Why don’t you loaf me?
Tell me, baby,
Why don’t you knead me?
I’ve fluked a few things throughout my 25 years, but baked goods have seldom been among them. I used to think I was a baker through and through, but I now realise that I was just really good at following cake recipes to an absolute T, and then making them look pretty. When I first started this blog and began developing low FODMAP loaves, muffins and cookies, I quickly realised that I was not a natural born baker. Not at all.
The Lazy Perfectionist in me (a rather detrimental internal conflict at times) can’t handle the uncertainty or the potentially wasted effort. I find myself getting all anxious and stressed when brainstorming which combinations of low FODMAP flours/meals to use, what ratios I should use them in, whether or not I’ll need to add or reduce the liquid, if it will work without the use of a gum, if it will even rise at all, if the balance of flavours is right etc,. etc., etc. The list goes on and on.
Then there’s the torturous waiting game –and far too frequent opening of the oven door as if three minutes will make all the difference– while it’s baking. Nine times out of ten, after taking it out of the oven and not letting anyone in the house try it because I can’t handle them reconfirming its shit-ness and my failure, I’m back to square one. Meanwhile an entire precious day has gone by and I go to bed feeling frustrated and defeated and I’m positive that I’ve contracted sinusitis in the last few hours, before realising it’s just all the tapioca starch I’ve inhaled. So that’s why you don’t see any fluffy low FODMAP cake recipes on here… yet.
So yeah, it’s pretty rare for me to nail a recipe like this one the first time I attempt it. But all jokes about my psycho anxieties aside, I couldn’t believe it the first time I made this Pumpkin, Feta and Chive loaf and it not only worked, but worked really, REALLY well. I was obviously ecstatic. (2018 edit: the same euphoria was definitely not felt two days ago when I spent eight hours developing the gluten free version of this recipe. I’ve finally gotten it to the identical texture and flavour of the old version that used spelt, by the way. No biggie [insert blond hair toss emoji]).
This loaf is honestly one of my favourite recipes, primarily because it’s tasty as hell but also because it’s so much more nutrient dense than regular gluten free breads and my belly is always happy after eating it. I often omit the feta from my everyday loaf but will always use it if I’m trying to impress people which, if I’m being honest with myself, is often. It’s got a hearty, dense texture and the combination of the chives, rosemary, feta and buttery pumpkin makes it SO flavourful and morish. It’s great as a snack just on its own, or with a generous spread of nut butter or avocado. Toast it and slather with organic salted butter for THE most perfect soup accompaniment.
Pumpkin, Feta and Chive Loaf | Gluten Free, FODMAP Friendly, Fructose Friendly)
Makes 12-15 slices
FODMAP friendly serving size: Up to 2 slices (see notes below)
- ⅛ medium Jap pumpkin (approx 400g), peeled, deseeded, chopped into cubes, and steamed until soft
- 75g brown rice flour
- 120g tapioca starch
- 95g LSA meal (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds & almonds – see FODMAP notes below)
- 3 large free range eggs (approx. 55g each), organic if possible, lightly beaten
- 30g chives, chopped
- 150g Danish feta (omit for dairy free option)
- ¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbs (20g) pure maple syrup
- 3 tbs (15g) psyllium (see FODMAP notes below)
- 2 tsp (6g) baking powder (no added aluminium)
- 1 tsp (3g) baking soda (aluminium free)
- 2 tsp (2g) ground sweet paprika
- ½ tsp (3g) sea salt
- For topping: leaves of 2 fresh rosemary sprigs and a small handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Preheat oven to 180*C and line a full sized loaf tin with baking paper. My tin is approximately 29cm x 10.5cm.
- Mash the steamed pumpkin until smooth. Set aside to cool (this can also be done the night before to save time later).
- Place the rice flour and tapioca starch in a tightly sealed container, and shake vigorously to combine thoroughly.
- In a large bowl, combine the flours, LSA, baking powder, baking soda, paprika, psyllium and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the beaten eggs, melted coconut oil, chives and maple syrup. Add to the dry mixture.
- Weigh 230g (1 cup) of mashed pumpkin and gently fold it through until well combined.
- Crumble most of the feta into chunks (reserving some for the topping), and fold through the dough very gently, taking care not to over-mix as you’ll break the feta up too much. The loaf will be best if it has chunky pops of feta throughout it!
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin and use the back of the spoon to smooth the top. Top with remaining chunks of feta, rosemary, and pepitas. Press the feta and pepitas into the dough very lightly with your fingertips to ensure they stick.
- Place on the middle oven rack and bake for 45 mins to one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out semi-dry (damp crumbs are fine but you don’t want wet batter). I like to check on the loaf at the 45 minute mark and go from there. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and loaf tin. If the toppings start to burn at any point, simply cover with some aluminium foil.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for half an hour before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days (after three days it will start to dry out and will be better toasted), or slice it up and freeze for up to one month.
Info for the irritable:
- Although LSA contains high amounts of galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) when consumed in very large amounts, the FODMAP contribution from LSA in this recipe is considered to be very low when no more than two slices are consumed in a sitting
- Psyllium is usually beneficial for people with fructose malabsorption and IBS, however due to its soluble fibre content it might not be great for everyone. If you’re unsure, leave it out and remove 1tbs of coconut oil. You may need to increase the cooking time since psyllium absorbs a lot of moisture.
- To make this recipe grain free, you could try substituting the brown rice flour for buckwheat flour (it’s technically a seed not a grain), although I cannot vouch for this as I haven’t tried it yet. If you do or do not have success with this variation, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!