Four-Ingredient Gluten Free Bread (vegan, oil-free)

January 2, 2014 § 4 Comments

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You can see the small bowl of risen yeast top middle

I just love fresh, warm bread with a chewy, crunchy crust, mmm, slathered in avocado and thick slabs of tomato with a few leaves of basil from the garden. My favourite was this excellent no-knead bread – stupidly easy to make even for kitchen beginners like me back when I was a gluten-loving fiend. Sadly it no longer feels the same way about me.

The alternative is a couple of toasted slices of storebought gluten-free bread, and there are a few great ones out there now. I’ve even made my own, but you know what? The long list of ingredients puts me off. Gums and starches and stabilisers. Is it so much to ask for a simple loaf? Well after my mum brought home a lovely little gluten free loaf from the Oneroa markets last weekend with a short list of ingredients I thought it was time I gave it another go.

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The result is a mix between a sourdough loaf with its crusty shell and a dense Breadman type loaf on the inside. And by dense I mean very dense. As in, this isn’t sandwich bread, but it toasts beautifully and fills your tummy with just one or two slices, and the flavour is pretty mild. I wouldn’t say this recipe is perfect, I still have plans to try the no-knead version plus a couple of other ideas – but let me know if you try out a variation on this recipe and how it goes. I will update with any improvements.

Oh and as an extra tip: this recipe also doubles brilliantly as a flatbread, pizza base, crackers etc – please share any experiments you do!

Notes: you can use store-bought flours or make your own using a high-speed blender. For an extra health kick you could sprout and dehydrate your grains first (I didn’t).

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Thanks for the fingerprints my curious wee daughter

Basic Gluten Free Bread (vegan, oil-free, gluten-free)
2 tsp active dry yeast + 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar) + 5 tbsp warm water (ok this is three ingredients I’m counting as one, but it still works right?
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed (little over 1/4 cup whole seeds makes 1/2 cup when ground. I haven’t tried with brown flaxseed/linseed but I imagine it’s the same, just darker)
Salt is optional, I didn’t add any but if you like it add a tsp or so

Combine yeast, sugar and water in a non-stainless steel cup or small bowl, give it a stir, then set aside for at least 10min (it will grow). Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Once yeast has risen, add to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup water. Stir well until combined. Turn out onto a (rice) floured bench and knead very well for at least 10 minutes. Keep adding a little brown rice flour to prevent sticking.
Place back in bowl and cover with a clean, dry teatowel and leave somewhere warm (not in sunlight) for an hour or so. Its rise will be modest and it is a small loaf but it should gain in size.
Turn out again onto a lightly floured bench and knead for at least another minute. Shape into a little loaf, score the top with a knife and place on tea towel in bowl, cover with rest of tea towel and sit in a warm place for another hour.
At least half an hour before dough is ready, turn oven to 220degC and place a heavy, covered pot in to heat (I have a cast iron Le Creuset I picked up for $30 at an opshop which works well). Once ready, remove loaf from bowl and tea towel and place carefully in hot pot, covering with lid and placing back in oven. After 30 min check on the loaf. Mine took 40min on fan bake. It should have a golden crust and, once removed, sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Place onto wire rack to cool. Will keep for a couple of days in a dry, sealed container in a cupboard, probably a couple more in the fridge and I imagine a few months in the freezer.

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