When it comes to developing new gluten-free recipes in my kitchen, I must admit, I enjoy playing with bread recipes. Although I’ve had a fair amount of success with cakes, like the Devil’s Food Cake, I do find it more difficult to get the right texture when it comes to cake. I am still trying to develope a gluten-free white cake recipe that has just the right texture & crumb, I was close last time, but not quite there. But, when it comes to breads, I have an easier time figuring out what I need to do to make the the dough look and feel the way that it should, and quite often have success on the first try. This recipe for Gluten-Free Cheddar and Beer Bread is one of those success stories.
I have heard quite a bit about no-knead breads in the past. Books, like Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (which also includes a chapter on gluten-free breads), have helped people to realize that baking fresh bread does not need to be a difficult, time-consuming task. Instead, you simply mix your ingredients together, let the dough sit on the counter for a few hours, form into loaves, let it rest again, and then bake it. Those are the same steps that I used to accomplish this savoury loaf that I am sharing today.
But first, I would like to introduce the star of this delicious bread recipe – my new 3-quart enameled cast aluminum Dutch Oven from Nordic Ware. I received this pot, along with a braising pan and a chicken leg griller, as a gift from Nordic Ware, who is one of the sponsors of the upcoming Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I am attending. When I looked at the Dutch Oven, I thought – I could make a great stew in that. But, then my mind turned to bread instead. I’ve heard of breads being baked in pots with heavy, fitted lids, but had never tried it. Baking the bread in a Dutch Oven traps the moisture in the pot while the bread bakes, giving you a beautiful, crispy crust on the outside of the bread, but a nice, chewy inside. Similar to steam injection that the professionals use for crispy baguettes and brioche. After experimenting with it, I can tell you first hand, it works beautifully, even with gluten-free breads.
This Nordic Ware Dutch Oven worked beautifully to bake this bread in. The Dutch Oven is enamel coated, so no sticking, even if the dough had touched the sides. However, my favorite thing about this Dutch Oven is it’s weight. It works as well as a cast iron pot, but it is not nearly as heavy as cast iron. It is still easy to lift & carry, even if would be full of a delicious stew.
No special equipment is required to make this gluten-free crusty savoury bread. If you have a wooden spoon, you’re set! If you don’t have a Dutch oven, don’t fret – any heavy pot with a tight fitting lid will work well. Just be sure that the knob on the lid is safe to 425°F.
Yields 2 one pound loaves
- 1 cup (120 grams) brown rice flour
- 1 cup (130 grams) sorghum flour
- 1/4 cup (50 grams) potato starch
- 1 cup (110 grams) tapioca starch
- 1 Tablespoon (10 grams) xanthan gum
- 1 Tablespoon (12 grams) rapid rise yeast
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) salt
- 1 1/2 cups (115 grams) shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 onion greens, chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon (7 grams) liquid honey
- 1 1/3 cup gluten-free beer, room temperature (I used Redbridge Beer, you can use water, it just won’t have quite the same flavour)
- 2 large room temperature eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 Tablespoons (14 grams) olive oil
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, rapid rise yeast, salt, cheese, and onion greens.
- In a smaller mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, gluten-free beer, eggs, and olive oil.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir just until everything is evenly mixed.
- Loosely cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap, and let it sit on the counter for 2 hours.
- After the two hours, divide the dough into two*. You want to work gently, so that you do not break all the air bubbles that have just formed in the dough. Carefully place each ball of dough onto its own piece of parchment paper (about 14″x14″). Wet your hands with water, and smooth each ball of dough into a ball shape. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest on the counter for another 90 minutes.
- 30 minutes before you are ready to bake your bread, preheat your oven to 425°F. Place two Dutch Ovens (or other heavy pot) into the hot oven, and let it heat for at least 15-20 minutes.
- Using a serrated knife dipped in water, cut 3 or 4 slashes across the top of the loaf (optional, but gives it a nice look)
- Remove the preheated Dutch Ovens from the oven, and carefully place the bread dough, on the parchment paper, into the Dutch Oven (one loaf per Dutch Oven). Be careful, the Dutch Ovens are very hot at this point.
- Place the lids on the pots, and place the pots into the oven. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes. Remove the lids, and continue baking for another10-15 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the bread, using an instant read thermometer, is 205°F.
- Remove bread from the Dutch Oven, and place on a cooling rack. Allow bread to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Store cooled bread in an airtight resealable bag.
*NOTE: If you only wish to bake one 1-pound loaf, leave half of the bread dough in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 7 days. When you want to bake the second loaf, remove dough from fridge, gently place on a sheet of parchment paper, shaping and smoothing it with hands that have been wet with water. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest on the counter for 2 hours before baking. To bake the bread, follow the same instructions as if you were baking immediately.
Disclosure: I received the Nordic Ware products as a gift, however, the opinions expressed are my own. This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links.