Rules for Gluten-free baking
Break the rules of wheat baking. No more kneading bread (no gluten to develop).
No faffing about with pastry; work it, roll it, recycle it to your heart’s content - there’s no gluten to go all leathery on you. Enjoy the feel of sloppy, wet dough. It’s child’s play.
Don’t expect it to be the same
Wheat gluten is unique. You can’t mimic it except by using strange additives that aren’t food. Enjoy the different tastes and textures of gluten-free ingredients as you learn how to put them together to make foods that fit your lifestyle.
If gluten-free flour doesn’t produce a loaf suitable for sandwiches, why not make wraps instead? They’re just pancakes by another name, easy to make - and fashionable!
Make it wet
Gluten-free flours need much more water than wheat ones. There’s no point in kneading a gluten-free dough because it won’t become any more stretchy and if you make it firm enough to be kneadable it will bake like a brick. Gluten-free doughs and cake mixes must be sloppy - really sloppy.
Don't expect to keep it
The starches in gluten-free flours turn crystalline quite soon after baking. You won’t be using dubious enzymes or preservatives (I hope) so your bread will age fairly quickly.
To preserve that first-day freshness, slice the loaf and freeze it.
Slices are quick to defrost and always in peak condition.
Gluten-free cakes, especially if there are nuts in the mixture, keep fairly well.
A bit of lateral thinking is required to produce a dough that will be thin enough for a pizza base and yet not fall to bits as it is being handled.
This recipe can be adapted to make pancakes or wraps to be used for filling and eating cold. For a sweet pancake, add some honey or maple syrup. The trick is to get the right sloppy consistency so that the mixture flows out thinly enough in the frying pan. Makes 2 medium pizza bases.
10g fresh yeast
250g water (30ºC)
140g corn (maize) flour
20g buckwheat flour
50g brown rice flour
40g manioc (tapioca) flour
20g chestnut flour
5g sea salt
olive oil for brushing
Toppings of your choice: tomato paste, tomatoes, peppers, anchovies, olives, herbs, mozzarella etc
Dissolve the yeast in water and add to the other ingredients. The dough should be very sloppy, like batter. Leave to stand for 15-30 minutes to allow the yeast to work.
Heat a griddle or frying pan, brushing with a smear of olive oil if the surface is not non-stick, and ladle in a good dollop of the mixture with a swirling action to make a thin, reasonably circular layer of batter. Cook over a high heat for about 3 minutes, then flip over and cook for another minute. The ‘pancake’ should be cooked but still quite soft and floppy. If your mixture was too thick, your pizza base will be also.
Turn the pizza base out onto a baking sheet and cook the remaining mixture in the same way. Cover the pizzas with the usual toppings. Bake in a hot oven (220C/430F/Gas mark 7) or under a grill for 5-7
minutes, until the cheese is bubbling.
Return to cookery writers home