Gluten-Free Seed and Nut Loaf08:05
Daring Baker's Challenge August 2015
It's been a while since I wrote my last post, actually long enough to make me feel a bit anxious - as my daughter put it, when you have to go and socialise after spending a lot of time indoors.
For the last (almost) three months I visited many places, met some lovely people, shared precious time with my parents and reconnected with a few old friends; all in all I had a very eventful summer and if I manage to stop postponing (I don't like the word procrastinating, it sounds like I'm doing something wrong) a few things I'll have a lot to post about.
This month's Daring Bakers challenge might be exactly what I needed to get the wheels turning since I have been really keen for quite a while to try this bread which has a "life changing loaf of bread" reputation -
I am amongst the lucky ones who doesn't have to battle with food intolerance and allergies but I always welcome food variety on our table. As a matter of fact my food preferences changed quite a lot lately. I suspect that my abstaining from baking and blogging had something to do with it, but I am not certain that this bread, which I liked a great deal (even though I replaced the binding agent and the loaf remainded slightly wet as a result), could completely replace bread as we know it.
I tried two recipes, first one provided by our host Susan a very accomplished baker from New Zealand (please stop by her lovely blog The Kiwi Cook, I am sure that you will find something that interests you) and another one, by Rachel Khoo , Susan offered as an alternative.
I decided to give the second one a go because it didn't prescribe a binding agent, but used eggs instead and I wanted to compare the two. Besides, due to time shortage I didn't find psyllium husk, but tried a more common binding agent substitute for it, xanthan gum. And it worked, but only partially as the baked loaf remained slightly wet, but it was lovely toasted. I'd love to give it a go with psyllium and see how it turns out then!
The other one baked much better, but had a downside - a strong flex-seed taste which was only partially covered by the caraway seeds. I went for just a teaspoon, because 1,5 table spoons sounded too much. Now I wonder, would it be better balanced with the whole amount of caraway seeds?
GLUTEN-FREE SEED & NUT LOAF
- 1 cup (250 ml) (140 gm) ( 5 oz) sunflower seeds
- ½ cup (125 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) flax seeds (linseeds)
- ½ cup (125 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) sliced almonds (or whatever nut you prefer)
- 1-½ cups (375 ml) (135 gm) (4¾ oz) gluten-free rolled oats (or try buckwheat flakes or rolled spelt flakes)
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (20 gm) (¾ oz) chia seeds
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) psyllium seed husks (3 tablespoons if using psyllium husk powder)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) fine grain sea salt (it’s fine to reduce this if you prefer)
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup (or liquid honey; for sugar-free diets, use a pinch of stevia)
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil or ghee, melted
- 1-½ cups (375 ml) water
Method:,C ombine all the dry ingredients and whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl.Add mixture to the dry ingredients and combine until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (while the mixture will be wet, there should be no excess liquid).
Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula.Cover the pan lightly with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight. The mixture should feel very firm to the touch.Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F/ gas mark 4. Then bake bread initially for 20 minutes.Take the loaf out of the oven, place a wire rack over top and invert to remove the bread (if you’ve lined the loaf tin, you should remove the lining at this point).Put the now inverted loaf on its wire rack into the oven again and bake for another 30-40 minutes (it should sound hollow when tapped). The loaf should be starting to brown on the outside - this gives a lovely nutty crunch to the finished loaf.Let the loaf cool completely before slicing - I found using a fine serrated knife for slicing worked better than a typical bread knife with its more exaggerated serrated edge, which made for a very crumbly slice
You can store the loaf in an airtight container (or wrap it in plastic wrap) for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for at least 3 months (it helps to slice it first before freezing so you can enjoy that occasional piece of toast!).