I’ve raised three creative children who are, each in their own right, gifted in the kitchen. While the oldest two girls are fully launched with kitchens of their own, I still share mine with my youngest, Sebastian. To say he is an obsessive maker is hardly an exaggeration. And though much of his work is done with a forge or torch, my kitchen often serves as a laboratory for his latest experiments. It’s not a bad thing (most of the time) as we often benefit from his successes.
Late last fall Sebastian began trying his hand at a variety of ethnic flat breads, testing out different gluten free flour combinations. The results were definitely tasty, but I personally had a problem with the additions of rice flours, tapioca starch, or arrowroot. I desired a clean and basic recipe as close to whole grain as possible so I joined in with his efforts. Thus began an all out quest for recipes which used whole gluten-free ingredients without fillers.
Wanting to encourage his work and knowing his love for tools, I gifted him with an electric flat bread baker. I settled on this model by Gourmio as the reviews were good and the price was moderate. I am not by any means an appliance collector and manage our small bungalow kitchen with the “use or donate” rule. However, this item caught my eye. The thought of a small oven that would keep Sebastian entertained and would not heat our house during the peak of our Texas summers was quite appealing.
It wasn’t long before we hit success so today I’ll share the first round of three recipes that passed our test with flying colors. The fact that they are very basic makes them the perfect platform for endless variations! You will find below breads using whole sprouted quinoa, soaked millet, and chana besan. Let your imagination run wild as you discover herbs and spices to compliment the meal your bread will accompany.
Sprouted Quinoa Flatbread
1.5 cup quinoa (covered by 1″ of water and soaked overnight or longer until sprouts form)
½ cup water
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbls olive oil
1 tsp Herbs de Provence (optional)
Drain and rinse quinoa, place in container or high powered blender with the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Pour directly onto heated surface of a Gourmio bread baker or into a heated and lightly oiled oven proof skillet or round cake pan.
Bake approx 4-6 mins on each side in bread baker and 10-15 mins on each side in oven.
Realizing the quinoa recipe could be easily translated to a variety of gluten free grains, I put millet to the test. This produced a much denser bread than the quinoa with a mild pleasant taste. Simply follow the recipe above, replacing quinoa with millet.
Excellent with a teaspoon of Za’atar.
Socca, a traditional bread from Nice, France is another flat bread made with simple ingredients having multiple variations. It is equal parts chickpea flour and water, mixed with a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pinch of salt. I prefer the chickpea flour from Vedica organics.They use the smaller Indian chickpeas that produce a flour lighter in weight than what you might find from Bob’s Red Mill. Take a look around their website while you are there for a wonderful selection of Indian products.
1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) chickpea flour
1 cup (8 ounces) water
1 1/2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1/2 tsp salt