Found: A Delish, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Appetizer

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2Photo: Courtesy of Da Capo Press.
Nicole Hunn, the author behind the blog Gluten-Free on a Shoestring and the book series by the same name, has no shortage of kitchen shortcuts. Created with the busy family in mind, Hunn's blog houses her secrets to getting a complete meal, including bread, on the table in no time flat — sans budget-stretching.

Cheesy Bread

Makes 1 large round loaf

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups Gluten-Free Bread Flour, plus more for sprinkling
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk, ground finely in a blender or food processor
2 1/3 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/3 cups warm water
6 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded

In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, dry milk, and yeast, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk to combine. Add the honey, butter, and water, and mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. It will still be quite sticky and the dough will begin to climb up the dough hook, but it should be smooth and stretchy. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size. Spray the top of the dough with cooking oil spray, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to three days. Enriched dough like this should not be refrigerated raw for more than three days.
4Photo: Courtesy of Da Capo Press.
On baking day, sprinkle an 8-inch round banetton or proofing basket liberally with flour and set it aside. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, then gently fold and knead in five ounces of the cheese, sprinkling with flour again if the dough becomes sticky. Shape it into a boule on a flat, well-floured surface, and place it seam side up in the prepared proofing basket. Place the banetton in a plastic bag and loosely secure the end. Place in a warm, draft-free location until the dough has doubled in size.

Once the bread is fully risen, working carefully so as not to deflate it, invert the dough onto the prepared baking sheet, seam side down. Sprinkle the top of the dough lightly with flour and, using a sharp knife at a 45-degree angle, slash a crisscross pattern of four slashes, each 1/4-inch deep. Scatter the remaining ounce of cheese in the slashes.
1Photo: Courtesy of Da Capo Press.
Place the baking sheet in a cold oven and turn the heat to 350°F. Bake until the internal temperature of the loaf is 185°F on an instant-read thermometer (about 45 minutes). Tent the loaf with foil if it begins to brown too quickly. Turn off the oven, prop open the oven door, and allow the bread to sit in the oven as it cools. This will help the bread maintain its shape, as it is a very moist loaf. Remove the bread after 15 minutes, or once the oven temperature reaches 150°F.

Place the loaf on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Gluten-Free Bread Flour

Makes 1 cup flour

11 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose gluten-free flour (see below)
5 tablespoons unflavored whey protein isolate
5 teaspoons Expandex modified tapioca starch

For this recipe, my High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour is best. It is a copycat recipe for Better Batter gluten-free flour, so that commercially-available gluten-free flour blend will also work well.

High-Quality All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour

Makes 1 cup flour

1/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup superfine white rice flour
2 1/3 tablespoons tapioca starch
2 1/3 tablespoons potato starch
1 3/4 teaspoons potato flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons pure powdered pectin
3Photo: Courtesy of Da Capo Press.
General Shaping Tips

Unless otherwise noted, always begin on a well-floured surface with floured hands.

1. With the help of an oiled bench scraper, keep moving the dough as you shape it, particularly if it begins to stick to the surface or your hands. The process of kneading the dough in this book will be done using the scrape-and fold method: Scrape the dough off the floured surface with the bench scraper, then fold the dough over itself. Sprinkle the dough lightly with flour, scrape the dough up again, and fold it over itself again. Repeat scraping and folding in this manner until the dough has become smoother.
2. Keep the outside of the dough and the surface covered in a light coating of flour as you shape the dough. Handle the dough with a light touch to avoid kneading the flour into the dough, which might dry it out and result in a tight, unpleasant crumb.
3. It bears repeating: A light touch is the key. Repeat that to yourself as a mantra as you first learn to shape this bread dough. It’s the most important rule in shaping. More technique, less muscle.
4. You’ll notice that the recipes do not include instructions to allow dough that has been rising in the refrigerator to come to room temperature before shaping. Always begin with cold dough when shaping the dough in this book. It is much easier to shape.

Shaping A Boule

On a well-floured surface, flatten the dough into a disk, then pull the edges toward the center of the disk and secure the edges together by pressing them between your thumb and forefinger. Turn the dough over so that the gathered edges are on the bottom and cup your whole hands around the dough, to coax it into a round shape. Rotate the dough in a circular motion with cupped hands, to perfect the shape.

From the book Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: Biscuits, Bagels, Buns and More by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Copyright 2013.