Just remembered that I meant to post this one as I said in a post called Gluten Free Seems Hot Right Now a while back that I would have a go at Dan Lepard’s Gluten Free Bread and here are the pics, mostly from the iPad which doesn’t have the best camera in the world.
This is an easy one to mix though I had to hunt around before I could find the psyllium husk powder loose for sale which I did at Scoopaway on the Gloucester Road, Bristol. They were surprised when I told them what it was going to be used for! It also proved a good place to buy the large quantity of cornflour (cornstarch in American English – the white stuff!) that you need for this recipe.
Dan Lepard’s recipe for a gluten free bread with olive oil is on The BBC Food Blog and he has taken the trouble to post a series of photos entitled The Curious Case of the Gluten Free Loaf for a reader who was having difficulties to show how the mixture changes as it takes up the liquid.
Cornflour is very funny stuff to work with, the particles in suspension behave differently at different pressures is the best way I can describe it, and it can feel like a semi-solid at certain hydrations.
Try for yourself: take a glass full of cornflour and add just enough water that it starts to look liquid. Either use your fingers or a spoon to feel how it behaves as you put pressure on it. You can put your hand through it and it feels like liquid but slap it or bash it with the edge of a spoon and it goes hard and resists, something like the snap of a seat belt under gravity which then eases off when the g drops back again. Relax the pressure and the spoon will drift through it like thick liquid. Most weird; my sister and I used to play with it for ages when we were kids.
Dan Lepard previously gave his Guardian readers in his ‘How To Bake’ series a different recipe for Gluten Free Bread in 2009. I haven’t tried this recipe as yet but heard good reports elesewhere.
I had a go at costing it out as it is considerably more expensive than making a wheat or rye loaf, but if you crave a slice of bread and you have no choice but to go for gluten free then I suppose it is worth it!
- 76p ‘s worth of cornflour loose £1 .69 per kilo.
- £1.51 worth of Psyllium husk £30.30 per kilo
- 15 p Sachet yeast
- 5 p Yoghurt home made
- 10p Linseeds
- 10 p oil
approx £2.75 in ingredients for a medium sized loaf.
I found the dough came together almost too fast for my liking and I wasn’t sure whether I should have added some more liquid, but as it was the first time I had tried it I stuck to the recipe good and tight, particularly after reading Dan’s comments on his photostream!
Because of the relative dryness of the dough it was quite hard to shape and there were creases that I couldn’t get rid of. I think the painting it with oil before proving helps to compensate for this though and it baked well and came out of the oven singing.
There is a slight squeakiness between your teeth when you bite the bread and I was thinking maybe it could use some caraway seeds or something like that to add a bit more flavour, but unlike the only other time I tried making gluten free bread and ended up with a heavy oily mass that I chucked out, this one definitely resembles bread and kept well too. Took a long time to toast and sang bubbly little noises while it was in the toaster which I thought were quite endearing!
I would make it again if someone asked me for it with complete confidence!