Kitchen Experiments: Gluten Free Flat Bread

Sometimes I think that my blog is not an accurate representation of what actually goes on in my kitchen. Like my kitchen is just always filled with beautiful baked goods styled to perfection. This couldn’t be further from the truth. My kitchen is more like a science lab. I am constantly baking up experiments that, more often than not, are failures.

Ok, maybe failure isn’t the correct word. It is rare that something is actually inedible. But frequently, my little experiments do not make it on the blog.  Why? Because I want my blog to be mostly filled with very high quality recipes and amazing looking food. But the experimentation’s are also a part of who I am as a baker. They are a part of my process. They are important to me, because they are what makes me better. What helps me learn. And what brings me to the more beautiful baked goods that I allow you all to see.

So today I bring you a different kind of post. I bring a recipe that is not yet perfection. And pictures that are not beautifully styled. I give you a glimpse behind the scenes of my baking thought process and a recipe that is in the works.

Gluten Free Flat Bread

I’ve been wanting to make a gluten free yeast bread for a while now. But I have a few rules for myself with gluten free baking. #1: I want it to be as simple as possible. #2: I don’t want people to be able to tell that it is gluten free. Gluten free baking can get very complicated. Lots of unfamiliar and expensive ingredients for those who don’t often do this kind of baking. Gluten free baked goods can often taste a bit off and are easy for those who don’t usually eat this way to distinguish.  Call me a perfectionist, but these things are not okay with me for my own baking needs. I often bake for my co-workers and it frustrates me when I tell someone that something is gluten free or vegan and for that very reason they choose not to eat it. I’d rather give it to them, let them enjoy it, and then tell them.

Today was my first attempt at diving into the gluten free yeast bread world. I wanted to make a loaf bread, but I soon realized that the dough I made was not going to form very well into a loaf. Instead I patted it out into a flat bread and topped it with some garlic and herbs. It is delicious. I had my husband eat it and he thought it was rather good too.

Gluten Free Flat Bread

Successes: 

  • Easy recipe, requires no kneading and few ingredients
  • The texture is chewy and bread like.
  • Isn’t easily distinguished as a gluten free bread
  • Would make a great gluten free pizza dough
  • No funny after taste like many gluten free breads
  • Has a great yeast dough flavor

Failures: 

  • A bit crumbly
  • Does not form into a loaf
  • Some might find it too chewy
  • Does not rise as much as a traditional yeast bread (note: it is believed by some that salt deactivates the yeast and should not be added before the flour. If the flour is added immediately the salt should not affect the yeast. I have made traditional breads this way many times with success)
Conclusions from the Experiment: 
  • It would be beneficial to bake this on parchment paper for easy transferring due to the slightly crumbly nature of the bread.
  • The rice flour/arrowroot mixture absorbs more liquid than wheat flour and therefore requires less water or more flour for the same dough consistency.
  • This bread does not rise like a traditional yeast bread does, but the yeast flavor is still great.
  • Use clean hands to pat the dough out into desired shape. A rolling pin will stick too much.
  • This recipe would probably benefit from some kind of binding agent to resolve the crumbly nature of the bread.
I ate this with some balsamic vinegar and it was delicious and kind of addicting. The chewiness was really surprising and I loved it! Will definitely be experimenting with this recipe again.
Gluten Free Flat Bread
Gluten Free Flat Bread
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Ingredients

1/2 TBSP active dry yeast
1/2 TBSP kosher salt
1 1/2 cups luke warm water
2 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups arrowroot powder (cornstarch would also work)
Optional
Olive Oil
garlic
spices such as rosemary, basil, red chili flakes, oregano

Instructions

  1. In a container with a lid, combine yeast, salt, and water.
  2. Add brown rice flour and arrowroot powder and stir until all combined.
  3. Cover with the lid but do not snap it tight. Leave it slightly open.
  4. Let rest at room temperature for 2 hours. You may also store it in the refrigerator overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  6. Pat out to a quarter of an inch thick on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. If desired, brush olive oil, garlic and herbs over the dough.
  8. Bake at 400 for 12-16 minutes.
7.6.4
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21 comments on “Kitchen Experiments: Gluten Free Flat Bread”

  1. That looks good - I'm one of those people who won't eat something if it's gluten free, bad first experience - and I love that you ate it with balsamic vinegar ! I would have never thought of that. YUM!
  2. It was sooo yummy! You ought to try some gluten free stuff again! There are many good recipes out there, though I hear you. I have tried a few that were pretty dreadful. I have a really good cookie and brownie recipe that are both amazing and you would not be able to tell. Nobody can. I made a vegan ice cream for work once and so many people were grossed out just knowing that it was vegan. Really all it was is coconut milk so I don't see what is so gross about that unless you really don't like the flavor of coconut.
  3. Instead of putting the salt in the water with the yeast, put it in the rice flour. I learned through using my bread machine that salt actually deactivates yeast, so you want to keep them separated. Let me know if this advice helps your bread to rise more. The bread sounds good!
    • With all of the yeast breads I make I follow the method of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. IF you notice my other yeast breads are always made this way and they always rise. This is a slow rise method and therefore it shouldn't matter when the salt is added. But I may try and tweak the recipe and try activating the yeast first before the salt. I make rolls that way, so maybe it would work better. I just love the simplicity of the slow rise method because it requires no kneading so I always try that first.
  4. I would guess you need a binder to keep it from being so crumbly... maybe an egg? I do find that rice flour tends to give things a crumbly texture.
  5. Hi Baker Bettie, I admire you so much for putting your heart out for us to see and love. I have been trying to learn the art of gluten free baking for almost a year now and at times I just want to throw my hands up in despair. Sometimes the recipes I think will work are flops (literally) and the ones I am just sure are a waste of ingredients, turn out great. I just joined your blog about a week ago and I know you have some excellent gluten free recipes already. Thank you so much for giving us more! I am going to try this one today. Your post has inspired me to keep at it. I have learned so much from courageous and generous gals like you!
  6. I know I'm a little late but I'm obsessed with your new site, your header is too cute! And loving your gluten-free experimentation :) I've been going GF for the past week and half to rule out an intolerance - and messing around with GF baking is not easy, I know exactly what you mean about the 'off' taste! Your bread looks delish! And really yummy with a little balsamic
  7. I´ve been getting into gf baking too. The pics look really good! I´m wondering if the rice flour made it grainy. I´ve had that with a gf pound cake a made last week, but it doesn´t happern when I use amaranth or quinoa flour. Anyway, it is a flatbread to try soon!
    • This recipe isn't grainy at all! I really love the combination of 60% brown rice flour to 40% arrowroot. I have had a lot of success with that with cookies and brownies. This recipe was super chewy which I loved!
  8. Glad to have been redirected to your new, pretty blog! Gluten-free is such a challenge and I think I read somewhere that Gluten-Free bread would be the "holy grail". So if you can figure that one out.. I think it would be wonderful!! Your try here does look excellent and I, for one, would enjoy every last crumb!
  9. I love this post and your experience that you shared! I make all vegan recipes and am just diving into GF as well! I'm glad to have found your blog. I already enjoy it!
  10. I've worked with gluten free dough and breads for years now, due to my daughter's wheat intolerance. It's not easy! You did a great job, your flatbread looks delicious. :)
  11. Have the same rules for gluten free baking as you do! I am not very saavy on the scientific part of baking and gluten free baking seems to have a lot of science to it....simple is best for this girl when it comes to GF cooking! I love how you turned this into a flatbread - such a great idea, I am totally seeing this as a pizza dough :) Do you ever wonder why some people shy away from Vegan & GF food without even trying it and others are all over it (non vegans & gf peeps) - I mean come on just taste it, its not like they are going to turn into a carrot eating Zombie :)
  12. So glad you're doing some gluten free baking. I would love to do some but I can't seem to find the time to "experiment" so thank you. I appreciate all your hard work!
  13. I can't wait to try this, it looks great. Do you think maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of xantham gum would work as an effective binder?
    • It is worth a go! I really don't know because I try not to use the gums. I have figured out ways to make other gluten free bake goods without them and I prefer that because I want the recipes to be as simple as possible. But a binder would definitely help this recipe so it is worth a shot!
  14. I made a delicious flatbread once, and it was perfect. It's an Indian bread, but the garbanzo flour creates a nice, nutty flavor - which would also be great with pizza! This flatbread wasn't crumbly at all. Just delicious. We ate it with stir fry the first time I made it. Give it a try and let me know what you think! http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-socca-a-naturally-gluten-free-chickpea-flatbread-169513
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