Since accepting my fate with gluten and wheat, bread is what i have missed most. Yes, even more than pizza simply because the smell of bread toasting in the morning or alongside bubbling soup is both unbearable and unbeatable. Gluten free bread generally leaves me feeling almost as bloated as normal bread, and i only really find rye bread tolerable once its been toasted so much that it becomes more of a cracker than a piece of bread. Additionally, i try to stick to a grain-free diet so rye bread is only an occasional component in my meals. I was determined to make a bread that was in some way doughy but not too stodgy; a task i thought would be impossible regarding how difficult it is to make even normal bread. However, after days of research and surfing fellow food blogs for inspiration i discovered that the secret to a successful superfood loaf was psyllium husk powder. Apparently this is essential if the bread is going to stick together properly, something i could have done with when i experimented with quinoa bread a few months ago (using cooked quinoa, not flakes like the following). Psyllium husk is an indigestible source of soluble dietary fibre used to improve and maintain GI transit. It is amazing in gluten free baking as it binds moisture, helping to make things less crumbly. So, although it may be a pain to get hold of, it is essential.
The rest of the bread is made from wholesome, nutritious nuts and seeds, and that’s about it. This was one of the easiest things i’ve made because the blender does most of the work. I intensified the nutritional value of the bread by adding nutritional yeast which is full of essential B vitamins and trace minerals and is high in protein. It adds a subtle cheesy flavour to any meal and i think it made this bread more exciting and flavoursome.
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup pumpkin seeds plus extra if you want whole seeds in the bread
1 cup quinoa flakes
1 cup raw skin-on almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup golden linseeds
3 tablespoons psyullium husk powder
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 heaped teaspoon active yeast
plenty of dried mixed herbs - basil, mixed herbs
2 Teaspoons Sumac
2 tablespoons chia seeds
black onion seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Measure out the almonds, quinoa flakes and pumpkin seeds and place them in a blender or food processor. Once they have formed a floury consistency, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until everything is fully combined. Next, gradually pour in the water, stirring constantly. Knead the dough for a minute or so just to be sure it isn’t too wet that it sticks to your hands, and also to ensure the mixture is compact. I’d advise to leave the dough in the fridge to sit for one hour in order to absorb all of the water. This may not be essential, and if you don’t have the time or patience and your mixture seems dry enough and is keeping its shape, then go ahead and bake it. Grease a loaf tin with coconut all on all four sides and along the bottom. Push the mixture down firmly with the back of a large spoon and cook for 45 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Stick a knife in the middle and if it comes out clean then remove the bread from the oven and leave to cool. Ones it is cool enough to handle, transfer onto a cooling rack. Slice immediately for some fresh, warm bread, or leave to cool before slicing and storing. I store mine in the fridge.
The bread is wonderful eaten straight from the oven, with coconut oil instead of butter. It melts into the bread and tastes amazing. The bread also toasts really well and is delicious with coconut oil, nut butter or nut pesto, and with my favourite topping, mashed avocado with himalayan salt and lemon juice. It is a sweet, sweet feeling to know that bread is back in my life, and better than ever for my wellbeing!