I’ve never been one to get into the whole new-years resolution thing, but this year there is one thing I’d like to really turn my attention to. And that’s cleaning out my pantry. I know, awesome right? Ha! See the thing is I have this terrible habit of buying all sorts of weird and wonderful ingredients, that at the time I have full intentions of playing with, but well that spare time to play doesn’t seem to be presenting itself all too often these days so instead they sit in my pantry looking sad and un-loved. There’s beans, legumes, flours of every kind, numerous sugars in varying shades of brown, that teff grain and posole I brought back from the States… yep it’s all still sitting in there (I’m embarrassed to say).
I find it’s just all too easy to become comfortable with the recipes I know, those tried and trusted ones which I reach for each and every day. The ones I could cook in my sleep. As you can imagine I have quite a number of base recipes to which I pull from for our daily meals and once I’ve mastered a recipe idea I don’t tend to move from this too much. Take my sourdough bread recipe (in my cookbook) for example, for years I tinkered around with ratios and ingredients until one day I struck the magic cord. Since then I’ve never felt the need to try out any other gluten-free bread recipes because I’m more than happy with the one I have. But really, some days it’s just nice to live a little right, get out and enjoy new things, new recipes and flavours?! So I did just that. I picked out a recipe from the new Gluten-free Bread in 5 cookbook and made these here lovely loaves. The added bonus being that the recipe was a great excuse to use up all that sorghum flour I’ve had lying around for way too long (it’s not one of the main few flours I use you see…).
Book update: It seems the next print run of my cookbook has arrived and most stores and online book sellers are re-stocked with copies! Yay! I’m so sorry to those of you who were looking for it right before Christmas, unsuccessfully. Berlin friends, you can now also purchase copies of my cookbook in store at Goldhahn & Sampson! Friends everywhere else, I’ve got my fingers crossed you’ll be able to get your hands on my book by mid this year. I’ll share more details as soon as I can. Thanks so much for your patience.
Almond coconut bread loaf
The recipe in the book provides cup and U.S weight measurements as well, but because U.S cups are slightly smaller than ours here in Australia (+ NZ/UK), I’ve only shared the metric weights so as not to confuse anyone. If you are okay using xanthan gum you can use 2 teaspoons of this in place of the psyllium husks and if you’re vegan my guess is you could simply use unrefined sugar in place of the honey, just dissolve it in the lukewarm water a bit first. For my Australian friends, please weigh the yeast (and salt) or use 3 teaspoons in place of the 1 tablespoon as Australian tablespoons are 20ml, not 15ml like the rest of the world! Click on the link in the recipe to get the recipe for Bread in 5’s all purpose gf flour blend. This loaf, even though it contains coconut is not overly coconutty and we enjoyed it with both sweet and savoury toppings, it was really yum topped with avocado, salt and pepper.
Makes four small loaves (can be easily halved or doubled).
700g mixture #1: bread in 5 gluten-free all-purpose flour
105 g coconut flour
45g shredded (unsweetened) coconut
225g almond meal (ground almonds)
4 teaspoons ground psyllium husks* see headnotes
10g (1 tablespoon) granulated yeast
1-1 1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
965g lukewarm water
170g honey* see headnotes
Whisk together the flours, shredded coconut, almond meal, psyllium husks (or xanthan gum if you’re using), yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl, or any lidded (not airtight) food container.
Add the liquid ingredients and mix with a spoon or a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cover (not airtight), and allow o rest at room temperature until the dough rises, approximately 2 hours.
The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 weeks in 450g (1 pound) portions and thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.
On baking day: Pull off a 450g (1 pound), grapefruit-size piece of dough. Place it on a tray lined with baking paper or dusted generously with cornmeal. Quickly shape it into a ball, gently pressing and smoothing with wet fingers. Cover loosely with cling film (plastic wrap) or an overturned bowl and allow to rest for 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 230C/450F, with an empty deep tray placed on the shelf below where you’re going to place the bread tray. Dust the top of the bread with rice flour and slash, about 1 1/2 cm (1 inch) deep, with a wet serrated bread knife. Place bread into the oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the deep oven tray below (this creates steam which helps create a crispy crust on the bread), quickly close the oven door and bake for about 45 minutes or until richly browned and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
Best eaten on day of baking or toasted thereafter.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (Thomas Dunne Books, October 2014). I’ve made a few minor wording adjustments to cater for the Southern Hemisphere.