Introduction: Gluten-Free Italian Bread (the BEST Ever!)

About: Inspired by my cat Chili, who is full of fun and energy, I like to share about food and other home crafts with a new twist of 'chili'-fun. (This user was previously called Snowball10)

Wow! I’ve lost my speech... This gluten-free Italian bread is out of this world awesome! Even though I usually don’t eat gluten-free, this is one of the best breads I have been baking in a long time. I mean, it is crusty, chewy, and fluffy, giving the wheat-based brothers a fight for the finish line. What’s not to like? It’s definitely a recipe I will be keeping.

The following bread is adapted from the recipe by GlutenFreeGirl. I have changed it to metrical measurements (grams), omitted the eggs for it to be vegan, substituted psyllium for xanthan gum (since I don’t have xanthan gum, but psyllium is sold in many places as a fiber supplement), and reduced the yeast to avoid a yeasty flavor (I have instead given the dough a double rising to develop flavor).

I hope you give this bread a try, as it is just THE best and might be just what I needed to persuade me to try being gluten-free for a while. If you like it, please vote for me in the gluten-free challenge! Thank you!

Step 1: Ingredients

for 1 loaf:

3 dl. (1 1/4 c.) lukewarm water
2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. oil
200 g. (1 1/3 c.) white rice flour
100 g. (2/3 c.) potato starch
2 Tbsp. psyllium

Step 2: Mix Water and Yeast...

Add the yeast, salt, sugar, and oil to the water, and stir till it is dissolved.

Step 3: Add Flour...

Add the rice flour, potato starch, and psyllium to the liquid, and stir till no lumps remain.

Step 4: Rise First Time...

Cover the bowl with cling wrap or a towel, and let the dough rise in a warm (not hot!) place about 1/2 hour till it is puffy but not quite doubled in size.

This first rising develops flavour and makes for smaller air bubbles in the final bread, but you can skip the first rising and go directly to the next step if you wish.

Step 5: Shape...

Punch down the dough, and knead it a couple of times till it is uniform.

Shape the dough into a log, and place it on a parchment-covered baking sheet. It can also be put in an oiled and floured bread pan.

Step 6: Rise Second Time...

Cover the dough, and let it rise a second time till it has doubled in size, about 1/2 hour.

Step 7: Bake...

Optionally, brush the bread with water and cut diagonal slits in the top with a sharp knife.

Bake the bread in a convection oven at 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) for 30 min. If you are not using a convection oven, the bread may need a bit longer baking time. It is ready when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Step 8: Enjoy!

This bread is best the same day it is baked, as it is most crusty and chewy then, but it keeps in a plastic bag a couple of days at room temperature, even though it gets drier with time.

It is delicious with butter or bruschetta spread (roasted-pepper spread, hummus, etc.).

I also think the dough would work perfectly for pizza crusts and focaccia.

Let me know what you think and if you make any adjustments!

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