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The Crafted Dish: gluten free bread recipe

Celebrating National Clay Week 2017, new cookbook The Crafted Dish goes on sale online at thecrafteddish.com

Canadian Thanksgiving - a perfect day to dish up a new cookbook benefiting thestop.org, an organization that works on many aspects of food security and building community.

The Crafted Dish is full of recipes submitted by clay artists, with the food served on their gorgeous hand-made dishes. Creating the book was a zero-cost project, with all of the work done by a fantastic team of volunteers, lead by Carole Epp (she of the excellent clay web-site musingaboutmud.com). Go SEE some of the recipes - if only the Instagram feed was scratch and sniff...

My contribution to the crafted dish is a gluten-free nut butter cookie recipe (hint: if you don’t tell anyone it’s gluten free, they won’t care, they’re good cookies). I offer a grateful nod to all the other cookie recipes I have ever read because I modified and substituted, and went through lots of trial and crumbly error (though even the errors got eaten), until I built a working recipe.

The same is true for my home-made gluten free bread recipe: I made a lot of bread-flavoured bricks on the way to developing a successful recipe, and learned a lot from other cooks. Please share this recipe freely, please do not add any copyright or other restrictions - thank you, and enjoy!

Gluten free rye-style loaf, baked in a cast-iron pan with heavy fitted lid. Served warm with butter, love, and lots of tea.
Hand-made tablewares by Christine Pedersen. 2017.


Ingredients
2 ½ cups boiled cooled water
2 tsp yeast

5 cups total in the dry flour mix:
2 cups whole oats
1¾ cup brown rice flour or whole-grain creamed rice cereal
¾ cup sorghum flour
¼ cup psyllium husk
¼ cup buckwheat flour (for a rye-like flavour, or swap out for more sorghum for a fluffier loaf)

2 ½ tbsp honey
2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
1¾ tsp Salt
3 tbsp olive oil

Optional ingredients - can add these without affecting flour:water quantities:
1 tbsp dried egg white, if available
1½ tsp caraway seeds for a rye-bread style flavour
½ cup sunflower seeds

Directions
Boil water and allow to cool.
Turn oven on to very low or keep warm setting to prove the loaf.

Make water/honey/yeast mixture:
Pour 1½ cups into jug and allow to cool to body temperature
Add 2½ tbsp honey into jug and dissolve
Add 2 tsp dried yeast and dissolve
Keep mixture warm and allow to stand for 20 mins (until frothy)

Prepare the baking pan:
Preferable to use a heavy saucepan with lid, butter and dust with rice flour. Or a large loaf pan (grease and line aluminium pans with baking parchment)

Make water/egg/vinegar/salt mixture:
To remaining 1 cup water add and dissolve…
1¾ tsp salt
2½ tbsp apple cider vinegar

Mix flour: add all the flours (and any optional ingredients) to a large mixing bowl and run through fingers to mix and aerate:
2 cups whole oats
1 ¾ cups brown rice flour
¾ cup sorghum
¼ cup buckwheat flour
¼ cup psyllium husk

Mixing the dough:
Add 3 tbsp olive oil to well in mixed flour.
Add all wet ingredients to flour (yeast mix and water/vinegar/salt mix).
Mix with a spatula - will appear very wet and sloppy initially, don’t worry! No need to mix constantly, take breaks; after about 5 minutes mixture will have become very thick and formed a dough-ball.

Proving:
Butter pan and place in oven to warm, add small handful rice or sorghum flour to dust inside a buttered pan (no need if lined with parchment).
Turn the dough into the baking pan.
If cooking in a saucepan: turn oven OFF, cover with pan lid, place into oven on middle shelf.
If cooking in a loaf pan, cover with a moistened clean tea towel or dish cloth, and stand on top of the warm stove.
Leave for 50 mins to prove, loaf will rise somewhat but not like a wheat loaf.

Baking:
Turn oven on to 400F.
Place pan on middle shelf and bake for 50 mins. Loaf will have a light golden colour. (Next time you try the recipe - cook loaf for a bit longer, or slightly hotter, 420F, to darken/thicken crust).

Allow loaf to cool for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Try not to cut into the loaf for around half an hour so that the crumb can set ;)

A few important recipe notes:
1. This GF bread recipe was developed at 3500 feet above sea level. If you live below this, you might want to decrease the yeast, may need a little less cooking time, and should cook at 400F to limit the crust becoming too cooked or overly thick.
2. A general principle that I work with for gluten free breads is a 2:1 ratio for dry ingredients:water. Experiment with different flours within these parameters and develop a tasty recipe that works for you. This also means you can make a 4-cup loaf easily by just scaling everything down a bit.
3. I have been making a decreased carb bread by increasing the amount of psyllium husk in the recipe. I have used up to 1 cup psyllium husk successfully. Drink additional water if you experiment with this, you will be getting a large dose of seed fibre, and it needs extra moisture to work its magic through your intestines.
4. I try to increase the protein (and therefore nutritional) content of the bread by using dried albumen in the mix. If you can get it, pre-mix this into the flour mixture. Wet egg whites sold in the carton work fine too, but you will need to adjust the amount of water you will be using to keep the dry:wet ratio mostly the same.
5. Do experiment with adding spices, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds. Or making rolls instead of a loaf - this recipe will create a wide variety of options. Makes a great pizza base - dip fingers in olive oil and spread dough thinly onto the largest size cookie tray, or split between two trays.
6. There is an excellent article on soda bread from the BBC - GF flour mixtures  translate really well into soda bread recipes.

Happy eating.




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