March is such a funny time of the year for me. All it takes is one mild day for me to start dreaming up what will go in the garden.
You can feel it and taste it, but too bad, it’s still winter. I woke up to a windy, 25 degree day today and started baking.I’ve also been a little consumed with breads lately. Bread from a package is mostly processed stuff so I like to make my own. I always make sourdough bread (with the good for you starter I keep in my refrigerator), use whole wheat flour, a little salt and water. That’s basically it. It’s dense and hearty and that’s how I like it.Lately, though, I have been very curious about breads that don’t use any wheat flour. For most of us, gluten, the bad guy in flour, is tolerable. But that doesn’t mean I want, or should, eat bread everyday. It’s processed, it can raise blood sugar and I like to mix up my whole grains anyway.I really have a dislike for gluten free baked goods that you see in the stores. Most use thickeners, gums, binders and tons of sugar to make their products look and act like wheat. I personally think most of them taste terrible. Since I wanted something that did not use wheat as the main ingredient, I turned to some of my favorite recipe bloggers for assistance.First I tried The Life Changing Loaf of Bread, from MyNewRoots. This recipe only uses an assortment of seeds and nuts and then binds it together with psyllium husk powder. I felt a little strange putting fiber powder into my bread. It reminded me of 70’s “health bread”, or a strange detox diet. Also, it is very seedy. If you don’t mind that texture, a putting extra fiber in your bread works for you, this is an easy bread to try.Next, I found a variation on this bread, Heather’s (no relation) Super Seed Power Bread. She clearly used the New Roots recipe as a base, but threw in oats, chickpea flour and less psyllium husk. Still very seedy, I found the addition of chickpea flour to have an aftertaste I did not enjoy, but I imagine you could substitute a variety of grain free flours.
Onto the winner! I was telling a friend of mine about my bread dilemma and she directed me to my happy medium, by cookbook author/blogger of OhSheGlows. This recipe uses no psyllium husk (not needed with everything else going on in this bread), and adds in the addition of oat flour and buckwheat flour (a little used hearty, gluten free grain I happen to love and you might now too).
In this recipe, I varied a couple of things. To take away that mouthfeel of seeds (because it is very seedy) I pulsed the sunflower and pumpkin seeds in the food processor to chop them up. I also immediately knew to double this recipe, because why spend time making one batch when you can make two and put the rest in the freezer? Rather than putting it in a baking pan, I spread it out thinly on a baking sheet, so it is almost more of a cracker.
Put it all in the freezer and then take out a slice to toast and serve with an egg and avocado, or break it up into pieces and serve with hummus. It’s a delicious, bread alternative. Let me know what you think!
Super Power Chia Bread
Makes about 6 slices, double this recipe and bake on a baking sheet for extra
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats, ground into a flour
1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats, ground into a flour (or more oat flour)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a 9-inch square pan with two pieces of parchment paper, one going each way.
2. Add rolled oats and buckwheat into a high-speed blender. Blend on highest speed until a fine flour forms.
3. Add all dry ingredients into a large bowl and stir well until combined. Stir in the water until combined. The mixture will be very watery and runny at first, but it will thicken up fairly quick. Scoop it into the pan and spread it out with a spatula as evenly as possible. You can use lightly wet hands to smooth it down if necessary. Sprinkle the bread with coarse salt before going into the oven.
4. Bake at 325F for about 25 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then lift it out and transfer it to a cooling rack for another 5-10 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
5. This bread keeps for 2-3 days max – any longer and it gets gummy in texture. I suggest freezing it for enduring freshness.
Notes: to save time, you can buy oat flour and buckwheat flour in most gluten free baking sections.