Contains: Eggs, nightshades (as seasoning) Is: Gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free.
Out of a challenge with a group of friends, we needed to make dishes with unexpected substitutions. Yes, if you are doing this sort of thing often, you may well know a lot of standard subs, but this was indeed fun. (A very interesting one was a chicken salad made with avocado instead of mayo, and another was a vegan cheese spread made with almonds and a couple other ingredients I can’t recall, but without nutritional yeast.)
So I chose to make a gluten-free bread, which when buying stuff at a grocery, I steer WELL AWAY from! The list of ingredients on those loaves make me shudder! Meanwhile I found an intriguing recipe that would allow me to fill it with savory ingredients to (ahem) spice it up. It really DID work very well. The texture was more dense than a wheat-based bread but it was moist enough to make up for that – NO dry and hard here!
This is the source recipe: Plum Deluxe’s Tapioca Bread.
This is a bread recipe that does require instant rising yeast. So you do end up proofing yeast as per most wheat breads. While this bread rises quite well, it is far too “liquid” to pound and knead it, so no need for that step, or a dough hook on a KitchenAid. (I did all mixing steps by hand.)
Tapioca: This is sold either as tapioca starch or flour, and is obtained from the South American cassava plant. I’d specifically bought it last winter to re-create a Vietnamese dumpling dish – which I’ve attempted once but while it tasted fine, needs some serious work in the aesthetics department before I roll it out here.
Oats: You want oat flour, and you especially want to purchase oats produced in a gluten-free environment, if you are feeding a celiac. Many oats are heavily cross-contaminated with wheat. You can purchase as a flour, or you can do what I did: toss rolled oats into a grain-exclusive coffee grinder, and grind it down to flour consistency. Measure oat volume in the flour stage. Note that oats are a grain.
Buckwheat: Buckwheat flour is not from any wheat despite the name, but actually is a flour obtained from a plant that’s a close relative to (get this!) rhubarb. It is a denser pseudo-grain, but imparts a solid flavor. I have a GF buckwheat pancake recipe here on this blog, which I enjoy with blueberries in the mix.
Other Options: The source recipe mentioned one could potentially sub in millet and/or rice flours for the oats and buckwheat, while still retaining the tapioca. I do have both of those – but the originals sounded just so much more flavorful and interesting!
OOOPS! AN UNPLANNED SUBSTITUTION NEED:
Xanthan Gum: The day before putting this recipe together, I discover that this was an item my recipe called for! Not something in my pantry. Probably not in a lot of pantries!
Hunting around, I found a site that provided 8 or 9 subs for xanthan gum (one of the nine would probably not work with this particular recipe, but I didn’t have it anyway.) Of the potential substitutes I did have: flax seed or egg white. You’d think I’d have corn starch in my pantry, but I refuse to buy corn starch in that all I’ve seen available is heavily GMO. Mind you, I have NO objection to the technology per se, but when I cook at home, I prefer not to buy Round-Up Ready foodstuffs. (For corn starch, I usually use potato starch or arrowroot starch as a substitute – but neither of those were listed as an option here – and I was already thinking I might be over my head in creating this bread, to begin with!) This is the source list of substitutions and how to use: Nine Substitutes for Xanthan Gum.
There were going to be enough eggs in this recipe, so I opted for the flax seeds. I’d bought them a couple years back and never had found a good reason to use them. So I ground a bunch up – the finer the better, or they can taste “gritty” depending on application.
The main hurdles out of the way, what about spices???
Paprika: The recipe went with smoked paprika. My smoked paprika is also a HOT paprika, and I didn’t feel this belonged in a bread recipe of this sort. The idea is flavor, not knocking one’s socks off, welcome as that is often in other dishes. So I did mild Hungarian paprika. But from here on in, I deviated from seasonings.
Turmeric: I simply felt like it.
Kasoori Methi/Fenugreek Leaves: As I was already moving towards the Indian subcontinent?? Why not? Methi translates to fenugreek in Hindi.
Toasted Black Sesame Seeds: Another “it fits the bill”, and I can’t find my collection of those wonderful nigella seeds I know should be around here, which the original recipe suggested.
PS another note: Somewhere I read that subbing the eggs with flax seed (for vegans) doesn’t work well with tapioca recipes. The FOUR eggs in this recipe must mean something?
Prep Time: 40 minutes. + 1 hour of yeast rising.
Cook Time: 45 minutes.
Rest Time: 15 – 20 minutes.
Serves: Depends on how you slice it, or use it. Certainly ample for 6, probably more.
Leftovers: Yes. Serve cold or toasted. Best on the day of, or day after, the making.
Savory Gluten-Free Tapioca, Oat & Buckwheat Bread
As noted, feel free to vary around the seasonings in this bread! Opting less-savory should work very well, too!
- 2/3 cup warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup boiling water, use as soon as it boils
- 2 teaspoons finely ground flaxseeds
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup oat flour, gluten-free
- A few sprinkles of rolled oats, gluten free
- 2 tablespoons coconut (or white) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon mild Hungarian paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- About 2-3 tablespoons loosely packed dry crumbled fenugreek leaves
- 4 medium eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Toasted black (or white) sesame seeds for topping. Use nigella seeds if you have them!
To the warm water (hot water from tap) add the yeast, mix gently, set aside.
To the boiling water, remove from cooktop, add the finely ground flax seeds. Mix, set aside. It is okay if SOME evaporates.
To a large bowl, add the three flours, the sugar, salt, baking powders and seasonings. Mix by hand.
To a smaller bowl, add the eggs, olive oil, and vinegar. Mix by hand.
To the yeast bowl, add the flax seed bowl, assuming the flax seed liquid is just tepid at this point. Pour all this into the egg/oil/vinegar bowl, and mix.
Add the liquids to the dry foodstuffs bowl, and mix together so that everything is combined. The batter will look very liquid – almost pancake consistency (which really threw me off when I made this!)
Pour into a lightly-oiled medium-sized bread loaf pan – I only had the small loaf pans, in which case divide half and half to each.
Set into a warm spot to rise for about half an hour – mine doubled in size.
Towards the end, pre-heat oven to 350 F / 177 C.
Top the loaves with the sesame seeds.
Bake a medium sized loaf pan for 45 minutes. Bake the two small loaf pans (if using) for 35 minutes. The tops should brown up nicely. Remove afterwards, and allow the pans to rest on a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature. These loaves are also suitable for slicing for sandwich bread. I provided butter (Kate’s Creamery) for my friends, but let your imagination roam.
- Fiesta Friday, with co-host Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.
- What’s for Dinner? Sunday Link-Up.
- Farm Fresh Tuesdays.
- Homestead Blog Hop.
- Full Plate Thursday.