This is a “What would happen if….” type of bake. I wondered what would happen if I used gluten free flour to make a soda bread. The answer is that it gave me wonderful tasty loaves with a great texture and flavour. To be honest, I didn’t expect it to work so well nor to taste so good. But it does!
Even though this bread is terrific, there’s probably still room for improvement, so this is a “Work in Progress” recipe. I’ll add my notes and thoughts along the way in the hope that you’ll have a go, making any changes you think will help, then let me know. Is that a deal?
Makes: Two medium loaves
Time: Prep 20 – 25 mins; bake 25 – 30 mins
Equipment: No special items required – a bowl and wooden spoon will be OK
|50ml milk, mixed with 10ml lemon juice||To use later, only if the mixture is very dry|
|350g GF plain flour + more for dusting||e.g. Sainsbury’s “Freee” or Dove’s Farm “Free from”|
|150g Polenta||I don’t think this is totally necessary, but I like the gritty texture of polenta so I used some. Replace with more flour if you like. (NB It does give the bread a great colour)|
|12g salt||Less if the cheese you use is salty|
|1 tsp xanthan gum powder||I’m still undecided about this. It’s probably superfluous, but I put it in “just in case”.|
|25g Bicarbonate of Soda||I used 20g in my version, but the loaves didn’t rise as much as I wanted, so I think 25g might be better.|
|50g caster sugar||Another doubtful ingredient. I used it for two reasons: 1. Lots of other soda bread recipes include sugar. 2. It probably balances any saltiness.|
|60g Melted butter|
|300ml Carton of buttermilk||I’ve never managed to get all 300ml from the carton into the mixture, hence the extra milk & lemon juice.|
|50g finely chopped spring onions||Or use Chives (2 Tbsn?) or 50g chopped onions|
|150g – 200g firm cheese, grated||e.g. Red Leicester, Cheddar, Double Gloucester|
1. Preheat the oven to 220C / 200C fan / 425F / Gas 7. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
2. Add the lemon juice to the milk and wait a few minutes then stir. Set aside to use later if necessary.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, polenta, salt, xanthan gum powder, bicarb soda and sugar until thoroughly combined. Mix in the butter and buttermilk to make a dough.
4. Mix in most of the grated cheese and all the spring onions. (Save some cheese to sprinkle on the tops prior to baking)
5. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (Use GF flour). Bring together with hardly any kneading and divide into two halves. Shape each half into a ball and place onto the prepared baking tray. Gently flatten to about 5cm thick then cut a cross on top of each.
6. Brush the tops with beaten egg or milk then sprinkle over the reserved cheese.
7. Bake until golden brown on top and/or there’s a hollow sound when tapped, 25 – 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack etcetera.
8. And finally ….. cut a slice or two (or rip a chunk off), eat it and let me know what you think.