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Quinoa Soda Bread (gluten-free)

Posted Oct 04 2011 11:07am

Hi everyone! Apologies for not posting sooner; we had house guests this weekend, so I've been playing catch-up with, well, just about everything the past few days. It's good to have some time to sit down and compose a post.

On Saturday, I made some over-the-top caramel buns (from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book). They were supposed to be pecan rolls, but my stash was depleted, hence a new variation was born: caramel-walnut sticky rolls. It was actually (finally!) a cool autumn morning, so one (or was it two?) of these rolls with a cup of coffee in the backyard was an idyllic way to welcome October.

But after eating my third roll on Sunday morning, I was ready for some healthier baking. I had had my fill of sweets (which is unusual, given my sweet-tooth), so on to savory. My choice? A quinoa flour version of Irish soda bread.

I am crazy about quinoa flour; it only took a bit of tweaking with the proportions of buttermilk and leavening to get this soda bread just right. The texture was wonderful--slightly moister than wheat flour soda bread, and the flavor had the distinctive earthiness of quinoa, which I thought worked beautifully with the caraway seeds and golden raisins. Nick wouldn't touch it when he saw the seeds, but it received unanimous thumbs up from Kevin and our visitors.

You can leave out both the raisins and seeds if you like, and you can also make your own non-dairy buttermilk (nondairy milk + vinegar; I have the proportions below) if you are interested in/need to make this bread vegan or generally dairy/casein free. Soda bread is such a great go-to bread, so play around with the add-ins or make the bread in different sizes (muffins, mini muffins, or one bigger loaf). Happy baking!

Quinoa Flour Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 350°F
Grease two mini metal loaf pans (6x3 inches)
Makes 2 small loaves

2 cups quinoa flour (e.g., Bob's Red Mill , Ancient Harvest , or Nuts Online)
1-3/4 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp  baking soda
1 cup plus 1 tbsp buttermilk or non-dairy buttermilk (seebelow)
1/2 cup goldenraisins

1.            In alarge bowl, whisk the quinoa flour, baking powder, caraway seeds, salt, and bakingsoda.
2.            Addthe buttermilk and raisins and mix until blended. Divide dough between preparedpans, spreading evenly.
3.            Bake25 to 35 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in middle comesout clean. Let cool in pans 5 minutes, then remove from pans and coolcompletely on racks.

Homemade Buttermilk or Non-Dairy Buttermilk

If you don't have buttermilk, it's easy to make a substitute. Mix 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice or white (or cider) vinegar into 1 cup (250 mL) milk. Let stand for at least 15 minutes before using, to allow the milk to curdle. Any extra can be stored in the refrigerator for the same amount of time as the milk from which it was made.

Non-dairy buttermilk may made in the same manner as the homemade buttermilk substitute above. Simple mix the lemon juice or vinegar with an equal amount of any variety of non-dairy milk (e.g., rice, soy, hemp, almond).
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