Bread. A small word for such a large and hotly argued debate to have formed around. Not being known as a shrinking violet or retiring daisy, or even a somnambulant buttercup, I’m throwing caution to the winds and diving straight into this metaphorical hot potato.
The Real Bread campaign is clear that real bread consists of flour, water, and a bit of salt. Yeast is fine to make it rise, but once you go beyond these basics, you’re no longer making plain, real, bread.
I can’t disagree with any particular part of this definition. I certainly don’t think most of the supermarkets and major manufacturers sell bread, I think they sell “breadstitute”; stuff that looks like bread but really isn’t. Anything with an ingredient list that long, stuffed full with unpronounceable ingredients does not count as real food in my book.
But where oh where does that leave gluten free eaters? Right out in the howling expanse of a vast wilderness where we’ve been banished for being unable to stomach the main ingredient; flour. Even the Real Bread website has just one suggestion for where to find a good gluten free recipe.
There are a vast number of recipes floating about the web for gluten free bread, and a number that I quite like, however it must be accepted that the vast majority of them include ingredients such as xanthum gum and a whole host of other specialist ingredients. I personally do use xanthum gum and a variety of more unusual ingredients such as brown rice flour and sorghum flour in my cooking and baking, and I make no apologies for that. When it’s needed, it’s needed.
However, it is lovely, and certainly the best case scenario, to be able to produce a loaf-like delight that uses only plain ingredients. Last week I experimented with a buckwheat cheddar bread from Dan Lepard, and this week I have changed and adapted the recipe to make a truly scrumptious Gluten Free Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheese Bread.
No weird ingredients here, with the possible exception of the potato flour. I have this as a standard store cupboard basic, as do a number of other gluten free cooks, however as this recipe is delicious whether you need to be gluten free or not, you can substitute this for plain gluten free flour, or even plain flour if you do not need to keep it gluten free.
Gluten Free Sundried Tomato and Olive Cheese Bread Recipe
• 300g buckwheat flour
• 50g potato flour
• 50g unsalted butter, softened
• 2 tsp gluten free baking powder
• 3 tsp mustard powder
• 100g strong cheddar, coarsely grated
• 50g chopped olives and sundried tomatoes
• 2 eggs
• 50ml yoghurt
• 200ml cold milk
• To finish:
o 1 tsp sundried tomato paste (optional)
o Extra cheese
o A few sliced olives and sundried tomatoes
1. Pre heat oven to 190C fan assisted, 210C if not.
2. Mix buckwheat and potato flour in a bowl and rub in the butter.
3. Add baking powder, mustard powder, cheddar, and olives and tomatoes, and hand mix well.
4. Beat the eggs, yoghurt and milk together, then pour into the flour mixture and stir well to form a soft dough.
5. Onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, tip the mixture as one large lump in the centre.
6. Dust the top with buckwheat flour and pat into a rectangle type shape about 3cm high.
7. Score the top to help with dividing it once baked.
8. If using the tomato paste, gently rub this onto the surface, then scatter the extra cheese, olives, and tomatoes on top.
9. Bake for about 20 minutes before removing onto a wire rack to cool.
Eat and enjoy! The next time I make this I think I’ll include some sundried tomato paste in the dough itself to add to the taste. This bread is truly scrumptious, with the flavour bursts of olives and tomatoes scattered throughout the dense grain. And in my book, this certainly counts as real bread!
Revising all manner of definitions, Halo from the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham UK.