Vegan + Gluten Free + Sugar Free
I've never been much of a bread person - until I went to Europe.
The European bread-culture is a real thing and I 'm there for it.
The smell of freshly baked bread wafting from a 'boulangerie' as you walk the streets of Europe in winter is very very inviting. That's definitely how they make most of their money by people following the smell and wanting to defrost from the weather outside.
Europeans are in fact so passionate about their bread and baked goods that they have specific bakeries their family has been going to for generations.
I'll paint you a picture - during lockdown there was a photo that was going around of a German man that lives close to the German-french border. He used to get his bread everyday from a bakery on the French side of the border. With the borders being closed due to the virus he had to make a plan to get his daily loaf. And a plan he made. He arranged with the baker to meet him at the border - he came with his money and fishing rod. Attached the money to the fishing rod, flung it over to the baker and reeled the bread back in. If that's not dedication I don't know what is. I salute you.
'Brot' 'Brood' 'Bread' 'Pain' 'Pane'
It really doesn't matter which European country you find yourself in they will all speak the language of bread.
Europe changed me.
Unfortunately it didn't change my gluten sensitivity (yes, I have been tested so it is legit).
So I came back very dissatisfied with my usual rice crackers.
And let's be real gluten-free store bought breads are just sad - pale in color, flat and lacking taste. Never mind the nonsense that they are made with.
I wanted to create a gluten-free bread that rises beautifully, has a golden colour and is fairly macro-balanced. Oh and yeast -free. That's not too much to ask is it?
Well I did it.
It might be my proudest moment yet.
I can die happy now knowing that something like this can exist.
Oh and if you haven't noticed yet it has olives in which is a delicacy for the peeps that are drawn to salty things like me.
It's dense and fluffy and has a proper crust - it is everything.
And the chickpea flour makes it fairly high in protein and fiber.
Okay I have talked it up quite a bit now so hope it doesn't disappoint (it won't).
The fact that I took about a bazillion photos of it is a good indication of how attached I am to this baby. It's just beautiful inside and out.
The main reason for using chickpea was because it is a very absorbent flour but can hold it's form very well without egg replacements. I once read somewhere that adding baking soda to soda water creates a chemical reaction that forms air in dough and makes it rise. So that got rid of the needing to add yeast problem.
It has minimal ingredients and the basic bread can be flavored in any way. And again it is higher in protein than it's other bread counterparts so that's a win in many ways.
I try to up the protein in whatever I make for a more satiating meal and obviously for muscle recovery.
I added olive oil and garlic not only for taste but to create moisture in the dough - otherwise it can be rather dry. I am sure it would work just as well with coconut oil too.
It ticks the protein box, the carb box and the healthy fats box. Macro-balanced!
So without further ado here is some more pictures ... and then the recipe below!
Makes 1 loaf (+- 10 slices)
2 cups chickpea flour
1/2 tsp stevia powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cumin seeds
5 - 6 sprigs dried rosemary
A good sprinkle of Himalayan pink salt
250 ml soda water
3 tbsp olive oil
8 - 10 chopped olives
1 tsp garlic paste
1. Preheat oven to 180 C
2. Add all dry ingredients to a bowl and mix.
Scrape the rosemary off the sprigs by running it through your fingers against the direction of growth
3. Add olive oil and garlic paste to dry ingredients
Slowly add soda water to the side of the bowl so that it does not fizz too much
Mix thoroughly until a smooth batter forms
4. Fold in the chopped olives
5. Line a bread tin with parchment paper and spoon batter into tin.
You can add extra olives and rosemary on top of the bread before baking it in the oven for 45 mins
6. Once baked through (a knife comes out clean if inserted into the middle) and the top is slightly browned remove from the oven and let it cool for about 15 mins.
7. Cut and enjoy!!
Store in an airtight container in the fridge