March 1, 2013
Fig and Walnut Yeast Bread
I've not had huge sucess with gluten free bread
So often it's dry or crumbly, or just plain tastes like sawdust. The best results seem to be with a quick bread style recipe, like a muffin mix- but that's not really a bread is it? I really wanted to try a yeast dough that would hold together, rise nicely, and above all taste good too! I was sure it wasn't completely impossible.
I was playing around with some ingredients lately, trying to come up with a good toasting bread that would be lovely for an easy weekend breakfast, but still nice for a sandwich too. I had a big bag of walnut flour to use, and a quick search of my baking pantry revealed a good stash of dried fruits and I had a moment of clarity: Fig and Walnut. What a perfect match indeed. Some sweetness from the fruit, with the richness and texture of the walnuts as well- yummo!
Now I've used a lovely Walnut Flour that you can order directly from Lario,
but if you can't get your hands on any then it's fine to use another nut flour or just extra gluten free flour instead. I have to say though, that it really is a lovely ingredient and adds so much extra flavour.
Fig and Walnut Yeast Bread
250 gm Walnut Flour (if unavailable use gf flour)
250 gm Gluten Free Flour
14g dried yeast (2 foil packets)
100g castor sugar
250-350 ml luke warm lactose free milk
2/3 cup light neutral Oil
250 gm plumped Dried Figs
1 cup or so Walnuts
1 tsp Psyllum Husks (optional, but it does help it 'stick' together like regular dough)
Pinch of Salt
Put the flours, sugar, psyllum and yeast into a large bowl and mix together
Whisk up the milk, eggs and oil, then mix into the dry ingredients
What you want is a nice soft, sticky dough. It will be wetter than one made of wheat flour, but gluten free doughs need that bit extra
Lightly cover the dough, and leave it somewhere warm for about an hour or until pretty much doubled in size
Mine sat outside in the 37* heat as it was a bit cooler there than in my kitchen!
While you're waiting, chop the figs and walnuts into nice little pieces
The dough will have risen, look a bit 'spongy' and smell nice and yeasty by now
Punch the dough down, then mix in the fruit and nuts
Make sure the goodies are distributed evenly, not all clumped together
Pop the dough into a greased loaf tin, and press on some more wanlnuts for a nice topping if you like
Let the dough have a second rise for about another hour
Bake at 180*C checking after 50 mins, for up to 70 minutes or so- or until the bread is nice and crusty and sounds hollow when you tap it underneath
This mix made a really nice dense type of bread. I like to include egg as it helps bind the dough together but then it's a fine line between 'bread' and 'cake'- I think in this case it's quite nicely balanced. The texture was pretty good for gluten free, not as crumbly as usual but still just a little delicate. The most interesting about this bread though was that using the walnut flour gave it almost a pumpernickel/rye flavour that was a real surprise, and very delicious.
I just loved this bread with cheese, and it was lovely with jam, but it was at it's best simply toasted with a big swipe of butter, yummo!
So Dear Readers, what do you think of Gluten Free Bread, and do you make it at home?
Disclosure: Nuts and Nut Flour supplied by Lario International - Thanks guys!