Years ago I loved making peasant style country loaves like this one. I made them so often, I didn’t even use a recipe! We would have bread with dinner and leftovers were saved for toasting in the morning. This Gluten Free Peasant Loaf is a throwback to those days and to my ongoing attempts to recreate my old breads.
I have tweaked this recipe again and again, always changing a little something to improve the taste and texture. Ingredients are key, but sometimes using the right tools will make a difference.
The baking dish you see in this post is from King Arthur (not a paid link), it works well with gluten free bread as the round bowl helps the dough keep its shape as it rises and bakes. I seasoned it with olive oil and then lined it with parchment paper. About half way through baking I removed the parchment to crisp up the bottom of the loaf.
Unlike most of my gluten free breads, this one is also dairy free. The flour blend of brown rice and sorghum is reminiscent of a country wheat loaf with a crisp crust and soft center. In the world of gluten, this would be called a no knead bread. But really, all gluten free bread is no knead bread so I’m just calling it a peasant loaf!
Yield: 1 small loaf – about 8 slices
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- 1-1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup egg whites
- 130 g. brown rice flour
- 60 g. sorghum flour
- 30 g. tapioca starch
- 30 g. potato starch
- 1-1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. corn meal
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar. Proof 15 minutes while you gather the other ingredients. Measure the dry ingredients (rice flour through salt) and whisk well.
Oil the baking dish, line with parchment and sprinkle with corn meal.
When the yeast has bloomed, whisk in 1/4 cup egg whites. With the beater attachment, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix for 5 minutes to form a smooth dough. The consistency will be like that of mashed potatoes, and the dough will cling to the beater, like this.
Scrape the dough into the prepared baking dish, then use a wet spatula to smooth the surface into a ball shape.
Invert the mixing bowl over the top and let the dough rise for one hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 400º. Place the racks at top and center. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack. Dust the top of the loaf lightly with rice flour and slash the top in a cross or a # pattern.
When the oven reaches full temperature, place 2 cups of ice cubes in a pan on the top shelf to create steam, and place the pan with the bread on top of the pizza stone.
Bake for 45 minutes. About half way through baking carefully remove the parchment (use tongs and gloved hands) to get a good crust on the bottom.
Transfer to a rack and cool the loaf completely before slicing, at least 2 hours to allow the bread to set. If you slice it too soon, the center will be gummy.
Serve with dipping oil, or use it to soak up whatever sauce you may be having for dinner! Leftovers, if you have any are great for toasting!
Notes ♪♫ If you don’t own a baking bowl, you can use any stoneware pan, pizza stone, glass baking dish or baking sheet. The loaf will likely spread out a bit more on a flat surface. I recommend using parchment paper with any of these options.