Clara Gluten Free

The Right Pan

With Hurricane Sandy prep in full swing last weekend—yay! the power is back today!—I did a lot of bread-baking. And after baking 6 loaves of my very own sandwich bread, I felt like it was time to take a break from normally-scheduled recipe-casting and discuss some technique: pan shape. It matters. 

Yes, that's one of the 6 loaves that came out of one my 6 identical glass loaf pans. I'm partial to glass, because they give better crusts and, being more inert, healthier loaves.

What's remarkable about these loaves, as opposed to all the other loaves I've made since developing the recipe, is the high rise and straight sides of the slices. The recipe is what makes the reactions happen to form that sort of structure, but especially with GF recipes, it's the pan that gives the food its shape. Since there isn't any gluten in the bread, though, there's very little stuff that's there to give it an internal structure. As a result, the batter/dough (hard to tell which, with gluten free baking) follows the shape of the pan. The dough climbs up and latches onto the sides of the pan while baking, and if the sides of the pan aren't what you like—well, the final shape won't be either. But if you get six identical Pyrex pans in the exact shape you are looking for, the recipe will be the same. Perhaps like me, you will feel pretty dang-nab-special. 

And now, back to your regularly scheduled recipe-casting.

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