If you don’t want to eat this bread, I’m going to have to check your pulse.
This is gluten-free.
I wrote the sentences for this piece in my head, long before today. However, they have all disappeared in a haze of too-much coffee, too-little sleep, notes scrawled in orange marker, and a darling toddler interrupting it all (thank goodness).
The final copyedits for our cookbook were due today. We made the deadline, panting as we passed them over. (Well, metaphorically. We just pressed the send button together.) This photograph above? That has been my life the last few days. (Including the fact that I made recipe notes with Little Bean’s crayons one afternoon.)
For the record, we’re beaming. We really love our book. We think you will too.
However, the sentences I sang for days, celebrating the fact I could show you this bread? They’ve all disappeared.
And you are probably thinking: Shauna, that’s okay. Just tell me how to make this bread.
Well okay, then.
This bread recipe comes from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, the wonderful new book from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois. Don’t know their names? You know their other book, I’m sure: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Almost everyone I know who can eat gluten makes bread out of that book. They all rave. The rest of us were left to feel sad, shunted off to the side again.
No more. Jeff and Zoë have published a second book, intended to be more healthy (whole grains, dried fruits, etc.). There’s one chapter that makes the price of this book worth it for everyone reading who has to eat gluten-free: “Gluten-Free Bread and Pastries.”
Jeff and Zoë are professionals, bakers who understand bread. And they gave their attention to us gluten-free folks.
That’s right. Gluten-free olive oil bread. Gluten-free pizza. Gluten-free sesame baguette. Gluten-free cheddar and sesame bread. Crackers. Bread sticks. And brioche.
Plus, with the brioche recipe, you can make most of the pastries in the last chapter. That means apple strudel bread, doughnuts, sticky buns, cinnamon crescent rolls, and fruit-filled pinwheels.
Do you need me to write anything at all before you buy this book? Oh, just this.
They’re good. May I direct your attention to the photo on top of this post again? That’s the gluten-free boule from the book. Exactly as written.
It makes a lovely sandwich bread too.
Really, do you need more?
Does the fact that you can bake this bread as an enormous rosemary-kalamata olive loaf persuade you at all?
Look deep into the space between the two halves of the crust (I cut my pre-baking slices too deep. Normally, you don’t get a crevasse like that). See those elastic strands, pulling as though in slow motion? Those look like gluten strands in bread.
Yep. This bread tastes like the real thing too.
See that crumb? Do you want a bite? You can have one, soon.
The recipe is right below this next photo.
Now, normally, I don’t publish a recipe as it’s written in a book, or even close to it. Danny and I both respect and adore the people who work hard to create cookbooks. We think you should buy the cookbook itself to get the best recipes.
But here, we’ll make an exception. You see, Jeff and Zoë already have the recipe published on their website, so we don’t think they’ll mind. Besides, there are at least a dozen other gluten-free recipes in the book that you will want to make. Giving you this one won’t ruin your purchase.
And finally, we actually helped Jeff and Zoë develop this bread. We were honored to test their original recipe for them. We were nervous about telling them it wasn’t very good. We were happy to offer a dozen suggestions about flours and techniques to make the recipe great. And we are thrilled with the final bread.
(You’ll see that the bread recipe in our book has a similar structure, but other flours and different ingredients. Start making this recipe now and you’ll be prepared for the next loaf by fall.)
So, since we had a hand in this recipe, we think it’s fitting to offer it to you here.
Bread, people. It’s real bread.
And, we’re giving away a free copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day to one commenter on this post. Just tell us something you have learned about gluten-free baking through your experiences. I know we can all learn from each other.
Gluten-Free Crusty Rosemary and Kalamata Olive Bread, adapted from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois
I loved the rosemary loaf made by Essential Bakery in Seattle. My dear friend Gabe and I both loved it so much we used to leave it in each other’s mailboxes as a present when the other was having a bad day. And I seemed to live on the olive loaf from Macrina Bakery in Seattle, just before I found out I had celiac.
I’ve missed both those breads. So I put them together and made this.
Now, go forth and bake.
1 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca flour
1 tablespoon granulated active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 1/3 cups lukewarm water (heated to 110°F)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons canola oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 handfuls kalamata olives, sliced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, taken off the stem and finely chopped
coarse sea salt
Mixing the flours. Mix together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca flour, yeast, salt, and xanthan gum in the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you are doing this by hand).
Making the dough. Add the water, eggs, oil, and honey to the dry ingredients. Mix with the paddle attachment (or with a large spoon if you are mixing by hand) for a few moments until the dough has fully come together. It will be soft. It will sort of slump off the paddle. Don’t worry. That’s the right texture. Add the olives and rosemary and mix one more time.
Letting the dough rise. Put the dough in a large, clean bowl and cover it with a clean towel. Put the dough in a warm place in your kitchen, then leave it alone to rise about 2 hours.
You can now use the dough. Or, you can refrigerate it in a large container with a lid. The dough stays good for a week. Refrigeration overnight does seem to improve the flavor, as well.
Baking the bread. Shape 1 pound of the dough into a squat oval shape or small ball. Sometimes, wetting your hands helps if the dough feels too sticky. Let the dough rest for 40 minutes. (If you are pulling the dough out of the refrigerator, let it rest for 1 1/2 hours before baking it.)
Half an hour before you will put the bread into the oven to bake, turn on the oven to 450°.
(Now we slide a Dutch oven in there to heat up. Jeff and Zoë recommend a pizza stone in the oven and a pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal for resting the bread. Please make sure both are never before used, if you are gluten-free.)
Before baking, make 1/4-inch-deep cuts with a serrated knife to the top of the dough. Pour on a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
Put the dough into the Dutch oven, cover, and return it to the hot oven. (Or, slide the loaf from the pizza peel onto the hot baking stone.) Close the oven door and bake the bread until the top has lightly browned and the bread feels firm, about 35 minutes. (Also, the internal temperature of the bread should be at least 180°.)
You can put a large sauté pan filled with ice cubes on the rack below the one that holds the baking bread. This will create steam in the oven and help to form that golden crust.
Take the bread out of the oven and let it cool at least 15 minutes before slicing. (I know. But really, you have to do this.)
Makes 2, 1-pound loaves.