Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"My Bread"... Inspired by Gluten Free Girl and Jim Lahey

Well, it's very exciting....

Well, it IS very exciting!!! The Holy Grail... The Holy Vessel... of my Gluten Free Bread Quest Thusfar.

I decided to implement the no knead baking technique (ha ha so funny, SO PERFECT, as gf bread is already typically NO KNEAD! I love it.) from the book, My Bread by Jim Lahey. A while back, I'd read a post about dutch oven bread from Gluten Free Girl and always meant to try it. I even had my Chantal enamel ready for the purpose, but was worried about the plastic handle/top as well as the high heat effect on the beautiful enamel. So I delayed. (Upon research I did find some people removed this and replaced with a nut and bolt or somesuch and BETTER YET some employed a stainless steel cabinet knob from the home improvement/hardware store. Sounds like a great idea!)

However, I am always loving it when in my life I'm shown something I'm not using to full advantage- often something staring me in the face on a daily basis- and am graced with the epiphany (or one might say "duh!" moment) of just why that thing is there and what I should be doing (or should have been doing)with or about said thing. I mean, not to live life with shoulds. But, HELLO?! I do LOVE the joy in those hello moments, even given the time in the dark that makes them possible...

This pot is one of those epiphanies for me. I bought it one Halloween to make Transylvanian Goulash in. It's a traditional Potjie Pot ("poy-kee"), from South Africa, the original Dutch Oven, as it were, the molds derived from the originals in the 1600's, I believe. I mean doesn't it look just like a witch's cauldron? I LOVE the shape. It holds heat amazingly well. In fact I've been known to get it going, turn off the stove and leave the house to let it keep cooking in complete safety with no power but it's own heat. And I make the BEST fried chicken in it. When I make fried chicken that isn't oven fried, that is.

(Read more about the here, and how the Dutch brought them to Africa in the 1600's: http://potjiepotusa.com/ )

So here's this pot. Moving around the kitchen, hasn't been used in some time, very heavy, not really FEATURED the way my red Chantal is on display. Just shuffled here and there...

Duh moment! Would it could it possibly be? The perfect vessel for my Dutch oven bread? (Well , now I think I know the answer, but then? It was still a question mark hanging in the air...)

Well look at the pictures and let me know what you think.

Needless to say, I have fallen in love with this pot all over again...

And this Bread? Well, I'm in love with it as well. NO QUESTION!

I used my own flour blend, and took some tips from BOTH GFG and some from Mr. Lahey. For example. I did my own thing with leavening, vinegar proportions, but took definite cues from them as to liquid to flour proportions, certainly. And since I don't bake with eggs, I deviated there, too. I used Jim's Temp and Shauna's baking time. I was nervous about there being no oil in the recipes! But am greatly pleased. And even with the deviations, would likely never have made this precise loaf without the inspiration and guidance mentioned above, so THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

I'm going to go make more right now!

sigh.... mmmm bread! Tasty! Crusty! Moist! Flavor Crumb & Spring! And good looking, too! ;)

(And this bread will so fully supply and equip my Tartine Expeditions... has begun to already! More on that in subsequent posts...)


  1. Your potjie bread turned out so beautifully. Lovely crust and crumb. In my gf bread baking, I've found that most bread doughs don't need to be kneaded. It actually works better if you simply shape the dough and allow it to rise. Great job!

    Natalie @ Gluten A Go Go

  2. Very true! In most cases, we needn't knead at all...

    Thank you, Natalie-- considering the source, high praise indeed! ;)