Monday, March 19, 2007

Kalamata Olive & Rosemary Bread: The Search for a Gluten-Free Rustic Loaf

The only thing more comforting than a warm slice of home-baked bread, fresh from the oven? A warm slice of home-baked bread, fresh from the oven, that is infused with rosemary and olive oil and speckled throughout with kalamata olives!

I have been craving a hearty, rustic-style olive bread. Though this recipe did not turn out to be anywhere near as crusty or rustic as the loaves I enjoyed in my gluten-eating artisan-bread-buying days, it certainly turned out wonderfully flavorful. It has the soft, pliable, no-toasting-necessary sandwich bread texture of the Gluten-Free Multigrain Miracle Bread I posted about a few weeks ago, but with a palette of complimentary, savory flavors. Judging by the looks on the faces of the gluten eaters I fed the olive-rosemary bread to, this recipe is a success.

Try this bread with butter on it, or as an accompaniment to Southern European and Mediterranean dishes, or try it with any soup or stew. As for me, I ate the entire loaf (not at once, of course) with hummus on top because I loved how the flavors went together. It would also make a killer grilled cheese sandwich with sharp cheddar.

As for crusty, rustic-style breads - The search continues. I've yet to find a gluten-free recipe that's quite what I'm looking for, but I'll keep working on creating one in my own kitchen. I'm not sure how to describe what I think of as "rustic" bread. I suppose I think of it as heavier, drier, and less glutinous than the breads I usually make. Perhaps cutting down on the xanthan or guar gum (GF gluten replacements) would help. A satisfyingly chewy crust is another element missing from every gluten-free bread I've tasted, no matter how wonderful the taste or texture. So, my esteemed readers, go ahead and enjoy this delicious loaf - but also answer these two questions for me, while you're at it:

1) Do you have any gluten-free bread recipes that yield a "rustic" loaf with a thick or chewy crust?

2) What makes a bread rustic, anyway?

The search continues...


1/2 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup garbanzo flour
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp white rice flour
5 Tbsp teff flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
3 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped roughly
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 whole eggs
2 eggs, whites separated from yolks
3/4 cup water, room temperature
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Optional: Coarse sea salt crystals for crust

Preheat the oven to 200°F.

Sift the flours, yeast and all other dry ingredients (except coarse sea salt) into a medium bowl. Stir in flax meal and rosemary, and combine.

Combine wet ingredients, including the two whole eggs and the two separated egg whites in a large bowl, using a hand-mixer on low or medium speed. [The two separated egg yolks should be set aside in a small bowl for later use as a glaze]. When fully combined, add kalamata olives. Slowly add dry ingredient mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until fully blended, with no lumps. Scrape the sides regularly.

Grease a 9x5" bread pan, and pour the dough into the pan. Use a spatula or knife to evenly shape the top of the loaf. Cut two diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf. Beat the two separated egg yolks that have been set aside and brush the top of the loaf very lightly with them. Optional: Sprinkle coarse sea salt crystals very sparsely to embellish the loaf.

Turn off the oven and immediately place the pan in it. Do not open the door again, if possible. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes. It should rise to the very top of the pan.

Increase heat to 350F and bake for approximately 40 minutes. The crust should be golden-brown. Allow to cool slightly before removing it from the pan to finish cooling. Do not slice until the bread is no longer hot.

This loaf does not need to be frozen, but if there are leftovers after a few days, place slices in airtight bags and freeze.


Anonymous said...

The bread looks yummy...I think I've settled into thinking that there just is no crusty gluten free bread that equals the gluten filled breads of our past. The good news though, is that I made the cauliflower with dill on Sunday evening and LOVED it. One of my best friends eats mostly veggies (not quite a vegetarian yet) and she couldn't get enough of it. The lemony flavor infused with dill is delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Slacker Mom said...

I myself love Rustic breads..and miss them.

Ummm, this bread looks...AMAZING!

I don't like olives, but I would put roasted garlic in it's place.

When I am bread baking ready, I will be back for this!!!

~M said...

I have been trying to e-mail you via your "Contact email me" link, but it does not seem to be working. My question is:
I really enjoy reading your blog and use an RSS feader (Google Reader) to notify me of new posts. I was wondering if you also had feeds enabled for comments because I enjoy reading the comments as well, and would like to know when new ones are available. It seems that some bloggers know how to do this, but others don't. Since you are very tech-savvy, if you do know how to do this, would you also post directions so I can e-mail bloggers who haven't figured this out? Thanks!

Allergic Girl said...

what gorgeous bread pix ms. bay--tell me truthfully, are you yeast/bread loading pre-pesach? ;-)

Sea said...

This looks AMAZING! I am definitely going to try this AND the cauliflower (I don't like cauliflower but I trust your recipe to change my mind.)Hey, what would you substitute for the amaranth? I don't think I have any, but I have every other flour under the sun. :P My favorite part is the big salt crystals. Oh yes, one more thing- that flower is a Get Mee, right? I have one from last year that still flowers for me, same color. :)


The Compassionate Celiac said...

OMG I love Kalamata Olives...and I have a rosemary bush....this looks heavenly!!! You should be proud...

kbabe1968 said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'd LOVE to link to you if that's okay!

I'm really looking forward to trying this bread too, that just looks REALLY yummy!!!

Let me know if it's okay to add you as a link on my blog!

ByTheBay said...

Wow, everybody! Thanks for all the feedback.

Faye: I'm so happy that you enjoyed the cauliflower. I found it really addictive and will have to make it again soon.

Slacker: Roasted garlic would be just perfect! Would you use entire cloves, or chop them up?

M: Try it again, I seem to have fixed the link. Yes, I will definitely enable comment feeds - I will change this promptly and post instructions on subscribing to the comment feed. Thanks for the reminder, I've been meaning to do this for ages!

AllergicGirl: You know it! Gotta make up in advance for all the chometz I won't eat during Pesach ;-P

Sea - Ooh, can't wait to hear how you like the cauliflower. Just got a positive review on RecipeZaar which made me happy.

For amaranth I would substitute sorghum flour.

The flower is called campanula.

Compassionate Celiac: I confess, I am just a little proud!

Kbabe: You are always welcome to link to my site, no permission necessary. Thanks!

Dianne said...

Wow! I've never seen GF bread with texture like that before! Well done!


Wheat Free said...

Looks great, just too bad about the yeast which I can't eat either. I wonder if the recipe could be adjusted to work without yeast?

Rochelle said...

There is a very long thread (actually more than one) on the Delphi forum called NYTimes bread recipe which has some recipes for "artisan" style bread. These are breads with a long rise time (18 hours) and require baking in a preheated, covered pan at a high temperature -- this is what results in the chewy yet crunchy crust. We've posted a successful version on our blog, I keep meaning to try it with olives one night.

Slacker Mom said...

I think I would leave the roasted garlic whole, like little pockets of bursting flavor. :)

Colleen said...

I stumbled on to your blog searching for GF matzoh (I'm not Jewish, though. Can I still eat it?)

I feel your pain in looking for a crusty GF bread. The closest I have come is using the recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts. I used her "bread mix A", which has millet flour in it. It was really tasty and chewy. My kids are crazy about it. I have no financial interest in the book at all, I just really like it.

ByTheBay said...

Dianne: Thank you. I am proud of this loaf, and I'm already thinking about what to put in my next loaf. I am thinking about making an onion-dill bread.

Rochelle: Thanks so much for pointing me towards the artisan bread recipe on your blog, I will definitely try it out as soon as Passover is over.

WheatFree: I don't know anything about yeast substitutions, but you could always give it a try. I would guess this recipe would need much tweaking to work without yeast, since it's designed with a long rising time in mind.

Colleen: Of course you can eat matzo even if you're not Jewish! ;-P (And I can eat Cadbury Creme Eggs, right?) Thanks for your crusty bread idea!

Slacker Mom: Whole cloves of pre-roasted garlic plus rosemary sounds just wonderful.

nwlaura said...

Just wondering...can this bread me made in a bread maker? Thanks for all your tasty tasty ideas!

Anita said...

The best, crustiest bread I make borrows a technique I used in my wheat bread days -- letting the bread rise in the microwave at 30% power, with a glass of water on the MW turntable to draw off some of the power.

You need to put the dough in a stoneware pan -- haven't tried it with glass, but it probably wouldn't be quite as crusty. I set the MW timer for short times, about 5-10 minutes, at 30% power. It doesn't have to be exact. But don't go any higher than 30% power, and you may want to use a lower power setting if your MW has high wattage. The bread does really rise in half the time of any other rising method. The crust turns out VERY artisanal looking -- mine is uneven on the top (in a good way, not a sunken way), and the interior texture is better too.

The technique comes from a book entitled Bread in Half the Time -- written for wheat bread, but with many other good non-bread recipes to go along with the breads you create.


noa said...

i used buckwheat flour and had a very earthy bread and a great crust noa

Greenbee said...

Yum! This bread is fantastic! I've made it multiple times (sometimes using closer to 1/2 cup water, and only 3 jumbo eggs). Thanks so much for this recipe! Also, I love to make a cinnamon raisin version by adding 1/2 chopped raisins and 2 Tbs cinnamon.

This is the ONLY gluten free bread that has actually turned out better than i ever could have hoped for! And it is fantastic!

gfveg said...

just baked a loaf of italian bread tonight and six breadsticks from the other half of the recipe but this bread of yours is really making me want to branch out. i used to love, in my preglutenfree and even preveg days pepperoni bread and this sounds like the perfect substitute! just this post alone and all the comments--so informative. hope you take a look at mine...want to link back to you, if that's all right. i think it's a wonderful blog you have!

Dazy said...
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