Make a gluten free Bread Bouquet for the ultimate show-stopping tear and share… Perfect for ripping and dipping. It’s easier than it looks and the bread tastes amazing too!! No one will know it’s gluten free… (Optional dairy free. No psyllium husk)
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First published 10th September 2016… Updated 2nd December 2022
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Piping a gluten free Bread Bouquet
This Bread Bouquet may have been one of my proudest gluten free bread baking moments… It was certainly a huge breakthrough. Realising I could pipe gluten free bread dough (or should I say batter) opened up so many possibilities for bakes that not only tasted great, but were beautiful too.
And yes… you read that right! This amazing Bread Bouquet was created with gluten free bread dough and a piping bag. Piped bread! Who’d have thought?!
If you’re wondering about the bread… That’s gorgeous too! A wonderful, earthy wholegrain gluten free brown loaf, made using a balanced combination of gluten free flours, including oat, teff and millet. It’s healthy and delicious and has a wonderfully soft, bready crumb… And NO psyllium husk (for those of you who are intolerant).
The story behind my gluten free Bread Bouquet
I first made my Bread Bouquet back in 2016. It was my attempt to keep up with the beautiful bread sculptures being made on the Great British Bake Off. Sick of watching with envy year after year, I decided it was time to smash the challenge.
If you are familiar with my bread recipes, you will know that since 2016 I have created shapable bread dough to make Wholemeal Artisan Gluten Free Rolls, which maintain shape after proofing and baking. But back then, it was still one of my pipe dreams.
Nonetheless, I had developed a wonderful bread dough that was perhaps a bit thicker than others I had created previously. And it got me thinking… It wasn’t ‘kneadable’, but maybe it was thick enough to pipe into something beautiful instead.
I admit… the initial attempts at letters, hearts and flowers were less than impressive… But they did offer inspiration both for making something bigger and for how it might be eaten… The mini flower rolls were perfect for tear and share and also for dipping in garlic butter and other things.
And so… My tear and share Bread Bouquet was born… An edible centrepiece for a party or special meal… Or just to enjoy in front of the TV with friends. Fit for a banquet or even the Bake-Off tent!
The different qualities of gluten free bread dough…
You’ll see above that I have emphasised this Bread Bouquet does not use psyllium husk… This brings us to the qualities of different gluten free breads and what makes them ‘work’ or ‘not work’.
Gluten free bread is increasingly falling into two camps… dough that uses psyllium husk and dough that uses xanthan gum… But I have no doubt it will evolve further and other binders and moisture retainers will come to the fore in the future. (I have a few thoughts myself on ingredients to test ‘outside of the box’).
Right now, the use of psyllium husk in gluten free bread is king. Why? Because it holds and stores moisture offering amazing texture, longer shelf life and allows gluten free bread to be more easily kneaded and shaped. Actually, I count myself as a bit of a trailblazer on this one… Before I made my Best Gluten Free Brown Bread Recipe, I hadn’t seen any recipes that used larger amounts of psyllium husk. Now they seem to be everywhere. It’s what makes my alternative wholemeal tear and share gluten free Christmas Tree Bread work too!
Xanthan gum is an alternative binder and was what I used when developing my Bread Bouquet. It tends to make more of a bread batter that cannot be kneaded and has to be scooped and spread into shapes (which more often than not, ‘collapse’). The consistency is entirely different. But providing the batter is thick enough, piping (it would seem) is a potential answer!
What’s in my pipeable gluten free bread dough?
Batter or not, you can rest assured that the texture of my Bread Bouquet dough (once baked) is still as it should be… Soft, bready, pliable, robust, lasting and quite delicious… whether made into tear and share rolls or repurposed as loaves for sandwiches. In no way would you ever think ‘this is gluten free bread’. So what’s in it?
The flour blend
First and foremost comes the gluten free flour blend… A careful balance of protein flours combined with starches… offering structure, flavour and that all-important bread texture. Specifically, this dough contains:
- white teff flour
- oat flour
- millet flour
- potato starch flour
- tapioca starch flour
- white rice flour
The recipe will not work as successfully either for structure or texture with a ‘bagged’ supermarket blend. Sorry! If you want great gluten free bread, you have to go ‘off piste’…
Binding and Structure
Additional binding and structure comes from xanthan gum, gelatine (or vegegel) and milk powder, added to the flour blend…
Moisture and Rise
Eggs have multiple functions giving structure, moisture and leavening, working with the water and Easy Bake (instant) yeast (with a little honey to support yeast activation). A little bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice give an extra boost to help open the crumb.
And lastly… there’s a little oil and salt for flavour, texture and shelf life too.
How to pipe gluten free dough to make a Bread Bouquet…
If you’re wondering how on earth you pipe bread dough, let me explain…
The consistency of the batter for my oat, teff and millet bread is quite thick… It’s comparable to an ‘over-stiff’ porridge (oatmeal) or the batter for Choux Pastry. And that makes it perfect for piping into balls, mounds, lengths, etc.
Although the nozzle used will be a personal choice, I would emphasise at this stage, that the dough will not hold the patterns and swirls of fancy piping (because it expands with proofing). Thus, it is better to use a larger plain, round piping nozzle. The Ateco 809 nozzle – 175 mm (or even a slightly smaller 808) is perfect for round dough balls for bread bouquet flowers.
I can also recommend the Lakeland ‘Get a Grip’ Piping Bags for greater control!
Piping a Bouquet design…
Once you have your piping bag filled with bread batter, it’s time to pipe the flowers. The design is up to you, but this is my best advice for getting a bouquet that is as pretty as it is delicious…
- Choose your baking tin/sheet before you start, as the design will need to be piped onto baking paper that is already placed in the tin. The size of the tin will determine the maximum size of the bouquet. The larger the better (as long as it fits in the oven)…
- Draw out the design before you start piping, so you have a picture to guide you… Or better still, a full-size template to place under the baking paper. Just remember to remove the template before baking… Leave a couple of overhanging tabs to pull the sheet away without having to lift the dough.
- When piping (and designing your bouquet), leave a slight gap between dough balls for expansion when the dough is proofed. The dough should then join to form one piece as it rises.
- Fill in gaps between the flowers with piped lines to form stalks… And pipe a rough ‘bow’ to form a tie.
- Add detail and definition using different seeds (pumpkin, sesame, poppy, mixed, pine nuts etc) to emphasise all the elements of the design.
Can I make this Bread Bouquet with different gluten free dough?
I have only made a Bread Bouquet using the gluten free dough detailed on the recipe card shared with this post. However, providing the batter is naturally thick enough to hold its shape reasonably well, then it should be good for piping too.
I would suggest that if there is a dough you want to use, make a small batch (or take a little from a loaf batch) to test.
Is this Bread Bouquet safe for Coeliacs?
Providing the Bouquet is made with suitable gluten free bread batter, then it should be safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac). It is important that the bread is made using certified Gluten Free Flours and that all ingredient labels are checked for risk from cross contamination or hidden gluten.
If you are new to checking labels, my page ‘Coeliac Disease + Food’ is worth a read.
Can it be made dairy free as well as gluten free?
Yes. The only dairy ingredient in the recipe is milk powder. This can be subbed for a dairy free alternative such as coconut milk powder (double check the brand you choose is gluten free as well as dairy free).
How to serve a Bread Bouquet…
This Gluten Free Bread Bouquet has to be the ultimate show-stopping tear and share, that can be made with a ‘wet’ gluten free bread batter. And while it is perfect for ripping and slathering in super-easy, creamy Homemade Butter, it can also be served to perfection in many other ways…
- The centrepiece of a buffet table at a celebratory party
- Ripped and dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Alongside dips of Homemade Houmous; ‘Real Guac’ (homemade authentic Guacamole); or Baba Ganoush (smoky aubergine/eggplant dip)
- With soft and silky garlic butter or spicy salsa
- As a side to my delicious Best Roasted Vegetable Soup or Italian Green Beans and Tomatoes
- Used to mop up Baked Feta with Tomato and Red Pepper or Breakfast Shakshuka
- Smothered with Homemade ‘Healthy Nutella’ or Hazelnut Butter
- Or sitting with unctuously gooey, baked Camembert.
Can this gluten free bread recipe be used to make standard loaves and rolls?
Yes. If you don’t want to make a Bread Bouquet, this recipe for Oat, Teff and Millet Bread can equally be baked into bread-tin loaves (I would recommend two one-pound tins rather than a huge loaf). It also creates wonderful rolls or a lovely long, soft wholemeal baguette.
The recipe for my Bread Bouquet…
The recipe for my gluten free Bread Bouquet is just below… scroll down a couple more inches. Whether you use the recipe to make a full-on tear and share bunch of flowers, or to make rolls or a loaf, let me know how you get on. Leave a comment or contact me via social media… (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter).
For more gluten free bread inspiration and recipes, we have a separate Gluten Free Bread Index. And for everything else, the main Gluten Free Recipe Index is the place to start. All shared for FREE with my love.
More bread recipes without psyllium husk
Oat, Teff and Millet Bread for Bread Bouquet
- 80 g fine white rice flour
- 80 g white teff flour
- 100 g oat flour
- 40 g millet flour
- 50 g potato starch
- 60 g tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp xanthan gum
- ¾ tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 7 g gelatine powder or 4g Vegegel
- 3 tbsp milk powder or dairy free alternative (eg coconut milk powder)
- 10 g easy bake instant yeast eg. Allinson's Easy Bake
- 3 large eggs at room temperature – UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 370 g warm water (hand temperature only – 38 to 40 C)
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp sunflower oil
- milk or egg-wash to glaze
- seeds/oats/nuts for decoration
- If piping a bread bouquet, pre-plan the design and either draw it out or make a full-size template (to fit the tray being used and to be placed under the baking paper lining). Allow for gaps between the piped rolls as they will expand with proofing and join together. Line the tray with baking paper.If making loaves, base-line two 1 pound bread tins with baking paper.
- Weigh and mix together all the flours, xanthan gum, salt, bicarbonate of soda, gelatine/vegegel, milk powder and yeast (TIP: weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously). Set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and add the honey and hand-warm water (at 38 to 40 C).
- Beat with a hand whisk until well blended and airy.
- Add the lemon juice, sunflower oil and dry ingredients and blend together well using a mixer with a dough hook attachment or wooden/silicone spoon. Continue to mix for a couple of minutes to allow the ingredients to amalgamate well (scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times to ensure the mix is well-blended).
- To make loaves, spoon the dough into base-lined bread tins/moulds (about two-thirds full) and smooth the tops with the dampened back of a spoon.. For piped bread shapes, spoon into a piping bag attached with a large round nozzle.
- If piping a bouquet, pipe the design onto the tray lined with baking paper, leaving a very slight gap between piped elements to allow room for proofing (the dough should join to form one piece on rising).Once piped, remove the template (if using one) from underneath the baking paper.
- Cover with clingfilm and place somewhere warm for about 40 to 45 minutes to proof until almost double in size. If your home is cold, place on a folded tea towel in a pre-warmed oven (at about 50 C) with a bowl of steaming water.
- Once proofed, brush the top of the dough with egg wash or milk to glaze.
- If using seeds to decorate, sprinkle them on top.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4 and bake the bread – 15 minutes for small rolls, about 20 to 25 minutes for a bouquet or larger piped pieces, 30 to 40 minutes for standard loaves.
- Once baked and golden brown, remove from the oven and carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool (slide the bouquet off with the support of the baking paper) .
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist