There are few virtues a man can possess more erotic than culinary skill.
Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
by Isabel Allende

Starting in November of 2009 Michelle at the Big Black Dog formed a group to bake its way through Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Zoë François and Jeff Hertzberg. I loved Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, so I signed up with the group. Michelle first had us do a couple of warm-up assignments, which were my first attempt at blogging. The first "Official" post was on January 15, 2010, and it was followed by 41 more, on the 1st and 15th of each month. When I signed on I said I would bake the whole book, and like Horton (the elephant) I meant what I said and I said what I meant. I finished baking the book on October 1, 2011. Having completed that challenge, now I am just going to do some stuff, and post about it. As part of that stuff Michelle is posing a new, and different, challenge for us each month.

I am still baking bread, mostly the Five Minutes a Day kind, and if you would like to try the Five Minutes a Day bread method there are some links, with recipes, in the right hand column to get you started. Please give it a try.

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This day be bread and peace my lot.
Alexander Pope

How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?

Julia Child

Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven.
Yiddish proverb
(And some are only half baked.)

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.
George Bernard Shaw, via Sharon

Of all smells, bread; of all tastes, salt.
George Herbert

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gluten-free Cheddar and Sesame Bread (13 of 42)

In this installment we again try gluten-free baking.  For this bread I used egg substitute, Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Cheddar, and toasted sesame seeds.  When I mixed up the dough  the consistency seemed pretty good.  It actually seemed a bit more stiff than the usual dough.  Since my last gluten-free loaf had been too wet, I thought I was making progress.  But then after it rose the dough was beyond wet, it was soupy.  I decided to see what chilling it overnight would do, and it got a bit better, but it was still pourable rather than kneadable.

 The first labor was to make a loaf in a pan.  Instead of working in more flour, as I had with the previous gluten-free bread, I just poured it into the bread pan and let it rise.   It rose well.  When I baked it I did not use water in the broiler pan, I had enough "wet" already.   I baked it longer than called for, since it was so wet and since I had used more of the dough batter than called for since I had quite a bit.  The bread had pretty good oven spring.  Despite the consistency of the dough this bread turned out surprisingly well!  It was really very tasty, but then with all the cheese and sesame seeds it would be hard not to be tasty.  And it had a decent crumb.

I am not sure where I went wrong, although Michelle wrote in our Discussion Group  that she had the same issues,  so at least I was not alone.  I did not weigh the ingredients as I usually do, because I did not want to take the time to track down the conversions for all the different flours.  I did feel that some of the flours were harder to accurately measure since they were so fine and I was not sure whether to pack or sift.  I am looking forward to seeing how everyone else did with this dough.

Next we were to use the same dough for bread sticks.  I was not sure how I was am going to get this soup into bread sticks.  I decided to just work in some extra brown rice flour (not used in the recipe but I had quite a bit of it)  but not to add more of the other ingredients.  I pulled poured out an orange sized piece and worked 1/4 cup of flour into it.  That helped, but I had to work almost another 1/4 cup in before I could roll it well.

I rolled it out (since no one eating it needed it to be gluten-free I used AP flour to dust the board and rolling pin, to conserve the more expensive flours), cut it with a pizza cutter and arranged it on my silicone mat. Note the ones with the decorative twists!

I sprayed the bread sticks  with olive oil,  sprinkled with salt and Parmigiano Reggiano, then let them rest a few minutes (to recover from all that kneading in of extra flour) before baking for 15 minutes.  Despite my concerns, they turned out great.

 Since I had some dough batter left, I made another loaf, just pouring it into the pan.  I thought this bread was very tasty, and I am really hoping some of the other bakers adapted this recipe to a non-gluten-free-whole-wheat version that I can try.

On an unrelated note, as you all know from the previous post, we spent the last episode on location, in Maine, where they have top-loading hot dog (or lobster roll) buns.  Several years ago I had gotten a pan to make these from King Arthur Flour, but had only tried to make them once.  On the drive home it occurred to me to try making them with HB in 5 dough.

I followed the instructions at Hot DOG! This bun pan does double duty but used the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich dough.  I filled the pan about 1/2 full (a tad less would have been fine).  After letting it rise, I put Reynolds Wrap® Non-Stick Foil over the top (instead of greasing the bottom of the cookie sheet as suggested), covered it with a cookie sheet, and weighted it with my Souse Pan.  (According to Wikipedia Souse is a head cheese pickled with vinegar.  Head cheese is not really cheese but is "a meat jelly made with flesh from the head of a calf or pig (sometimes a sheep or cow) in aspic."  ( I have never made, or eaten, head cheese.  But I like my pan, which I have had for years, and you never know ...)).

 I baked them covered for 18 minutes, then uncovered for a few, as suggested.  At that point they were not browned enough, so I baked them about 10 minutes longer. (Next time I will try 18 and 18.) 
The buns turned out very well.  I turned them out of the pan, sliced them most but not all the way through, cut them apart, buttered and grilled the sides, and used them for Chicken Sausages.

That concludes this fortnight's lesson. Next time it's Four-leaf Clover Broccoli and Cheddar Buns and  Mesquite Bread.  Be sure follow the links at Big Black Dog to see how everyone else fared with this assignment.


  1. Guff, Such a great post. I am not gluten-free but have a good friend who is. She's also a baker so I am referring her to this challenge to read all the posts. I always learn something valuable from you. Thanks.

  2. Love the twisted breadsticks wish I would have thought to do that extra step!

    I've seen the hotdog bun pan and thought about buying it! It worked out beautifully!

  3. hotdog buns and breadsticks are a nice twist on this bread

  4. So, what's with the abrupt name change? Is Guff your new hypothetical grandfather name? I like it. PS. I went to see Bill McKibben speak in Old Forge last week. You should check out, the website he's involved with.

  5. your bread looks great despite the wetness. And how fun to have a hot dog bun mold!!

  6. Great looking loaf and I love the buns. Cracked up when I realized what the headcheese mold was! Great post! And I have the same question why the switch from Old Pop?

  7. Ellen,
    The name change was requested by my handlers in the Witness Protection Program. (It was an old family name, though it also works as in don't give me any, and would serve as a purely hypothetical grandfather name).

  8. Your bread sticks look great! I love the idea of making hot dog buns with this dough.

  9. It would definitely be difficult to not be delicious with Cabot cheddar. I'm looking forward to following along with this series! Thanks for using Cabot cheese :)

  10. Great post and what a great pan, I've never seen one like it, now I know. The bread and hot dogs buns looked wonderful.