Super-simple gluten-free bread a la Pitufa

When I started searching for recipes for gluten-free bread the results were disheartening. Too complicated, too many ingredients I wouldn’t be able to find in the South Pacific. Some recipes for tapioca-bread included eggs and massive amounts of oil (not very healthy…) and others claimed that I wouldn’t be able to produce non-crumbly bread without adding xanthan gum. My first experiments with tapioca and rice flour (the only available gluten-free flours in Tonga) turned out flat, crispy when warm, but rockhard when cold. As soon as we found buckwheat flour in a supermarket in the Cook Islands, making bread suddenly became easy. Here’s Pitufa’s super-simple recipe for gluten-free bread:

Mix the following dry ingredients in a bowl:

1 cup tapioca flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon of salt
some bread spices (coriander, caraway, etc.)

Tip: the bread rises much easier if you add a few tablespoons of gluten-free all-purpose flour! If you don’t find that or if you just want to lower your gluten intake, but are not allergic, you can also just add a little bit of wheat flour…

Add 1 cup of warm water and stir the mixture thoroughly. The dough should be rather liquid–almost like a pancake dough, so keep adding water until you have that consistency. Pour the mixture into a greased pan, you can put sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, etc. as a topping, let it rise for about 20 min. (in tropical heat, longer if it’s colder, but make sure you catch it while it’s still rising or it’ll collapse!), put on the stove and bake for 15 min on a medium flame with the lid closed, flip the bread and leave it another 15 min on medium heat with a gap between pan and lid.

Careful the bread is rather sensitive and collapses easily while rising, so handle with care! Also the flipping should be done gently and only when the surface is no longer liquid.

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