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Gluten-Free French Bread

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Updated January 29, 2012

It's rough giving up fresh French bread when you go gluten-free. This recipe for gluten-free French bread, reprinted with permission from the excellent gluten-free cookbook Gluten-Free Makeovers, by Beth Hillson, can help you reproduce those dense, chewy French baguettes. It also makes excellent rolls and breadsticks, and the bread slices can serve as the base for gluten-free bruschetta. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 2 or 3 baguettes

Ingredients:

  • 7/8 cup white rice flour
  • 7/8 cup sweet white sorghum flour
  • 2/5 cup amaranth flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch or tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup potato flour
  • 2 packages instant active or active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105° to 110°F)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash, optional

Preparation:

• Combine the flours, xanthan gum, and yeast in the bowl of a mixer. In a separate bowl, combine the water, eggs, olive oil, and vinegar. Add to the dry ingredients. Using a stand mixer or heavy-duty handheld mixer, beat a medium-high speed for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary to achieve this consistency.

• Line a double or triple baguette form with aluminum foil. Spray with vegetable spray or lightly oil and sprinkle cornmeal over the surface. Spread half or one-third of the dough over each form. Lightly oil a sheet of plastic wrap and smooth and form the baguettes. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and let rise 20 to 30 minutes in a draft-free space.

• Preheat the oven to 400°F.

• Brush the risen dough with the beaten egg, if using. Using a sharp knife, cut shallow slits diagonally on the surface of each baguette. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. For a crispier crust, remove the baked baguettes from the pan and set on a rack in the oven for an additional five minutes. Turn onto a wire rack and cool before slicing.

• To make hamburger rolls or bread sticks, just scoop this dough into bun pans, muffin top forms, or bread stick pains. Smooth the surface with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let rise and bake. For bread sticks, bake 15 to 20 minutes; for rolls, bake 20 to 25 minutes.

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