Gluten-free Boule

No-knead, Gluten-free Round French Loaf

Adapted from https://www.jennycancook.com/no-knead-bread-solutions/

I always prefer to avoid gluten, because wheat tends to make me feel bloated.  Although I love making bread, I have to give most of it away.  This amazingly easy gluten-free recipe gives great results:  lovely crust, wonderful texture, and excellent flavor — plus (if any is left over) it makes the world’s best French toast!  Prep time is five minutes, and proving time is 3½ hours;  baking time is 45 minutes.  Therefore, start at least four hours before you want to eat the bread.  This quantity makes one medium round loaf, similar in size and texture to a French boule. 

This particular boule was made with half unbleached wheat flour and half gluten-free flour.

Ingredients:

350g bread flour or all-purpose flour, or gluten-free flour mix, or a combination of both
1-2g dried yeast
8g salt
350g hot water (120-130°F, warm to the hand)
A little extra flour for shaping

Parchment paper, and Dutch oven or heavy pan with lid with oven-safe handle – e.g., Le Creuset

Method:

1.   Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Stir in water until well combined;  you can use a beater if you like.    Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours.

2.   After three hours the dough will become puffy and dotted with bubbles. Transfer it to a well-floured surface and sprinkle dough with a little flour. Using a scraper, fold dough over 10-12 times & shape into a rough ball.

3.   Place in a parchment paper-lined bowl (not wax paper) and cover with a towel. Let stand on the counter top for about 35 minutes.

4.   Place the Dutch oven, covered, in a cold oven and preheat to 450° F;  this may take 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven.  Use an oven thermometer if you have one.  When the oven reaches 450° use oven gloves to lift the lid, and quickly place the parchment paper and dough from the bowl gently into the heated pot.  (The parchment paper goes in the pot, too.)  Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

5.   After 30 minutes, remove lid and parchment paper. Return the loaf to the pot and place uncovered in the oven; bake for a further 10 – 15 more minutes., until a tap on the bottom sounds hollow.

6.   Let it cool for an hour before slicing, as the bread is quite soft.

7.   Store at room temperature, cut side down, or freeze in a ZipLok bag.

Notes:

1   Stick to the recipe rigidly: the exact quantities, proportions, and ingredients are very important for successful results.

2.   Use scales for the measurements including the water, don’t convert to cups or measuring jugs, as they are too inaccurate.  Having said that, this recipe is more forgiving than most!

3.   Ideally, use unbleached bread flour with at least 12% protein. Check the ingredients list on the side of the flour bag: protein may show in grams per serving but just work it out, it needs to be 12g of protein per 100g of flour.

Here is the .pdf file for No-knead Boule.

French toast using the No-knead Boule:

1.   Slice remaining bread.

2.   For every 2-3 slices of bread, beat together one egg and a glug of plant milk, with a pinch of salt, a drop of vanilla essence, and a dash of cinnamon.

3.   Dip each slice in the egg mixture, on both sides.

4.   Heat a heavy frying pan or griddle with a spritz of oil.  When medium hot, fry the dipped bread for about two minutes per side, until nicely brown.  If serving more than one person, keep slices warm in a low oven.

5.   Serve with butter and warm maple syrup — yum!

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