This is one of those recipes that nearly got the best of me.
I set out to develop a recipe for an artisan whole grain gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan, starch-free, soy-free, nut-free, and gum-free yeast bread that was knead-able, soft in the center with a crusty exterior, that was the perfect compliment for any meal. Ready to top with nut butter or avocado and perfect for sopping up rich sauces.
If you are familiar with gluten-free breads there aren’t many artisan options. You can find tiny loaves of sandwich bread in the freezer section of your health food store and if your lucky, they might carry rolls or English muffins as well. I was craving a good whole grain loaf that you might find in the bakery section of the store. Something special, rustic, and versatile.
I spent weeks of testing trying to develop the gluten-free vegan loaf that fit all these requirements. I tried flour combination after flour combination and six different leveaners. Flour dusted and in the kitchen for hours I nearly gave up. Was I ever going to get this one right?
A few weeks later my testing was rewarded. I promise this bread will shatter your low expectations of gluten-free loaves. Whipping up this loaf brings back memories of baking crusty loaves before my diet changes. The kitchen is filled with the warm smell of fresh yeast. The dough can be kneaded by hand. It feels remarkable like baking a gluten-filled loaf of years past. Better actually. This loaf comes without a stomach ache.
If you miss baking bread or miss the taste of a good artisan loaf, this one is for you.
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1 cup sorghum flour
- 1 cup gluten-free oat flour
- ½ cup quinoa flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2½ cups warm water (between 105 and 110 degrees)
- 2½ teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
- 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon gluten-free brown rice syrup**
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup chia seeds, ground into a powder
- ⅓ cup psyllium husks
- Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment.
- In a bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and one teaspoon of the brown rice syrup. Let sit for 7 minutes. The mixture should be frothy and smell of warm yeast. Add in the olive oil and remaining brown rice syrup. Slowly whisk in the ground chia seeds and psyllium husks, making sure there are no clumps. Allow this mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes, until thick.
- Add in the wet mixture to the dry. Mix on medium speed until well incorporated and the dough forms a loose ball.
- Remove from the mixer and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm, even temperatures place (I usually let mine rise in an off oven with the door closed) for 45 minutes to an hour. The dough should double in size.
- Once the dough has risen, kneed a few times in the bowl. Form into desired shape (see notes) and place on a sheet of parchment paper. Slit the top a few times, drizzle with olive oil, and top with a pinch of course salt. Place a baking stone on the lower middle oven rack. Allow the bread to raise for 30-45 more minutes on the counter while the oven preheats to 375 degrees.The bread should double in size.
- After the second rise, bake the bread in the oven for 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool completely on a wire rack, several hours, before cutting.
- If you can't find gluten-free brown rice syrup, you could substitute in honey if you are not a strict vegan.
- If your yeast does not get frothy or bubble once it has sat for 7 minutes, chances are your yeast is dead. I would recommend starting over with new yeast.
- Eat within a few days or store the slices in the freezer. Since there are no preservatives, this loaf will spoil faster than those from the grocery store.
- This loaf bakes best when divided onto two medium sized loaves. I divide the dough in half and shape it into two baguettes. It can also be made into two round loaves, also called boulles.
- If you don't have a baking stone, a pizza stone works just as well. As a last resort, you could try a sheet tray.
- You want to let the oven preheat during the entire second rise. This ensures that the oven is at an even temperature when baking the loaves.