For several years I was super happy with being able to bake an amazing tasty sandwich size loaf of bread using our Goodness Me Basic Bread recipe. I looked with scorn at the “bricks” of gluten free bread on sale in the supermarkets knowing that I had much better bread waiting for me at home. But over time I began to see springy soft gluten free buns appear, ready made gluten free pizza bases, and other delicious looking gluten free bread products and I began to want more versatility from my bread than just sandwiches and toast. It was time to develop a brand new bread recipe!
Because Goodness Me’s basic gluten free bread loaf recipe took many years of trial and error to get it just how we wanted it we had a bit of a mental block, thinking that creating a new type of bread would be super difficult. We had of course already created Easter Hot Cross Buns and Focaccia, but those both needed to be baked in something that helped them retain their shape what I was wanting was “free form” bread just like the days before being gluten free. Don’t get me wrong I love our bread recipes as they are in my opinion much tastier than shop brought bread, definitely more useable as sandwiches and a lot heather due to our use of whole grains in our GM Bread Blend. But one day last year in my usual foodie fashion I decided, enough was enough, I needed a variety breads in my life.
First up I wanted to create a nice hamburger bun, as the ones I had tried from the stores were quite rough on my mouth, and seemed devoid of substance. The first few attempts resulted in delicious buns but they were dinner roll size. A tweak here and there in the ingredients, taste testing of many more buns followed and eventually we had success!
Once we had that hamburger buns sorted I started to get excited by the possibilities of the new bread recipe we had created and ideas for what we could make with it next, could it be adapted too pizza bases, what about panini, chelsea buns, grissini, ohhh and how about doughnuts and bagels. The answer was yes, yes and yes!
Another excellent reason to bake your own bread is the ability to control exactly what goes into it! At Goodness Me, our recipes only use real ingredients that you can buy at a store, with names you can pronounce. No nasty additives or preservatives like E464 Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose (to learn more about E464 read this great blog post from Thoroughbread) or Expandex that are commonly used in commercial gluten free baking (and many other foods). The fact that manufactures routinely add these and other nasties to our food really gets up my nose, but that is a topic for another day.
So you might be wondering if this post is just skiting about all the yummy bread we are enjoying in our Goodness Me test kitchen, but its not. We do like to keep you in the loop with what we are up too and we are thinking of putting all these new recipes into a mini-cookbook so you can enjoy them too. But I also wanted to tell you about our bread recipe experiences because its all too easy to get paralyzed with recipes. To feel like you have too stick rigidly to the recipe, to believe that its all too hard to adapt it or create something new. That you won’t succeed or its not possible, and yes often there will be “failures” (we did eat some interesting breads during the development process) but don’t be afraid to adapt a recipe, to experiment with ingredients or techniques.
Here’s a tip: if a recipe turns out not quite how you imagine just give it a creative new name and serve it up anyway, most people will never know what it was meant to be like, just be sure to take notes so that you can make changes to the recipe next time. We very rarely throw anything away when test baking recipes, it’s just wasteful and goes against our principals. However this does mean that sometimes cakes, become desserts covered with custard and bread becomes toasted sandwiches, or breadcrumbs. I like to think of it as culinary upcycling!
So I encourage you to enjoy being creative in the kitchen, you might just be surprised by the results!