Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The bread dough that ate New York

I decided to take another whack at crockpot baking. I tried a blueberry bread about a month ago, and it was a bit of a disaster- the bottom and sides burned before the center finished cooking. This time I mixed up a batch of Whole Foods brand gluten-free sandwich bread. I love this stuff. The texture is similar to regular wheat bread, and the mix runs about $3.50 a box. Pricey, but nothing like the $7.99 (!!!!) a loaf they charge for the ready baked loaves in the refrigerated case.
My one problem with this mix is that it doesn't fit well in my bread machine. It's supposed to be a 1.5 lbs loaf. Back in my gluten-eating days, when I made a wheat loaf that size in my machine it was big, but not too big for the machine. When I make a loaf with this stuff it grows up over the edge of the pan. One memorable loaf, meant as my contribution to a Thanksgiving dinner I'd been invited to of course, grew over the edge of the pan, down the side, and onto the heating element at the bottom of the machine. I set the smoke alarm off with that one.
So, I was very excited to see that the Crockpot Lady, my personal hero, made a loaf of this in her crockpot. Problem solved! I though. Maybe not so much. As you can see from the picture above, the dough grew to completely fill my 4qt crockpot. Fortunately, it stopped before pushing off the lid, but it was a close thing. It's smelling nice and bready in here, and the edges have pulled away from the sides and have browned up nicely. But the top is still raw. I just hope it cooks through before the bottom burns again.
Why does this mix get so humongous for me? Is it the level of humidity here in Houston? Bad luck? Am I going to have to give in and start using my oven? If so I'm going to have to make two loaves at a time. There's no way all that bread dough is going into one loaf pan.
This baking stuff is getting complicated. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

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