I used to love myself a good white bread. Not all the time. But once in a blue moon I would whip out the white bread and eat it toasted, with melted butter on top, or straight out of the package with cream cheese smeared on it. The nutritional value of this experience was close to zero, a feast of carbohydrates and fat, but it was oh-so-delicious!
When I went gluten-free I kinda quit white bread as something to eat on a regular basis, because I found nothing like the toast I used to buy. I did miss a very fluffy type of burger bun or white bread, and found some industrially manufactured products that did the tricked, but I never imagined that I would actually be able to bake something like it.
Enter Facebook and its ability to bring you closer to other people and their kitchens. I stumbled upon a recipe for fluffy burger buns and decided to try it out, because it sounded so promising. I ended up tweaking the recipe quite a bit, replacing water with milk, adding cream as well as baking powder and baking soda, simply because these are all factors contributing to fluffiness. And voilá, I had incredibly fluffy, moist and absolutely delicious white bread that you can turn into burger buns or toast.
By the way, when cooled all the way down, you can cut the toast into slices and freeze them. Of course, you can do the same with the burger buns, except you freeze them whole.
Fluffy Gluten-free White Bread for Toast and Burger Buns
Ingredients (for twelve burger buns or a loaf of bread):
200ml sparkling water
150ml milk (I have low fat at home)
50ml whipping cream (or replace with milk)
1 package dry active yeast
80g butter at room temperature
500g white gluten-free flour (I used one third Harina Panadera from AdPan, and two thirds Schaer Mix-It!)
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 tsp gluten-free baking soda
1 tsp gluten-free agents (xanthan and guar gum, carob and arrowroot flours as well as physilium husk mixed together in equal parts)
1 large organic egg
For a crunchy gluten-free bread crust:
a small piece of butter, melted
Sesame or golden linseeds
Place the yeast into a large bowl together with the sugar. Add the milk (which should be slightly above room temperature, but not too hot to kill the yeast) and the sparkling water and whisk until the yeast has been diluted. Add the egg and the butter. Dilute the salt in the cream in a small bowl and set aside. Place the gluten-free flour in a bowl, add the gluten-free agents, the baking soda and the baking powder.
Take out two tablespoons flour and set aside in a small bowl. You will need them later for shaping the burger buns. Gently knead the majority of the flour into the liquid ingredients. Once you have incorporated the dry ingredients into the dough, add the cream with the diluted salt. Knead until all ingredients have been incorporated, for about five minutes. Cover the bowl with the dough with a humid kitchen towel and allow dough to rise for about an hour. I recommend using a plastic bowl rather than a metal one, because dough just rises better in plastic due to its ability to trap heat much better.
To make gluten-free burger buns:
Line a baking tin with baking parchment.
Sprinkle a part of the flour you set aside earlier onto the dough. Using clean and dry (!) hands divide the dough into twelve equal parts (you can weigh them if you want to be especially accurate) and roll into a bun. If you want to make your buns look particularly nice you can hold them under running water one after the other and use your hands to gently rub out any uneven areas or cracks in the dough.
Allow buns to rise for another hour. Turn your oven to 200°C.
Brush each bun with melted butter and sprinkle generously with golden linseed.
Bake buns for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and done.
Remove buns from oven and allow to cool on a baking rack (if you have it).
You can freeze the buns and thus keep them for several weeks.
For a gluten-free loaf of white bread/toast:
Turn your oven to 200°C.
Line a rectangular bread tin with baking parchment and gently pour the dough into it.
Even out the top of the loaf with a generous splash of water. Allow dough to rise for another half hour, then cut two diagonal crosses into the loaf, about a centimeter deep.
Proceed to brush your loaf with a generous amount of butter (for a crispier gluten-free crust) or add small pieces of butter on top to melt while it bakes. Place bread tin into the middle rack of your oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes or until golden brown and done. I suggest covering the loaf with aluminum foil after twenty minutes to ensure it is baked thoroughly within and that the crust doesn’t burn. Remove loaf from baking tin (you can knock against the bottom of the bread, and if it sounds hollow, it’s done) and peel off baking parchment. I know it’s hard to resist, but don’t cut the loaf until it has entirely cooled off. In case you want to freeze, cut into slices and place them into a freezer bag. Ensure not to crowd them too much. You can also place a piece of baking parchment between the slices for extra easy removal prior to toasting!