A while ago, I decided that I was wheat intolerant (not allergic just intolerant). The decision was made when I got stomach cramps early in the morning for several months which I eventually blamed on eating too much wheat over a period of time. Anyway, I decided to cut out wheat altogether (rather than try and work out how much wheat I can tolerate) and I’ve been wheat-free for about 18 months with no re-occurrence of the cramps.
So what I decided to do is to publish some of the various recipes that I’ve found work for me.
Bread is the worst thing about trying to be wheat-free, none of the gluten-free bread in the supermarkets seems to be “proper” bread (although it tries hard), it goes stale quickly and doesn’t make good sandwiches (as well as being expensive) so (like lots of others) we’re trying to make our own bread.
The first thing to realise is that, without the gluten bread is not the same so making something that doesn’t try to pretend to be a loaf of bread is a “good thing” your eyes aren’t trying to tell your mouth “this should taste differently”. So we’ve gone for flatbreads, something we don’t eat as sandwiches. Here is the recipe that we’ve used a few times (its based upon an American recipe so uses slightly peculiar measurements – I’ll need to sort them out).
- 2 cups plain GF flour (we use Doves);
- 1 tsp xantham gum;
- 1.5 – 2 tsp baking powder;
- .5 – 1 tsp salt;
- 1 tbsp olive oil;
- 1-2 eggs;
- 1/4 cup warm milk;
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup warm water.
The number of eggs depends upon their size. If they’re very large one is probably enough but one of the things we have discovered is that GF flour “likes” eggs and things like pastry and bread are better with eggs than without – making them slightly cake-like but certainly better than without.
Before you start, put a baking tray into the oven at about 210C to heat up.
Then put all the dry ingredients, oil, eggs and milk in a bowl and work it (we use a fork) until it all comes together as a crumbly mix. Then slowly add most of the warm water bringing it together until its wet and sticky. (The amount of water depends upon the quantities of other liquids particularly the eggs). It will stick to your fingers so we use a wooden spoon to mix it all up.
Spoon out the mixture in six to eight balls onto parchment and spread each ball into a 12cm (5 inch) circle using your fingers. Wet your fingers first and work the dough out from the middle leaving it slightly thicker at the edges.
Lift the parchment onto the hot baking tray and leave it to cook for about eight minutes. Then turn it over and give it another eight minutes on the other side and you’re done. Ours look like the picture, slightly puffed and they taste fine.
If you want to be a little fancier, you can spread the dough out in the same way but instead of using parchment, use a floured board and roll the dough out thinner. Then you can cook it in a frying pan when it will bubble up a bit like a pitta bread. Cooked like this the colouring will be different as the bread will cook more in the places where it touches the pan as its cooking.