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Gluten-Free Crusty Boule with Honey

Adapted from an original recipe by Shauna and Danny Ahern of The Gluten Free Girl blog. This recipe showed up in a new cookbook called, "Healthy Bread In Five Minuted a Day" (Thomas Dunne Books, 2009) by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.

Ingredients:
2 C brown rice flour
1 1/2 C sorghum flour
3 C tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
2 Tbs granulated yeast
1 Tbs kosher salt
2 Tbs xanthan gum
2 2/3 C lukewarm water
4 large eggs
1/3 C rice bran oil
2 tbs honey

Directions:
1. Mixing and storing the dough: In a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded food container, whisk together the flours, tapioca starch, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum.

2. Combine the liquid ingredients and gradually mix them with the dry ingredients, using a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle attachment), until all the dry ingredients are well incorporated. You might need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you're not using a machine.

3. Cover the dough and allow to rest at room temperature until it rises, approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after initial rise. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next seven days. The flavor will be best if you wait for at least 24 hours of refrigeration.

5. On baking day, use wet hands to take out a 1-pound piece of the dough. Quickly shape it into a ball; this dough isn't stretched because it has no gluten in it- just gently press it into shape. You might need to wet your hands a little to prevent the dough from sticking and to create a smooth surface.
(don't use too much water as it will make the dough soggy)

6. Allow the dough to rest for 90 minutes, loosely covered with plastic wrap, on a pizza peel prepared with cornmeal, or lined with parchment paper. (40 minutes if you're using fresh, unrefrigerated dough) You can also rest the loaf on a silicone mat or a greased cookie sheet.

7. Thirty minutes before baking time, place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Place an empty metal broiler tray on any other rack that won't interfere with the rising bread.

8. Just before baking, slash the loaf with 1/4-inch deep parallel cut, using a serrated bread knife.

9. Slide the loaf directly onto the hot stone. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake for about 35 minutes, until lightly browned and firm Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.

10. Allow the loaves to cool on a rack before slicing or eating.

Recipe makes enough dough for at least four 1-pound loaves.
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