Tapioca flour baking recipes

 

A look through some of the photos of our most recent trip to Brazil reminded me just how popular and prevalent cassava and tapioca flour products and dishes are across the country. Tapioca flour cheese puffs, farofa (toasted cassava) and tapioca pancakes – both sweet and savoury – were never far when hunger hit.

Farofa toasted cassava
Farofa (toasted cassava) in the island paradise of Boipeba
Pao de queijo tapioca cheese puffs
Pao de queijo (tapioca cheese puffs)

Having previously experimented with tapioca flour to make the uniquely textured tapioca cheese puffs at home, I collaborated with the team at Buy Whole Foods Online to specifically look at the versatility of tapioca flour in baking. The results are tremendous; an incredibly useful flour, particularly in gluten-free baking, tapioca flour packs a punch in the baker’s kitchen.

How to use tapioca flour for baking

Tapioca (also manioc or cassava) is made by heating the root of the cassava plant. It is then dried into granules (tapioca), flakes or ground into flour. Although not the most nutritious of flours, tapioca flour is useful as a base for breads, cakes and biscuits where a light texture is desired, and it has many other fantastic attributes useful in both sweet and savoury baking.

Over here on DrAxe.com you can find an excellent article on tapioca flour and its properties for baking, and I wanted to summarise the topline facts below:

  1. Tapioca tastes mild and slightly sweet. It is however virtually undetectable in recipes, which is why it’s used in both sweet and savoury dishes.
  2. Tapioca is made up of almost all carbohydrates and is very low in all types of fats, sugar, fiber, protein, sodium, and essential vitamins or minerals.
  3. It’s totally gluten-freelow in calories and free from sugar.
  4. It has positive effects on the texture and “mouth-feel” of recipes — for example, by making baked goods more spongy, springy, promoting browning and helping crusts to crisp up.
  5. Tapioca absorbs and retains a higher water content, which means it does a great job of binding, thickening and moistening recipes.

Tapioca flour yeast bread recipe

This is the best and most natural gluten-free bread I have been able to make at home, a recipe by Andrew Whitley from his book Bread Matters. I like it as it doesn’t contain heavily processed ingredients such as xanthum gum. Instead, the ingredient list contains nutritionally valuable flours from natural sources and yeast is used as raising agent rather than baking powder/bicarb of soda. Bread Matters also has excellent recipes for gluten-free pastry, gluten-free cake and gluten-free pizza base, all of which contain tapioca flour.

Tapioca flour bread
Tapioca flour bread

The flours used in this gluten-free bread recipe:

  • Tapioca: As mentioned above, tapioca itself is low in nutrients but the addition of other flours balances this out. As used moderately, it imparts a pleasant, chewy texture to this bread and adds a certain binding quality to help keep the dough together when baked.
  • Maizemeal: Whole maize seed ground into flour. A useful base flour with considerable binding properties.
  • Chestnut flour: Milled from dried and roasted sweet chestnuts. A nutritionally useful source of flavour and texture in gluten-free baking.
  • Chickpea flour: Milled from chickpeas. Very nutritious and flavoursome. High protein content gives it a firming and binding effect. Th addition of chickpea flour helps to stop the dough from falling to bits.
Tapioca flour bread gluten free
Tapioca flour bread gluten free
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Yeasted gluten-free tapioca bread

A simple recipe for gluten-free bread using tapioca flour and a variety of other gluten-free flours to produce a great-tasting loaf. The combination of ingredients aims to form a gluten-free loaf of reasonable nutritional value with a texture that is similar to soda bread. 
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proofing time 1 hour
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

Gluten-free maize & tapioca bread ingredients

Instructions

How to make gluten-free maize & tapioca bread

  • Combine all the dry ingredients (maize, tapioca, chestnut, chickpea flours, dried yeast and salt) in a bowl and mix with a whisk.
  • Add the water and cider vinegar and whisk until you have a dough with the consistency of smooth, wet cement.
  • Grease a small bread tin (I used a 20 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm tin).
  • Move the dough into the tin. Use a silicone spatula to make this an easy, clean and effective operation. Don't worry about smoothing it out as it will even itself out during the prove.
  • Cover the tin with a polythene bag to prevent the dough from drying out.
  • Prove for about an hour in a warm place, aiming for about a 50% increase in volume. Th dough will not hold as much gas as one made with gluten-containing flour.
  • Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  • Evenly sprinkle linseed on top of the dough surface.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the loaf begins to shrink away from the sides of the tin. Cool on a wire rack.
    Best eaten fresh. Can be frozen in slices and defrosted as needed.
Tapioca flour based bread
Tapioca flour based bread

Gluten-free cheesy tapioca pancake recipe

I don’t think it’s really possible to make the real deal Brazilian tapioca pancakes in my home in Edinburgh, Scotland. They just wouldn’t taste quite right. The Brazilian air, the tropical climate, the open-air cooking – to me it all feels it’s important in preparing this delicious street food.

I’ve opted to make a more traditional pancake with tapioca flour although these recipes – Brazilian tapioca pancakes, shrimp tapioca pancakes –  look like great Brazilian options to try if you fancy some tapioca at home.

My tapioca pancake recipe is a based on this three-cheese pancake recipe on Great British Chefs with the cheesy filling mixed into the batter.

Makes 2 large pancakes

Cheesy tapioca pancake
Cheesy tapioca pancake
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Gluten-free cheesy tapioca flour pancakes recipe

Ingredients

Tapioca flour pancakes ingredients

  • 60 g tapioca starch
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60 g ricotta
  • 10 g Parmesan
  • 30 g cheddar
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Instructions

How to make tapioca flour pancakes

  • Combine all ingredients and - using a blender - mix well for about 3 minutes to make the tapioca flour batter.
  • Place a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
  • Add half of the pancake batter to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, until light brown, turn to the other side and cook for another minute.
  • Serve immediately with a crisp side salad.

Tapioca flour biscuits recipe

I also wanted to feature a sweet tapioca flour recipe here, and luckily, I stumbled upon this delicious biscotti recipe on the Dolce Amaro blog. Crunchy, crumbly and amazingly flavoursome, these are superb tapioca flour biscuits – with white pepper and white chocolate added in as wildcard ingredients.

Tapioca flour biscuits
Tapioca flour biscuits

Please note this recipe isn’t gluten-free.

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Tapioca flour biscuits recipe

Simply beautiful biscuits with an exceptional bite and superb flavour.

Ingredients

Tapioca flour biscuits ingredients

Instructions

How to make tapioca flour biscuits

  • Start by whisking the egg yolks and oil in a medium bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and sugar until stiff.
  • Fold in the pepper and finely chopped chocolate.
  • Add the tapioca flour, yeast and yolk-oil.
  • Add kamut flour and salt.
  • Combine well, then place back in the bowl and rest in the fridge for 40 mins.
  • On a well-floured surface, with a well-floured rolling pin, and using more flour on the surface of the dough, roll to 1/2 cm high.
  • Cut out biscuits and carefully transfer them onto two baking trays lined with baking paper.
  • Bake at 200 °C for about 15 minutes.
Tapioca biscuits
Tapioca biscuits

Homemade Japanese milk bread loaf recipe (Shokupan)

 

Ever since visiting Japan in 2016, I’ve been wanting to replicate the soft white bread loaf omnipresent across the country. It’s the fluffiest and most delicate bread I have ever eaten. It’s not like brioche, it doesn’t have the same richness. Japanese milk bread is white bread indulgence of the most feathery kind.

Japanese milk bread shokupan
Japanese milk bread: shokupan

“Japan is generally regarded as being a rice-based food culture. However, bread — or pan in Japanese, derived from the Portuguese word pão — is eaten almost as widely. […] The most ubiquitous type of bread in Japan is the white and pillowy square-shaped bread called shokupan, which simply means “eating bread.” Made of white flour, yeast, milk or milk powder, butter, salt and sugar, shokupan is both loved and taken for granted by most. […] The ideal texture for the crumb of a shokupan is mochimochi — soft yet resilient and bouncy, rather like mochi (pounded-rice cakes).”
Source: Japan’s secret love of a breakfast loaf

Japanese Milk Bread in Tokyo
Japanese Milk Bread in Tokyo
The City Bakery Tokyo
The City Bakery Tokyo
Lotus Baguette Tokyo
Lotus Baguette Tokyo
Mini plastic bread in Japan
Mini plastic bread in Japan – wonderful!

I’ve taken the last few weeks to research the method behind the Japanese milk bread loaf. Much like Felicity Cloake and her ‘How to cook the perfect…’ quest, I’ve been trying different recipes in my search for the perfect homemade Japanese milk bread recipe.

An additional reason for looking into Japanese milk bread just now is that I wanted to learn how to bake this lofty white loaf for my little baby daughter, to make eggy bread and baby pizza slices.

History of Japanese milk bread

Milk bread was developed in Japan in the 20th century, using Tangzhong, a warm flour-and-water paste traditionally used in China to make buns with a soft, springy texture and tiny air bubbles. According to this article in the Japan Times, people started to take bread seriously as a meal staple rather than a snack after the violent Rice Riots of 1918.

The Chopstick Chronicles mention that the Yudane method  subsequently originated in Japan and became a widespread and popular way to bake bread after Yvonne Chen introduced Tangzhong roux as a secret ingredient in her book called “Bread Doctor”.

Japanese Milk Bread Recipe

I looked into both the Tangzhong and Yudane methods of baking,  and want to briefly outline the difference between these methods (thank you to Lynn Lim for this informative Facebook thread). For my Shokupan recipe – after many experiments using both methods –  I’ve settled on a combination of this version of Shokupan and the Yudane process.

Yudane Method

  • This method uses boiling water to scald the flour.
  • Ratio 1 part flour to 1 part water.
  • Use after at least 4 hours in the fridge.
  • Use 20% of the flour to make Yudane.

Tangzhong Method

  • For this method, cold water and flour are combined and then heated to 65 degrees Celsius.
  • Ratio 1 part flour to 5 parts water.
  • Can be used once cooled.
  • Use 7% of the flour to make Tangzhong.

What does authentic Japanese milk bread taste like?

The texture is soft and airy, wonderfully tender. Having tasted milk bread while in Japan, it shouldn’t taste like a super enriched dough (e.g. like brioche). Instead, it should taste like a pure wheat and milk based bread and this is why I have not included eggs in my ingredient list and why I only use a minimal amount of butter in my recipe. It is however important to use whole milk (instead of low fat milk).

“The Yudane breads were very soft just after baking, and the staling (temporal changes in hardness) and starch retrogradation of the breads were somewhat reduced compared to the control. Further, the breads showed generally larger cohesiveness, i.e., the index of bread elasticity. Kinetic analysis indicated reduced bread staling and starch retrogradation rates compared to control. The data showed that the slow staling and unique texture of the Yudane breads were mainly due to the high moisture content, saccharide contents, and flour amylases-modification of swollen and gelatinized starch in the breads, which was related to the higher water absorption and starch swelling and gelatinization levels of the added Yudane dough.”
Source: The Staling and Texture of Bread Made Using the Yudane Dough Method

How to eat Japanese milk bread?

It tastes great with most things, but I like to have it simply with salted butter.

I had it with panko*-breadcrumbed chicken (and mustard) while in Japan which was delicious, the two bread slices acting as wonderful pillows around the meat.
*Panko breadcrumbs are made from Japanese milk bread 🙂

Japanese milk bread sandwich with Panko breadcrumb chicken
Japanese milk bread sandwich with Panko breadcrumb chicken

“You can enjoy shokupan in many ways, including some uniquely Japanese concoctions such as sandwiches filled with potato salad or fruit and cream. Do try thickly sliced Kinki-region style toast too. Crispy on the surface and mochimochi on the inside, it’s a great example of a food imported from the West that has been firmly adapted to suit Japanese tastes.”
Source: Japan’s secret love of a breakfast loaf

Japanese milk bread recipe

A lot of recipes I tried and tested used sugar (up to 60g) but I have decided against the use of sugar in this recipe, especially since I wanted to mainly develop this for use for the whole family including our little baby.

The Yudane method works so remarkably well to make soft and fluffy bread and makes the bread last longer because the heated gelatinised starch in the flour keeps the moisture inside the bread and it will make the bread soft and last longer. 

Japanese milk bread crumb shokupan
Japanese milk bread crumb

Japanese milk bread ingredients

Having experimented with both the Tangzhong and Yudane methods I feel that the Yudane method produces better results. I have also experimented with adding more butter and an egg, but prefer the egg-less version with less added butter. I’ve also omitted sugar from my recipe as I prefer a non-sweetened version, for taste and for health reasons.

For the Yudane

  • 100g boiling water
  • 100g white bread flour

For the main dough

  • 400g white bread flour
  • 9g salt
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 300g full fat milk, plus extra for brushing on the unbaked loaf
  • 20g dry milk powder (optional)
  • 35g unsalted butter, cut into pieces and softened at room temperature, plus extra for buttering the pan

How to make Japanese milk bread

  1. In a small bowl, measure out the flour and pour over the boiling water. Mix until well combined. I use a silicone spatula to do that. Cover the bowl and let the the Yudane cool down to room temperature.
  2. Refrigerate for 4 hours.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the main dough ingredients and add the cooled Yudane. Knead for about 10 minutes until completely smooth and elastic. Don’t cut the kneading time short!
  4. Cover the bowl and leave to rest at room temperature for about an hour. The dough should rise well during that time.
  5. Butter a bread tin.
  6. Deflate the dough and divide it into two equal parts to make loaf. Shape the two parts and place them into the pan, smooth side up.
  7. Cover with a plastic bag to keep the moisture in and keep at room temperature until fully proofed, about 1.5 hours.
  8. Brush the loaf with milk and bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf reads at least 93°C.
  9. Remove the loaf from the oven, and cool it on a rack.

Homemade baby breadsticks recipe

 

When it comes to feeding, my little baby daughter has never been a natural. And when I recently started to introduce solids, she steadfastly refused to be given anything from a spoon or my finger. No tasty purée could tempt her. She did however take the spoon if it was put in front of her on her tray and into her mouth it went. I started giving her chunky finger foods such as broccoli florets which she could hold herself and after a few weeks I decided it was time to introduce some baby breadsticks for more a baby-led weaning approach.

Looking into baby’s nutritional requirements, The River Cottage Baby and Toddler Cookbook advises: “Under-fives are littler power-houses of development and growth. They need lots of energy, so starchy, calorie-dense foods are important – plenty of bread, pasta, rice and cereals. For adults, consuming starches in a high-fibre, wholegrain form is highly recommended. For little children, that’s not the case. Too much fibre can be over-filling and stop them eating other, nutrient-rich foods. Very high-fibre foods, such as bran cereals, can be hard for them to digest and may stop them absorbing nutrients. You don’t have to ban all wholegrain foods, but try to combine white and wholemeal bread, pasta and rice, gradually shifting more to wholegrain foods as your child matures.”

Based on my research, these are the foundations of my baby breadstick recipe:
  • Using mainly white flour (a mix of white wheat and spelt flours)
  • Adding a little bit of wholewheat flour (20% of all the flour in the recipe)
  • No salt
  • Adding yoghurt for some dairy and including a few tablespoons of rapeseed oil to add some fat/oil (both dairy as well as fat/oil are important pillars of baby’s nutritional needs)
  • Optional addition of ground herbs or spices into the breadstick dough to introduce baby to new flavours
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Homemade baby breadsticks recipe

Pieces of toast and firm bread make good finger food and can be dipped into purees and sauces. Many baby rusks on the market contain as much sugar as a sweet biscuit. Opt to make your own sugar-free breadsticks instead. It's super easy and you can make a big batch, freeze them and defrost as needed. You can add some herbs or spices into the breadstick dough if you want to mix it up for your baby. I sometimes divide the dough into three parts, leaving one part plain (with no added herbs or spices) and adding different herbs such as finely chopped rosemary or spices such as garam masala to the other two parts.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 200 g strong white wheat flour
  • 100 g white spelt flour
  • 75 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 150 g yoghurt plain, full fat
  • 100 g water
  • 4 g dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Optional: 1 tbsp finely ground herbs e.g. rosemary, thyme... or spices (e.g. garam masala, mild curry powder...)

Instructions

How to make baby breadsticks

  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl to form a dough
  • Knead for 10 minutes on a work surface until you have  a smooth, even dough
  • Place back into the bowl and cover
  • Keep to proof at room temperature for an hour or so until the dough has visibly increased in volume
  • Knock back the dough and split off walnut-sized pieces
  • Roll each piece into a 10 cm rod
  • Place on two lightly greased baking trays
  • Leave to rise for about 20 minutes
  • Bake at 200°C for 10 mins
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack
Cut the breadsticks into halves (lengthwise) and toast them before giving them to your baby. This helps to avoid them softening too quickly. Always watch your baby carefully when offering them breadsticks and break off any big soggy bits before they disappear into the baby’s mouth to avoid choking. Dip both sides of the bread stick into your baby’s food 🙂
For those worried about food allergies, Annabel Karmel’s New Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner states: “There is no need to worry unduly about food allergies unless you have a family history of allergy or atopic disease. The incidence of food allergy in babies with no family history of allergy is very small (approximately 6%). (…) Don’t remove key foods such as milk or wheat from your child’s diet before consulting a doctor.

Multigrain bread with home-milled multigrain flour

 

After a mini break from blogging due to the arrival of my sweet little baby daughter, I wanted to share my current go-to sourdough bread recipe with you. This multigrain sourdough bread has been the weekly staple loaf in our house over the last six months. It’s a super easy, yet wholesome and delicious recipe which I found easy to integrate into my new-baby-routine.

As with most sourdough recipes, it’s not difficult to fit the required steps into your day.  A few small steps at a time, 5-10 minutes here or there, is easy to fit around even a newborn baby’s needs.

Multigrain bread
Multigrain bread

Since giving birth, I use my grain mill a lot more. I now just have bags of grains (wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley) at home and mill to fine flour or more roughly chopped grain mixtures as I see fit. I still need to use white flours as all flours milled by the grain mill are naturally wholegrain.

Multigrain bread recipe

Don’t be put off by the amount of steps needed – you will only need a few minutes at a time to bake this delicious multigrain loaf. This is  a solid loaf of bread full of delicious chopped whole grains and toasted seeds. It tastes delicious with both sweet and savoury toppings.

Multigrain sourdough bread
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Multigrain bread recipe

With my grain mill it's easy to make any combination of multigrain flour, three grain bread, four grain bread etc. This particular five-grain sourdough bread recipe uses a five-grain mix but you could easily use fewer grain varieties to the same effect, according to what you have at home or personal preference. The recipe for this bread is a modified version of the loaf '5-Korn-Kruste' from the book Rustikale Brote in Deutschen Landen.

Ingredients

Multigrain bread ingredients

  • If you are using a mill at home to prepare the flour and chopped grains prepare the various portions as needed on the day.

For the sourdough

For the toasted seed and grain soaker

  • 50 g sunflower seeds
  • 50 g pumpkin seeds
  • 150 g roughly chopped grains a combination of wheat, spelt, rye, oat, barley grain - e.g. 30g each
  • 3 g salt
  • 210 g boiling water

For the main dough

  • 220 g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 80 g wholemeal rye flour
  • 160 g water
  • 13 g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract

For the topping

  • A handful of chopped grains

Instructions

How to make multigrain bread

    Day 1

    • Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover. Keep at room temperature for about 16-24 hours.
    • To prepare the toasted seed and grain soaker, toast the seeds in a frying pan (without oil i.e. dry) until they start to release their nutty smell. Take the pan off the heat and add the chopped grains and salt. Mix well, then cover with boiling water. Cover the pan and leave to rest at room temperature for 16 hours.

    Day 2

    • Combine 240g of the refreshed sourdough with the seed and grain soaker and the other main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
    • Knead for 10 minutes, then cover the bowl and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature.
    • Prepare a bread tin (approximately 23 x 11 x 9.5 cm) and brush with sunflower oil.
    • Knead the dough for another 5 minutes, then shape into an oval to fit into your bread tin.
    • Brush the surface of the bread oval with water before rolling it in roughly chopped grains.
    • Place in the bread tin, cover and proof at room temperature for several hours until it has risen to the top of the bread tin.
    • Preheat the oven to 250C.
    • Bake the loaf on the second lowest oven shelf for 15 minutes at 250C. Turn down the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 45 minutes.
    • For a nice crust take the bread out of the tin at the end and place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes at 180C.
    • Cool on a wire rack.

    Sesame semolina sourdough bread recipe

     

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with a new flour – semolina. Its characteristics make it the perfect bread ingredient for a coarser, more textured bread. Semolina bread is a robust accompaniment for soups and salads – just in time for the spring greens entering my kitchen. My semolina bread recipe uses  small amounts of wholegrain flour to enhance the flavour profile as well as toasted sesame seeds.

    Semolina bread

    What is semolina flour?

    • Semolina is a type of flour made from durum wheat (triticum turgidum l. var. durum) i.e. it’s the ground endosperm of durum wheat. Durum wheat’s particular quality is that the floury material in the middle of the grain does not immediately reduce to a powder when milled; it holds together in granular lumps of sandy coarseness. This can be further milled to a fine flour, but is often used as it comes. 
    • It is pale yellow in colour.
    • Semolina is grainier than standard wheat flour. Semolina is available as coarse, medium or fine flour, based on the size of the grains.
    • Semolina flour is a high-gluten / high-protein flour as durum wheat has more protein than any other kind of wheat. “Protein is important because of its relationship to gluten. The more protein there is in a wheat, the more gluten there will be in a dough made from it.” Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters
    • Fine semolina flour is used to make pasta. Noodles made from semolina hold their shape well, and have a firm texture. Dough made with semolina is coherent but not very stretchy. 
    • Coarse semolina is also used to make couscous.
    • In South India, semolina is used to make foods like dosa and upma.
    • In Germany and Austria semolina is known as Grieß.
    • Semolina and polenta – though similar in texture – are quite different. The former is derived from the wheat berry, and the latter from cornmeal.

    Semolina flour

    Semolina For Bread Making

    • As a rule of thumb, fine semolina flour is preferred over coarse semolina for bread making. The coarse grains in semolina have a puncturing effect on the dough, adversely affecting dough strength and bread volume. However, it can produce a surprisingly smooth and extensible dough.
    • A high percentage of semolina flour gives bread a soft golden colour.
    • Semolina (farina di semola rimacinata) is an essential ingredient in Italian-Sicilian bread baking and also used frequently in Moroccan bread baking e.g. for khobz dyal smida or pan-fried harcha bread.

    Where to buy semolina

    You will find semolina in most well-stocked supermarkets or health food stores. My online store of choice here in the UK is BuyWholefoodsOnline.co.uk.

    Semolina bread recipe

    How to make semolina bread

    • My semolina bread recipe below uses my existing sourdough starter to raise the bread.
    • I’ve combined fine semolina flour with portions of wholegrain wheat and wholegrain rye flour to enhance the overall flavour profile.
    • Fennel seeds are often used in semolina bread baking, as are sesame seeds and I’ve decided to add sesame seeds into my recipe. A light toasting of the seeds adds even more flavour.

    Semolina bread recipe

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    Sesame Semolina Sourdough Bread Recipe

    Bake this delicious sesame semolina bread as a perfect side for spring and summer salads.

    Ingredients

    Ingredients

      Sourdough

      • 100 g sourdough starter
      • 50 g wholemeal flour
      • 50 g rye flour
      • 100 g water

      Main Dough

      • 700 g semolina flour
      • 150 g wholemeal flour
      • 150 g rye flour
      • 100 g sesame seeds
      • 20 g salt
      • 750 g water

      Instructions

      • On day 1, refresh your sourdough starter by combining 50g wholemeal flour, 50g wholegrain rye flour and 100g water with your sourdough starter.
      • On day 2, lightly toast the sesame seeds, then combine 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter from day 1 with the main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
      • Combine well to form a dough and knead for 10 minutes on a clean work surface.
      • Place the dough back into the bowl to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
      • Give the dough another thorough knead, then shape and place into a large, lightly oiled loaf tin.
      • Leave to rest and rise until fully proven.
      • Preheat the oven to 220°C in time for baking, then bake for 10 minutes at 220°C before turning down the temperature to 180°C for another 50 minutes.
      • Cool on a wire rack.

      Vegetable Strudel Recipe (Gemüsestrudel)

       

      Although vegetarian and vegan dishes have become much more common on Austrian restaurant menus, the Gemüsestrudel (vegetable strudel) has traditionally been one of the token veggie dish on many Gasthaus menus. Quite remarkably for Austrian Gemüsestrudel recipes however, these typically come with ham (!). Dairy products (curd cheese, crème fraiche, milk, cheese) are also heavily used in Austrian vegetable strudel recipes.  I left the ham out of this version of my mum’s vegetable strudel recipe, but you will see, it is still a far cry from a vegan recipe. It’s delicious though, and all the hard work that goes into the preparation is definitely worth it!

      Vegetable Strudel
      Vegetable Strudel

      Austrian Vegetable Strudel Recipe

      This vegetable strudel recipe can perhaps be more accurately described as vegetable-cheese strudel as cheese and other dairy products including curd cheese feature heavily in the filling.

      Vegetable Strudel Recipe
      Vegetable Strudel with a lovely golden brown colour, sprinkled with sesame seeds

      As the strudel dough needs to be rolled out quite thinly, it’s advisable to use a very large soft linen cloth (Strudeltuch e.g. 120 x 100 cm) or otherwise a large cotton kitchen towel to roll out the dough and assemble the strudel. This makes it much easier to transfer the dough to the baking tray.

      The vegetable strudel recipe below is made with homemade Strudel-dough, but if you are short in time, you can use shop-bought puff pastry or filo pastry.

      Any leftovers can easily be frozen.

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      Savoury vegetable strudel recipe

      A deliciously cheesy vegetable strudel, as per an Austrian recipe from my mum. Put together your own vegetable mix based on your preferred veggies or based on seasons. Spring Strudel (Kohlrabi, cauliflower, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, wild garlic, leeks), Summer Strudel (mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, courgettes, fennel, peppers, aubergines, peas, sweet corn), Autumn Strudel (pumpkin, cabbage, root vegetables, potatoes), Winter Strudel (carrots, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, shallots). 
      Course Main Course
      Cuisine Austrian
      Servings 6 people

      Ingredients

      Strudel Dough Ingredients

      • 250 g plain flour
      • 1 tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
      • 125 g water lukewarm - this will help with dough elasticity
      • 1/2 tsp salt

      Béchamel Sauce Ingredients

      • 40 g butter
      • 1 onion finely chopped
      • 40 g plain flour
      • 250 g milk
      • 1/2 tsp nutmeg ground

      Filling

      • 200 g curd cheese full fat
      • 125 g crème fraîche
      • 2 egg yolks
      • 250 g mature cheddar or other flavoursome hard cheese (in Austria I would use Bergkäse) grated
      • 4 tbsp fresh herbs mix of parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, basil, dill, fennel etc. whatever you fancy or you have to hand
      • 100 g oats
      • 2 egg whites
      • 1 tsp corn starch or potato starch
      • 300 g potatoes
      • 1 green or red pepper
      • 2 garlic cloves
      • 1 carrot
      • 1 small leek
      • 50 g frozen peas
      • 50 g frozen sweet corn kernels
      • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

      Topping

      • 25 g butter melted
      • Sesame seeds

      Instructions

      Prepare the vegetables for the filling

      • Boil 300g potatoes and mash them. If you prefer a finer texture, you can also use a potato ricer to process the boiled potatoes.
      • Cut the pepper and the carrot into small cubes, mince the garlic and thinly slice the leek. Using a knob of butter, fry these vegetables for around 10 minutes. Briefly simmer the frozen peas and frozen sweetcorn kernels, then strain well and add to the fried vegetable mix. The vegetables should retain 'bite' and not be overcooked. Altogether, you should use about 500g of vegetables (fresh and frozen). Make sure there is no excess liquid left in the vegetable mixture by the time you set it aside to cool.

      Prepare the Béchamel Sauce

      • Start by placing the butter in a pot to heat up, then add the diced onions. 
      • Fry for a few minutes - don't let the onions brown.
      • Add the flour and stir thoroughly for a minute.
      • Add the milk and nutmeg and continue stirring until the sauce has thickened.
      • Take away from the heat and leave to cool.

      Prepare the dough

      • Combine the dough ingredients in a medium bowl and mix together. I do this with my hands.
      • Knead well until you have a formed a smooth dough. Don't be tempted to add any more water to the dough. It will come together well, just give it some time.
      • Shape dough into a ball, brush with a little oil, place back in the bowl and cover the bowl.
      • Leave to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This helps the dough structure to relax and makes it easier to roll/shape later on.

      Prepare the filling

      • In a large bowl, combine the cooled Béchamel Sauce, curd cheese, crème fraîche, egg yolks, grated cheese, herbs and oats. Mix well.
      • Add the vegetable mixture and mashed potatoes and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
      • In a smaller bowl, combine the egg whites and starch and whip until stiff.
      • Carefully fold the stiff egg whites into the remaining filling. The filling should not be wet so it doesn't soak through the dough while you assemble the strudel.

      Shape the dough

      • Preheat the oven to 175℃.
      • Flour your work surface (ideally a large linen or cotton kitchen towel) and use your hands to form the dough ball into an even rectangle.
      • Flour the dough rectangle to prevent it from sticking and - using a rolling pin - take care to roll out the dough into a bigger rectangle.
      • Line a suitably big baking tray with baking paper.

      Assemble the Strudel

      • Distribute the filling across two thirds of the strudel dough, leaving at least 1 cm around the edges free.
      • Brush the final third with butter.
      • Fold in the sides of the dough slightly over the filling to seal the sides.
      • Roll into a strudel and carefully seal all the ends. If you are using the linen or cotton towel, the rolling can be done just by lifting the towel to roll the dough.
      • Place seam-side down onto the baking tray. Again, this process is easier if you are using the cloth, as you can lift the strudel much more easily like this and carefully roll it onto the baking tray.
      • Brush with the egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

      Bake & serve

      • Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown.
      • Serve warm with a side salad.

      Notes

      Add variety to your vegetable strudel by adding ground spices such as caraway, paprika, cayenne pepper or chili flakes. You can also add seeds such as sunflower and pumpkin seeds or boiled grains (e.g. rye grains or millet) into the strudel filling if you like. Make sure the grains are no longer wet before you add them.a
      Serve with a crisp side salad.

       

      Low glycemic index bread: barley flour bread recipe

       

      Although barley is almost exclusively used in the brewing industry on account of its very low gluten content, barley flour is a really nice ingredient to introduce into bread baking. You’ll have even more reason for using barley if you are looking to keep the glycemic index (GI) of your home-baked bread as low as possible. I’ve been baking with barley flour ever since I came across the delicious barley rusks (used to prepare Dakos) hugely popular on the Greek island of Crete and after lots of research and experimentation I’d like to share my barley flour bread recipe with you.

      Dakos
      Dakos – If you’d like to make Greek barley rusks at home try this recipe which uses 44% barley flour… https://akispetretzikis.com/categories/snak-santoyits/kritharokoyloyres

      Firstly though, I want to give you some background on barley flour and the glycemic index GI/ glycemic load GL values of different types of grains.

      Barley flour bread is low GI bread

      I’ve recently looked into low glycemic bread options as I’ve had to ensure my blood sugar levels were as stable as possible throughout the day for health reasons connected to my pregnancy. Out of all the grains, barley seems to come out on top. It contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucan which has been shown to slow glucose absorption and thought to help lower blood cholesterol.

      The table below shows (reasonably) comprehensive information comparing the GI and GL of different grains, flours and one specific brand of bread. Data source: http://www.diogenes-eu.org/GI-Database/Default.htm

      “The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates with a low GI value are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels. Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.  It is also the best way to compare blood glucose values of different types and amounts of foods. The formula for calculating the GL of a particular food or meal is: Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.Source: https://www.gisymbol.com/

      The Glycemic Index Foundation suggests that a GI of 45 or less is classified as low GI. For GL, 10 or less qualifies as low GL.

      From the table below, we can see that only barley is low GI and none of the grains or flours listed qualify as low GL. Nonetheless, barley scores well.

      Food name GI value GL
      Pearl barley raw 25 21
      Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread 40 16
      Porridge Oats 58 20
      Crispbread rye 64 45
      Bran wheat 70 19
      Wheatgerm 70 31
      Rye bread 70 32
      Wheat flour wholemeal 70 45
      Wheat flour brown 70 48
      Wheat flour white for breadmaking 70 53
      Rye flour  whole 70 53
      Wheat flour white plain 70 54

      My barley bread recipe has taken inspiration from the above-mentioned Vogel’s sunflower and barley brown bread, incorporating both wheat and barley flours as well as sunflower seeds.

      Barley flour bread recipe (sourdough barley bread)

      Opt for barley bread if you are looking for a hearty addition to a low-GI diet. 

      Barley flour bread recipe
      Barley flour bread recipe

      It is best to use barley flour in conjunction with high-gluten flour. My barley flour recipe uses 50% barley flour and 50% wholewheat flour to ensure the bread rises better. By adding at least 50% wheat flour benefits the crumb. In the interest of flavour and extensibility, I wouldn’t recommend to increase the % of barley flour. The higher the percentage of barley in relation to wheat, the less extensible the dough. I increased the dough hydration as well in order to account for the higher water absorption of the flours.

      Barley flour bread low glycemic
      Barley flour bread – low glycemic index bread
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      5 from 2 votes

      Barley flour bread recipe

      Barley flour adds a pronounced sweetness and a suggestion of maltiness to this loaf. This is even more pronounced due to the added barley flake soaker. Add in some pre-boiled barley kernels to make a coarser type of barley bread if you wish.
      Servings 8

      Ingredients

      Ingredients

        Sourdough Ingredients

        • 100 g wheat sourdough starter 100% hydration
        • 50 g wholewheat flour
        • 50 g water lukewarm

        Barley Flake & Sunflower Seed Soaker Ingredients

        • 50 g barley flakes
        • 50 g sunflower seeds
        • 100 g hot water

        Main Dough Ingredients

        • 250 g wholewheat flour
        • 250 g barley flour
        • 10 g salt
        • 320 g water lukewarm
        • 100 g natural yoghurt

        Toppings

        • 1 handful of sunflower seeds
        • 1 handful of barley flakes

        Instructions

        How to make barley flour sourdough bread

          Day 1  - Refresh your sourdough starter & prepare the soaker

          • For the sourdough - 
            In a medium bowl, combine all the sourdough ingredients, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature until the next day.
          • For the soaker - 
            Toast the barley flakes and sunflower seeds in a frying pan (no oil) to release the nutty flavours, then take off the heat, add the boiling water and cover immediately. Set aside at room temperature.

          Day 2 (about 24 hours later) - Prepare the main dough, proof & bake

          • Combine 100g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for future bakes) with all the remaining ingredients (the soaker you prepared the day before and all of the main dough ingredients) and knead for about 10 mins. The dough will be sticky yet pliable.
          • Leave the dough to rest for about an hour.
          • Oil a bread baking tin and distribute a handful of sunflower seeds across the bottom of the tin, covering the surface evenly.
          • Transfer the dough into the oiled and seeded bread baking tin, evenly distribute the barley flakes across the top of the dough and cover with a lid or a polythene bag to keep the moisture in.
          • Rest until fully proofed (this takes a good 4 hours in my cool kitchen) and preheat the oven to 220°C in time.
          • Bake at 220°C for 10 mins, and at 200°C for a further 40 mins.
          • Leave to cool on a wire rack.

          Moreish mushroom bread pudding recipe

           

          I’d like to introduce you to this gorgeously moreish mushroom bread pudding recipe. It combines mushrooms – luxuriously delicious and earthy in their own right – with a velvety and creamy bread pudding base. The perfect comfort food, it’s also a great way to reduce wastage of leftover or stale bread.

          Mushroom bread pudding
          Mushroom bread pudding

          This savoury bread pudding recipe makes a scrumptious side dish (serve with roast chicken for example) but also works perfectly well as a mid-week lunch or dinner, ideally with a sharp salad on the side.

          A few words on choosing your mushroom bread pudding ingredients…

          The mushrooms

          Choose your mushrooms well! They will lend the bread pudding their distinctive flavour. Go for white or brown button mushrooms if you can’t get your hands on other varieties with a more unique taste, but if available, try to at least mix in some porcini or shiitake mushrooms. Go and harvest your own wild mushrooms if you can and make them the main event of the bread pudding!

          Mixed mushrooms
          Mixed mushrooms

          “Mushrooms don’t have any chlorophyll, so are unable to harvest energy from sunlight, which means they have to do all their growing underground, feeding on whatever they find. So, mushrooms that grow under chestnut trees taste of chestnuts and soil. Mushrooms that grow under pine trees taste of pines and soil.Yotam Ottolenghi, The Guardian

          Mushrooms have also received a lot of press coverage of late for their health properties and if you’d like to read more about this, take a look at this article for a short overview or watch this video for a fascinating interview with mycologist Joe Rogan.

          The bread

          Lots of bread puddings use brioche or challah as the bread base. However, for this savoury mushroom bread pudding, I prefer the earthy flavours of sourdough bread containing rye flour e.g. pain de champagne.

          The cheese

          You can use cheddar cheese as your base cheese, but I like to at least mix in some other flavours e.g. Gruyère or Parmesan. Your cheese choice (same as your mushroom and bread choices) will have a big impact on the bread pudding’s flavour.

          Mushroom bread pudding recipe

          If you’ve only ever made sweet bread puddings, there’s no better time to try a savoury one. Warning: this is not for the faint-hearted (i.e. people on a diet), take a look at the ingredient list to find out why 🙂

          Mushroom bread pudding recipe
          Mushroom bread pudding recipe
          Mushroom bread pudding
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          5 from 1 vote

          Mushroom Bread Pudding Recipe

          Combine the best and most flavoursome ingredients you can find and bake this mushroom bread pudding recipe to perfection - with a crisp surface and melting interior. Choose a deeper casserole dish for a more tender pudding, a shallower dish if you like to have more of the crusty top layer. 

          Ingredients

          Ingredients

          • 300 g fresh bread cubes, ideally sourdough rye bread cut into 5 mm cubes
          • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
          • 1 onion chopped
          • 450 g mixed fresh mushrooms trimmed and cut into 1 cm cubes
          • 2 large garlic cloves minced
          • 5 tbsp white wine
          • 1 small bunch of parsley (or other herbs, whatever flavour you prefer)
          • 125 g milk
          • 100 g creme fraiche
          • 90 g single cream
          • 2 large eggs
          • 50 g Parmesan cheese grated
          • Salt
          • Freshly ground pepper

          Instructions

          How to make mushroom bread pudding

          • Preheat oven to 180°C.
          • Toast bread cubes in in a large shallow baking pan until golden-brown, about 10 minutes.
          • Heat the butter in a medium-large frying pan. Add the chopped onion and fry over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
            Add the chopped mushrooms, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly milled pepper. Continue to fry and stir until the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated (about 15 minutes). 
            Add the white wine and parsley and continue to fry and stir for another few minutes. 
            Check the seasoning and remove from the heat.
          • In a medium-large bowl, combine the milk, creme fraiche, single cream, eggs and grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly milled pepper. 
            Whisk together well. 
            Stir in the toasted bread cubes and the mushroom mixture until coated well and let stand for 10 minutes to allow the bread to absorb some of the cream and egg mixture.
          • Butter the baking dish. I used a square dish (20 x 20 cm), about 8 cm deep.
          • Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and place on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until nicely browned on top. Please note that the baking time will depend on the depth of the baking dish you have chosen.

           

          Bread during pregnancy: notes from a baker

           

          I wanted to write a quick post on eating bread during pregnancy. With bread playing such a big role in my daily food routine, and at 25 weeks pregnant, a special post devoted to this feels appropriate 🙂

          Here are my general tips around bread during pregnancy

          • According to the NHS UK; “starchy foods (carbohydrates) – including bread – should make up just over a third of the food you eat.”
          • However, try to limit or cut out white bread (and other ‘white carbs’ such as white rice or pasta) during pregnancy as much as possible.
          • Instead, opt for brown / wholegrain / multigrain breads, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
          • If you are prone to snacking on sweets, incorporate some dried fruit into your loaf of bread instead. This date and nut loaf for example makes for a delicious breakfast bread or afternoon snack.
          • Adding nuts to your bread dough will add some much-needed protein into your diet too and, in general, I recommend to add seeds (e.g. sesame seeds are a good source of calcium) and extra wheat bran (for added fibre) to any bread you bake.
          Healthy whole grain bread
          Healthy whole grain bread

          The best bread during pregnancy?

          If you are looking to start baking your own bread during pregnancy or if you are looking to bake healthier loaves during pregnancy, take a look at this post on healthy bread from earlier this year.

          Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket
          Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket

          There is good dietary advice on the NHS (UK) website and a lot of this can easily be put into practice with your daily choice of bread.

          Here are my recipe tips:

          • Try this wholemeal pita bread recipe and pair it with homemade hummus, carrot and celery sticks if you fancy a savoury snack.
          • This Greek pastry snack with folate-rich spinach and feta cheese also ticks a few of the recommended dietary boxes.
          • Crispbread can be a life saver in the first three months of feeling nauseous and queasy; I found it really easy to eat during the tricky first trimester.
          • And if you are following a ‘eat little and often’ pregnancy routine, this oatcakes recipe is ideal.

          All the best!

          Disclaimer:

          All content on The Bread She Bakes is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The Bread She Bakes will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.thebreadshebakes.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from this site to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.

          Buckwheat crackers recipe

           

          I love the taste buckwheat flour adds to baked goods. If you are in need of a quick buckwheat flavour fix, I’ve got a great buckwheat crackers recipe idea for you – a fantastic way of making quick crispbreads for when you need that savoury snack.

          Buckwheat flour crackers
          Buckwheat flour crackers
          Buckwheat crispbread
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          0 from 0 votes

          Buckwheat crackers recipe

          This buckwheat crispbread goes well with smoked fish or cured meats, with cheeses and pickles. Break the crispbread into smaller bits and you can serve up a delicious bowl of buckwheat crisps with your favourite dip.

          Ingredients

          Buckwheat crackers ingredients

          • 120 g whole-wheat flour
          • 90 g unbleached all-purpose flour
          • 90 g buckwheat flour
          • 15 g sesame seeds
          • 4 g salt
          • 40 g extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil
          • 120 g water as needed

          Instructions

          How to make buckwheat crackers

          • Preheat the oven to 180°C with two racks positioned inside and line two baking trays with baking paper.
          • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form a dough. Ensure the dough is nice and smooth, not too runny and not too firm. Add a little more water if it's not very elastic.
          • Knead for a few minutes.
          • Lightly dust your work surface, and roll out the dough.
          • Cut into desired shapes -- squares or cookie-cutter shapes -- and place on the baking sheet, close together but not touching.
          • Bake for around 20 minutes until lightly browned, switching the sheet trays halfway through from front to back and top to middle.
          • Cool on a wire rack.

          These crackers are delicious with cheeses and pickles or smoked fish and cottage cheese.

          Buckwheat cracker
          Buckwheat cracker

          For more buckwheat inspiration, head over here for my buckwheat bread recipe or give this buckwheat pancake recipe a go for your next weekend breakfast. Galettes de sarrasin and buckwheat muffins provide great brunch options too.