Carol Fenster’s Gluten-Free French Bread

Put this bread into a COLD oven for a crisp crust and nice texture. If this doesn’t work in your oven, let the bread rise until level with top of pan; then bake in preheated 425ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Use a pan specially designed for two French bread loaves; the soft dough needs the pan’s support to rise properly.

2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 ¼ cups warm (110ºF)  milk of choice
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups Carol’s Sorghum Blend (see below)
1 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon guar gum
¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder (not Carnation) or Better Than Milk soy powder (or ¼ cup Carol’s  Sorghum blend)
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon butter or buttery spread, softened
3 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Egg wash (optional—1 egg white, beaten with 1 tablespoon water)

[1] Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm milk. Set aside 5 minutes.

[2] Grease French bread pans or line with parchment paper.

[3] In bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer, combine all ingredients (sorghum blend through vinegar) plus yeast-milk mixture. Beat on low speed to blend, then beat on medium speed for 30 seconds or until slightly thickened, stirring down sides with spatula. Dough will be soft.

[4] Divide dough in half in two indentations of prepared pan. Smooth each half into 12-inch log with wet spatula. Brush with egg wash for glossier crust. Make 3 diagonal slashes (⅛-inch deep) in each loaf so steam can escape during rising.

[5] Place immediately on middle rack in cold oven. Set to 425ºF and bake approximately 30 to 35 minutes, or until nicely browned and center of loaf registers 205ºF when inserted with an instant-read thermometer.

[6] Remove bread from pans; cool completely on wire rack before slicing with electric knife. Makes 2 loaves. Serves 20 (1-inch slices).

Carol’s Sorghum Blend

1 ½ cups sorghum flour
1 ½ cups potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour

Whisk together and store, tightly covered, in a dark, dry place.