Rustic Buckwheat and Chestnut Flour Bread

21 January 2016 Update: I’m really too scrupulous for my own good. Hey, that’s me *Shrugs*. I just wanted to say that the bread will be slightly drier when frozen and defrosted. Nothing major and it usually happens with any bread. Just a wanted to point it out as it’s always important to get the whole picture before taking a chance and baking a new recipe. Still fine to eat, but I’m glad I only made a small loaf rather than a huge one. It’s funny, but I never realised how well my Buckwheat and Quinoa breads froze until now. Fun times, okay that’s that. Like the hungry Tiger, my conscience is clear. Minor point but it had to be said, er, typed.

 photo IMGP4059_e_zpsqqllhxy2.jpgNot much rise, though no break up cracks either.

Halved and changed slightly from: Northern Italian Chestnut Buckwheat Bread. I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like to find a recipe and not have to change it. I halved it because buckwheat flour is scarce and I’m cautious. That’s in no  way a slam against the original, it’s just the way I operate. I told you that I’d tame the beast that is chestnut flour. Man, it’s a royal pain in the backside. There seems to be no real benefit to it, maybe your taste gets you a little praise chestnut, but still, you’re more a of a novelty flour for me. I took a chance and almost got burned, thankfully I know enough to make something of it and in finding a recipe, nearly a twin of my own funnily, I’ve found a bread that can actually make  a case for using chestnut flour, if only slightly. Hey, it’s a good recipe, but chestnut flour is still not a great choice compared to other alternative flours. Fool me once and all that.

 photo IMGP4056_e_zpsjd7n6qni.jpgI nearly threw it out when it wouldn’t come together. I didn’t want to lose too much buckwheat trying to save it.

 photo IMGP4057_e_zpsrkbtumwy.jpgThankfully it only took a little extra.

As you can tell it isn’t a large loaf, it barely filled a third of the tin, but as I say I halved it. I don’t own any other sized tin than the tiny one and that was too small. Still, I’m used to flat breads, this didn’t suffer much for being slightly flat, but double it if you’d rather a larger loaf or use a smaller tin, maybe even bake it shaped instead. I’ve actually rarely made kneaded bread, so I was a little nervous, thankfully no gluten means nothing to develop or overdevelop. Other than the need for extra flour it came together by the book. I thought it might spread when baked so I used a tin, but now I think it might have been okay. There’s nothing complicated here if you take your time and read through the whole recipe, par the course really. It baked fast, but no faster than these breads usually do. Now, my dairy-free friends, I’d say you’d get away with ditching the milk for water. I could be wrong, but I’d say I’m fairly confident. Question for any dairy free bakers, what do you use a to grease your tins? Textually it’s hearty but not heavy. It’s dense, but not heavy or dry. The kind of bread where a thick slice will go a long way.

 photo IMGP4061_e_zpsrdo6pxos.jpgThere’s a slight crust nothing much sadly. The crust we all love ever eludes us free-from-ers, huh?

So taste, now this is where it gets interesting. Though there was more buckwheat used, all I could taste was the chestnut, which if you aren’t familiar, said the guy who just started using the stuff a few weeks ago, is sweet and nutty, but the catch is that it doesn’t go well with sweet things. Now you could use it that way, but I’d say aged meats and strong cheeses would be better suited to this bread. It’s no sandwich bread, more of a fancy bread that you’d take hunks out of and served covered in thinly sliced histamine-rich ham. Probably a wine bread too, but I’m also straight edge, hey it sounds better than teetotaller, so no booze for me. Yeah, no aged meats for me nor aged cheese either, yay histamine intolerance. Nothing stopping you slapping butter on it and calling it a day either mind. It’s just I feel like this flour would be better suited to someone else. It feels like a one trick upper-crust flour and I’m more a jack-of-all-trades kinda person. More dinner parties and candlelight suppers (Heh) than sticking it in your gob when rushing out the door. So finally chestnut finds a place where it can shine through and it ain’t bad. I won’t be buying it again, but I’ve still got two bags to work through so, well, more recipes eventually. Someone will use them, right?

Blah! One thing I forgot to say, I blame this headache, the bread cut really well when cool, not much crumbling at all. It really shouldn’t be cut hot though that’ll just make a mess of it, let it cool for a few hours.

Ingredients

150g Buckwheat Flour
100g Chestnut Flour
120ml Low Fat Milk
60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Large Egg
1/2 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Salt

Makes one small loaf.
Can be frozen.

Method

1. Preheat oven to 160c (No Fan).

2. Brush with melted Butter and dust with Rice Flour a 6×3 inch loaf tin if baking in a tin.

3. In a large bowl add the Flours, Salt and Baking Powder, shake together and form a well in the middle. In a jug whisk together the Egg and Milk until combined then, while whisking, slowly add in the Olive Oil and whisk for about a minute. Add this to the centre of the Flour Mixture and fold everything together with a wooden spoon. If the dough is sticky and clinging to the sides add a little more Buckwheat Flour until it can be handled without sticking to hands. Dust a work surface with flour and roll the dough in it. Knead the dough until smooth and even. Dough should just be slightly tacky. Either press into the prepared tin or form into desired shape and place on a lined tray. Slash the top of the loaf with a knife.

4. Bake for 35-45 minutes, turning halfway if needed, until lightly golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Remove from tin, dust off the excess flour and let cool completely on a wire rack.

 photo IMGP4060_e_zpsosdefkza.jpgMan, I have too many recipes….just kidding.

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