These days, it seems as though there’s a day for anything and everything. Whilst we might take a pass on celebrating Vinegar Day (November 1st), International Panic Day (June 18th), and Public Sleeping Day (February 28th), some of the lesser known days are worth recognising.
In particular, Homemade Bread Day, which falls on the 17th November, is something we’re certainly willing to get in on. As autumn turns into winter, what better way is there to spend a day than making a hearty, wholesome loaf of bread in the warmth of your own kitchen?
After all, not only is making your own bread a great way to make sure there are no hidden ingredients in your loaf, it’s therapeutic too. Repetitive actions like kneading are an ideal way to relieve stress, making the work you put into making your bread just as valuable as the end result.
If a gluten, wheat, yeast, dairy or bread intolerance means you usually steer well clear of bread, then there’s still no need to miss out on the kneading. To mark Homemade Bread Day, we’ve put together a few of our favourite free-from and gluten free bread recipes from the experts, from everyday sandwich loaves to exotic naans.
Free-From Oat Bread
First up is this great recipe for Gluten Free Oat Bread from Kate over at The Gluten Free Alchemist. Kate says that this loaf “is the result of a lot of experimentation and an absolute determination to make a truly good loaf. It is soft, fluffy and just like bread should be….perfect for sandwiches, toast or simply slathered in butter, this is simply the best gluten free bread I have ever eaten!”
Makes 2 loaves
100g brown rice flour
40g glutinous rice flour (don’t let the name fool you – this contains no gluten!)
160g gluten free oat flour
50g potato starch flour
60g tapioca flour
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1½ teaspoons modified tapioca starch
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tbsp. & 1 tsp caster sugar
14g easy bake yeast
1½ teaspoons lemon juice
400ml tepid water
3 large eggs
4 tbsp. dried milk powder
4 tbsp. sunflower oil
Milk (for the glaze)
Gluten free oats, to garnish
1) Line two loaf tins with baking paper, or lightly grease with sunflower oil.
2) To make the oat flour, simply place the oats in a food processor and pulse until fine, around 20 seconds (make sure to use oats that are certified gluten free!).
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar, yeast, lemon juice, and water. Set aside, and leave to froth for around 10 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, mix together the rice flours, oat flour, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, and sea salt.
5) Beat together eggs, milk powder and oil until well mixed, and then add to the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
6) Add the yeast and water mixture to the other ingredients, and stir very thoroughly for a few minutes until sticky and elastic. You can use a mixer with a dough hook for this, if you have one.
7) Spoon the dough into the two loaf tins (they should be about 2/3rds full), brush lightly with milk and cover with the remaining oats, then cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 45 minutes. While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
8) When the dough has risen, bake for around 30 minutes, until golden, and crisp. If a skewer comes out clean, the loaves are baked through.
9) Turn out onto a wire rack, and leave to cool before eating.
Gluten Free Naan Bread
After being disappointed with a number of gluten free products, Erika at A Little Insanity “decided to start from scratch and began adapting regular recipes to be gluten free”. Erika profiles these recipes, like the below Gluten Free Naan Bread, in the hope that they’ll “help others in their journey to better health, and be enjoyed by all”.
The result of one of these adaptations is this Gluten Free Naan Bread, which looks soft, doughy, and thick – everything that a Naan bread should be. If you’re a beginner to baking free-from bread and want to try out an easy fool proof recipe, then this could very well be it.
Makes 8 generous Naans. Erika makes her own Gluten Free flour mix (which you can get the recipe for here); you could always substitute for a shop bought mix, but the end result may differ slightly.
235ml warm water (+2 tbsp.)
2 tbsp. honey
2 ½ tsps. dry active yeast
360g gluten free flour mix
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp cider vinegar
Corn flour, for rolling
Optional – For basting
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1) Stir together warm water and honey in a bowl, and add the yeast. Stir again, and leave to bubble for around 10 minutes.
2) In a separate bowl, mix together the gluten free flour mix, baking powder, and salt.
3) When the yeast has proved, add in the dry ingredients, alongside the cider vinegar and 1tbsp of olive oil. Then, mix together briskly for around 2 minutes (if you have a stand mixer, this will come in handy).
4) When mixed, scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl with a spatula and form into a ball. Coat with the remaining 1 tbsp. of olive oil.
5) Cover with cling film, and set the dough aside to prove for around 1 hr, or until doubled in size.
6) When the dough has risen, cut into 8 evenly sized balls on surface lightly coated with the corn flour (this prevents sticking).
7) Using your hands, flatten out each dough ball into a thick disk, using more corn flour to prevent sticking if necessary.
8) In batches, place the dough into a preheated non-stick or cast iron frying pan on top of a stove. Cook each for around 2-5 minutes, flipping once so they’re evenly browned.
9) If serving straight away, pop the naans on a heated plate and cover with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Erika says these are ideal served straight away with “fresh hummus, shredded lemon and herb chicken, grilled onions and fresh greens”.
10) Optional – If you’re basting the naans, simply heat the garlic in the oil until aromatic, then take off the heat add the onion powder, salt, and pepper. Baste each naan with this oil generously –this gives the naans a great flavour, as well as helping to keep them moist.
Paleo Sweet Potato Bread
This next bread is moist, filling, and low in calories; the perfect loaf for a tea-time treat. The potatoes bring a naturally sweet note to the bread, not to mention a big hit of vitamin A rich beta-carotene. Plus, with only 6 ingredients and no gluten, wheat or yeast in sight, this is one of the easiest free-from breads out there.
Enough for 1 loaf
400g sweet potato, steamed then pureed/mashed
4 large eggs
50g coconut oil/coconut butter
1tsp baking powder
300g almonds, ground
1) Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius, and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
2) Place the eggs, coconut oil/butter, and sweet potato in a food processor, and blitz until smooth and well incorporated. Transfer into a mixing bowl.
3) Add all dry ingredients to the sweet potato mixture, and mix well.
4) Spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, and bake for around 1 hour 15 minutes. When cooked, leave to cool for around an hour before slicing.
Gluten Free, Yeast & Dairy Free Seed Loaf
This dense seeded bread doesn’t have much in common with the fluffy loaves we’re often more familiar with, but once you’ve given it a try there’s no turning back. Filled with seeds and nuts, this bread is a great way to pack in those Omega-3s and good fats. Try topped with smoked salmon and avocado for a guilt-free Scandi inspired snack.
Makes 1 loaf
105g flax seeds
35g chia seeds
60g millet seeds
145g sunflower seeds, toasted
195g gluten free oats
60g buckwheat oats, toasted
100g sliced almonds, toasted
2 tbsp. honey
45g coconut oil, melted
1) Line a medium sized loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
2) Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3) Add the honey, coconut oil and water to the bowl, and stir until all ingredients are well combined.
4) Turn out the mixture into the lined tin, and smooth down the top with damp fingers. Cover, and put aside at room temperature for around 2 hours.
5) Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
6) After 2 hours, place the loaf tin into the oven and bake for around 1 ½ hours, until browned and fully cooked through (a skewer should come out of the centre clean).
7) Let the bread cool in the tin for at least two hours before turning out. Then, just slice, and enjoy!
So, whether you’re a newcomer to baking or a 10 in Paul Hollywood’s eyes, we hope these recipes have inspired you to get kneading this November.