Q. Can fresh yeast be used in the Sky Ranch gluten free bread pre-mixes?
A. Yes. However, most recipes call for dried yeast, which has convenient, readily available packaging. Fresh yeast keeps for two weeks only (or slightly less) in the refrigerator. In my experience the best quality dried yeast is a product called Mauripan and it has a shelf life of two years.
Q. What is xanthan gum and is its use necessary in gluten free baking?
A. Xanthan is a gluten substitute. It’s an organic emulsifier produced from the cellulose present in corn and cabbage. It duplicates gluten’s binding effect and prevents crumbling. Guar gum is another gluten substitute which makes a smooth crust. Combining the two gums improves texture and cell structure. Omitting either product will cause your baked products to crumble and fall apart. If required for dietary reasons, guar gum may be successfully substituted at 1¼ teaspoon for each teaspoon of xanthan gum. Using guar gum alone creates thinner batters and dough, which may be fine for some recipes but can cause difficulties with breads and biscuits.
Q. What would cause my bread to have holes under the crust?
A. We have found, after exhausting tests, that g.f. dough needs to very thick, almost like concrete. With too much water, which was our problem, the excess steam blows holes in the bread. So make sure your dough sticks “like dough” to spoon and after it’s in the greased tin press the dough down well with a spatula, into all corners and across the top. We then knock the tin on the bench top to settle it even more. Our baking times have also lengthened. Long, slow cooking bakes a better g.f. loaf.
Q. Do you supply Sky Ranch dry bread mixes in bulk?
A. Yes. It is not packed by the kilo but by the amount of loaves you require. Orders over 30 mixes attract wholesale rates.
Q. Can I bake gluten free Sky Ranch bread pre-mixes in my bread making machine?
A. Our traditional range of premixes are not suitable for a machine. We do, however, now have a white -bread premix suitable for a bread machine.
Q. Is it possible to make gluten free bread recipes in bulk?
A. Sure can. But be careful. Due to the consistency difference of gluten free dough it may not turn out as well as other recipes. You will need to alter cooking times. Depending on the size of your mixer try doubling your recipe, then perhaps try making three loaves. Be sure to accurately triplicate your ingredients.