“What do Metamucil and baking Gluten Free Artisan Bread have in common?”, you ask. Excellent question.
The mucilaginous quality that is inherent to psyllium (and what helps you, um, you know, go #2), an ingredient in Metamucil, is the very ingredient that performs magic on gluten free bread when it bakes. In short, it helps it stay together, similar to the way xanthan gum behaves when baking gluten free. Because a lot of people who read my blog and subscribe to my Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest posts have issues with corn-derived xanthan gum, I decided to experiment with psyllium and see what would transpire.
Now, before you run to the kitchen and don your apron, a word of explanation. This is a dense bread. Not like a brick, but definitely a heavy bread. Smeared with your choice of spread, it is a slice of heaven. And dipped into a bowl of hot soup, a gastronomic gluten free and vegan homerun.
I did my homework before entering the world of gluten free baking with psyllium. I went right to one of my heroes – Gluten Free Girl, and watched her video about psyllium. And I also read about psyllium on Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s blog. And lastly, I’d had my eyes on this recipe for a Gluten Free Artisan Boule (though it doesn’t use psyllium AND isn’t vegan, as it uses eggs) and really wanted to try my hand at it. So after some study and mathematical maneuvering, I give you my recipe for Gluten Free, Vegan Artisan Bread, a blend of all of my studies. Next up, I will definitely be trying the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen’s recipe as well as the Gluten Free Artisan Boule from Artisan Bread in Five.
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. sorghum flour
1/2 c. tapioca starch
1/4. c. buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. warm water
1 tbsp. + 2/3 tsp. ground chia seeds
1 tbsp. + 2/3 tsp. psyllium powder
1 1/4 tsp. olive oil
1 tbsp honey
sesame seeds, optional
- Combine brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, buckwheat flour and salt in mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Heat water to 110 degrees and add yeast and honey. Cover with piece of saran wrap and allow to sit on counter until surface gets foamy. This will indicate that yeast is alive and well.
- Once yeast mixture is foamy, add ground chia and psyllium. Mix well with whisk. Cover again and allow to sit on counter for about 5 - 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and goopy.
- Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and blend well with large spoon. It will not appear as if it is coming together, but it will eventually become one ball. If necessary, wet your hands lightly and continue kneading the mixture until it forms a ball.
- Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for one hour. About 30 minutes before it finishes rising, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place a 5 quart cast iron pan in oven as it is preheating. Make sure lid DOES NOT have a plastic holder on it.
- When rising is complete, place dough on a piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds (this step is optional). Use a large serrated knife to cut grooves in surface of dough. Place parchment paper (with dough on it) in preheated cast iron pot.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 450 degrees, first removing lid. Bake for additional 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Remove bread from cast iron pan and place on cooling rack.
- Wait until bread is completely room temperature to cut it, as it will still be a little gooey on the inside until it is completely cooled down.