When I took this Gluten Free Sourdough Boule out of the oven, I could barely speak for how beautiful it looked and how fragrant it smelled. And that was even before I tasted it. When it cooled, I took my first bite. I was beyond stunned. I closed my eyes and for a moment, gluten free didn’t matter. For all I knew, I was in a small french bakery in Paris, sipping a cup of coffee, enjoying the most wonderful, fresh, sourdough bread I’d ever eaten. The crust – the kind you pull apart – crisp but with some give, tender and chewy at the same time. The insides full of little air pockets, with a taste that was as good as any sourdough bread I’d ever eaten before.
Though I’ve been baking Breads From Anna breads for a few years, this is the first time I tried making a free-formed artisan type bread from one of her mixes. I’m calling it a boule, cause it likes like the boules I’ve seen and, besides, I like the way it sounds:).
Yesterday, I prepared this Breads From Anna mix in my Zojirushi bread machine, programmed for the dough cycle. I did this at another location, not at my house. I then brought it home but left it overnight in my garaged car. It wasn’t warm, but it wasn’t terribly cold either – probably in the low 50′s. When I woke up this morning, I remembered that I’d left the bread machine in the car, full of bread dough. I brought the machine into the house and let it sit on my kitchen counter for about 2 hours. I then poured the dough onto a greased clay baker called a cloche, patted it with damp hands to give it some sort of roundish shape, and covered it. I let it sit on the counter for another hour, then baked it, covered, in the cloche, at 350 degrees, for one hour. I then took off the lid of the cloche, spritzed the oven with water, and baked it for another 10 minutes. When I took it out of the oven and put it on the cooling rack, it was crisp and beautifully browned.
When I sliced the boule and removed the first slice from the cutting board, I knew that I had achieved gluten free nirvana. We devoured almost the entire loaf in one afternoon. I forced myself to save a little chunk for tomorrow’s breakfast. Homage to the gluten free gods for bringing this bread to my kitchen. I am happy. Very happy.