Gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Lots of the gluten-free breads on the market are very ‘white’, made from modified tapioca starch and white rice flour. These are not healthy choices for our bowels, as they don’t feed the good bacteria. They are not good for our energy either, spiking our blood sugar and then making us crash later.
It’s also pretty hard to find gluten free bread on the market that caters to multiple food intolerances, such as dairy, egg and soy. And if you do, it’s usually full of additives and costs $10 for a small loaf!
I think it’s easier (and definitely cheaper) just to make my own. This one also has no grains, just buckwheat and tapioca flour (not starch). Buckwheat is very high in protein compared to grains (it’s actually a seed), and high in fibre, so it keeps you fuller for longer. It also naturally contains B vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and selenium. This combination of tapioca and buckwheat give the bread a light but slightly sticky texture. You can certainly mix up the gluten-free flours and use whatever works for your family, but try to keep approx 1/3 starchy, like potato flour or tapioca.
The texture is even better made with almond meal, so if you can tolerate nuts (and don’t need it for school lunches) then definitely give the almond version a whirl!
This fluffy bread also has added fibre from ground up flaxseeds, which helps to feed our good bacteria and keep us regular.
I double this recipe, mix it all up as one, then split it into two baking tins. When they’re cooled, I slice and freeze one loaf and keep the other fresh for sandwiches. It’s lovely and soft for a couple of days, then makes great toast.
Gluten, dairy, egg and soy-free bread
3 cups gluten free flour (I use 1 cup tapioca and 2 cups buckwheat, sorghum, chickpea/besan flour or a combination. It should work with any combination but try and keep the starchy flour, such as potato or tapioca, at about 1/3 if you want the same consistency. Also works well with 1/2 cup almond meal and less buckwheat – but may need a little longer cooking time)
1/2 cup mixed seeds (sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and/or hemp) (optional)
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds/linseeds
460mL warm water
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup (or 2 tbsp rice malt syrup)
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted) or olive oil (not extra virgin)
Mix dry ingredients together.
Measure out the wet ingredients – I like to melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in very hot water then add some cool water to make it warm (the oil and syrup take up about 100ml).
Combine in cake mixer or food processor on low, then increase to high for 2 minutes to activate yeast.
Pour into a greased bread tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 190°C and place bread on stove top while oven heats. Continue to let the bread rise until it reaches near the top of the tin.
Bake 45 minutes and test by turning out of tin and tapping on the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it’s ready. I keep mine in the centre of the oven, not the outer edges, as it’s not as hot, so the top won’t burn. If your oven is particularly hot, place some baking paper on top of loaf for half the cooking time.
Allow to cool completely before cutting as this will help it stick together nicely.