The folks at Namaste sent me a free sample of their bread mix to review. This review is my honest opinion, regardless of receiving a free product.
The search for truly good gluten-free bread has led me down some interesting paths. I have tried mixes (King Arthur and Pamela’s), and frozen, (Udi’s, Kinnickinick, O’Doughs) and have not yet found gluten free bread that reminds me of real, yeasty, chewy and gluten-filled bread.
I have to admit, I was skeptical about this bread mix. The directions are pretty straight forward and easy, but how would it taste?
Here are the directions from the side of the box:
The biggest difference in this mix is that you bloom the yeast separately in warm water, instead of adding it to the dry bread flour.
Then you add the eggs and oil to the yeast mixture.
I added the dry mix to my stand mixer, then poured all of the liquid into the mixer, on top of the flour mix. Then I followed the directions to mix on medium for three minutes.
The dough came together almost immediately. It was slightly sticky, but blended well.
I then scraped the dough into my prepared loaf pan, and inserted it into my oven to proof. I accomplished this by heating the oven to 200 degrees, then turning it off. It’s just warm enough to proof the dough. I left it in the oven for the recommended 30 minutes.
As you can see, the dough didn’t rise much. I did cover it with a greased sheet of parchment (they recommend you cover the bread loosely while proofing). But I wonder if this prevented a full rise? In most casesgluten free dough does not rise as much as a regular wheat dough anyway. Maybe my water was not warm enough? In any case, the bread will rise in the oven while baking.
After 30 minutes, I covered the bread loosely with foil, then continued to bake it for another 35 minutes.
As you can see, the loaf turned out beautifully golden brown, with a nice crust. But the proof is in the tasting. Would I be disappointed?
I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of this loaf. It is soft without being spongy (which I hate). It has a tender crumb and a nice, crunchy, but not hard, crust.
I would definitely recommend you try this bread mix. It will provide a nice change from those frozen loaves we have all come to have a love/hate relationship with. And yes, it edges out King Arthur and Pamela’s bread mixes.
Next up: Namaste Pizza Dough mix. Stay tuned!!!