Crusty wholegrain bread (gluten-free, vegan, yeast-free)

Is there anything better than fresh bread? The smell, the texture, the flavour. It's irresisti...

Is there anything better than fresh bread? The smell, the texture, the flavour. It's irresistible.


I was once a bread fiend! I ate it every day for years without fail. I spent good money on good bread no matter how little money I had. I made a point to find great local bakeries and try their many varieties. Nowadays I rarely eat bread, in fact the last time I ate it was a couple of seasons ago when I made some for this blog. Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against bread -- gluten-free bread on the other hand... Let's face it -- gluten free bread is often too dry, too dense, concentrated with bad-for-you ingredients like corn starch, and insanely over priced. $9 for a loaf of bread that will likely die a cold and lonely death in my freezer? No thanks...

The thing that really annoys me about so many commercial gluten free breads is that it seems as if there are only two options for consumers -- overpriced and terrible tasting, or just as overpriced and nice-ish tasting with highly processed and some would say 'bizarre' ingredients. I don't think its a stretch for me to say that that loaf of tapioca starch and xanthan gum isn't doing anyone's gut any favours. And isn't that the reason so many people are buying gluten-free products? Gut health and good digestion? How can a loaf of refined starches and additives go down easy?

I decided to bake a totally healthy loaf of gluten free bread today. I used simple and wholesome ingredients, left out the yeast to make it even more allergy-friendly, and kept it vegan. The result was pretty awesome. If you like Irish soda bread, you'll like this loaf. It has a nice crunchy crust, soft, tender yet dense interior with a bit of chew to it. It is slightly sweet tasting but not overpowering. I enjoyed it warm from the oven -- plain and with some coconut oil. This bread makes a great base for sandwiches, french toast, and would be amazing toasted and served with soup.



This bread is rustic, hearty, healthy and easy to make. It all comes together in minutes in a food processor, requires no kneading, and bakes in about an hour. The whole grains and wholegrain flours I used (buckwheat, brown rice, oats) create a lovely earthy flavour and density that you won't find in generic white bread. I use a little arrowroot to give the bread some elasticity (that is often lacking in gluten-free bread). I you like this loaf but want to amp up the nutrition and texture, try throwing in a cup of chopped nuts and seeds. Play around with my recipe by using your favourite flours and spices and tag #bakingbackwardsbread so I can see what you create.

Crusty Wholegrain Bread (gluten-free, yeast-free, vegan)

DRY INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1.5 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 cup wheat free oats
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch
  • Large pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3/4 tbsp evoo

Preheat oven to 350F. Pulse all dry ingredients together in a food processor. Blend in the oils.


WET INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (raw honey or molasses (for vegan))

Blend in wet ingredients well, form a ball and flatten slightly in center of a non stick baking sheet.


CRUNCHY TOPPING
  • 1 tsp evoo
  • 1/4 cup oats OR crushed nuts and seeds
  • Dash of salt and cinnamon

Rub the surface of the ball gently with the oil. Evenly coat the top with 1/4 cup of oats and some cinnamon and salt. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, remove and glaze.

GLAZE
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sweetener (raw honey or molasses (for vegan))
In a small bowl, mix the glaze ingredients together well. Drizzle over the top of the bread and use a food brush to spread over the top gently. Return to the oven until the bread is fully cooked through (about 30 more minutes). Test for doneness in the center with a fork.
 

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