This week I have been on a serious mission on behalf of a friend of mine. A few days back we had a fire drill at work and whilst standing out in the car park, I was told this friend had recently discovered she needed to cut both dairy and yeast out of her diet (which was already gluten free). This had (unsurprisingly) made eating an increasing challenge and in particular she was really struggling to find any edible bread or suitable alternative. Could I help?
Well……. never one to avoid a challenge, I was absolutely up for it. My response was an instant ‘leave it with me………..’
Really? Had I gone totally bonkers? Can you really, actually, possibly, ever produce decent gluten free, dairy free, yeast free bread? It turns out you can! Yes……….. really!!!! Not only am I shocked that it can be done, but I am amazed at the quality of the results.
I decided to start small and go for rolls rather than a loaf in the first instance as I thought these would potentially rise better, and would also be easier to store in the freezer and take out as needed (my experience of gluten-free bread being that its shelf life can be very short).
It was also important to use ingredients that were easy to source as I am aware that my larder can be a little bit baffling and intimidating to the uninitiated GF baker! I did a bit of internet research into ‘yeast-free bread’, found a really helpful magazine site (which no longer exists) and started there. They had a selection of bread (and other) recipes for a whole variety of allergies and intolerances, which gave me a head-start and a set of base recipes on which to build. I did some further research on using baking powder and bicarb in place of yeast to understand the principles of the required replacements and set to work……………
A couple of attempts later, some tweaking of a ‘Living Without’ dinner roll recipe (in particular quantity and type of flour, quantity of xanthan gum and balancing/changing some other ingredients) and I had a white roll that was frankly, quite unexpected and delicious.
These rolls are probably the lightest, fluffiest and softest that I have had since we went gluten free. Ok, so you don’t get the lovely yeasty smell when they are baking, but what they lack in aroma, they more than make up for in ‘breadiness’. They are even amazing straight out of the oven, warm and smothered in butter (unusual for a gluten-free bread which is mostly left to cool before you risk eating it). Although they lose some of their moistness, they are still amazingly soft and fresh a couple of days later………. I know…….. I can’t believe it either!
And the taste test? My daughter wolfed down three in a row, complained that I had made them for someone else and made me promise that I would bake them for her next time as they were ‘sooooo good’………
And back at work? I think I have a happy friend! The excitement of a yeast/dairy/gluten free bread which is not like a rock and which tastes great has done the job. I have sent her off with a little bread goodie bag and a new recipe.
I am putting these little rolls forward as my second entry for Treat Petite this month. Challenged by Kat at The Baking Explorer and Stuart at Cakeyboi to produce something to celebrate World Baking Day (apparently on the 18th May) that has been made for family and friends, these need to be shared. I know they don’t strictly fit the criteria (not being sweet) but the only reason they are here is because I wanted to help a friend with her bready dilemma……. I am hoping that ‘excuse’ for sneaking them in is good enough!
White Bread Rolls – gluten free, dairy free, yeast free (makes 12 to 15 rolls)
2 large eggs – room temperature
3 tablespoons almond milk (or rice or soya milk)
250 ml dairy free yoghurt (soya yoghurt)
60 ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cider or white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon honey
Sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
- You will need a non-stick 12 hole muffin pan (and maybe a spare tin for any remaining batter), which should not require any greasing, unless it has lost its non-stickness.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together all the dry ingredients, making sure they are fully broken down and well-combined. Set aside.
- Measure all the wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk together until completely amalgamated and airy.
- Add the dry ingredients and fold into the wet mixture until you have a sticky thick batter. Do not over mix.
- Spoon into the muffin tin holes filling each to about two-thirds. Smooth the top of each with the back of a teaspoon. If you have any mixture left and no remaining space in the tin, place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and make a small pile with the remaining mixture (it will still rise into a bread roll, but will not have a uniform shape).
- Bake straight away for 20 to 25 minutes, until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and use a silicone spatula to slide and release each muffin if there is any sticking.
- Place on a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or freeze as soon as possible.