Hearty Garlic Thyme Bread
This wholesome bread is not unlike whole grain bread. Thick and hearty it's great as an accompaniment to soups and stews or for dicing up for croutons or homemade stuffing.
Garlic bread is the classic addition to a noodle and tomato sauce dinner. It's harder to add that to the menu if you've got allergies; there are some edible gluten-free breads out there but they generally contain nuts or dairy or eggs. While we can't claim this is the best bread ever (we're still working on that), we can tell you that this bread works great with tomato sauce and excellent in homemade stuffing for Thanksgiving (just in case you like to plan ahead). If you're looking for a thick, hearty homemade bread that's free from gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and nuts, you've found the right spot.
Just an FYI - garlic bread, while frequently eaten with spaghetti and tomato sauce, is not actually Italian. It's an American-made idea, not unlike fortune cookies (we'll talk about that another time), that's inspired by a traditional cuisine - Italian - but not actually a transplant from Italy. That being said, there's no reason you can't have an Italian-inspired meal with garlic bread in attendance.
Our favorite meal to add Hearty Garlic Thyme Bread to is Three Herb Noodles with our Spicy Tomato Sauce (coming soon) and mixed greens salad.
Don't have oat flour? Grind up 4 ounces of gluten-free old-fashioned rolled oats in a blender, food processor, spice grinder or mortar and pestle. You can also substitute the same amount of sorghum flour or millet flour.
Want to make garlic bread without baking it from scratch? There aren't a lot of gluten-free breads worth eating out there - in fact, we can only think of two brands we'd suggest for the cook who can't wrap his mind around homemade bread making: Udi's (made with eggs) and Canyon Bakehouse Gluten-Free Heritage Style Bread (very whole grain-y). You can drizzle a little oil (olive or avocado) on the bread slices and sprinkle some garlic powder before toasting in the oven at 400F for about ten minutes.
Every gluten-free flour blend has it's own unique flavors, textures and merits. We prefer the King Arthur Flour Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix for this recipe because it rises better than others tested (among them Cup for Cup, America's Test Kitchen Gluten-Free Flour Blend, Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour and Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix) and creates a more airy loaf, reminiscent of wheat breads rather than cardboard.
When baking, it's important to weigh flours because they can differ so much from one brand to another, even from one box of the same brand to another. Measurements of weight bake better than other types of measurements - 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour may be 14 ounces one day, 16 ounces another day and 11 ounces yet another day. All other measurements in this recipe have been compiled based on the weight of the flour used.
Aquafaba is the water from a can of chickpeas. You can drain chickpeas, saving the water, and keep the aquafaba in ice cube trays in the freezer until ready to use (it lasts less than a week if kept in the refrigerator). One ice cube of aquafaba is about 1 1/2 tablespoons. When blended with cream of tartar, aquafaba takes on the consistency of a whipped egg, which is great for baking. See here for further information.
Cream of tartar is not cream but rather a white substance that is the byproduct of wine-making. It is also gluten-free. See here for further information.
Add two teaspoons of ground dried rosemary with the other seasonings for a garlic thyme rosemary bread.
Two diced garlic cloves can be used in place of the garlic powder for chunks of garlic in the bread. This may change the flavoring of the bread somewhat as fresh garlic has a more potent and biting taste than the powdered version.
Try using cassava flour in place of the oat and/or gluten-free flour blend for a grain-free recipe. We haven't tried it yet (although we just might!) but we'd love to know if it works as well or better than the other flours in the ingredients.
Recipe: Hearty Homemade Garlic Thyme Bread
Skill Level: Intermediate
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf (serves approximately 7, with 2 slices per serving)
2 cups warm water (110 F)
3 Tbsp aquafaba
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
14oz (about 2 3/4 cups) King Arthur Flour Gluten Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
4oz (about 1 cup) gluten-free oat flour
3 Tbsp powdered psyllium husk
2 Tbsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast (the equivalent of one packet, which is 7g or 1/4 oz)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp garlic powder
3 tsp dried thyme
Grease 8x4 inch loaf pan.
Using a hand or stand mixer whisk aquafaba with cream of tartar for 12 minutes, in tall bowl to prevent splatter. Mixture should resemble the consistency of airy icing. If you don't own an electric mixer and you need to use your hand and a whisk be aware that it will take closer to 20 minutes to whip and it won't be as fluffy.
In a separate bowl combine flour blend, oat flour, sugar, yeast, psyllium husk, baking powder, garlic powder, thyme and salt.
With the electric mixer beating on low slowly add warm water and melted and cooled coconut oil to flour mixture. Add aquafaba last and incorporate fully, scraping down the sides of the bowl every so often to make sure all ingredients are completely combined.
Increase speed from low to medium and beat dough mixture until sticky and uniform, about 6 minutes. The dough will somewhat resemble cookie dough.
Use a spatula to scrape dough into greased loaf pan, then wet your hands and press down and smooth out dough to corners of pan.
Use a water bottle to spray water over the top of the loaf.
Wrap two layers of foil tightly around loaf pan so it appears to have a collar (this will prevent the bread from spilling over and help the dough to rise further, not unlike a souffle).
Cover loosely with plastic wrap, open ziplock bag or a towel and let bread rise for at least one hour, until it has risen about 1/2 an inch above the rim of the loaf pan.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350F.
Remove covering and spray loaf again with water.
Bake for 45 minutes, then rotate pan and bake for another 45 minutes.
Bread is done when the top is golden, the crust is firm and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with your knuckles.
Let bread cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. Can be served as-is or slices can be drizzled with olive or avocado oil, sprinkled with garlic powder and put back in the oven at 400F for about 10 minutes to toast.
Let us know how your Hearty Garlic Thyme Bread turned out in the comments below. What did you pair your bread with? Loved it or not so much? What would you change?