Whilst digging out my Doves Farm self-raising flour, I came across a bag of Doves Farm White bread flour blend sitting at the back of the cupboard. I bought it a while ago when I had my first attempt at making gluten free bread in a machine. It was disastrous and I sold the bread machine!
But I still get irritated by the very expensive, crumbly bread I spend about £10 a week on. So I decided I should try and make it again, this time the traditional way and see if I can make bread that is edible and suitable for breakfast.
I used the recipe on the back of the Doves Farm packaging. Just for once I had all the ingredients, plenty of time on my hands and no excuses not to do it!
Here is the recipe.
450g/16oz Doves Farm white bread flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp quick yeast
2 tbsp sugar
325ml/11fl oz warm milk – I used Kara dairy free
1 tsp vinegar
6 tbsp oil
The method was very straightforward and surprised me because there was no kneading involved. So I did feel slightly anxious – but thinking about it you just knead normal bread because of the gluten – so I guess no gluten no kneading! Great.
According to the pack, you need to mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar first. Then, in a large bowl, beat in the lightly warmed dairy free milk, vinegar and eggs. The vinegar alarmed me, but it is such a tiny amount, I thought it must be in for a good reason.
Next add the flour and mix to form a sticky dough. This all came together very easily. So I was starting to feel quite confident. Continue mixing and adding the oil, a little at a time. This really pulled it all together and very soon it looked like ‘real dough’.
As with ‘normal’ bread, you have to prove it. So you place your dough in a greased 1kg/2lb bread tin. I don’t have one. I have a glass loaf tin/dish. I don’t know the size, but it has always been fine when making banana bread so I decided to be brave and go for it.
You need to cover the dough in the bread tin and leave it to rise in a warm place for an hour. I wrapped it in a tea towel and put it in the grill section of my oven. The oven below was on and there was a nice heat rising up and warming the grill area. I think I took mine out a bit too early, but it looked like it had risen really well, so I then moved it to my fan oven. The oven should be pre-heated to 200c for a fan oven and 220c for a normal oven. You bake it for 40/45 minutes or until it looks golden and ready! Mine took a fraction longer and looked and smelled great. It was hard making myself let it cool down before getting stuck in.
It had a lovely golden crust and felt a good weight – it certainly wasn’t a brick and it wasn’t soggy! I cut a slice and could see it looked pretty good. Could probably have been cooked for about five more minutes though.
As it was warm, I smeared some dairy free butter on and had my first taste. Not bad. Could have been improved with a bit more salt. As it needed a fraction more cooking, and I intended to serve it for breakfast tomorrow morning, I decided to see if it made decent toast – a breakfast staple in this house.So I cut another slice and popped it in our ‘Zac food only’ toaster for a few minutes. It definitely helped, so with a bit of ‘dairy free’ butter and some marmite, I had created my dream gluten free, dairy free breakfast. I know a lot of coeliac sufferers cannot do marmite, so you will have to use your own dream toast topping, but at least we know that home-made gluten free, dairy free bread is not an impossible task.