So good its almost identical to a wheat loaf. And non of these dodgy ingredients that are normally added which result in a nutritionally poorer bread. Just wholesome flours, fibre and yeast water.
- 225g chickpea flour
- 250g brown rice flour
- 25g amaranth flour + 125g water (for the tangzhong)
- 18g psyllium husks
- raisin yeast water
- 8g salt
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
All the recipes I’ve seen either use a premix gluten free flour or combine their own but both always contain a large proportion of added starch, be it corn starch, potato starch or arrowroot etc. Instead of using anything like that I opted for making a tangzhong from a nutritionally healthier wholegrain flour. You can use anything you like, including the same as in the main dough, but I had some amaranth flour and thought it’d be nice to add that. A tangzhong gelatinizes the starches within the flour so I thought why not use this technique as a healthier alternative to adding nutritionally void ingredients. I also prefer using psyllium husks, which is fibre, rather than all the other gums and whatnots used to bind gluten free bread. I also liked the idea of wholegrain brown rice for lightness and taste and chickpea flour with its high percentage of protein. I don’t avoid eggs or healthy fats like olive oil. Both of which can be part of a healthful diet. So onto the method…
Oh yes, and before I start the yeast water and extra water (apart from the tangzhong) are not measured as I go by feel but I will explain as I go along.
- 25g amaranth flour
- 125g water
In a small pot gently heat the mixture on a low flame continuously stirring till it thickens up into a gel. Do not boil. When done, leave to cool while you prepare the next step.
THE NEXT STEP
In a bowl measure out 250g brown rice flour, 225g chickpea flour and 18g psyllium husks. Mix thoroughly. Make a well in the centre and add the now cooled tangzhong (hopefully it is cool enough for the yeast, if not then wait a bit longer). Begin mixing with a spoon and as you’re doing so add the yeast water. You just want enough so the flour is hydrated but its not overly moist. It’ll have the consistency of a short crust pastry. You’ll be able to mold it into a ball but it’ll break easily. Form a ball then place the bowl inside a plastic bag and ferment the dough overnight. I went for a long ferment and managed to get 12 hours as it wasn’t very warm and my yeast water had been sitting in the fridge. Its also a low hydration dough so it’ll work slower. Come the next morning it’ll have grown by about 50% and will have cracks on the surface.
THE MAIN DOUGH
In a bowl crack open an egg and whisk till frothy. Add the oil and vinegar and whisk till combined. Sprinkle the salt over the dough then add the egg mixture. Squeeze, fold and knead the dough till fully combined. This is when you add in extra water if and when its needed. You are aiming for high hydrationall the while it should be able to hold itself together and when using wet hands you will be able to pick it up in one piece and mould it into its final shape. I’ve opted for this way as we still get the long ferment and able to add in the egg. However because the dough is enriched, no gluten and its been degassed it will be a sandwich loaf crumb. You’ll also need to make sure it’s baked through properly. Think “rye” when baking.
Once shaped into the loaf pan final proof till ready. About 1.5 - 2 hours. Bake for a longer on a slightly lower setting. It needs time but the crust will darken before the loaf is done properly. I baked it like a normal loaf and it did end up quite dark probably due to the flours used, the added egg and yeast water but the crumb is a lovely soft colour and texture. Very happy with the taste and its closeness to a regular wheat bread. Chickpea flour is usually quite strong and overpowering but I think the yeast water has tamed it. You can still taste it, mostly as an after taste, but its very pleasant.
After thoughts: Perhaps a slightly different ratio in the flours with upping the rice flour and using a bit less chickpea flour or adding a third grain. Done for a bit more lightness.