Why don’t you loaf me?
Tell me, baby,
Why don’t you knead me?
The gluten-free baking recipe development process is up there with the most frustrating and stressful cooking endeavours. So much uncertainty, so much room for disappointment, so many wasted hours.
You find yourself getting all anxious and stressed when brainstorming which combinations of gluten free and low FODMAP flours/meals to use. You fuss over what ratios to use which flours in, whether or not the liquid needs to be increased or reduced, and the ungodly textures and flavours that might result.
Then there’s the waiting game. Waiting for it to bake…………waiting for it to cool………….
Only to bite into it and spit it straight back out, not having the faintest clue where you went wrong exactly, yet again. Meanwhile, an entire precious day has gone by. You go to bed feeling frustrated and defeated and positive that you’ve contracted sinusitis in the last few hours, before realising it’s just all the tapioca starch you’ve inhaled.
In very rare instances when the stars all align and the angels are humming sweet nothings in my kitchen, I’ll nail a gluten free recipe on the first attempt. This Pumpkin, Feta and Chive loaf was not one of those times. But it was damn well worth the blood, sweat, and tears. It was even worth the sinusitis symptoms.
This loaf is honestly one of my favourite recipes. It’s got a hearty, dense texture, and the combination of the buttery pumpkin, chives, rosemary, and feta make it SO flavourful and morish. I also love it because it’s so much more nutrient-dense than regular gluten free loaves and my belly is always so happy after eating it.
My favourite way to eat this loaf is toasted with smashed avocado and poachies. It’s also a great snack on its own, or toasted and slathered with organic salted butter. Makes for a fabulous soup-dipper.Print
- ⅛ medium Jap pumpkin (approx 400g), peeled, deseeded, and chopped into even cubes
- 3 large free range eggs (approx. 55g each), organic if possible, lightly beaten
- 150g Danish feta (omit for dairy free option), plus extra for topping
- 120g tapioca starch
- 95g LSA meal (ground linseeds, sunflower seeds & almonds)
- 75g brown rice flour
- 30g chives, chopped
- ¼ cup (50g) coconut oil, melted
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 3 tbsp psyllium
- 2 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
- 1 tsp aluminium-free baking/bi-carb soda
- 2 tsp ground sweet paprika
- ½ tsp sea salt
- For topping: leaves of 2 fresh rosemary sprigs and a small handful of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Steam the pumpkin until soft but not watery. Mash until smooth, then pop in the fridge to cool to room temp for 15 mins (see notes below).
- Preheat oven to 180*C and line a 30cm x 10cm loaf tin with enough baking paper so that it is hanging over the edges of the tin.
- Place the rice flour and tapioca starch in a tightly sealed container or jar, 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.
- Measure out 1 cup (230g) of cooled mashed pumpkin and gently fold it through the batter until well combined.
- Crumble the feta into bite sized chunks and fold through the batter very gently, taking care not to over-mix as you’ll break the feta up too much. You want decent chunks of feta, trust me!
- Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared loaf tin and use the back of the spoon to smooth the top. Top with crumbled feta, rosemary, and pepitas. Use your fingertips to press the feta and pepitas into the batter ever so lightly, to ensure they stick.
- Bake on the middle oven rack for 45 mins to one hour, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with moist crumbs on it (not completely dry but also no wet batter). I like to check on mine at the 45 minute mark and go from there. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and loaf tin. If the toppings are starting to look overdone at any point, simply cover loosely with some aluminium foil.
- Remove the loaf from the oven. Allow to sit in the tin for half an hour, before transferring the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely. I do recommend helping yourself to a slice while it’s still warm. Serve fresh on its own, toasted and slathered with organic salted butter, or with smashed avocado and poachies. Also makes for a fabulous soup-dipper.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days (after three days it will start to dry out and you’ll need to toast it to serve), or slice it up and freeze for up to one month. Enjoy on its own, or with avocado and poachies,
- To make the process more time-efficient, I recommend getting the pumpkin steaming first and foremost. You can measure out all the other ingredients and complete steps 2-4 while you’re waiting for it to cool. Step 5 should only be done just before the pumpkin is ready to be added. You can also prepare the pumpkin up to two days in advance.
- To make this recipe grain-free, you could try substituting the brown rice flour for buckwheat flour, although I cannot personally 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!
- Although LSA contains high amounts of oligo’s 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 one 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 1tbsp of coconut oil. You may also need to increase the cooking time slightly since psyllium absorbs a lot of moisture.