Whether you are full-on celiac, or just gluten-sensitive, one of the most difficult things about giving up wheat is finding alternatives for baking.
Sure, there are gluten-free bakeries in town, and for the most part, they do a pretty good job. I find that most stuff at the supermarket level is not that great–mixes and pre-packaged gluten free items tend to be chalky and tasteless.
Gluten-free baking is also a big challenge. You can’t just sub out your flour cup-for-cup with say, rice flour. It will look and taste horrible. You can buy a gluten-free baking mix, and that will probably work for most things. I like the one from Cloud 9 (which is available at Costco).
My friend, Amanda Lynne, who has been gluten-free for years (she has more allergies than almost anyone I know), shared this recipe with me, and trust me, once you make it, you will want to buy her a (gluten-free) beer.
Baguette, even gluten-full, is something I have worked a lot on, without feeling like I’ve ever really mastered it. But this recipe has it all: it’s easy, and it works. It creates light, fluffy baguette with a crispy crust. No rising. And it’s gluten-free.
Now, I just have to say one thing before I get to the recipe. If you are a gluten-eater (like me), you may find the taste of this a little different. Not bad. Just different. If you are gluten-free, you will love it.
I sourced my ingredients from Kitsilano Natural Foods on Broadway. They have a wide selection of Dan-d-Mart and WestPoint Naturals pre-packaged bulk items. I’ve also seen these items at The Gourmet Warehouse.
Gluten Free Baguette
(recipe courtesy of Amanda Lynne Ballard)
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1½ cup potato starch
- ½ cup tapioca starch
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 teaspoon guar gum
- 1½ Tablespoons instant yeast
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1 cup warm water (105 – 115 degrees) divided
- Proof the yeast. In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup of warm (not hot) water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the warm water, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. You’ll notice the water goes cloudy as the yeast dissolves and begins to grow. You can add a pinch of sugar to this if you like.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Beat together the olive oil and egg whites and then add them to the flour mixture. Mix to incorporate with a whisk, a hand-mixer, or you can make this in the bowl of your stand mixer.
- Add the vinegar and the 1/2 cup of water which contains the yeast to the dough. Beat, adding the remaining water if needed to make a soft dough.
- Form the dough into logs. The dough will be quite soft, and could be a bit difficult to work with. I found that by greasing my hands with olive oil, I was able to better shape it. I made mine on my Baguette Pan, but if you don’t have one, just use a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- If you like, you can brush the top with beaten egg white.
- Use a sharp knife to cut several slits in the top of each loaf.
- Place the pan in a cold oven on a middle rack. Turn the oven on to 425 degrees and bake for 30 – 35 minutes.
- Cool the loaves on a wire wrack before slicing.