A fresh loaf of GF bread

Recipe Method: Gluten Free & Eggless Yeast Breads with Aquafaba

As you might’ve gathered by now, I have Celiac which means I’m one of those gluten free people, and not by choice. I also have food allergies, especially to egg and soy, which are key when substituting for wheat. This has forced me to get creative with cooking, and I’ve managed to conquer some pretty big milestones. I make my own pumpkin pie (custard powder!) and last year I finally made really good pizza from scratch.

But one category of recipes has long eluded me: breads made with yeast. They never rose for me and I couldn’t figure out why.

Recently I had reason to try again, and I thought “I should see what the aquafaba group knows about this.” See, there’s this magic ingredient that was discovered a few years ago. Aquafaba is the liquid your tinned chickpeas and other beans are stored in. If you’ve ever shaken that tin you’ll know that it gets frothy quickly. Turns out if you whip aquafaba it becomes downright foamy and works as an egg substitute! This has been revolutionary for my baking. So I searched the aquafaba Facebook group (Vegan Meringue hits & misses on Facebook – they talk about way more than just aquafaba meringue, but it must be vegan).

A brilliant person named Rebecca Gourley shared her method for making rolls and what do you know, IT WORKS. My bread RISES now! It bakes up exquisitely with a hard crust and fluffy interior. VICTORY!

I’m still playing with the variables, but here’s the gist, adaptable to your recipe of choice:

Method

Gather the aquafaba needed for for your recipe. Add cream of tartar. (I add half a teaspoon to 1/3 cup of liquid.) Whip until foamy and no liquid remains.

Gently add warm/hot (but not too hot!!) water to the aquafaba. Add sugar. Add yeast, and mix to combine. Let yeasty water sit for 5-10 minutes to proof.

When yeast has proofed, add everything but the flours and mix gently, just to combine.

Now, add the flours a bit at a time (1/2 cup suggested), mixing to combine each time. Again, don’t whip or beat it. As it thickens up, fold the dry flour in.

From here I followed my box’s recipe (I use Glutagon bread mixes), which said to put the dough in the baking pan and put it in a windless place for 25 minutes. I place the tin and a small bit of boiled water in a cup in the microwave and close it, because it traps the warmth and moisture well. Bread should rise, roughly doubling in size and/or reaching the top of the pan.

After that, bake as usual. Allow to cool before cutting.

Voila!

A cut load of GF bread showing the fluffy inner texture

This method had totally revolutionized my baking and I hope it helps someone else as well!

Delicious, delicious pizza.

Recipe Method: Crispy Gluten Free Pizza Crust

I do a lot of cooking. Since moving to South Africa I’ve taken on the role of chef so my folks can focus on other things, like my mother’s health. (She’s doing well, on her last stretch of treatment that should put her on a good track for the foreseeable future.) I do love cooking, so this isn’t a hardship. I put off blogging about food because it was one thing too many to worry about. But I’ve got a really good recipe for you today, so here goes!

Because of my and my father’s dietary restrictions, I have to get creative. I can promise you that all my recipes exclude gluten, eggs, soy, birch fruits (apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries), and kiwi. I’ll also never use zucchini because I hate zucchini. And lately my dad’s been reacting to corn (wtf, universe) so none of that for meals meant the the family.

Anyway, this is a treat: gluten free pizza with crispy crusts. I’ve made GF pizza at home before but the bottoms always stayed pale and uninteresting. Premade products like Amy’s Kitchen Pizzas are yummy, but not quite what you’d get at a pizzeria.

This method is a combination of KitchenAid’s recommendations for GF pizza, and Brit+Co’s Skillet Pizza recipe (which has a bunch of awesome topping combos). You can adjust times and amounts for the pizza crust recipe you prefer. Because I’m a GF mix packrat we used the discontinued Gluten Free Panty / Glutino French Bread & Pizza Mix. So this is less a recipe and more a method.

I used this pizza sauce recipe from The Kitchn (substituting passata because we don’t have a food processor). Toppings were mozzarella, fresh tomato and chunky bacon.

How To Make Crispy Gluten Free Pizza Crust

Tools & Ingredients:

  • Heavy duty mixer
  • Frying pan or cast iron skillet, as large as you have (a griddle would also work)
  • Spatula/flipper
  • Parchment paper
  • Pizza pans or cookie sheets (x2)
  • Your pizza mix of choice
  • Extra flour (I like white rice flour)
  • Oil (we like canola)
  • A helper, this is ideally a two-person gig

1) Combine flour(s) and yeast and mix in stand mixer for 1 minute on your lowest/stir setting.

2) In separate bowl combine all other ingredients. Add to mixer and mix on low (setting 2 on my KitchenAid) for 1-2 minutes until sticky dough forms.

NOTE from KitchenAid: “The dough must remain sticky before resting and proving. The dough will become smooth and soft on proving.”

3) Scrape dough into a ball. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave someplace warm for the dough to rise and/or double, approximately 40-60min.

4) Punch down and divide in half. Place one half of the dough in the stand mixer (I left the rest on a cutting board). Attach the dough hook. If the dough feels really sticky, add extra flour. (I added roughly 4-5 TBSP of white rice flour to a mix that made 4-5 small, thin crusts.) You want the dough to not go dry, but it shouldn’t be tacky.

5) Knead dough on speed 1 (your lowest/stir setting) for approximately 30 seconds or until the dough is smooth. (I had to scrape and hand-mix a bit to integrate all the extra flour.)

6) Preheat the oven to 400F/205C. Get your pan pre-heating on high with a healthy coating of oil.

7) Put a piece of parchment paper down on the counter. Use additional flour to generously coat your hands. Divide the dough into roughly the amount for one crust. (Or in half again, giving you one quarter of the total. Remember, it’s dough, you can add or remove at will.) Roll dough into a ball, and then stretch/lightly press/lightly roll into the shape you want. You can always hold your pan over it to guesstimate.

8) Turn skillet down to medium. Place flattened dough in the pan. Cook on first side for 2-3 minutes, and 2 minutes on the other. Flipping the crust with a spatula (again, bigger is better) will get easier as it cooks and hardens. You want it to get a little golden in places, but not too brown.

NOTE: Getting the dough into the pan is tricky. If it’s too big or too thin you can easily run into problems. We had the most success with flipping the parchment paper over at the last possible second. If you’re having trouble, make your crusts small enough to fit in your hand and make mini-pizzas.

ALSO: Do not obsess about getting the crust TOO thin. This skillet method means you WILL get a crispy crust! So enjoy something a little doughy if you want.

9) Use your spatula to remove the crusty goodness to the baking pan. We had pizza pans, but cookie sheets will work, too. If you’re brave and don’t mind a mess, you can also cook directly on the oven rack shelves.

10) Top crust with whatever suits you and your voracious horde. Be generous with what you love.

*insert Homer Simpson drool noise*

11) Bake crust for 12-15 minutes or until as brown as you like it. While one crust bakes you can prepping the next.

Enjoy pizza!