I tried hard to avoid becoming one of those people who buy and consume gluten free products… I found the notion a little ludicrous mainly because of the hype over the whole wheat thing but also gluten free products in Jordan are over priced and don’t seem very versatile in option.. Last year it was suggested to me that I stop wheat altogether and I did for a few months and immediately felt the benefits of stopping. I could wear my rings once again- somehow there was less swelling in my fingers and I generally became less bloated.
The challenge of being a picky eater, combined with baking and cooking all my life using standard flours, is I had to start finding new alternatives. I wanted to avoid using the standard gluten-free flours that are full of Topioca and Xanthan Gums- That needed to be balanced with eating bakes that had no wheat and needed to taste “normal”. I could not stomach the compromise. After many trials and research I realised that using a combination of oat, rice and corn starch substitutes very nicely for the wheat flour while avoids using substitutes that taste like sticky notes.
I will not claim that I am someone who doesn’t eat wheat at all anymore, I just know that I try and avoid it when I can and enjoy occasionally some wheat made stuff but with the knowledge that I will have to put up with some discomfort. The bread you see in these images is made of buckwheat grits. I found the recipe from a really inspiring blog that is dedicated to wheat free baking, it is innovative and avoids the usual go to flours. I adapted the recipe slightly adding two table spoons of honey, extra salt, oil and water. A knowledgable friend of mine once brought my attention to the fact that Jordan is situated at a relatively high altitude – sea level- and therefore, I reduced the leavening agents and increased the oven temperature to 180C, to avoid a sunken bread.
It was a very simple and easy bake I would say and you would need to know and like the strong nutty taste of buckwheat to enjoy this bread- I wanted it very well toasted and smothered with Jordanian strained yoghurt cheese (labneh). I still miss dabbing into the whole sourdough experience- like a long -but-not -so forgotten -love, I may return to my sourdough baking once I feel I can. Please follow the recipe in the link above and if you are in Jordan make sure you check out this link about baking at high altitudes. Bon Appetit.