Mr Ecochick has been making this bread for about the last year and has been perfecting the recipe before he would write it up for you all. I like this bread it’s yummy, easy to make, tasty and best of all it’s gluten and dairy free. So take it away Mr Ecochick…
Okay so after making a few gluten free breads from recipes we weren’t excited. All of them were chalky, dense, crumbly and could be upwards of 10 times the price of scratch made wheat loaves.
We persevered and tried all sorts of different flours and combinations, paying attention to what each one was like. Not wanting to give up, I started thinking I could combine these properties to get a gluten free bread that ticked all the boxes:
- Cheap, no fancy expensive flours
- Easy, in a bread maker with no hassle
- Quick, short bake cycle
- Reasonable shelf life, couple of days
- Tasty, with good texture
Thought process went like this: First eliminate pricey flours, so that’s quinoa, almond, coconut, brown rice etc out. The price I set was NZ$3 a kg or less which included tapioca, potato, rice, corn, some of the legume flours, buckwheat and a couple of others from Indian grocers. Ideally you’d be able to get all of these from one store and so avoid traipsing all over town picking up this and that. Buying in bulk is almost essential to get that price.
The properties of each flour became quite clear. Rice and corn flours were light but tended to be chalky if used in large amounts. Potato flour was very dense but with good moisture, potato starch is less dense but harder to find. Buckwheat gives good texture but is a bit bland, while legume flours tend to be strongly flavoured and a bit on the chalky side. Tapioca is very interesting as it creates a gluey mass when mixed with water, and the temperature of the water affects this. Most gluten free breads use a mix of flours.
Additives are also allowed, as long as they’re cheap. Psyllium husk creates a wheat-like dough when mixed with water but can be incredibly expensive at the volumes the recipes often asked for. Eggs have a similar bringing effect, excellent nutrition and are about 50c each. Salt and yeast, if purchased wisely are so cheap that it’s not worth counting. Both are necessary for creating a correctly textured and flavoured loaf.
So with a much shorter list we just needed to permute the possibilities until we had the solution. Experience had shown roughly what qualities were needed, so we had a place to start. Interestingly after 20 or so loaves I found I hadn’t changed much from the original guess, the variability seemed to come from something other than small changes to the qualities of ingredients. The good news with that is carefully weighing the ingredients is not essential; the bad news is the outcome is less certain. This dough is very much still a work in progress.
The following quantities roughly match a ‘large’ loaf in the Panasonic, but it doesn’t rise as much so come out more like a medium. I haven’t tried scaling it up as it goes goes stale before we finish it, and being so easy and quick to make (2 hours) I’d rather make it fresh.
Gluten free bread recipe
330ml luke warm water
1 teaspoon active yeast
¾ teaspoon rock salt (or 50/50 salt and kelp powder to add some idoine)
75g Chana/ chickpea flour
75g Potato flour/ potato starch
150g Buckwheat flour
150g Tapioca flour
2 free range eggs
1 teaspoon psyllium husk
Mix water, yeast and salt, and leave to bloom while measuring the remaining.
Weigh the dry ingredients and then mix the water and eggs in. I find it easiest to place the bread maker pan on the scales, tare it and then add the in flours. The water mix is poured on top with the eggs.
Start the bread maker gluten free cycle.
After about 5-10 minutes of mixing give the batter a through stir. Get everything out of the corners of the pan and off the top of the mixing blade. I use a rubber scraper with the machine running, and just dodge the blade.
As soon as the bake cycle completes the loaf needs to be turned out on to a wire rack. If this is not done condensation will form and the loaf will collapse and become denser. Cover with a tea towel while it cools, and keep it wrapped up while stored in the cupboard.
So that’s our gluten free bread recipe that we make several times a week. It’s cheap and easy and stands up well in the lunchbox for kindy/ school. Oh and cut it with a sharp knife not a bread knife.