If you haven’t guessed by now, most gluten free bread recipes are a bit scarce in the nutrients we’re accustomed to seeing in wheat bread. One reason is that wheat breads are usually fortified with vitamins and minerals during the manufacturing process, and the other is that gluten free breads depend heavily on starch flours to achieve a (somewhat) normal taste and texture.
For years I assumed that there was no way around this, but recent requests from readers nudged me into a series of experiments with the Flat Bread that is ubiquitous in our household. Our usual Flat Bread recipe is based on the Gluten Free Wraps that Kate posted at Gluten Free Gobsmacked. I say “based” because John recently read the recipe, which we keep posted on the refrigerator, and realized that we don’t follow the instructions at all. Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while will not be surprised that I completely skip the 40 minutes rise and the 30 minute cool down.
The Wrap recipe is delicious but the brown rice flour and corn starch are not high in fiber or iron, two of the measures that I’m most concerned with. I decided to reduce the brown rice flour and completely eliminate the tapioca starch. In it’s place I added Garbanzo/Fava Flour and Teff Flour, both of which are high in fiber, protein, and iron. And while I was at it, I made the recipe yeast-free and egg-free.
The first experimental batch was amazing! The bread was more tender and fluffy than I would have ever imagined possible for a bread that has no starch, and it had a great whole-grain taste. I’ve posted the nutritional data for the Multi-Grain Flat Bread and whole-wheat bread below for comparison. The Flat Bread definitely wins out if you’re concerned with adding more fiber, calcium and iron to your diet.
Two Slices of Multi-Grain Flat Bread:
Calories 276, Calories from fat 76, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 294 mg, Total Carbohydrates 41g, Dietary Fiber 9g, Sugars 5g, Protein 8g. Calcium 10% RDA, Iron 17% RDA
Two Slices of commercially prepared whole wheat bread:
Calories 138, Calories from fat 8, Total Fat 2g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0, Sodium 264 mg, Total Carbohydrates 24g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 4g, Protein 8g. Calcium 3% RDA, Iron 4% RDA
(P.S. I am working on a low-fat version of the bread. I was shocked at how much more fat my recipe had! Once I lower the fat, the calories will decrease too.)
(P.P.S The recipe does make 8 slices of bread. The picture above only has six because I snagged two slices for a tomato sandwich as soon as the bread came out of the oven.)
Multi-Grain Flat Bread
(Gluten Free, Soy Free, Yeast Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free)
1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. teff flour
1/2 c. garfava flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 c. water
5 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl.
2. Add the wet ingredients (water, oil, flax seed) to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.
3. Divide the dough into two parts and place each one in the middle of an 8″ x 8″ square cake pan that has been lightly greased and floured.
4. Wet the back of a large spoon and use that to spread the dough evenly across the pan.
5. Bake the bread at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
6. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes and then slice each pan into fourths to serve.