Dan the Man has created the best gluten-free bread recipe ever.
I’ve been on a quest to find Pete A a decent gluten-free loaf for years. Every attempt has been an abysmal failure. Most have a cake-like texture, and only just pass muster if toasted. The closest I ever managed was a gluten-free soda bread, but even that was solid and heavy in a pumpernickel kind of way.
What Dan Lepard has now given us is a chewy, elastic, tangy bread which keeps well for several days. His secret ingredient – psyllium husk – mimics the gluten in wheat, and almost unbelievably, this recipe actually “proves” like real bread. (Note that I used psyllium husk and not psyllium husk powder – the former was readily available at our local health food store.) The finished loaf is chewy with a crunchy crust and a non-stodgy middle, unlike the tapioca based breads which were hitherto the gluten-free standard. Another nice thing about this recipe is that it uses readily available ingredients – just make sure you buy gluten-free cornflour, as many are wheaten. Here are some photos, so you know what to expect.
The dough works together easily in the mixing bowl, after a good minute or so of stirring. A mixer or breadmaker really isn’t needed here. It will seem quite wet at first, but the moisture will be absorbed during the first hour of resting.
Shape the rested dough into a baton (basically flatten it out into a disc and then roll it up), and place it into an oiled loaf tin. Allow to rise another hour and a half, during which time it will just about double in size.
Tah-dah! The finished loaf…
Pete A was so wonderful – he arrived at 10.30pm to pick up his loaf (the man works way too hard), ate a slice on the spot, and said, “How have you done this? It tastes just like bread!”
I received these messages from him over the following days:
Day 1 : ”Just had a lovely Enzo lunch; bread oil balsamic. Bread getting a little tough in an Italian way so all perfect. No toasting needed yet.”
Day 2 : “Just had lovely French toast. Bread no tougher. Still ‘Italian’ ”
I can’t remember a time when baking was more rewarding than this. Dan Lepard’s recipe is here – follow it to the letter, and it will treat your gluten-free friends and family to a taste that they’ve probably been missing for a long time.
Edit 23/5/09: Here’s a photo of tonight’s Kalamata olive and rosemary loaf :
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Update: 10 Nov 09: Gluten Free Christmas Cakes