Gluten-free bread works a little differently to “normal” bread. In some ways it is a lot easier to make as you don’t have to spend a tonne of time kneading the dough to get the “glutens” elastic. I do think it is worth getting an electric dough hook or beater though. The ingredients seem to work better together if they are combined quickly, I have found.
I like to use 1/2 Dove’s GF brown bread flour blend and 1/2 Buckwheat flour, as I think it tastes better and you know I’m a big fan of Buckwheat!
250g Buckwheat Flour
250g Dove’s Brown Bread blend flour
(this is what Dove’s blend contains:)
2 tsp quick dried Yeast (Dove’s farm does a good one)
1 tbsp Coconut palm sugar (lower GI than normal sugar and more natural)
1 tsp Vit C powder
1 tsp salt (you know me, big fan of the Himalayan variety, 84 trace elements)
2 tbsp Linseeds
1tbsp Chia seeds and a splash of water (buy online or at a health food store)
1/4 pint Goat milk (Goat milk is more alkalising than cow’s milk and much more easily digested. Or you could use Coconut milk if you prefer)
3/4 pint of water (if you don’t want to use milk at all, just make the water up to 1 pint)
1 egg, beaten. (you can leave this out, but I have found the bread stays fresher for longer and it gives it a nicer texture and bounce, not to mention the added protein)
1 tbsp Coconut oil (soft/melted) / or melted Goat butter if you prefer.
Start with the chia seeds. Chia seeds are a South American diet staple, packed full of omega 3’s, antioxidants, protein and fibre. They also apparently lower cholesterol, and are great at lowering blood sugar levels too. Bring it! 🙂 You can use them to top salads or yoghurt or to make a morning porridge too.
1) Add a splash of water to your 1 tbs of Chia seeds – just enough to cover them.
You will notice after a couple of minutes that they start to swell and absorb the water.
Until finally you will end up with a gelatinous mixture: I like to call this a “chia seed gel.”
2) Add the goat milk and water (to make a pint) to a small pan and gently warm through until almost boiling – then set it aside to cool slightly. If the milk is too hot when you add it to the yeast, it will kill it off and your bread won’t rise…
3) Meanwhile in a large bowl add the flours, yeast, coconut sugar, salt, and vitamin C.
4) Add the Chia seed “gel” and the beaten egg and give it a whizz with the electric hooks/beater:
5) Next, slowly add the warmed milk/water and the oil or butter to the mix, a little at a time, as you continue with the electric hooks/beater. Between “whizzes,” I find it is useful to use a large spoon to fold any dry mixture that has stuck to the bowl, onto the top, before adding the next bit of liquid and giving it another whiz.
6) Finally add the Linseeds (more Omega 3’s, fibre and well, general awesomeness!) for the final whizz.
7) The mixture will be quite sticky and wet – see how different it is from “normal” bread it almost looks porridgy! I then cover the bowl with a clean tea towel (which I run under warm water and squeeze out beforehand) and leave it for about an hour to allow the bread to prove. It might take a little longer if the room is cold but I don’t think it is necessary to rush the prove by adding artificial heat – the yeast will work in it’s own good time. At this point it’s worth pre-heating the oven to 150C.
Look how much it has risen! 🙂
The way you tell if it has “proved” enough is by giving it a poke!
8) If the indentation of your finger remains in the dough you are good to go! If not leave it a bit longer. This dough can just be gently tipped onto a lined/greased baking sheet and gently shaped into a dome or you can tip it into a loaf tin like the one below (2lbs). This particular dough was rather exciteable and actually over flowed the tin slightly – perhaps it might have been happier on the baking sheet! 😉 Once in the tin or on the sheet let it sit for a few minutes to settle into it’s new position. It is also nice to add an extra sprinkle of Linseeds to the top here.
Top tip: I use a re-useable “Magic non stick liner” for my tins… Lakeland online
9) Then into the oven it goes. I like to put a tray underneath with some water in it. This adds a humidity to the oven and makes the outer crust crispier but also makes the bread nice and soft on the inside. Remember my exciteable dough? Well it actually kind of dripped into the tray below – another reason why it is useful to have the tray there!
10) I have found this bread takes about 1 hour to cook through and get a nice crisp golden coating. It should give a satisfying “knock” when you tap it and when you poke a knife into it, it should come out fairly “clean” – there might be a little residue, but as long as it is not goopy, wet dough it is fine! Tip it out onto a cooling rack and let the bread cool fully before slicing – it will hold its shape and tastes better! Patience! 😉
Smoked trout, Avocado, Rocket, Watercress salad sandwich
Toasted and topped with tomato puree grilled goat cheese, peppers and basil.
Open topped toasted bacon “sarney!” 🙂