Farmhouse Bread

Farmhouse Bread 3

I am always on the lookout for great gluten-free bread recipes. I cannot even begin to tell you how many recipes I have tried and tweaked and fumbled with over the years. I also cannot begin to tell you how many loaves of gluten-free bread I have made and dumped right in the trash! Lots of learning experiences have been had in my kitchen! Gluten-free baking is a science to be sure. I think I have grasped a few bread making techniques that have worked – thank goodness! This bread recipe is one that I have modified a bit through the years and I really like it. One of the reasons I like making this bread is that I get to knead it! Gluten-free bread that you can knead is SO COOL! The chia and psyllium are kind of magic and give just the right textural element. This bread reminds me of a hearty wheat artisan loaf, but without the wheat – obviously. The texture is slightly moist and chewy on the inside with a nice crust on the outside. I love to eat this bread with a hearty soup, or piled high with hummus and veggies, or spread with avocado and sea salt, or toasted with some nut butter and jam…so many possibilities! YUM!

Farmhouse Bread 2

Wet Ingredients:
2 ½ cups warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/3 cup chia seed meal
1/3 cup psyllium husk powder

Dry Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend of choice
½ cup millet grits
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

Place the warm water in a 4-cup glass measuring bowl. (I like to heat my water over the stove in my kettle). Add the yeast and teaspoon of honey, whisk together. Let rest for 10 minutes to activate the yeast. The yeast mixture should get foamy and bubbly. If it doesn’t activate, you need to start over with this step. While the yeast is activating, mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. After the yeast is activated whisk in the grape seed oil or applesauce, maple syrup, chia seed meal, and psyllium husk powder into the water-yeast mixture. Let stand for about 3 minutes to let the chia and psyllium release their gelatinous “magic”. Whisk again and pour the wet ingredients (it really looks like a giant blob of gelatinous substance rather than liquid) into the dry and mix together with a spoon until nice and thick. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl for a few minutes. Then pour the dough out onto a floured surface to knead. Add in some more flour (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) until the dough holds together and isn’t super sticky. You do want the dough slightly sticky though!
Form the dough into a ball, place into a large clean bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot to rise (I like to put the bowl over a pot of warm water and let it rise – see picture below) Let the dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size. Rising time will depend on the temperature around the dough.

Farmhouse Bread Rise
After the dough has risen, place a pizza stone in your oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack of the oven, below the pizza stone. (I usually use a 9 x 13-inch pan filled 1/2 of the way full with water).
Punch down the dough and pour onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for about a minute. Then form into a round ball. Place on a square of parchment paper and use a sharp knife to cut a shallow “tic-tac-toe” pattern on the top. Drizzle with a little grape seed oil and sprinkle with poppy seeds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds. Let rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place while the oven and stone are preheating.

Farmhouse Bread
Using a large wooden board or metal spatula, carefully lift the parchment paper with the risen loaf and place it onto the stone in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 60 minutes before cutting into it. This is very important! The bread is VERY gummy hot out of the oven. Believe me – don’t make the mistake I have made several times wanting a hot piece of bread, only to have a gummy mess on my hands! Once the bread has fully cooled, it is perfect!

(Inspired by: The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen)

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