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
- 1 cup active sourdough starter (see notes)
- ¼ cup of water
- 2 tsp instant bread yeast
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3 cups gluten free bread flour mix
- 2 tbsp psyllium husk
- 1¼ tsp salt
- For Cooking
- 1 tbsp baking soda or ⅓ cup of honey
- 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.
-Boiling with either baking soda or honey will increase browning on the bagel. Baking soda will give the bagel a pretzel-like flavour where as honey will add sweet caramelization.