I’ve really gotten good at my gluten free baking… like incredibly, amazingly, stupendously good. Even gluten munching, bread crunching, Brad admits that my gluten free baking has great flavour and texture.
So what has made the difference? Was it skill? Was it some complicated new technique?
Actually it wasn’t any of that… and this is my holiday gift to you. The secret to my amazing gluten free baking is… psyllium husk.
I’ve actually been looking for psyllium husk for the past year, but I was unable to find it ANYWHERE… and there are a lot of health food stores in my hippy-island-home of Victoria. Then, surprisingly I found a bag of ground psyllium husks on sale at my local mass-market grocery store (a truly huge surprise), and I haven’t looked back since.
To illustrate the amazing properties of psyllium husk, here is a chewy, flavourful gluten-free sourdough bagel. It is as traditional as you can get (without using gluten), boiled then baked and topped with your favourite topping!
- Dough Ingredients
- 1½ cups active sourdough starter (see notes)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
- 1 tsp molasses
- 1 egg
- 1⅔ cups starch
- ½ cup bean flour
- ⅔ cup almond flour
- ⅔ cup whole grain flour
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1¼ tsp salt
- For Cooking
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- 2 tbsp toppings (optional, see notes)
- Combine all of the dough ingredients and fully mix to make sure everything is well incorporated. The dough will be quite stiff, but still a tad bit sticky.
- Divide dough into 8-10 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, form into a bagel shape, being sure that the ends overlap and are pinched together.
- Lay bagels out on a parchment (or wax paper) lined cookie sheet. Place somewhere warm and let rise for 1-2 hours (until it has started to get puffy).
- Bring 4 liters water and baking soda to boil on the stove.
- Working with 1 bagel at a time, place in boiling water and cook for 10 seconds, flipping them over halfway through cooking. Using a slotted spoon, return bagels to the baking sheet. At this point you should sprinkle with desired toppings before the bagel cools.
- Once all the bagels have boiled, bake for 15 minutes in a 425F oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees, rotate sheet, and continue to bake until bagels are evenly golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Remove bagels from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer bagels to wire rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Use within 3 days or slice and freeze for future use.
-Either start with an active sourdough starter, or spontaneously ferment a starter by leaving 1 1/2 cups of filtered water and 1 1/2 cups of rice flour out in a warm location for 2-5 days. It should start to bubble by that point, and though it might not be as active as a well fed starter, you could use it for this recipe.
-If you don’t have psyllium husk, then add 2 tsp of xanthan gum. It’s not the same, but it will do as a good alternative.
-Bagels belong to their toppings: poppy seeds (my favourite), sesame seed, minced onion or minced garlic are traditional. But feel free to experiment with cinnamon and sugar, dried herbs, rosemary Parmesan or whatever your heart desires.
-Wholegrain Flours: include brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, millet flour, oat flour, quinoa flour, sorghum flour, teff flour. I usually use oat flour.
-Starches: potato starch, sweet rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, cornstarch. I usually use tapioca flour.
-Bean Flours: chickpea flour, urad flour, fava bean flour, soy flour, lentil flour. I usually use chickpea or garfava flour.