rising and 60 minutes of baking, our machine turned itself off after the rising. It was another 20 minutes before we discovered that the bread was cooling instead of baking. Here’s what we ended up with (another short loaf).
Definitely take my review with a grain of salt, because the bread didn’t come out the way it probably should have. That said, if you’re looking for a relatively flavorless, inoffensive, white bread then you’ve come to the right recipe. The bread by itself tastes a tad strange, but when paired up with other things the flavor fades into the background. The flour mix is basically corn, brown rice, and soy flour, which is probably more nutritious than some of the breads that are simply rice four and starch. So that’s a good thing.
On the down side, the bread doesn’t really brown in a toaster, and I wasn’t really impressed with it as toast. As a sandwich bread, we tried it with hamburgers, BLTs, and grilled cheese sandwiches with our Panini press. (After a month-long Panini grill search, we got a Cuisinart Griddler, which we’ve been very happy with.)
I’m kind of surprised at how popular this bread seems to be. Neither of us was very impressed by it. The bread is better than the Trader Joe’s gluten-free rice bread, but that’s not saying much. I personally preferred the Bob’s Red Mill Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix, which we reviewed here. A person would be much better served by the Teff Bread that we reviewed last time, our favorite gluten-free millet oatmeal bread, or any of the breads we’ve tried from Gluten Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise G. Roberts, which we reviewed here.
This is just a very long-winded way of saying that neither of us liked this bread, and I’m scratching my head over why it’s so popular. At the same time, it didn’t really turn out right, so maybe more testing is called for.
Easy to Make: 2 out of 5
Sandwich Bread: 2 out of 5
Toast Bread: 1 out of 5
Overall Score: 1 out of 5
We are always looking for another bread recipe to make. Do you have a favorite gluten-free bread recipe? Send us an email or leave a comment here!