Last Tuesday I started a stage at Bar Tartine, an incredible restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District. For those of you who don’t know what a stage is, it’s a culinary internship where you work for free in exchange for learning the techniques and cuisine of that kitchen. Lucky for me at Bar Tartine it also seems to include a fat feast at the end of shift which would normally include a bottomless basket of the deservedly famous and routinely sold-out Tartine Bakery country loaf. Alas, I conjured up every last bit of willpower I have, confessed my gluten intolerance and said “no” to that mind-blowingly crunchy, yet soft and chewy boule. If you’ve ever tasted this bread you know what a feat that is, especially as it wasn’t very long ago that I was dutifully placing my country loaf order the required 72-hours in advance and shopping for special butters to slather it with.
My recent diagnosis of gluten sensitivity didn’t come with a big ol’ switch that let me turn off my love for the crusty stuff, so I decided to start investigating and see how I might be able to get my toast fix. Turns out there are lots of options out there for a sans-gluten loaf, and while there are some amazing APF substitutes out there, I didn’t just want to whip out the Cup 4 Cup and make a standard white loaf. I was looking for substance, and the more I read, the more I started seeing nut and seed loaves popping up with psyllium husks used as the bonding element. One of my favorite bloggers, Sarah Britton of My New Roots has a fabulous recipe for this type of loaf as does San Francisco’s Josey Baker in an article called “Thanksgiving for the hard-to-please” (love it) in the current issue of San Francisco Magazine.
Needless to say, I was intrigued and decided to create a recipe based on my favorite granola with lots of cinnamon, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, coconut oil and of course, oats. The trick here is giving yourself lots of time as you need to let the psyllium husks and oats soak up the liquid and come together to form the dough. Then, after you bake it, you need to give the bread time to rest so that you don’t destroy it while you’re cutting it. I think it’s well worth the wait. It makes an incredible toast and is delicious slathered with (nut) butter.
Granola bread recipe
1 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup whole hazelnuts
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup psyllium seed husk
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups water
1⁄4 cup maple syrup
1⁄4 cup melted coconut oil
oil or cooking spray for loaf pan
Preheat oven to 300. Place pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts on rimmed baking sheet and bake until nuts and seeds are golden brown and aromatic, about 15 minutes, rotating and shaking up the nuts and seeds every 5 minutes or so.
In a large bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients. Once they are well incorporated add the wet ingredients and continue to mix until all ingredients are thoroughly coated. Add the mixture to a small oiled loaf pan and use your hands to press ingredients down into the pan and smooth out the top. Allow this mixture to thoroughly soak by leaving it at room temperature for at least two hours.
Preheat oven to 375. Place loaf pan in the middle row of the oven and bake for 1 hour, rotating once midway through cooking. Remove from heat and once cool enough to handle remove from pan to cool on a baking rack. Allow to cool to room temperature (will take a couple of hours) before slicing.