Gluten Free Artisan Bread
Bread is a bit of a sore point with a lot of people who can’t have gluten. Gluten is the protein in bread that makes the dough all stretchy and elastic. It gives bread that lovely, light, slightly chewy texture. It makes the bread soft and pliable, so you can fold a piece of bread in half and it doesn’t break and crumble. (Didn’t you love eating folded-over sandwiches as a kid? I did.) But it’s also the thing that causes bloating and discomfort in a lot of people, and does such terrible things to coeliacs!
When my son and I had to go totally gluten free for three months, the most difficult thing for us was not having bread. I mean, we could have gluten free bread, but have you ever tried the gluten free bread from the shop? Yeah, not so exciting. And it’s expensive. And it’s totally useless for sandwiches or for wrapping around a sausage.
I did end up making my own gluten free bread with Cyndi O’Meara’s recipe (originally from the Changing Habits Changing Lives cookbook), which is much nicer than the shop bought bread, and cheaper, and you can grind up the grains in your Thermomix. I still had to force my son to eat it though – he wanted his spelt bread back.
Then recently I bought the cookbook ‘Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day’ and the first recipe I tried was the gluten free artisan bread. Wow. It turned out better than any gluten free bread I’d tasted before. I mean, look at this – it even bends without breaking!!
You can wrap it around a sausage, or make sandwiches with it, and it won’t disintegrate into crumbs! And believe it or not, this photo was taken when the bread was a day old!!! (Sorry about all the exclamation marks, but I just can’t help being excited about this bread!)
When my first loaf came out of the oven, it suddenly seemed like half the neighbourhood were in my kitchen, all wanting a slice of bread… Even when I told them it was gluten free it didn’t scare them off – they loved it! (So, yeah, that first loaf didn’t last long.)
The crust on this bread is thick and crusty and chewy, which I love, and the flavour is slightly sourdough-ish, which I also love, and it turns out looking very rustic, which I love as well… So as you can see, I’m pretty pleased with this bread! (Those of you who are followers of my Quirky Cooking Facebook Page are probably tired of hearing about this bread, but I thought I should share it with the non-facebookers out there.)
The addition of sorghum flour gives it a better texture, and bit of fibre. If you like, you could add more texture with the addition of some seeds – linseeds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds – they’d all be great in this bread.
So here’s the original recipe for this bread: Recipe for Gluten Free Crusty Boule (I’ve just re-written it to make it more ‘Thermomix friendly’.) Before you start, it would be best to watch the video clip by Zoe, one of the authors of the book – it’ll give you a better idea of the method than just reading the recipe.
This recipe makes four 500g loaves – the dough stays in the fridge and you just bake a loaf when you need it. So easy!
Note: Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time. If you like, you can make two loaves at a time, as they’re small enough to sit side by side in the oven.