Monthly Archives: February 2012

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Rustic Italian Bread

Making gluten-free bread is much easier than you might imagine. Generally I use a lot more liquid than in normal bread, so that the bread doesn’t burn or go too brown on top. And I find that potato flour works brilliantly in bread. This is based on a classic Italian rustic bread which is often filled with pieces of pancetta and cheese. But I’ve gone for a simpler version, using just some rosemary and oil.

Preparation time 15 minutes, plus 1½ hours rising time     Cooking time 45–50 minutes     Makes 1 loaf

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, soya-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free

  • 1 tbsp easy-blend dried yeast
  • 200g/7oz/heaped 1 cup rice flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g/7oz/1¾ cups gram flour
  • 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup maize flour
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup potato flour
  • 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yeast and 350ml/12fl oz/scant 1½ cups warm water and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
  2. Sift the flours, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the eggs and 4 tablespoons of the oil and blend again, then add the yeast mixture and process for 5 minutes to aerate the dough. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  4. Liberally dust a clean surface with rice flour and transfer the dough onto the surface. Cover your hands with flour and gently roll the dough on the floured surface until you have shaped it into an oblong sausage shape. Gently pat the dough with the palms of your hands to flatten it into a thick rectangular piece, dusting the surface with more rice flour whenever needed. Sprinkle the rosemary over the top and drizzle the remaining oil over. Taking one side of it in your hands, carefully roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Transfer to a piece of baking parchment and place on a baking sheet. Cover with cling film, leaving room for the dough to rise and leave for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Remove the cling film and bake for 45–50 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before serving.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Potato Dauphinoise


There are excellent dairy-free products available now, especially soya products. And I really like using soya cream when I’m cooking. This morning, Zoe and I used it to make a thick batter for Sweetcorn Pancakes (you can find the recipe in my recent book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free) and it’s also great in this recipe, a Potato Dauphinoise. The key to cooking with soya products is to know what ratio of soya to other ingredients (and mixing it with stock is a great way to get a good balance of flavours) – as it makes all the difference to the end taste. This goes beautifully with roasts such as lamb and beef, for a Sunday lunch, as well as slow-cooked casseroles.

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting time     Serves 4

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 1 kg/2lb 4oz potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 50g/1¾oz dairy-free margarine, cut into small pieces
  • 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup soya cream
  • 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup gluten-free and dairy-free stock
  • 5 rosemary sprigs, plus 2 more sprigs, finely chopped (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas 4 and grease a large baking dish. Cover the base of the dish with a layer of potato slices placed vertically and repeat with a layer of slices placed horizontally. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and repeat until all the potato has been used.
  2. Pour the soya cream and stock into a jug, add the extra chopped rosemary if using, and whisk to mix together. Sprinkle the margarine over the top of the potatoes and pour the cream mixture over the top. Bake for 40–45 minutes until starting to turn golden brown and the potatoes are tender. Serve hot.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Carrot Cake

Here we are in the midst of root veg season. Parsnips, swede, celeriac and, of course, the humble carrot – all impart deliciously sweet, earthy tastes to stews, casseroles, soups, gratins, and roasted veggie dishes. But you don’t have to always think of these veggies as only for savoury dishes. Forget dark winter nights in front of the fire with a roasted vegetable lasagne, and think of tea-times with crisp, clear skies and winter sunshine – perfect for pretty, colourful comfort food. Enter carrot cake…

Here’s an awesome gluten-free carrot cake with a dairy-free frosting – and the addition of pine nuts to add texture and taste.

Preparation time 10 minutes     Cooking time 40–45 minutes     Makes 1 cake (serves 10–12)

gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, seed-free, citrus-free


  • 150g/5½oz dairy-free margarine, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 125g/4½oz/¾ cup fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tbsp clear honey
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup rice flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 350g/12oz carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g/3½oz/⅔ cup pine nuts


  • 25g/1oz dairy-free margarine
  • 75g/2½oz dairy-free soya cream cheese
  • 85g/3oz/½ cup fruit sugar
  1. Heat a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pine nuts and dry-fry until just starting to turn golden, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and leave to one side.
  2. To make the frosting, put the dairy-free margarine and soya cream cheese in a mixing bowl and beat, using a whisk or hand-held electric mixer, until smooth. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and beat until light and fluffy. Put half of the pine nuts into the bowl of a mini-food processor and whizz until finely chopped. Add to the frosting and mix in. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and lightly grease a deep 20cm/8in cake tin with dairy-free margarine and line the base with baking parchment. Using an electric mixer, beat the dairy-free margarine and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until well mixed, then beat in the honey.
  4. Sift the flours, gluten-free baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, xanthan gum and cinnamon into the mixture and fold in, then fold in the carrot and the remaining pine nuts. Make sure the mixture is well mixed, but take care not to overmix it. Pour it into the tin.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, then cover with baking parchment to prevent the cake from overbrowning. Bake for another 20–25 minutes until firm to the touch and cooked through and a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove from the tin, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely. Once cooled, spread the frosting over the cake and serve.