Artwork: Typical parts in a breadmaker, from US Patent 4,951,559: Bread Producing Machine filed on May 27, 1988 by Yuzuru Arao et al for Matsushita Electric Co (Panasonic) and granted in the United States on August 28, 1990. Artwork courtesy of US Patent and Trademark Office.

Gluten Free Breadmakers come in wide range of types, capabilities and prices. The first and most important tip when buying a breadmaker is not to confine yourself to one with a ‘gluten free option’.

  • The theory behind the gluten free setting is that gluten free flours are lighter than ordinary flours and therefore can’t be mixed well with the dry ingredients before having the water added, so everything must go in right away. This may have been true for early gf flours but the modern brands and blends have overcome this problem and using them with the ‘gluten free setting’ will only give you partially cooked breads.
  • Many gf flour manufacturers recommend you use the normal or standard setting on the breadmaker to get the best results so don’t be afraid to shop around in your choice of breadmaker options.
  • Look for custom settings or timings. Each part of the bread making process has a set time, mixing, rising, kneading etc. but if the preset options don’t match the recipe you have you won’t get consistent results. With a customisable setting you can adjust your machine to match the recipe exactly.
  • Gluten free loaves don’t normally need the second rising period regular bread requires, which also excludes the second ‘punch down’ or knocking the air out which is why a basic setting usually works better on gf bread.
  • Different machines have different loaf tins inside so look for one with variable sizes or one that matches the size of loaf you’ll want to avoid making multiple batches or having too much left over.
  • Some machines will adjust for the outside temperature, i.e. room temperature. If your machine will be positioned near a cooker or other warm appliance check the capabilities of the breadmaker or look for somewhere cooler or with a consistent temperature to avoid perfect mixes one day and lumpy bread the next.
  • Remove your loaf as soon as it has finished to avoid the steam soaking back into your loaf and making it soggy.
  • If your loaf comes out soft on the bottom or in the middle, pop it on a wire rack in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 180c to firm it up and add a little more crust to the outer.
  • Consider swapping the water for a carbonated drink such as ginger ale or gluten free beer. The gas increases the rise of your bread and adds a whole new flavour. Here’s a sample recipe:
  • Every loaf is an experiment, even in a breadmaker. Just remember when it fails, you’re not making bread, you’re making breadcrumbs for a gluten free stuffing.

To get started, have a look at the range of breadmakers on Amazon.

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