The Challenges of GF Bread Baking

The Challenges of GF Bread Baking

Here I am making the buckwheat sourdough start for the Gluten Free Sourdough Buckwheat Bread.  That's just about the easiest part of baking Gluten Free breads; making the starter or the sponge (which is what I make for the GF Honey Oat).  I've been baking Gluten Free sweets for four years now and no longer feel intimidated by converting any sweets recipe to GF or making up a new sweets recipe.  But GF bread is an entirely different animal and something I've only been doing since I started at Small World in August.  I've spend the winter experimenting with both of the GF bread recipes and got the Buckwheat down pretty easily but the Honey Oat keeps me up at night and at times, has me pulling out my hair in frustration.  I'll spare you the details of my meltdown last week where I was on the verge of kicking the ovens and yelling at the bread because it wasn't baking correctly.  Is it our old ovens that sometimes can't keep a steady temperature?  Is it the humidity in the bakery?  Is it the moisture content in the dough?  "It's not you, it's me."  That's what I want the Honey Oat bread to say to me when I slice into it and there's a huge hole in the middle.  It's just not so easy to bake bread when there's no gluten in it.  Some weeks, I'm incredibly impressed by the Honey Oat and other weeks, I'd like to run in the opposite direction and never set eyes on the recipe again.  But, we've got you out there!  You GFers who like our GF bread and have written me encouraging emails and told other staff members what you think about the bread.  So I will not run from this Honey Oat, I will figure it out!  I will keep tweaking the recipe until that darn hole is gone and the bread doesn't crumble when you slice it!  It's going to take some time, but thankfully, I've got co-workers who handle my tantrums pretty well and give me slices of cheese and hugs when I'm on the verge of tears.  But it's mostly you folks out there who buy the bread, I'm doing this for you!  We all like a good challenge and this Honey Oat has challenged me to the nth degree.  And when I do get this recipe down pat, I will point at the Honey Oat bread and laugh victoriously and yell happily, "I figured it out!  You no longer fool me!"  Until then, bring it on Honey Oat, I've got my dukes up!  

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