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Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Baguettes

It’s not easy making gluten-free bread.

As I first confessed over at Saveur magazine’s website in the story, “A Thing of Wonder,” I have had my failures.

“Luckily, with so much bread failure behind me, success was surely on its way. It just had to be.”

My small window of opportunity opened when I least expected it. Things shifted. Suddenly, my bread confidence was up and seemingly every piece of knowledge I had ever breathed in came together in this baguette dough.

There were all the intellectually over-my-head conversations with bread masters like Sullivan St Bakery‘s Jim Lahey (whom I’ve known for more than 10 years and worked with for a couple of those), and cookbook author and longtime instructor Peter Reinhart (whom I shared a gluten-free/gluten-full panel with at an IACP conference).

And my all-consuming years as an Italian bakery owner, my countless annotated baking and bread cookbooks that line my bedroom wall as well as my blog reading, especially this post on gluten-free baguettes by my friend and cookbook colleague, Zoë François of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day fame. She took the fear out of me. Now, let’s hope I can do that for all of you, too.

What all of my bread mentors—and their mentors before them—had in common was one ingredient: Time. It’s no secret that bread baking has always been a time commitment. You have active time (measuring ingredients, mixing and shaping) and passive time (proofing the dough, at least twice).

But, if you use Zoë’s method of proofing in the fridge, time is on your side.

“The single-most reason to let the dough chill out in the fridge overnight is flavor. Only time can give you that.”

The results of my patience have been worth every hour I’ve spent waiting. I’ve watched Isaiah tear off pieces and dip them into a jar of our Nutella Knockoff and Chiara loves soaking up extra-virgin olive oil with it. I like slicing a baguette in half, horizontally, and making a crusty sandwich—and I mean crusty. Like every good Italian, I can now wipe my plate clean with bread. I’ve also made crostini, panini and strawberry bread pudding.

It is summer, after all.

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Makes: Two 17-inch-long baguettes


2 cups Silvana’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Blend (page 15) or your favorite gluten-free flour blend
1 cup sorghum flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ tablespoon salt
One ¼-ounce packet active dry yeast
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1½ cups lukewarm water
Canola oil cooking spray, for greasing

If you’re committed to baking bread at home, it’s worth having these two tools on hand: a 4-quart storage container and a 2- or 3-baguette loaf pan. This recipe was inspired by my bread-baking mentors Zoë François and Peter Reinhart. For more bread recipes, please check out their latest cookbooks, including Zoë’Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (which she co-authored with Jeff Hertzberg; also, they include a whole gluten-free chapter) and Peter’s Artisan Breads Every Day.

Recipe Tip: If you remove the loaves from the oven to let cool completely and they soften, just turn the oven back on and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. The bread will get crusty—and stay crusty.

1. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour blend, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt and yeast. Add the eggs, oil, honey and water, and with the motor on medium-high, mix for 4 minutes until a sticky, stretchy dough forms. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for about 2 hours. Refrigerate for about 24 hours and up to 3 days.
2. Sprinkle flour over a sheet of parchment paper and using wet hands, pull out ½ of the dough and place on the parchment while gently lifting and stretching the dough into a baguette-like shape. Run warm water over your hands and gently smooth out the top and sides, rinsing your hands as needed. Place the shaped dough with parchment into a baguette pan, if using, and cover loosely with greased plastic wrap. Let proof at room temperature for about 1 hour.
3. Meanwhile, place a baking stone on the bottom rack and preheat your oven to 475º degrees. Using a serrated knife, diagonally score the loaf three times, about ¼-inch deep. Place the baguette pan onto the preheated stone and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment paper (if using the baguette pan only) and bake until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom, 20 to 30 minutes more. Turn off the heat, open the oven door and let cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool completely.


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16 Comments: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Baguettes

Karen Said:

Look that channeling! Gorgeous Silvana! I can’t wait to try this masterpiece out.

Emma Galloway Said:

Oh. My. God.

Barbara Said:

Oh, I have been craving a really GOOD baguette for so long now… I’ve made lots, but while they are passable, they aren’t WONDERFUL. I want WONDERFUL! Is that too much to ask?!?! :-) I’m trying these–the pictures make my mouth water…

Marjy Said:

Wow! Can’t wait to try this recipe. Wonderful baguettes would be great after so long without! Thank you!

Janis Said:

What would be the measurement for the yeast? I don’t use packets, I have a jar of yeast that I use. Thanks.

Angie Halten Said:

I can taste my bruschetta topping on your crunchy baguette even as we speak…now I know what I’m having for lunch!

Jennifer Said:

Chef Reinhart was my instructor too, love him!! Your bread looks great, I can taste it with some pea puree and salt!!

Ellen W Said:

I may have to buy some bagette pans so I can have some “bakery” bread. @Janis – a packet of yeast equals 2& 1/4 tsp.

Ricki Said:

Never mind my fear of yeast breads. Never mind that I don’t eat bread with eggs. Never mind that I’m not even really a fan of baguette–this loaf looks freaking fantastic! Congrats on nailing it. :)

InTolerantChef Said:

I have some bright green basil oil that just needs to be matched with some tomatoes to be perfect with this bread. The crust looks beautiful!

Janis Said:

Thanks Ellen. guess I could have looked it up, but didn’t think of that as I was looking at the recipe.

Mary Wendland Said:

wow-this looks real! I cannot wait to try this today if I can find a baguette pan! thank you. (just made your fantastic waffles this morning with my own blueberry jam on top-life is very good).

Jani Said:

First, I love the book “Cooking for Isaiah.” I have successfully try many of your recipes. However, the bread is not working for me. The bread didn’t get that nice crust that your picture shows and the inside was kind of compact, it wasn’t nice an airy like yours. Also, I could taste the yeast. Any suggestions?

Silvana Said:

Hi Janis,

I’m sorry to hear the bread didn’t work out. I wish I could be next to you in the kitchen to figure out what went wrong.

Did you substitute any ingredients?

Talk soon,
Silvana

Melissa Said:

Hey Silvana!!

I just found your site and I am stoked! My nephew is allergic to gluten and dairy so this is a Godsend. I also have been gluten free and dairy free for a month now to help me with my PCOS.

So, my mom and tried this recipe. I figured we could handle it since we are Italian and baking/cooking comes very natural to us. I followed the recipe to a tee except I proofed the yeast first. The dough was extremely hard to manage, (extremely soft and sticky) Is that the right texture it should be at?

Long story short we pulled it out of the oven and my baguettes were pretty flat. Similar to a focaccia in flatness. Smell and flavor our down right yummy…So, they surely won’t go the waste. We see potential since the bread did have some air within in. Not sure if my yeast failed me or from the get go my dough was the wrong consistency to begin with. Any tips?

Gillian Said:

Hi Silvana,

I tried the baguette tonight and followed the ingredients exactly. The bread turned out fine but when you say to leave the bread in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes after the first 20 minutes, that seemed too long. I took it out after 10 min and it was done. The only thing I can think of is that I put it on the second rack, not the very bottom one. Could that have made the difference?

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