There’s Nothing Like the Scent of Freshly Baked Bread

Freshly baked gluten-free Olive-Rosemary Bread warm from the oven

Our family has always been a big fan of freshly baked bread, warm from the oven. Smelling the yeast as the bread dough rises, the bread as it bakes, eating warm bread with melting butter–all bring back fond memories. Just writing about this makes me hungry for warm bread fresh out of the oven.

If you enjoy Mediterranean food, you’ll love this Olive-Rosemary gluten-free bread. We always have a loaf on hand to enjoy with our meals.

How to make a gluten-free bread with no eggs or dairy

It has been a dream of mine to bring back this tradition once again into our home. No small task when considering the change in ingredients that were necessary to make a bread safe to eat. It meant eliminating eggs, milk, gluten flours and potato starch.

How do I make a loaf of bread that has the same taste and texture as wheat bread, using all the ingredient substitutes I need to make? Is it even possible? Would it bind together in the same way?

Start with the right flour blend

Taking a gluten-free recipe from my America’s Test Kitchen (ATK) gluten-free cookbook, I first had to find a flour blend that would be close to a wheat flour in texture but was gluten-free.

ATK came up with a gluten-free flour blend that is great, and I just needed to make several changes. We can’t eat potato starch, so I replaced the potato starch with oat flour. The one omission to this blend was the milk powder. They recommended no substitutions if dairy wasn’t an option, noting that the structure would be impacted if it is left out.

I use this flour blend base for any recipe that calls for gluten-free all-purpose flour with great success. Keep in mind that this blend does not have xanthium gum included, which I prefer since so many of my recipes don’t require xanthium gum.

Please refer to the post and recipe for the Gluten-free flour blend: LINK: A Flour Blend Base: no Gluten, Dairy, or Potato

An egg replacement that works and is a healthy alternative

With the flour blend established, it was time to test the flaxseed egg substitute. You can find the instructions on how to make “eggs” from ground flaxseed on the back of the ground flaxseed package. For each “egg,” put three Tablespoons of ground flaxseed into a bowl and mix with three Tablespoons of water and let the mixture rest for at least five minutes. When you jiggle the mixture, you’ll see it has absorbed the water and has thickened.

It’s hard to believe that this can effectively replace eggs in baking, but I’ve had good luck with this approach to egg replacements. It will have a speckled effect to the appearance of the bread and a slightly earthly flavor, but when the other ingredients are added to this bread, it’s not noticeable.

Powdered psyllium husk adds structure to the bread

One of the surprise ingredients to this bread was the use of powdered psyllium husk. It’s an integral part of the structure of the bread, so don’t omit this ingredient. I found this ingredient in the bulk section of Natural Grocer’s. You can find it any health food store.  Note: if you have Celiac’s Disease, you’ll need to use powdered psyllium husk from Bob Red’s Mill or a brand that certifies the powdered psyllium husk is gluten-free.

Oat flour also adds structure

In addition to the oat flour that is already in this flour blend I used; the recipe calls for additional oat flour. It’s important to use oat flour made from old fashioned rolled oats. Bob’s Red Mill has gluten-free old-fashioned oats that can be easily ground to a flour consistency in the food processor. Be sure to not use instant oats as they have a dusty texture that won’t work well in this bread. I’ve also used ground oat flour I’ve found at Natural Grocer’s in their bulk section, which works for us but is not appropriate for people with Celiac’s Disease.

Allow the bread dough to rise about 1 1/2 hours

Since this bread contains yeast, once the ingredients are mixed and the olives and fresh rosemary are added, the dough will need to rise for about 1 1/2 hours. Make a cross on the top of the dough, mist it with water, then cover it loosely with plastic and let it rise in a warm area of your kitchen. The dough will rise by about 50 percent.

Baking time

The baking time originally recommended for this recipe in the cookbook I used recommended about 2 hours. However, with the ingredient changes we had to make, plus living in high altitude, I’ve found that baking 1 to 1 ½ hours was sufficient. It may depend on the climate you live in, so you might have to start with an hour and then bake longer if necessary. Your bread is ready when you can tap on the top of the loaf, and it sounds hollow. It should also be lightly golden brown on the top.

You’ve made fresh baked bread straight from the oven. And your home smells divine! 

Scroll down to find the complete bread recipe and instructions. A helpful tip to speed up the preparation time is to have the flour blend on hand ahead of time. I’ve made this bread many times now and each time preparation becomes faster. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do.

Bon Appetit!

Gluten-Free Olive -Rosemary Bread-No eggs, or Dairy

Ingredients

1 ½ cups warm water (110 degrees)

3 Flaxseed “eggs”

3 Tablespoons olive oil (2 Tablespoons +1 Tablespoon)

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

2 2/3 cups Flour Blend (see flour blend – link)

1 1/3 cups gluten-free oat flour

3 Tablespoons powdered psyllium husk

2 Tablespoons sugar

1 Tablespoon instant or rapid-rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

¾ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  1. Prepare the flaxseed eggs by measuring 3 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed into a small bowl and add 9 Tablespoons of water. Whisk together and let rest at least five minutes.
  2. Whisk water, flaxseed “eggs” (once rested), 2 Tablespoons oil, and lemon juice together in bowl.
  3. Using a stand mixer with paddle, mix flour blend, oat flour, psyllium, sugar, yeast, salt and baking soda together on low speed until combined.
  4. Slowly add water mixture to the dough and let dough come together about 1 minute, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. Increase speed to medium and beat until sticky and uniform – about 6 minutes.
  6. Stir in olives and rosemary with a rubber spatula
  7. Spray 18 x 12-inch sheet of parchment paper with vegetable oil spray. Transfer dough onto prepared parchment paper and shape into 6 ½ inch ball with wet hand. Place the parchment paper with dough into an 8-inch oven-safe skillet or pie pan.
  8. Using a sharp serrated knife, make a two-inch-deep, 4-inch-long slashes in X shape across the top of the dough.
  9. Spray the dough with water. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until dough has risen by 50 percent, about 1 ½ hours.
  10. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees.
  11. Remove plastic and brush with remaining Tablespoon olive oil.
  12. Bake until the top of the bread is golden brown, crust is firm, and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. About 1 ½ -2 hours. Check it at 1 ½ hours as time varies depending on climate.
  13. Carefully remove loaf from pan, transfer to wire rack, discard parchment paper, and let bread cool completely, about 2 hours. After the bread has completely cooled, wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.
  14. If freezing, slice the bread into individual pieces first and store for no longer than one month.
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