Bread Making Tips (from Happy Campers Bread Company)

I did an Interview with Jan and Lacy, the founders of the Happy Campers Bread Company, and asked them for some bread making tips. (By the way, their bread is amazing and can be ordered online. It’s also free of a handful of major allergens, including rice.) Their advice confirmed some of my thoughts about baking bread — many recipes call for too much yeast. If your loaf is dense try addressing the issue indirectly.

gluten free dairy free bread making tips advice

This is what they had to say:

  • Use a mixture of flours for balanced flavor. Using too much of any one flour will result in off taste. Rice, millet, sorghum and teff are good bulk flours, because they're neutral in flavor and are fairly light (won't produce dense bread). Add a little bit of buckwheat, quinoa, or amaranth for nuttier, more whole grain flavor.

  • Nut flours like almond or coconut are tough to make bread with, because they're so heavy and will produce very dense bread.

  • Using starches (tapioca, corn, potato) will produce lighter bread. On the other hand, starch isn't nutritious, so regarding nutrition, the less the better. I recommend about 20% of flour to be starch.

  • A mixture of psyllium husk powder and xanthan gum works best to replace gluten, I recommend approximately a teaspoon of each per loaf. Mix them up in your flour before adding water.

  • Mix all ingredients very thoroughly (on high speed in your Kitchen Aid, at least 10 minutes).

  • Dough consistency should be of thick batter. This will depend on flour used, but roughly weight ratio 1:1 in flour:water should produce the right consistency.

  • 1 tsp of yeast should be plenty. When bread turns out dense, most people will think it's yeast, but that's rarely the case. More likely you need more mixing time or lighter flours (like millet, rice or some starch).

  • For nice yeasty, sourdough flavor, create a "sponge:" mix all your flour (including xanthan and psyllium) with water, add a pinch of yeast and let sit in fridge overnight. Add the remaining ingredients (like salt, yeast, molasses, seeds etc.) the next day, proof and bake as usual.