This was my first attempt at baking a crusty loaf of gluten-free bread. I wanted it to be a rustic, country style boule to serve alongside my first vegan cheese, a cashew chèvre, which I will blog about later this week. Years ago I baked a lot of bread - many different kinds, with many different flours. I had even cultured my own sourdough starter, and kept it for months so I could whip up an artisan loaf whenever I wanted.
I was sceptical about using glutenless flours because to me the joy of bread comes from the stretch and pull and chew of the activated gluten protein. For this bread I used a combination of three flours - brown rice, sorghum and tapioca. The dough was wet and broke apart easily, but I quickly go the hang of it. And unlike wheat doughs this one mixed up quickly, without much kneading.
I baked it in a hot, 500 degree oven inside my cast iron Dutch oven, which I had pre-heated on a pizza stone. Halfway through baking I removed the lid, and the resulting bread had a very crispy crust. The interior was soft and chewy, with small holes created by the activated yeast. A sharp bread knife easily produced thin slices that were perfect for spreading the cheese. I think this bread had such a good flavor and texture that I am going to try rolling it out thin into a pizza crust, which I will bake directly on the stone. Above is the dough right after mixing. Below is the risen dough after shaping and scoring. On the bottom is the loaf hot out of the oven, before slicing.