I found this recipe on a fantastic blog called The Loopy Whisk which features lots of free-from recipes and I was delighted by this gluten-free loaf. It worked really well and I wanted to share my simplified adaptation of it. I started to tinker very cautiously with the recipe, mainly motivated by using up various types of flour in my cupboard. My tinkering became less cautious and I might even go out on a limb and say that any combination of gluten free flours will do. I have found that Dove’s gluten free plain flour works well.
Here I’ve used brown rice flour, corn starch, ground gluten free oats and/or chickpea flour and buckwheat flour. I bought buckwheat flour from Morrisons and a bag of brown rice flour from Holland & Barratt. (If you have a coffee grinder, you can grind your own brown rice to make flour.) You can use potato flour in place of corn starch, which is available at Polish food shops, and I’ve also used ground almonds when I didn’t have any brown rice flour left.
The ‘special’ ingredient in this recipe is psyllium husk powder. I’ve found that it is quite expensive to buy in the shops I’ve tried but you can buy it cheaply enough online from Wholefood Earth. Please note this recipe uses a much higher oven temperature than I would normally use to make bread, but fear not – it works well!
12g instant yeast
23g psyllium husk powder
345ml cold water
75g buckwheat flour
100g ground gluten free oats or chickpea flour
150g corn starch or potato flour
150g brown rice flour
240ml warm water
10g or 2 teaspoons of salt
15ml or 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
mixed seeds, if you would like to add them
- Combine the psyllium husk with the cold water in a small bowl. Stir briefly to mix – it will quickly take on a gel-like consistency. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours with the yeast and salt before adding the warm water, lemon juice/apple cider vinegar and psyllium gel. Knead well for five to ten minutes. It will feel a bit gloopy at first but don’t worry – it is a wet dough but it will firm up somewhat as you knead. That said, if you do have a stand mixer, I would use it for this recipe.
- Cover the mixing bowl of dough with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes to two hours; I got a great rise on it from leaving it for two hours. Once it has risen, lightly grease a loaf tin. If you would like to add seeds, you can add them at this stage, quickly kneading the dough to mix them through evenly. Put the dough into the tin, smoothing the surface with damp or lightly oiled hands. You don’t have to prove it for a second time, but if you do, cover the tin of dough with the tea towel and leave for 45 minutes. Use this time to pre-heat your oven to 250C (my oven takes about 30 minutes to get to 250C). This high heat goes against everything I’ve learnt from making bread over the years but it serves to create a great crust!
- Boil a kettle of hot water once your oven has heated up. Make sure your oven shelves are arranged to allow you to put the loaf tin in the middle, with space for a dish of hot water at the bottom. Pour some of the hot water into a baking dish and place at the bottom of the oven. Put the loaf tin in the oven above it and allow to bake for 15 minutes without opening the oven door. The rising steam from the dish of hot water will allow a nice crust to form.
- After fifteen minutes, remove the dish of hot water and lower the oven temperature to 220C. Bake for a further hour and ten minutes. If your oven is anything like mine with its uneven heat, it may be a good idea to rotate the loaf once or twice during the baking period. If the bread starts to look a bit cooked but still has some time left in the oven, cover it with some tinfoil and leave to continue baking. Once it is out of the oven and the tin is cool enough to handle, slide the loaf out but make sure to leave it to cool before slicing.