Gluten free bread can leave much to be desired, especially some of the vacum-packed types. Most require some kind of 'refreshing' in the oven or microwave which is less than convenient at a barbecue and pretty unlikely on a picnic. It also seems to be the item most often sold out in the freefrom section of my supermarket. So, why not make your own?
It's not as difficult as it might first seem. I'm too impatient to prove dough, and without gluten, knocking back and kneading is a bit pointless. This is where soda bread comes in. Instead of using yeast to rise the bread, you use baking soda and you can have freshly baked bread about half-an-hour after the mood strikes you.
- 250g gluten free bread flour mix (try Doves Farm Organics, or add 1tsp xanthan gum to a plain flour mix)
- 100g gluten free oats (if you can't tolerate oats, use millet flakes)
- 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 300ml buttermilk
- a splash of milk
- Put the oats (or millet flakes) into a food processor and pulse until they are finely ground. Place in a large bowl with the gluten free bread mix, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Whisk together to mix and to remove any lumps of flour.
- Add the buttermilk and, using your hand, combine into a wet dough. (You'll have to get your hands in there at some point so you might as well save on washing up.)
- Shape the dough into a ball and place on a greased baking sheet. Brush the top of the dough with a little milk and sprinkle a few oats on top. Make a couple of slashes on the top with a bread knife.
- Bake at 200°C for 20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.