Why It Works
- The gluten-free flour blend provides plenty of structure and springiness without any gluten at all.
- Allowing the dough to rise completely in the pan before baking ensures good whole structure.
Aki and Alex from Ideas in Food have shown you how to make a variety of gluten-free flour blends, including this all-purpose version, that can be substituted, gram for gram, for standard flour in any recipe. With this recipe, they show you how to use those blends to make a classic potato bread, with a tender crumb that makes it the perfect vehicle for sandwiches.
One of the biggest quirks of gluten-free baking, they point out, is the lack of oven spring in most doughs. Traditional flour-based doughs are stretchy and elastic. When you place dough into a hot oven, pockets of air and water vapor rapidly start to expand, stretching out internal bubbles and giving bread its open structure. This process relies on gluten for stretchy resilience.
Gluten-free breads, on the other hand, are far less stretchy and don't exhibit much oven spring, which means that you have to build those bubbles in from the start.
In this recipe, the dough is placed into a Pullman loaf pan, then allowed to rise almost completely before it's put in the oven. This ensures a nice, light, bubble-filled texture even without dramatic oven spring.
Cooked potato is the other secret ingredient. It not only lends some of its flavor to the bread, but also provides a good source of fully hydrated starch to keep the bread moist and tender as it bakes.
10 1/2 ounces (300g) russet potato (1 large or 2 medium), peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups (337.5g) water
1 1/4 teaspoons (7.5g) fine sea salt
1 cup (260g) whole milk
2 teaspoons (6g) instant yeast
1 tablespoon (12.5g) sugar
6 large eggs
4 2/3 cups (600g) gluten-free flour blend
Put potatoes, water, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, then turn heat down and cook potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer potatoes and their liquid to a bowl and let cool.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon salt, milk, yeast, and sugar to potatoes and stir to combine. Put potato mixture and eggs in a blender. Turn blender on low, gradually increase speed to medium-high, and purée until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds.
Transfer potato mixture to bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or use a hand mixer), add flour, and mix on low until all of potato mixture has been absorbed by flour. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough appears smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape dough into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 1/2 hours, until not quite doubled.
Grease a 13- by 4- by 4-inch pain-de-mie or Pullman loaf pan and lid. Use a rubber spatula to stir dough together and then transfer it to prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until it reaches top of pan, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, 1 hour before baking, preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Remove plastic wrap from pan and slide lid into place. Bake bread for 45 minutes. Turn heat down to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 30 minutes more.
Turn heat down to 300°F (150°C). Remove top of pan and bake bread uncovered for 20 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and invert it onto a rack set over a baking sheet. Lift off pan and bake bread for 10 more minutes. The internal temperature should be 210° to 212°F (99° to 100°C). Turn off oven, open door, and let bread cool on rack for 30 minutes.
Remove bread from oven, transfer to a rack, and let cool to room temperature completely before cutting.
Make Ahead and Storage
Well-wrapped, bread will keep at cool room temperature for up to a week.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 16 to 18|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||3%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 31g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||5%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 1mg||7%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|