Saturday 25 March 2017

Bread without binders: The future of GF baking?

I transitioned away from using gums in my baking way back in 2010, but like most others baking without gums, have still found it necessary to use an alternative binder such as psyllium, chia, or flax for satisfactory results in (eggless) raised bread formulas. However, I’ve long suspected that even these unprocessed binders may not always be needed as we continue to optimize milling, fermentation, and grain cultivar selection for better gluten-free flour quality. A recent research paper further supports this with regard to milling. The researchers have apparently made a 100% rice loaf bread with no binders, emulsifiers, or other additives. They attribute this success to the wet-milling process used, which results in intact, undamaged starch granules - dry-milling creates a lot more damaged starch, causing a gummy texture that is especially noticeable with small-granule starch like that of rice. (This is the primary reason recipes specifically calling for Thai rice flour, which is wet-milled, will not turn out right with other rice flour, even if it’s superfine.) But I suspect there has to be some specific cultivar selection at play as well, because even Thai rice flour can’t be used to make loaf bread without additives. I will hopefully be able to get my hands on a copy of the full-text article soon, which details the starch chemistry central to this bread's structure, and then I’ll be sure fill you in on this exciting research!
Image credit: Hiroshima University, via Science Daily

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