Gluten-Free Olive-Rosemary Bread
Why This Recipe Works
We used our Hearty Country Flax Bread as a starting point for this recipe. While we liked the earthy flavor of ground flax in the country bread, it clashed with the olives and rosemary. We had better results when we replaced the ground flax with milder-tasting oat flour. While the flavors were right, the crumb was very dense and the crust was overly thick. Adding another egg and a few tablespoons of olive oil made the crumb softer, while brushing the loaf with an additional tablespoon of oil just before baking helped to soften the crust. Finally, two teaspoons of lemon juice softened the crumb even further, providing a great contrast to the hearty (but no longer tough) crust. The hydration level in this dough is pretty high, and we found that it needed a longer, slower baking process than the basic country bread. We had the best results baking the loaf in a relatively cool 325-degree oven for 2 hours (yes, this is correct). As with the country bread, this loaf will spread out rather than rise up unless it is proofed and baked in an ovenproof skillet. However, due to the long baking time, we found that placing the skillet on a heated baking stone caused the crust to become too dark and hard. When the dough has risen, simply brush it with oil and place the skillet with the risen dough right into the oven.