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Why This Recipe Works

Most gluten-free sandwich bread recipes turn out squat bricks with a cardboard texture. We wanted a reliable recipe that produced a light-textured sandwich loaf—something large enough to actually slice for sandwiches. We began with our classic sandwich bread mixing method in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook but found that the bread significantly improved when we replaced the dough hook with the paddle. The starches in the gluten-free flour blend need to be hydrated, and mixing with a paddle for 6 minutes was the best way to get the job done. (At first the dough will seem very soupy, but as the starches hydrate it will become thicker and start to look like cookie dough.) To build a tall loaf with a nice crumb, we needed more protein and turned to oat flour for help. While many other recipes in this book rely on xanthan gum to provide structure, we preferred psyllium husk in this recipe (as well as in all other bread recipes) because it resulted in a more delicate crumb. Psyllium helped build a stronger protein network that trapped gas and steam—which was key to producing a tall loaf. We also liked its earthy flavor, which seemed out of place in cookies but was perfect in bread. Adding baking powder as well as the usual yeast was also key to getting a good rise. Milk is the classic choice for sandwich bread, but we achieved a better rise with water—and a lot of it. An egg and some milk powder added more protein and structure, and the milk powder was also key for flavor and browning. The high water content was essential to produce steam and enable the loaf to rise, but we found it necessary to prolong the baking time to drive off moisture once the loaf was set. (Shorter baking times yielded a gummy crumb.) To help the dough rise, we fashioned a collar out of foil and attached it to the top of the loaf pan, much as you might do when making a soufflé.

Ingredients

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2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
14 ounces (3 cups plus 2 tablespoons) ATK All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend (see related content)
4 ounces (1 1/3 cups) gluten-free oat flour
1 ½ ounces (1/2 cup) nonfat dry milk powder
3 tablespoons powdered psyllium husk
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt

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Instructions

Makes 1 loaf

Do not substitute soy milk powder for the milk powder in this recipe, as it will negatively impact the flavor and structure of the bread. Note that this recipe calls for an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan; if using a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, the dough will not rise as high and the bread will not be quite as tall.

1. Spray 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk water, eggs, and melted butter together in bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, mix flour blend, oat flour, milk powder, psyllium, sugar, yeast, baking powder, and salt together on low speed until combined. Slowly add water mixture and let dough come together, about 1 minute, scraping down bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium and beat until sticky and uniform, about 6 minutes. (Dough will resemble cookie dough.)

2. Using rubber spatula, scrape dough into prepared loaf pan and press it gently into corners with wet hands; smooth top of dough and spray with water. Tightly wrap double layer of aluminum foil around pan so that top edge of foil rests at least 1 inch above rim of pan; secure foil collar with staples. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has risen by 50 percent (1/2 inch above rim of pan), about 1 hour.

3. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic and spray loaf with water. Bake until top is golden, crust is firm, and loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 1 1/2 hours, rotating pan halfway through baking.

4. Transfer pan to wire rack and let bread cool for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and let cool completely on rack, about 2 hours. Serve. (Once cooled, bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)