Tuesday, 20 September 2011

The Amazing Bread

Home made low-oxalate gluten free bread has proved to be nigh on impossible.  Most recipes have an ingredients list a mile long, and turn out crumbly and sour tasting. Usually I buy Country Life gluten free bread from Woolies, or Coles, but at six bucks a pop (for a tiny loaf) it gets expensive. Enter:

Based on a recipe from 'Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day', Hertzberg and Francois, I found this bread on Jo Whitton's thermomix blog  Quirky Cooking. She advertised it as bendy bread, which to all you non-gluten free people means very little... To us fighting for gluten freedom? Stumbling upon bendy bread (the kind you can use in a sausage sizzle) is like finding gold in your veggie patch. And to discover that bread can be easily converted to low-oxalate? Well I'm staking a claim.

Now, don't be put off by the amounts, this recipe will easily make two largish bread loaves (if not more). I've tried halving and it didn't work as well, I think the sticky goodness from all those eggs needs to permeate throughout your dough. If you are intimidated by the drawn out method, then you can try adding a couple of teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to counteract the yeastiness. Your bread will not rise quite as well, or be as springy but it still makes for a very edible, slice-able loaf--and you can make it on the same day you mix the batter. I will be trialing a yeast free alternative next week, I'll keep you updated on the success.


Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups of white rice flour (300 grams of white rice if milling in a Thermomix, I use Basmati rice because it's lower GI)
  • 1/1/2 cups/220 grams of Sorghum flour  (Also known as Jawar Attar flour, can be found at an Indian Grocer, they have it at Crunch Munch on Cambridge St, Wembley)
  • 3 cups/380grams Tapioca Flour (Also known as Tapioca starch, or arrowroot flour)
  • 2 Tablespoons of yeast 
  • 1 Tablespoon of salt
  • 2 Tablespoons of Xantham Gum (Can substitute Guar Gum, but I find it doesn't work as well, and I'm a bit suss on it's oxalate freeness)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Psyllium (Not in original recipe, but I find bread rises better when it's included)
Wet Ingredients
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 2 2/3 cups/670grams of lukewarm water
  • 1/3 cup/65 grams of olive oil 
  • 2 tablespoons/30 grams of honey

1. Whisk together dry ingredients, or blend in Thermomix on speed 5, till well combined. Set aside in large bowl or plastic container. (Preferably something large with a lid)

2. Whisk the eggs, and dump onto the dry ingredients. If using a Thermomix weigh all the wet ingredients, including the eggs in the TM bowl, then mix on speed four.
3. If you haven't already mixed the oil, honey and water together, do so now, then slowly pour in to the dry ingredients, stirring as you go. Don't add all the liquid at once, or it will be lumpy. 

4. Now here is where it starts to get complicated. Once the 'batter' is thoroughly combined, cover (not airtight) and set aside to rise for about 2 hours. 

5. The recipe says to then place the dough in the refrigerator over night.  I found that when I cooked a loaf straight away it was very yeasty. However the third batch I made, I added 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to the wet ingredients. The loaf didn't rise quite as well,  but it definitely counteracted the yeastiness. (Which if you have gut problems is well worthwhile) Even second day dough was still a bit yeasty for my liking.

6. When you are ready to bake, grease a loaf tin with butter or margarine. Using wet hands take out two grapfruit sized balls, and place them next to each other in the tin. You can smooth the loaf over using wet fingers. Then cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for about 90 minutes in a warm place. (Sometimes I put the bread in the oven on low for forty minutes first just to give it a kick start).

7. While the bread is rising, pre-heat your oven to 230 degrees, and place a cake tin on the bottom tray. The bread will not rise much in this time it will just get a bit fluffier. When the bread is ready to cook, make about four quarter inch slashes across the top with a knife. Place bread in oven, on top rack, and pour 1 cup of hot water into the cake tin below. Close the oven immediately.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until you've reached your desired level of golden crunchyness. Test to see if it's cooked by tapping on the top. If it sounds hollow, it is done! Remove, from tray and leave to cool on a wire rack for five minutes.

I wrap my bread in a tea-towel until it is cooled down then place it in an air-tight plastic storage container, to keep it fresh. You can make a loaf each day, or make several loaves at once, slice and freeze. I find this bread doesn't toast up that well but when you toast it from frozen it will be just like it's fresh out of the oven. 

As I said it is quite a yeasty bread, so if you have candida or yeast problems it might not be the way to go. But stay tuned, because I am going to attempt a yeast free version, and I'll let you know how it goes.


  1. Any success with a yeast free version?

  2. Hi same question as the one above. Do you have a yeast free version?


  3. Like would baking powder or soda work instead of yeast?

  4. I would love to hear about the yeast free version as well. Needs to be a soda bread for our house.