The Knead to Make Gluten Free Bread
Gluten free bread is my nemesis mainly when it comes to making it myself. The amount of times I’ve ended up with a brick-like loaf that could seriously do some damage is uncountable. Overtime I’ve grown to take this gluten free bread making with a pinch of salt ( pun intended) , it’s also very much like gambling and you just hope this time your choices will come out fruitfully this time. So this month I looked back over this question to myself:
Why make your own gluten free bread?
I love the crust on bread. Currently none on the market provide that fresh crust I want to dunk in my soup.
The smell of fresh bread is almost better than eating it although not quite enough to make me attempt and fail making it several times a week.
The various flavours and styles of bread you could try to make from Brioche, Boules, Soda bread and within these experimenting with added fruit, nuts and aromas the possibilities are endless.
But is it worth the time, the flours ( usually a mixture of more than two) and the patience?
After my first and second attempts at Focaccia I can easily say yes. Even though parts of my first were undercooked I was pleasantly surprised with Lucinda ‘s recipe. So I’ve decided over this next year, to test recipes for different gluten free breads and show you how I get on. One type of bread a month. The idea is to highlight the best that worked for me (without a bread maker) and possibly even make a recipe or two myself. A mini project.
Lucinda’s Focaccia recipe was my first go-to. I’ve always longed for chunky bread I could dip into olive oil again and again.
My first attempt following this recipe exactly (although I subbed almond flour for hazelnut) came out rather well, although the husband didn’t quite agree and found it quite hard. I guess I just missed that crunchiness on the top too much!
My second attempt i used Lucinda’s recipe on the Genius blog. I substituted potato flour for Sorghum ( as it’s what I had to hand) and at an attempt to make it more gluteny I substituted the rice flour for Sweet Rice flour ( glutinous rice flour). I also topped this one with a combination of red pepper, lemon and rosemary.
The results pleased the husband more when it was fresh out the oven, but I’m not sure after cooling as the sweet rice flour made it just very dense and gluey; the result needs to be much lighter in the center for a good Focaccia!
My Third attempt i did some further tweaking and kind of merged the two recipes together and thankfully found a lighter result i was looking for- and something that kept really well.
I didn’t use a wooden spoon this time to bring it together like in the recipe, i used a warm dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes.
Instead of leaving to sit for 15 minutes i let it prove in a warm area for an hour and a half. The proving really worked and i felt this subtle rise gave it the lighter texture after cooking.
Like my first attempt i kept the temperature high at 250 and cooked for 25 minutes.
So there you have it, three attempts and i’m happy to say i have a Focaccia that i love to eat.
Gluten Free Red Pepper, Rosemary and Lemon Focaccia
Inspired by Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne’s Focaccia recipe found here.
Get a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil, give it a good coating and set aside.
Put the Flours, Salt, Ground Almonds, Xanthan Gum, Sugar and Yeast into a bowl for a stand mixer. Give this dry mixture a whisk until all combined.
Get your tap on hot and measure out 350ml of water, add the oil to this.
Put your bowl onto the stand mixer with a dough hook attachment and add half the water, immediately turn the stand mixer onto low and after 2 mins add the rest of the water. Keep this mixing for another 5 minutes to really ensure everything is combined.
Quickly transfer the dough to the greased roasting tin and use cold fingers to press it into a rectangle or circle. Try to keep it relatively small and thick -28cm length maximum. Drizzle this with a little olive oil, sea salt and grate over some lemon zest.
Pop immediately into a warm place for around an hour until there is a small rise. ( i used my boiler cabinet) and pop the oven on to 250degrees.
After the dough has rised and the oven is ready, sprinkle over rosemary and more olive oil.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden; Add the diced red pepper around the 15-18 minute mark to avoid it burning.
Take your focaccia out of the oven and allow to cool completely (or ignore these rules and break off a piece and eat immediately!)