Make Ahead Bread Giveaway and Doing the Gibassier — Gluten-Free!

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Once we hit the full throttle of fall and the holidays start stacking up around each corner of the calendar, I get the itch to bake. Of course, there are the requisite cookies, pies, and cupcakes but when it comes to breads of any kind, I mostly steer clear. That is, until now. So what’s with my sudden interest in bread baking?

It is due in no small part to a great new book out right now, called Make Ahead Bread, by my friend and former Virtual Potluck colleague, Donna Currie.

Donna’s new book takes you by the hand and makes it all seem so easy and fun, whether you’re a novice or a semi-regular baker, a full-force wheat belly or gluten-free glutton, she will get you excited about the idea of bread baking. (Plus, there is a totally freaking AWESOME giveaway below bound to make lots of people happy!)

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No Bread Zone

In chef circles, I would not be what you’d call a Boulanger. I have steered pretty clear up-to-this-point of the dough-making, yeast-rising, bread-baking pursuits, mostly playing in the quick and dirty pastry arts (scones, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, pizza crust and choux). Not because I wouldn’t love a fresh baked roll or chunk of warm-from-the-oven bread, but rather because I never really took the time to develop the skill for it.

In my twenties, I wasn’t much into baking because  I was never too much into bread (though I love a good baguette and croissant). When it came to sweet baked goods, I always said, “I’m a savories chef.” Oh, I made a handful of tried and true baked goods, basics like a great chocolate chip cookie, to-die-for brownies and a solid cinnamon oatmeal raisin cookie but never much of anything else.

Then, in my 30s, I was gifted a bread machine. It was fun and easy and for a little over a year, I came home to fresh baked bread each day — though never anything too edgy or exciting. In the end, as is the case with most bread machines (and treadmills, for that matter) it began collecting dust and was soon given away.

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Bring on the Bread

Nestled now, in the ever-wizening skin of my 40s, I thought I might dip my proverbial toe into the development of those baking skills (even procuring a live sourdough yeast starter — HINT: I killed it.) but then, I found out I was gluten intolerant. Which is to say, in pursuit of recreating my favorite quick and dirty goodies in gluten-free form, I ended up abandoning all thought of bread baking — that is, until Donna offered me a copy of her lovely book, noting, “There are gluten-free recipes in here.”

I was in. Donna also said I could play — which is such a gift when someone is sharing their recipes with you. Though, I love a good recipe, as the bones of a dish, I NEED to make it my own. Which is really what I think cooking is all about, putting your little twist or stink on things, shall we say — making the food your own by sharing a little bit of yourself in the process.

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The Birth of a Gluten-Free Gibassier

In nearly every culture there exists a celebratory bread for the holiday season, while these range from the discreet but sweet versions like challah (traditional braided jewish egg bread) to the lightly spiced sweetness of the UK’s Hot Cross Buns to the much denser and cloyingly sweet American fruitcake. Right in the middle of this spectrum lie Stollen (Germany), Nissua and Kaga (Scandinavian), Kolach (Russia), Panettone (Italy) and a host of others. But my favorite, is from the French, le Gibassier.

Here in Portland, we are spoiled on the best Gibassier around, baked to perfection by the incomparable, Pearl Bakery. Named after a summit in the mountains of Luberon in Provence (Le Gibas). Le Gibassier is a sweet, chewy, fluffy bread laced with the intoxicating scent and flavors of candied orange peel, anise seeds, olive oil & orange blossom water and dusted with fine baker’s sugar for the most supremely sensual breakfast bread experience on the planet.

This — like the croissant — is hard to come by in a gluten-free form. Which means, that once or twice a year, I will take my B. Infantis (I’m not celiac) and saddle up for the real thing. But in between, I long for the sweetly orange tinged pastry, so when I saw Donna’s recipe for gluten-free dinner rolls used yeast (not often a staple in GF baking) I thought I might have a chance at duplicating that yeasty leavened flavor of the Gibassier in a roll (shaped like a muffin).  Knowing I would not be able to get the texture or shape right going in, I focused solely on the flavor and the results were stunning and with only a few simple changes to Donna’s original recipe. If you’re gluten-free and missing your Gibassier,  try this out — I think you just might be surprised. If you’re not gluten-free, then try one of the many regular bread and roll recipes in Donna’s book and when you bake Gibassier, do it like Pearl Bakery does, using this recipe.

GF Gibassier rolls

Gluten-Free Gibassier Recipe

(Adapted from Make Ahead Bread’s Gluten-Free Dinner Rolls)

If you’d like this recipe in its unadulterated form (and you should — everyone needs a good gluten-free roll recipe for guests these days!) you’ll find it on page 64 of Make Ahead Bread.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1  cup room temperature water
  • 1/8 cup orange flower water
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups (16 1/2 ounces) gluten-free multi-purpose flour (I used Trader Joes blend — it’s wonderful.)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp xantham gum

Add-ins

  • 1/2 cup candied orange or tangerine peel
  • 2 tsp anise seeds

Spray a 12 cup muffin tin to prevent sticking (do NOT use baking spray as this contains flour.) Combine all ingredients (except the add-ins) in a standing mixer, in the order given above, starting with the water and yeast. Mix with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes until all ingredients have been incorporated and mixture is smooth. Add the candied orange and anise seeds and fold in to the dough. Scoop the dough in equal amounts into each of the muffin cups of your pan. Smooth the tops in a swirl pattern. Cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes, before storing in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Next day: Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 35 minutes. Insert a toothpick to test doneness, your toothpick should come out clean. Let them cool slightly before flipping the rolls out on to a cooling rack. Once cool to the touch, brush the muffin tops with butter before rolling those tops in fine grade Baking Sugar.

Enjoy!

 

Make Ahead Bread Bonanza: A Giveaway like No Other

In addition to a great new gluten-free Gibassier recipe to add to your holiday fun and an awesome new bread baking book that you absolutely must get for yourself and that someone(s) you love — there is also and AWESOME giveaway. And let me tell you, Donna hooked you guys up! There are 4 prize categories, including one Giant Super Grand Prize Winner and they are all killer.

The giveaway will run for 3 weeks, ending at 11:59pm on December 21st. This is a group giveaway, not per-blog — but the more blogs you visit and enter on, the more chances you’ll have to win. All winners will be notified by Donna Currie of Cookistry.

So, what are you waiting for, scroll down to the rafflecopter and do what you do to get entered. Best of luck!

1 winner

Giant Super Grand Prize:

  • Make Ahead Bread cookbook
  • Magimix 3200XL 12-Cup Food Processor in Brushed Chrome
  • 9-Piece set of Duralex Mixing Bowls
  • Made in the USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin from Harold Import Company
  • Microplane Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter
  • GIR scraper
  • Coupon for a free KAF bag of flour of their choice to use at their local supermarket and a plastic scraper
  • One package of Walker’s Shortbread Cookies

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Really Big Grand Prize:

  • Make Ahead Bread cookbook
  • WÜSTHOF CLASSIC 9-inch Double Serrated Bread Knife
  • 5-Piece set of Silverstone Bakeware in winner’s choice of red or blue
  • Made in the USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin from Harold Import Company
  • Microplane Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter
  • GIR scraper
  • Coupon for a free KAF bag of flour of their choice to use at their local supermarket and a plastic scraper
  • One package of Walker’s Shortbread Cookies

1 winner3

 

Grand Prize:

  • Make Ahead Bread cookbook
  • Rye Bread Baking Kit from King Arthur Flour
  • Made in the USA hardwood baker’s rolling pin from Harold Import Company
  • Microplane Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter
  • GIR scraper
  • Coupon for a free KAF bag of flour of their choice to use at their local supermarket and a plastic scraper
  • One package of Walker’s Shortbread Cookies

 

9 winners

NINE MORE WINNERS WILL GET:

  •  Make Ahead Bread cookbook
  • Microplane Elite Zester, Cube Grater, and Spiral Cutter
  • GIR scraper
  • Coupon for a free KAF bag of flour of their choice to use at their local supermarket and a plastic scraper

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Donna’s Book, Make Ahead Bread, is available for sale on Amazon. If you’d like an autographed copy, you can order one from Barbed Wire Books.

You can find Donna on her blog, Cookistry, or on Facebook and Twitter.

More Chances to WIN . . .

Visit these participating bloggers for more chances to win:

 

For the giveaway, we’d like to thank our sponsors who generously offered some fantastic prizes:

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