If you are looking for a soft, bendy sandwich bread that is easy to work with, easy to shape, and lovely when cooked, this is the bread for you! Celulose is commonly used in commercial breads as a hydrocolloid (like xanthan gum) to help gluten free dough be easier to handle (less sticky) and easier to shape/rise, so that the finished product looks beautiful.
Once, a cellulose salesman came to the office to talk with us about incorporating his product into ours… I asked him if the rumor that the cellulose was actually cotton or sawdust based were true, and to my shock he said yes. Sawdust in bread…just not right, IMO.
Some of the breads out there (commercial or otherwise) get around sawdust by using psyllium. Unfortunately psyllium gel tends to break down in temperatures over 176F (70C) so the recipes that use psyllium also tend to use another form of protein for structure – typically egg white.
I wanted to create a clone of a popular commercial bread brand, without the sawdust, eggs, or price tag. By incorporating psyllium powder (I used guaranteed gluten free Konsyl powder) in my bread recipe, I found I was able to get the perfect texture for shaping and proofing, and the xanthan gum in our product allows for the structure of the bread to set without animal products.
I think I succeeded in cloning the Udi’s bread relatively well, and my kids think the taste and texture is even better than the real product. You can see from the picture how easy the bread is to bend, how lovely the crumb is, and how pretty the finished product is. You’ll want to use a stand mixer, a large slow cooker, and a chopstick or skewer/wooden spoon for this bread. I have found slow cookers to give the easiest, prettiest loaf breads, and I’m disinclined to go back to any other method of making loaf bread.
This recipe will make a 1 1/2 lb loaf, with about 36 total grams of fiber per loaf – about 3 grams of fiber per slice if you slice the bread into 12 slices. Total cost as of the publication of this recipe is between $3.00 and $4.00, depending on how you buy the flour, a nice savings compared to the original commercial bread.
1 tbsp shortening (we use organic palm or coconut oil) or vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c plus 1 tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3 c (12 oz or 372g) Better Batter Gluten Free Flour
2 tbsp psyllium powder (we recommend Konsyl gluten free)
Grease an 8×4 inch loaf pan.
In a stand mixer combine all ingredients. Blend with a paddle attachment until thoroughly incorporated. Change the paddle out for the bread dough hook. Using the bread dough hook, beat the dough on high speed for 4 minutes. You will find the dough is less sticky than cookie dough and more sticky than traditional bread dough.
Remove the dough from the bowl and very lightly flour a rolling surface, rolling the dough ball on the surface to coat all sides. Gently pat out the dough to a rectangle about 12 x 10 inches and 1 inch thick. Roll up along the long side until you have a cylinder. Pinch the ends and seam together to seal and tuck the ends under, until you have a loaf about 8 inches long.
Place the loaf in your loaf pan and place the whole loaf into your slow cooker. If you have a round slow cooker rather than an oval cooker, you may want to use 1 to 2 quart round ceramic casserole dish instead or cook the dough directly on the slow cooker surface (the finished loaf will be shaped differently).
Place the lid on your slow cooker, propping it very slightly with the chopstick or skewer/wooden spoon. Turn the heat to high and cook for 4.5 – 5 hours, or until golden brown. Remove from cooker and remove from pan and allow to cool completely before slicing. To further soften your crust you may either cool the finished loaf under a tea towel or rub the finished loaf with butter or margarine while still hot, or both.