If you are new to the gluten free lifestyle and are terrified at the thought of baking your own bread, we wanted to highlight a commercially available gf bread mix by Pamela’s. As you may already know, there are several easy bread recipes in our book (A Celebration of Gluten Free Baking), which we encourage you to try. But, given everyone’s hectic and busy lives, sometimes a mix can be a quick and easy alternative. The price of the mix is pretty comparable to any store bought gluten free bread, while giving you the experience of freshly baked bread in your own home.
According to the package directions, this mix can also be used to make bagels, pizza, and pie crusts (although we have not personally tried to make any of these).
For the sake of this test, we used our Breadman’s Ultimate Plus bread maker set at the basic white bread setting, 2-lb. loaf, medium crust. Per Pamela’s instructions, we did not use the gluten free setting on the bread maker. Just a note, we have tried to do this with other recipes in the past, and for some reason, have found that the gluten free setting generally does not produce the promised result. Because of this, we almost always use the white bread setting when making gluten free bread.
Pamela’s bread recipe calls for:
- 1 bag of Pamela’s bread mix
- 2 cups warm water
- 1/4 cup oil (we used olive oil)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 yeast packet, which is included in the mix.
We adapted this recipe to include:
- 2 Tbsp. of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (we used the Mezzetta’s brand sun- ripened dried tomatoes)
- 2 Tbsp. of shredded Parmesan, Asiago, and Romano cheeses.
Please drain off any excess oil from the sun-dried tomatoes before finely chopping them. We added the tomato and cheese blend during the last five minutes of the second rise cycle, because our initial concern was that the dough may not rise properly if we added these “heavier” ingredients earlier on. This worry turned out to be unfounded, after making this recipe again, adding the additional ingredients earlier in the cycle and the bread still rose beautifully.
Just one thing to remember, all bread makers generally require that you add the liquid ingredients first, followed by the dry ingredients, topped off with the yeast. Be sure to follow any and all directions for your bread maker. This bread mix can easily be made the old fashioned way in an oven, just follow the instructions on the packet.
The results were absolutely great. The flavor reminded us somewhat of an Italian focaccia bread. Its texture was very moist, chewy and easily sliced for sandwiches. Even the middle of the bread, which usually leaves a hole from the bread maker’s paddle, and easily crumbles, did not fall apart.
Looking forward to hearing about your own results and experiences with this mix and others.