My formula for the perfect gluten free bread

So i dabbled in gluten free baking for a little while for a little change and a challenge. I often give myself a challenge and love experimenting. Plus it teaches one more about baking when having to rethink how to make a perfect loaf with different ingredients. So with some appalling flops at the beginning (some of which can be found floating around on this site) and eating my way through many bricks and sawdust I eventually hit upon a perfect formula and started turning out some lovely loaves. I’m back on gluten baking now but just thought I’d share some tips with you. My aim was also to try and do it a healthfully as possible with the fewest questionable ingredients. So here are the basic rules…

1: whichever flour you use you’ll need 18g of psyllium husks for every 500g of flour.
2: no need for added starches or binders other than psyllium husks. So you may use wholesome flours like buckwheat, brown rice flour, millet etc without the tapioca starch or potato starch etc.
3: no bulk ferment. Just straight into the final proof.
4: add enough water so the psyllium husks and flour gels. You want to aim for well hydrated but the dough should hold itself together. So add the water slowly and mix till it feels right. This might take a little getting used to because you want it as high as possible without it compromising the structure the gel from the psyllium husks gives the dough. Kind of like a rye that’s too sticky to knead but with wet hands you can pick it up and fold it into a shape.

For example:

  • 500g buckwheat flour
  • 18g psyllium husks
  • Water
  • 8-10g salt
  • 2 tsp dried yeast (if you use starter its the same principle but go for a larger amount of starter as its a single proofing so take into account the flour, psyllium husks and salt ratio)

Mix the flour, psyllium husks, salt and yeast in a bowl.
Slowly add and mix in water to get it as hydrated as possible but the gel from the psyllium husks should still be able to hold the dough together so you can pick it up in one piece.
Let the dough rest while you prepare the loaf pan.
With wet hands scoop the dough up and shape it then place it into the pan.
Leave to rise till ready then bake in a preheated oven.

A simple gluten free bread that has only wholesome ingredients, holds itself together like a normal bread and its simple to make.

Now if you want to start building on that recipe by all means just use that formula as the base for the recipe. For instance if you want to add milk, oil or eggs then treat these as part if the hydration and add enough water on top of these additions so you get the same dough feel. If you wish to add starch then why not make starch from the flour itself by making a tangzhong. But whatever you do don’t upset the formula.

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