Strangely enough The Gluten-Free Pantry mixes are not in my grocery store gluten-free section although all of them are gluten-free. They are displayed in the International Foods isle, perhaps because they are a product of Canada.
Whatever the reason I am happy that they are there. We all need a couple of pantry staples that we can pull out and whip up something really good when we don’t have time to do the longer way. And I was motivated by the experimenting of Stephanie O’Dea at A Year of Slow Cooking and her technique for baking bread in a slow cooker. My Crock-Pot and this French Bread & Pizza Mix sat out on the kitchen counter for four days to remind me; and now the mix is mixed and the bread is baked!
The first time I made bread from this mix was when I went to help Rita pack and move to Virginia in 2008. This bread was the only gluten-free baked goods that we had at her house. The taste and texture reminded me of the Pepperidge Farm bread that I bought for the kids when they were very small.
It is difficult enough for a child to be sprouting teeth and learning to chew without their little peanut butter sandwich gumming up and making swallowing difficult. It was the soft white bread and not the peanut butter causing the problem. Slices of the Pepperidge Farm Very Thin White Bread made just the right size sandwich to fit a small mouth and our problem (safety issue) was solved.
The Gluten-Free Pantry website announces that they are changing the look of the packaging. I hope that includes legibly printed (for all eyes) instructions. At first the dough was not coming together so I went back and re-read to see if it was my mistake. I thought perhaps the two extra large eggs would equal two eggs plus one egg white and so maybe it needed another egg. No, the dough was still thick enough to mortar bricks together. The water amount looked like 1 1/4 cups but by squinting it looked somewhat different. So I pulled out the magnifying glass and read 1 3/4 cups of water. So I dumped in another 1/3 cup of water and then it made bread dough. That tiny print on a mottled gray background could definitely be improved.
This mix produces a 2-pound loaf and the directions call for a 9 inch by 5 inch bread pan. My old bread pans are quite definitely 8 inch by 4 inch so there was bread dough left over. The loaf pan went into the 7-qt Crock-Pot slow cooker. The remainder of the dough was divided into a cupcake pan to make small dinner rolls. Rising took quite longer than I thought it should. Patience, patience (not my strongest suite and after all it was a cold day), and eventually there was bread!
Usually I prefer to make my bread from scratch with dense nutritious flours. This mix is a great shortcut for a treat or for pulling something together when there is no time to fuss over it.