Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Cranberry Orange Buns

This was my first attempt at gluten-free bread, but it seems to have worked out alright. Comments and suggestions are welcome, especially if you have gluten-free bread making expertise and advice!

I made some Company's Coming Breads "Orange Rolls" for our local MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) group, and some in the group have issues with gluten and dairy. Instead of making a rolled-up bun with margarine, sugar and orange rind as a filling, I made them like little buns, with orange rind mixed in. I thought dried cranberries might go well with the orange theme, and so they do. I used flours that were readily available at our local Nutter's store. The Xanthan Gum was also purchased at Nutter's.

Give them a try and let me know how they turned out!

NOTE: If your kitchen is not predominately a gluten-free place, be very thorough as you prepare to bake. Make sure all pans, cooling racks, measuring and cooking utensils are clean and free of any flour or flour dust. Wash off your standing mixer and counters. Make sure the surfaces your dough will come in contact with are free of any traces of flour. Also check the ingredients in your spray oil. Some brands contain wheat. Don't grease the pans with margarine or butter if the person you're baking for is lactose intolerant. If your spray oil is not free of wheat/gluten, you may need to oil the pans with Canola or vegetable oil. Always, when planning a gluten-free baking treat, always check the labels and read the ingredients of everything you consider using.

1 cup rice milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Canola oil
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour (*on the advice of the Living Without Magazine, I ran the rice flour through a well cleaned coffee grinder to make the flour finer and less grainy)
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour (I used Bob's Red Mill's Sweet White Sorghum Flour)
3/4 cup tapioca starch flour
3/4 cup potato starch
4 teaspoons Xanthan Gum
1 Tablespoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
grated rind of one orange
1 cup dried cranberries, chopped quite small
3 eggs

2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup prepared orange juice (sometimes I just squeeze the juice from the rind-less orange)

Heat milk to boiling point in small saucepan. Add oil. Let cool to lukewarm while you measure the flours, sugar, salt, Xanthan gum, yeast, orange rind and cranberries into large standing mixer bowl.* Add warm milk/oil, and eggs. Mix on lowest speed of stand mixer with dough hook, for about 10 minutes, until flour is incorporated. Add up to 1/4 cup more sorghum or fine rice flour, if dough seems too sticky.

(*I used my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you're going it alone, follow these directions mixing everything together with a wooden spoon until you have to start kneading with your hands.**)

Take dough off dough hook, and form into a ball with your hand. Remove from bowl, (either hold in one hand or rest on clean breadboard) and add oil to bottom of bowl. Put dough in bowl, swishing it around to cover the bottom with oil, then flip the dough to cover the other side. My dough was quite soft, but it didn't stick terribly to my fingers.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2- 2 hours.

When bread dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and divide into 24 pieces. Roll/ shape each portion into a ball, and place on lightly greased baking sheet. My dough was still very soft after rising. It had a different texture than I'm used to with yeast breads. Less "bread-y", more "batter-y". Set in warm place to rise again until the buns are about doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 350*F, then bake the buns for 15-20 minutes until browned.

Drizzle with glaze when cooled.

**To knead: Gather the dough into a ball. With the heel of your hands, push the dough away from you. Now with your fingers pull the dough back towards you into the ball. Repeat with pushing away and pulling it back 4 or 5 times. The dough should start to get longer, side to side. Rotate the dough, (1/4 turn), so it is long-wise to you; gather the longer end up into a ball with your fingers, then push it back out in the kneading motion as before. Continue kneading and turning the dough for at least 10 minutes. The longer you knead, the better your bread will be.

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