Saturday, 12 January 2008

Gluten Free Bread Rolls (egg free, dairy free, gluten free)

I wonder if Archimedes had any inkling – on the day he nailed the theory of displacement – that this particular day was going to be a biggie? Having spent weeks – perhaps months – stressing over how he could perform nondestructive testing on King Hiero’s crown, did he wake up one morning with a premonition that today his anguish would end? Or did he spend another fruitless day mulling and pondering, trying out the odd hypotheses here and there, only to call it a day at sundown? He would have packed up his laptop with that familiar frustrated feeling; desperate to see what a Google search would throw up on the matter, but determined to crack it himself with no outside help.

"I’m done in" he announced to his wife as he trudged into their kitchen which was bathed in the glow of the setting sun. Enticing aromas of citrus fruit, olives and freshly baked bread reached out to massage his tired shoulders.

‘Oh love, no joy again?’ She cocked her head on one side, sympathy and concern written lovingly over her face. He shook his head miserably and fought back the tears that welled up.

‘Listen honey, I’ve run you a nice cool bath. You go on up and I’ll bring you a big glass of chilled Ouzo, how does that sound?"
As he stepped into the bath, there was a blinding flash of truth. He saw the water rise, he saw his body submerged... it was All. So. Beautifully. Simple.



Eu Bloody Reka!”
he yelled as he fled naked down the hill. His incredulous wife leant on the door jamb and watched his painfully white flesh disappear into the distance. Her eyes lit upon the bottle of Ouzo.
‘Ye Gods, what do they put in that stuff?’

I had a bit of an Archimedes moment last week. Like Archimedes, I’d been struggling for months with a thorny problem. Like Archimedes I had no sense that the day was going to be a biggie. Unlike Archimedes I didn't feel the urge to run naked down the street or imbibe Ouzo. Maybe it's a BC/AD thing.

You see, let’s be blunt; what’s a gluten-free blog without bread? You may not see the yawning, recriminatory abyss on my blog, but I do. I see it in my dreams, and I see it in yet another failed bread attempt that I hurl disgustedly into the bin.

Last Thursday, a pack of gluten-free bread mix caught my eye. I thought I might give it a whirl. As I did what it said on the packet, I had to forcibly restrain myself from tweaking the recipe. It did not seem possible to me that the mix I was making would result in edible bread. I was right; the birds were treated to another helping of ‘bread’ that was something between industrial putty and cheap playdough.

But that particular failure got my Archimedes screw working. I peered closely at the packet ingredients. I took two, ditched the rest and added some of my own. I had a first attempt. Not brilliant.
Another attempt. Hmmm, better.
One more go before the school run; oooo, could that be it?

When I’m not sure about my food, I do the most logical thing; I inflict it upon unsuspecting friends. I mentally made my shortlist on the way to school, and cornered them in the playground. They made encouraging noises.
It didn’t pass the Chantal test though;
‘Well, it needs to be springier, it needs to be more risen, and why did you put margarine on it? I hate margarine’.

I woke up the next day pondering the mathematical conundrums of proving time, elasticity, optimal performance values of yeast; that sort of thing.

It happened at about 4pm. With white knuckles I gently opened the oven door. What I saw filled my heart with joy and my brain with angst; it was late in the day, there may not be enough light left to get a good photo!

Oh but it was Eureka all the way. They were springy, more risen, soft, fluffy…they were bread! And they were so up for the photo shoot. The shot was in the bag before these babies were even cold.

Eu Bloody Reka!

Archimedes' Gluten Free Bread Rolls

Ok, I'm going to stop waxing lyrical about the rolls now. Suffice to say that they are very easy to make, and the preparation time is short. As with most gluten-free bread; they're really better on the day of making. However, you could probably get away with toasting them for breakfast the next morning.

150g cornflour

100g rice flour

1.5tsp dried quick acting yeast

0.5 tsp xanthan gum

1 tbsp sugar

0.5 tsp salt

50g dairy free spread

180-225ml tepid water

  • Heat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius
  • Put the cornflour, rice flour, yeast, gum, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Mix with a small whisk
  • Add the dairy free spread, then add the water a little at a time. I've always found that about 225ml of water does the trick, but readers have said that they find this much makes the mix too sloppy. Add the water cautiously, start with 150ml, gradually increasing until you have a thick mix. It should look like a thick cake mix. I have no explanation for why mine seem to work with 225ml; it could be different types of rice flour? Who knows, just err on the side of caution with the water, but equally, your mix shouldn't be stiff and hard to beat, I do hope that's clear
  • Using a wooden spoon mix gently to combine. Then beat like mad until the dairy free spread is mixed in and you have a smooth, quite wet and sticky, dough. Beat round and round and scrape your spoon across the middle; the idea is to remove lumps and to activate the yeast. You may find you are beating for anything from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Any really stubborn lumps can be 'pinched' with your fingers to squidge them. Scrape down the dough from the sides of the bowl
  • Leave the mix in the bowl for 15 minutes in a warm place. The yeast will start to activate and the flours will absorb the water a little. The mix will become thicker, more robust, and it should only spread a little (more a 'relax' than a spread) when you spoon it onto the baking tray (see below)
  • Line a baking tray with baking parchment
  • Using a dessert spoon, put roll-sized dollops of dough onto the baking tray. Tip the mix off the spoon and use a clean finger to make the tail end of the mixture land on the top of the roll; you are trying to make them as upright as possible. If you find the first roll you put on spreads rather than holds its shape, return it to the bowl, and leave the dough for another 5-10 minutes until it is more manageable; your dough should be quite thick, a little resistant, and not runny.
  • Go for small rolls rather than massive baps. If you are having trouble getting them to a roll shape, wet your hands with water or rice milk and primp them just a little. Grease some cling wrap with dairy free spread and lay it over the top of the rolls. Leave them in a warm place - I put mine on top of a warm radiator or an airing cupboard might do it - for 10-15 minutes only. They will grow very slightly, but they won't double in size, nor do you want them to. Trust me; I'm an Archimedes pig
  • When the 10-15 minutes is up, put them into the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they are well risen and golden brown on top
  • Remove from the oven, exclaim in wonder, and place them onto a cooling tray
  • Dance a little jig of happiness around the kitchen and clap your hands in delight if you wish
  • Eat until you feel like a fat pig in the kitchen. In saying that I do not mean in any way to encourage gluttony, eating disorders, obesity or Type 2 diabetes. Pig in the Kitchen cannot be liable for any awfulness that may occur from overeating
  • Eureka!

© Pig in the Kitchen 2007

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Guineapigmum said...

Tomorrow - not today, it's too late & I'm clean out of cornflour - I'm going to try these. Your photos make them look so good and they don't have any of the junk that lots of teh packet mixes have.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

GPM, I hope they work for you!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Job well done I'd say. I'm not really that good at bread so I'd always cheer and dance with a success like that. Great pics too! Love the Chantal's of this world, always to be relied upon!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

A@LF, thank you. I used to make lots of bread with wheat flour, doing that has helped me work out this recipe. These rolls kind of make themselves though, they're far easier than wheatflour ones! I so value Chantal's honesty!

Akelamalu said...

I always liked making bread the traditional way but I just use the breadmaker now! :(

Stitchin' Sheep said...

I'm thoroughly impressed. Those look so "real". I had gotten really good at making bread with wheat flour. My husband misses my homemade bread, but having recently found out I'm allergic to wheat is enough to torture me when the bread is hot from the oven, and I can't have a slice of the crunchy crust.

My forays into gluten free breads have been only mildly successful. The flavors I love in wheat breads seem to be missing. Maybe I'll try these when I really feel the need for some bread.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Akelamalu, I'm really bad at making bread by kneading it, i only ever used the breadmaker before. These don't require kneading, so that's a boon.

SS, thank-you dear. I can imagine that not being able to eat warm bread whilst everyone else around you is tucking in, would be torture. It's my greatest challenge trying to make decent GF bread, hence my over-excitement at finally managing it!

rilly super said...

'what's a gluten free blog without bread?', well, we've all been wondering that for ages PITK but we just didn't like to say anything dear :-)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Oh Rilly, I do count myself lucky that my friends are so polite and have not tried to burst my bubble. Thank-you.x

Mya said...

Phwoar! Hot buns! (Well, bread actually.) They look delicious. It's a good job you're such a tenacious little Piglet. Well done you!

Mya x

Pig in the Kitchen said...

mya, thanks love. You've got me thinking about buns; perhaps these rolls could help me in the cup size department? You're so clever.

Potty Mummy said...

Of course the problem with baking any break is that I just can't resist it - but that looks so delicious, Pig. Well done! Now you've filled that gap, can we expect the cookbook out soon?

Mya said...

Tag you're it! I won't be offended if you don't play - I'm not sure it will fit your format.

Mya x

elizabethm said...

Well done you - they look fantastic. I can smell them too.

Sparx said...

Wow, these look amazing. I'm so glad I dropped in on you today for one of my long-term catch ups as I've been thinking about baking bread and wanted to try gluten-free too - synchronicity! Who invented that, I wonder?

Brom said...

I love those Eureka moments. It's good to have one now and again.

Bloody hell Pig, you are getting GOOD at these posts.

Roll on the next one (gluten free of course)

Sweet Irene said...

I always read your posts with great enjoyment and I have no food allergies whatsoever. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon your site, but I always check to see if there is a new post and read it with much delight. I hope you are seriously considering compiling all of these into a book.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

pottyM, how do those fresh baked loaves get eaten so quickly? It's a mystery to me. Of course I HAVE to eat tons of it in the interests of research, it's such a bind. Alas the cookbook, i don't think publishers like me very much, but there are a few more days left of the Golden Year of the Pig, so who knows?!

MYA, oh, you caught me again, all this bread means i can't run as fast anymore...will try and upload your pic, thank-you!

Thank-you lovely ElizabethM!

Sparx, hello, thanks for dropping by. Synchronicity is a fab word; enjoy the bread!

Brom, you see I imagine that your life is peppered with Eureka moments, complete with complicated equations and spidery drawings! And thank-you for the lovely compliment.

Sweet Sweet Irene, you do live up to your name! Thank-you for your very kind comment. I shall have to appeal to some Greek gods i think (perhaps a sceance with Archimedes) for the book to become a reality; the publishers don't seem very interested... (pig stifles a sob)

Elsie Button said...

oh my dear god. here was i, doing really well on a no-bread, no-chocolate diet, and i then clap my eyes on these little beauties.

am just back from the kitchen having stuffed down about 20 slices of dry bread. DOH!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Go Pig! When I went wheat free for a while due to mild IBS, I used to make soda bread but it didn't compare at all.

Love the snapshot of chez Archimedes.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

ElsieB you are so funny! Spare a thought for me having to sample all the bleeding stuff! I have an overhanging gut like an Emporer Penguin's!

M&M, Yey! Woo Hoo! If you ever go wheat free again I'll send a few of these over! It was very enlightening being in Casa de Archimedes; just wish i hadn't had to witness the naked Eureka moment.

dulwichmum said...

You dear friend are the most clever mummy in town - in France, no in Europe. You even make me want to bake. You never sound ground down by the restrictions posed by being gluten free. Great stuff. I am always impressed by your enthusiasm.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

DulwichMum, you're a poppet! I try not to let the allergies bother me, although when I slip up and my daughter has a reaction to something she's eaten, I do feel fairly miserable. I find my eldest daughter's eczema (caused by dust mite allergy)more of a headache; it's all about hoovering her mattress and continually changing drives me insane!

Frog in the Field said...

Where were you four years ago when I was desperate for bread and had a severe wheat allergy?? Hmm? Say!
That's very impressive, we will be trying this had better be rubbish because I'll be so mad that I had to go without bread for 18 months!!!!
I still haven't got over it (obviously)!

Amber said...

The bread looks amazing! i'd like to try it out, but I was wondering- when you say 'corn flour', do you actually mean corn flour or corn starch? I'm Canadian, and there tends to be some confusion here in the distinctions; some cookbooks always refer to corn flour when they mean corn starch.TIA!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

FITF, dear heart, had I known I would have started this blog a lot sooner and done it for you, i promise. Do you think you might have anger issues? I can recommend some fluffy white rolls spread thickly with a topping of your choosing; clotted cream? Mwah!

Amber, You say cornstarch, I say cornflour, I've googled them both and they sing from the same hymn sheet. In plain English I mean; they are one and the same. And in French? Amidon de mais. I hope that's clear!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

oh amber, just realised that when you say 'corn' do you mean sweetcorn? it's not sweetcorn flour, it's cornstarch in that case, the stuff you use to thicken sauces, very white, goes into a weird paste when mixed with water?
I'm not at all clear am I?!
i should lay off white wine.

creative-type dad said...

I'm hungry now. I can't make bread unless it comes pre-made and ready to eat.

Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

Wow, those do look really good. I hesitate to get excited about egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free breads after some bad experiences, but I think I am going to have to try this recipe!

Frog in the Field said...

Anger issues!!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

CTP, sorry for provoking hunger pangs. I'm sure you could make these, you being a creative-type; they're very, very simple!

Sally PA, I understand entirely about not getting excited about everything-free bread....that's why it was such a joy when these worked!

Sweeeet Frog...Hush, hush. You are beside a babbling brook, all is calm in your world. A handsome man is ladling clotted cream into your mouth and smearing it over your fabulously slim body...

Hmmm, i think I'm blurring the line between therapy and porn there, better stop.

lowood6 said...

Hi Pig, great bread! It tastes great! Though I was in a hurry so I fermented the yeast in microwave (as I normally do) and then scooped out the risen dough onto the baking tray. I will follow your recipe properly next time ;-) What I can't get over is the taste and how simple your recipe is. When I took the bread out of the oven my 3yo screamed "Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow Wow Well done, Mummy!!!"

Pig in the Kitchen said...

lowood6, so happy it worked out for you! And what a lovely reaction from your son. Hooray, it makes it all worthwhile!

Nikki-ann said...

Thanks for this recipe! I'm definitely going to try this one so I can actually eat bread without the bad stomach :D

Pig in the Kitchen said...

nikki-ann, eat and enjoy, bad stomach begone!

lowood6 said...

I see why you say one wouldn't want them to rise much - I followed your recipe precisely this time and it is infinitely better. Hubby reckons this is better than the local bakery's gluten-free bread ;-)

thenewstead6 said...

wow! Thanks! I've been looking for gf/cf/egg free bread for ages for me and baby!

Have you made these in bun tins/shaped tins, to get a better shape? mine are rather flat looking rolls as the mixture spreads before it rises. Maybe an eclair tin would work?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

hello Newstead6... a friend of mine recently had the same problem, so I spent a frantic afternoon making batches of rolls to test the recipe again. I think the key thing is to leave the dough in the bowl for five minutes before you try to put them on the tray. The mix 'bulks' up a bit becoz of the yeast starting to do its thing, and then when you put them on the baking tray, they should hold their shape. If after 5 minutes, the mix still seems too wet/spready, leave it in the bowl for another 5-10 mins. That should do the trick, but please let me know if it doesn't and i'll rack my brains again...
Good luck!

thenewstead6 said...

Thanks for that! I'll try. I need to make them for a home ed meeting on Saturday, so I'm going to make the mix when I get up, then put the covered bowl in the car with me to drive to where it is, and bake them there, so they will have had 40 minutes to "rest"! Do you think they will still be ok? It would be a lot to make it all from scratch once there as I would have much time :0( also after failproof gf/cf biscuits for tea that day... ideally something that I can make the day before that will still taste good!!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

hello newstead6, when i was working out this recipe, I found that if the rolls were left to prove for too long, they collapsed when they got into the oven. They do seem to work better with a shorter proving time...40 minutes sounds like walking on the wild side, but it may work if they are in a cool car; i really couldn't guarantee it tho!
'Freedom Cookies' should keep well until the next day...or 'Gingerbread Mates'. Good luck!

Amber said...

I finaly got the chance to try these. and they didn't work out. Everything seemed to be going fine, but they baked up gooey in the middle. Ah well! Maybe it was my dairy-free spread. Perhaps it was just the wrong kind for this recipe.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello Amber, oh dear, I'm feeling a little distraught! From what you said, it sounds as though they weren't cooked in the middle. So, could it be that the oven temperature was a little too high? Or perhaps too much water, making the mix too wet? I'm going to amend the recipe becoz I've been trying something else out today, and I think it would be good to add the water gradually, first about 180ml, and then add bit by bit until you have a mix that looks a little like a thick cake mix, it shouldnt' look too runny. It's also important to leave the dough in the bowl for 10-15 minutes to thicken up and allow the yeast to act. (see recipe) It shouldn't look like pancake mix, it should look thicker.
Think I'll pour myself another glass of wine whilst I ponder this problem...I'm sorry it didn't work out. :-(

Amber said...

Please don't be distraught! I took my 'flops' to a pot-luck today, and they were a huge hit! People seemed to think they were some sort of gf danish. I've sent many people to your site to find different recipes I've borrowed! The truffles were oohed and ahhed over when I made them for Valentine's day...

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Amber, ok I'm feeling a bit less distraught! How cool that they mistook your 'flops' for something exotic, I wish that happened to me. Thanks for referring people, and glad the truffles worked!

Anonymous said...

HELP - I live in CANADA and I haven't a clue what to buy when the ingredient states: DAIRY FREE SPREAD. I want to try and make these bread rolls for Thanksgiving. I hope this posting works.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hello anonymous! Dairy free spread just means a margarine; a spread like butter but that is made with vegetable oils rather than milk-based products. If you are allergic to milk, then you;ll have to hunt one down, I'm feeling a bit clueless because I don't know where to suggest in Canada...a health food shop?

HOWEVER, if you are gluten intolerant, but can eat milk, then you could try these using regular butter, I haven't tried that, but i don't think it would make much difference to the end result. I hope that helps, shout back if it doesn't and i'll try and do better!

Amber said...

If you do need dairy free, try Earth Balance. It's sold in most health food stores in NS and Ontario, so it's probably available all over. Plus, the Sobeys and Superstore chains sell it.

LynnP said...

Thank you! I didn't mean to post anonymously name is Lynn and I've been celiac for years...a recent discovery that eggs are a big NO NO now made me find your site! I am enjoying poking around and reading some of the blogs (another tangent to lure me away from the laundry and dust bunnies ..they will have to big do those dust bunnies actually get to?

I can tolerate dairy, so I will bake these for our Thanksgiving this weekend. I appreciate the timely responses as I'm shopping tomorrow morning.


Flick said...

Just found this recipe (thanks google!) and huge thanks to you Pig! These rolls have just come out of the oven and in the 3 years I have not been able to eat gluten, I have never tasted better rolls. I'm with you on the amount of water to use (I used 220ml). They are beautiful - lovely and crispy on the outside, really soft and fluffy on the inside. Baking has become a passion - and baking bread will now become part of my routine thanks to your recipes!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Flick, ahhh, aces!! So pleased you found me and that the rolls are a hit! :-)

You're inspiring me to try some more bread recipes...but I'm working on a spicy chocolate fondant cake called 'chocolate orgasm' at the moment. When I've got it right I might move onto bread again.

that was quite a long and rambling answer wasn't it??!!
Happy baking
Pig x

Jolene said...

these are brilliant (and the hot-cross-buns)! It's always nice to bring something to school that *all* the children can enjoy together and these are so tasty and inviting ('normal' looking). thank you

nino_rojo said...

I'm DEFINITELY gonna try this recipe and so hope it works! It's been a a long time looking for a decent recipe that actually makes decent bread. I'm sick adn tired spending £2.89 on a 3/4 loaf that falls apart after 2 days!

Madison said...

I'm so excited to have found this recipe. So going to try it this weekend. I've been looking for a bread roll recipe forever. Which yeast would you recommend? I normally use the Doves Farm one but I'm not too impressed with the results.

Madison xxx

vww said...

An Ode to Pig (and a question!)

Pig, Oh, Pig. I made your rolls and I danced a jig!
They were fluffy and light, and looked like food porn,
The only problem is, my son can't have corn!
What, Oh what shall I do?
What can I use for the switcheroo?
I love your site, once more baking's a delight,
Thank you, kind Pig, for giving a fig,
and helping make me dance a jig!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

What can I do?
Can't answer in rhyme
Just don't have the time

I wish I COULD answer in rhyme, but it's just not happening! You could substitute the cornflour with potato flour, can he have potato flour? I'd love to know how they turn out.

And you are the ONLY person who has ever commented in rhyme, I hereby award you the 'Best commenter ever' award.

thank-you for brightening my day!!!

Matt said...

What a fantastic blog i've just stumbled upon, i have no allergies myself, but have many friends who are gluten free and it annoys me that restaurants are so often unaccommodating. I work in the industry and have done since i was 15 (5 years) and have always tried to go the extra mile, gluten-free yorkie puds, i perfected luckily at the first attemt, i have a few gluten free choc cake recipes, soufflés and sponges etc i can do well but bread has always eluded me, ending up with a nice looking crusty roll filled with gooey wetness. It's half past midnight, my one day off in the week ended 30 minutes ago and im off to tesco to buy the ingredients so that at half 7 in the morning i can roll up at work (fully dressed) and say Eureka! we no longer have to buy our gluten-free bread, lets make our own and take one more step towards catering for all needs.
Ps. The restaurant i work in recently did a tasting menu for a gluten and lactose free lady.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this recipe. I am off out to but the ingredients. I would like to try to make a loaf instead of rolls ad also try it in the bread machine. Obviously this is all down the road a way after I get proficient at the roll making. Matt I would love your yorkshire pudding recipe please as I imagine many others on here would. Thank you again PITM.

elw220 said...

These look like the best gluten free bread rolls I have seen! As I too know what 'normal' bread rolls feel and taste like I have adopted a very fussy palette when it comes to GF and more or less all tried and tested shop bought products fail to satisfy - why should we have to settle on quality? I really can't wait to try out this recipe! Could you please tell me approximately how many the recipe makes? (as I'm the only GF person I don't want to do too many if best eaten within 24hrs). I look forward to hearing from you! :)

Amy said...

I had found your blog several years ago when we discovered my daughter's allergies and through accident tonight, remembered it was here. Oh, can't wait to look through your other recipes.. I had made these and they were a hit, looking forward to making them again!!

Jack & the itch monster said...

Amazing!! Thank you for such an awesome recipe!! I'm crapola at anything cooking related but even I pulled this off!!

Anonymous said...

Hi this looks great and I would like to try but I'm wondering if the yeast I have: instant dried yeast, is the same as the yeast you use here. I live in the US so maybe the terminology is a little different? Also do you think just olive oil would work instead of the dairy free spread?Thanks for answering my questions :) ~evie

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Hi anonymous, yes the instant dried yeast is the kind that I used. I think the olive oil will work, but maybe you won't need as much? Or you'll have to use less water to compensate. It might be a case of trial and error, but I hope it works!
Hope that helps


Ramonita said...