Hamburger and Deli Buns

Utilty White Bread

You can't see the bottom of the bun in this picture - too much roast beef and turkey.

One member of the gluten free community on the ICORS listserv referenced a GF baking site with an interesting sounding bread flour mixture (click here). Accordingly, I decided to give the flour mixture a try in a very reliable bread recipe. In gluten free baking it is sometimes a challenge to guess the outcome of something new.

Since company was coming I baked 10 fresh buns. We put out both gluten-free buns and supermarket buns for our deli lunch. A number of the gluten free buns were eaten by people who don't normally need gluten free, and there weren't really any comments. Bottom line was: this is just bread. That, actually, was a very good sign. The buns baked up tall and fairly fluffy, and they had a nice yeasty aroma of fresh bread. They didn't fall apart or dissolve under the weight of a deli sandwich. They didn't turn to crumbles, and they were nice and soft because they were baked earlier that morning. And the bread did not detract from the sandwich.

However, I was not nearly as happy with the buns as morning toast: They were pretty vapid, and I thought the texture of the bread immediately under the toasted portion was a bit gummy and a bit rubbery. The features that made the un-toasted buns great for a sandwich foundation seemed to work against toast. This is only a slight negative. When you think about it, people don't go to the supermarket, buy hamburger or hot dog buns, and then have them as morning toast. There is nothing wrong with special purpose bread.

Here is the flour mix according to Esther, the author of the web site referenced.

Flour mix ratios for making bread flour
Whole-grain components (55%) Highly refined starch components (44%)
Brown rice flour 3 parts (33%) Sweet rice flour (also known as glutinous rice flour) 2 parts (22%)
Sorghum flour 2 parts (22%) Tapioca flour 1 part (11%)
    Potato or corn starch 1 part (11%)

Flour mix by weight (15 ounces)
Whole grains Refined starches
Brown rice flour** 5 oz Sweet rice flour 3.3 oz
Sorghum flour 3.3 oz Tapioca flour* 0.9 oz
    Expandex* 0.8 oz
    Potato or corn starch 1.7 oz

* If you don't have Expandex, substitute 1.7 ounces of Chebe regular bread mix for the Expandex + tapioca flour.

Flour mix by volume (3.5 cups)
Whole grains Refined starches
Brown rice flour** 1 cup + 3 tablespoons Sweet rice flour 3/4 cup
Sorghum flour 3/4 cup Tapioca flour* 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
    Expandex* 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
    Potato or corn starch 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon

* If you don't have Expandex, substitute 1/3 cup of Chebe regular bread mix for the Expandex + tapioca flour.

** Brands of brown rice flour do make a difference. Bob's Red Mill is more finely ground than Arrowhead and will make a less granular product. Both are gluten free. Very finely ground brown rice flour is also available at a local Korean market; however, it has not been certified gluten-free, and I notice the same brand also has whole wheat flour and barley flour. Un-tested, I'm suspicious of the purity of the rice flour.

Utility white bread
Amount (measure) Amount (weight) Ingredient
3-1/2 cups 15 oz Flour mix - above
2 Tablespoons 0.9 oz White sugar
1 Tablespoon 0.35 oz Instant yeast (or one package of yeast)
1-1/2 teaspoons 0.3 oz Xanthan gum
1-1/2 teaspoons 0.3 oz Guar gum (or Xanthan gum if you don't have Guar gum)
1/2 teaspoon 0.05 oz Kosher salt (You could double the salt.)
3 Tablespoons 1.5 oz Margarine melted or olive oil
1/2 cup   Liquid egg whites (You could use two whole eggs for a richer bread.)
1 1/4 cup   Water - 110° F
1 teaspoon   Baking powder
    Brown rice flour or cornmeal for dusting


Click here for suggestions on bun pans.