For the August challenge Susan from The Kiwi Cook dared us to make a Seed & Nut Loaf, a super-healthy and gluten-free alternative to standard wheat-based bread. The theme of both challenges this month is ‘whole and healthy’! It is a gorgeously dense and nutty whole-wheat bread with lots of taste and texture along with masses of protein and fibre but without gluten. It may be slathered with all sorts of delicious toppings, from avocado and tomato, to salmon and cream cheese, to home-made nut butter and mashed banana.

The psyllium husk is the ingredient that binds the loaf together in the absence of flour. If you use ground flax seeds instead of whole, you will need to add more water to the mixture. Oats are inherently gluten-free, however they can be cross-contaminated with wheat. If you are gluten-sensitive, ensure your oats are certified ‘gluten-free’. Buckwheat or spelt flakes make a good alternative. While you can use any nut, it is best to chop them finely; if the nuts are too big, it is harder for the loaf to hold together and you might end up with a crumbly loaf.

GLUTEN-FREE SEED & NUT LOAF

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 ml) (140 gm) ( 5 oz) sunflower seeds

½ cup (125 ml) (90 gm) (3 oz) flax seeds (linseeds)

½ cup (125 ml) (50 gm) (1¾ oz) sliced almonds

1½ cups (375 ml) (135 gm) (4¾ oz) gluten-free rolled oats

2 tablespoons (30 ml) (20 gm) (¾ oz) chia seeds

4 tablespoons (60 ml) (25 gm) (1 oz) psyllium seed husks

1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) fine grain sea salt

1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure maple syrup or liquid honey

3 tablespoons (45 ml) coconut oil or ghee, melted

1½ cups (375 ml) water

Method:

  • In a standard sized silicone, non-stick, or greased and lined loaf pan, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a separate bowl. Add the mixture to the dry ingredients.

  • Combine until it is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick. Transfer mixture to the loaf pan.
  • Smooth top and cover pan with plastic wrap. Sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • The mixture should feel very firm to the touch. Preheat oven to moderate 180°C/350°F or gas mark 4.
  • Bake bread initially for 20 minutes. Take the loaf out of the oven, place a wire rack over top and invert.

  • Remove bread from pan and remove the lining paper if using. Put inverted loaf on its rack in the oven.
  • Bake the bread again for another 30 to 40 minutes. The loaf should be starting to brown on the outside.

  • This gives a nutty crunch to the finished loaf. It should sound hollow when tapped. Cool it completely.
  • Slice with a fine serrated knife and store in an airtight container (or in plastic wrap) for up to 4-5 days.

Daring Bakers August 2015 Challenge