There are several reasons that yeast breads need to be tweaked.
- Additional Liquid is added to the recipe for several reasons:
- In regular yeast breads gluten forms connections that allow it to become springy and hold its shape. The combination of the extra liquid with the xanthan gum creates a substitute for this and mimics the role of gluten in a baked good.
- Gluten Free breads are naturally hydrophilic, meaning they love water. Extra liquid accounts for the increased rate of absorption of liquid in the product that happens during the rising process. Each granule of starch literally encapsulates the moisture in the loaf – therefore more liquid is needed to product the correct ‘moisture’ to allow the texture of the bread to expand in the oven.
- Shaped breads, as opposed to Loaf breads which do not require shaping, take less water to accommodate the baker in shaping the bread. The interior of a shaped dough will still be very tacky, but the surface will be dryer and workable.
Kneading and one of the risings are omitted because these things are used in order to develop gluten – something unnecessary in a gluten-free product! Beating for three minutes, instead, ensures even mixing and aeration of the ingredients and allows the xanthan gum and extra water to combine to form the ‘strands’ necessary for successful baking.