CRUSTY DUTCH OVEN BREAD
Makes: 1 loaf
Vegan / Gluten-free / Dairy-free / Refined Sugar-free / No-knead
Recently I have been experimenting with baking cakes in a slow cooker and bread in casserole dishes and have had some beautiful and unexpected results, the most lovely moist cakes and a crust for bread that you would only usually get with wheat flour. Who would have thought!
This bread is amazing, and so easy to throw together - literally. This loaf requires no kneading, and actually works best hardly being touched at all. Don't be fooled by the consistency of the dough and be tempted to add more flour, it is not meant to hold its shape like wheat bread. Follow the recipe and instructions carefully and you will end up with an amazing, airy and light yet crusty bread, just like you would buy at a artisan bakery.
The loaf is best enjoyed the day it's made, but stays beautifully soft for up to two days after baking. You can easily throw in a handful of seeds, nuts or dried fruit to the flour before adding the wet ingredients or sprinkle them on top before baking to add some depth to the bread.
If You Feel The Knead - Gluten-free + Vegan Crusty Bread
3 cups gluten-free flour*
1 1/3 cups luke-warm water
2 tbsp + 1 tsp coconut sugar, or a scant 1/4 cup of liquid sweetener such as honey or maple syrup
2 tsp dried active yeast
1 tsp pink salt
- Whisk the warm water, sweetener and yeast together in a small bowl and leave for 5-10 minutes while you prepare your dry ingredients. It's good to go when it is bubbly.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the bubbly yeast mixture and stir to incorporate with a firm spatula or just a fork or spoon if you don't have one. Mix until you just see the last of the flour disappear, cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 2-4 hours to rise. I prefer to leave mine the whole 4 hours as it gets far more aerated and reminds me more of bakery sourdough!
- Here's where your round casserole dish, or even more preferable a cast iron dish with lid (think dutch oven) comes into play. Preheat the oven to 220 C and place the dish with its lid on into the oven to heat up for 30 minutes.
- While your pan is heating, carefully transfer the dough on to a a piece of lightly floured baking paper ready to lift and transfer into the dish. This step is important, don't pop the dough directly into the pan it will really stick!
- Remove the hot pot from the oven and carefully transfer the dough (still on paper) into the bottom of the pot. Pop the lid on, and place it back in to the oven to bake for 30 minutes.
- After the initial 30 minutes, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes to get that nice golden crust.
- Remove the bread from the oven, place on a wire rack and leave to almost cool. My family and I love to eat this still a little warm with some coconut oil, hummus, avocado, salad greens and sprouts.
I recently took this to a gallery opening with some organic olive oil and balsamic vinegar to dip this into and it was devoured - so delicious!
* You can make this with just about any gluten-free flour (other than Edmonds GF flour mix, using this will make your loaf result in a brick-like bread!). A store-bought all purpose gluten-free flour will work fine and give you a white loaf, a favourite of mine is 1/2 and 1/2 white and wholemeal spelt flour (although spelt has a teensy bit of a gluten protein present), or 1/2 and 1/2 brown rice and buckwheat, whatever you have on hand should work, I haven't had a failed loaf yet!