This is a simple and tasty bread. It takes a few hours to make from beginning to end but your effort will be worth it. This recipe makes 3 long loaves. I make them in heavy gauge aluminized steel pans with a perforated surface which creates a crisp golden crust. If you don’t have perforated loaf pans use a baking sheet. The bread is just as tasty.
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
5½ to 6 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free All-purpose Baking Flour
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Using a large mixing bowl, mix all of the ingredients together using 5½ cups of flour. Mix thoroughly until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, adding more flour if necessary. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface to knead.
Fold the far edge of the dough back over on itself towards you. Press into the dough with the heels of your hands and push away. After each push, rotate the dough 90°. Repeat this process in a rhythmic, rocking motion for about 5 minutes, sprinkling only enough flour on your kneading surface to prevent sticking. Let the dough rest while you scrape out the mixing bowl. Lightly spray the bowl with cooking spray.
Knead the dough again for 2 to 3 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl and turn it over once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until the dough doubles in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough with your hands. Cut into three balls of dough and form each ball into long French-style loaves. Place the loaves in baguette pans or on baking sheets generously sprinkled with additional flour. Let the loaves rest for 5 minutes.
Lightly slash the tops of the loaves three or more times diagonally and brush them with cold water. Place the pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and sounds hollow to the touch.
Remove the loaves from the oven and place them on a rack to cool before slicing. Store in a paper bag at room temperature for a couple of days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.