A couple of days’ before Easter, I did some filming for Waitrose TV. Along with the brilliant crew from Parkinson Productions, I made three short films showing how to make gluten-free and dairy-free bread, cake and pie.
It was a fantastic experience. I’ve never been on a film shoot before and, even though they told me that it was a fairly small production compared to some, it seemed seriously impressive to me. They were 13 crew in total – the Director, Producer, 3 Cameramen, 1 Soundman, 2 Home Economists, 1 Make-up Artist, 3 Assistants and myself. We had a beautiful venue in Hertfordshire and the entire day was fascinating.
I always thought that filming meant lots of takes. But they did just one run on each piece to camera, with extra filming of my hands doing things and an additional recording of me talking through the recipes. The attention to detail was incredible. At various stages the main Cameraman even covered himself in a black blanket to ensure that he didn’t cause any reflection on the work surfaces.
We chose a bread recipe because I wanted to show the techniques I use to make bread. I use more liquid than most people and whisk the mixture with a metal whisk. I don’t knead the bread or leave it to prove. And when the mixture’s in the tin, I run a wet spoon over the top to help make the top smooth. All of these methods are unusual – but they work really well for gluten-free bread. You get a lovely rise to the bread, with a great crunchy crust. And for this recipe, I toasted seeds to add flavour.
The recipe is up on the Waitrose website. Click now to watch my Gluten-Free Toasted Seed Bread recipe – and I hope you enjoy it!
I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with bread recently. And one of the loaves I’ve made is this Pumpkin Cornbread. This is a deliciously light, moist bread – with the sweet tastes of the pumpkin and maize flour. It doesn’t rise much – but it’s still light in texture. And one of the great things about this bread, apart from the delicious taste, is that it’s yeast-free. So if you’re intolerant to yeast, as well as gluten and dairy, you can still have bread. Yay! You can always make a batch and put in the freezer as this bread freezes well. Great toasted and untoasted, with sweet or savoury spreads.
gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free, nut-free, seed-free, citrus-free
Makes 1 loaf Preparation time 10 minutes Cooking time 1 hour 10 minutes
- 50g/2oz chilled dairy-free margarine, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
- 200g/7oz peeled and chopped pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 300ml/10½fl oz/scant 1¼ cups soya milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 150g/5oz/1 cup maize flour
- 150g/5oz/1 cup rice flour
- 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
- scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with dairy-free margarine. Put the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes until tender. Put into a blender or food processor, add a little of the soya milk and blend until smooth. Add the eggs and blend until thoroughly mixed.
- Sift the flours into a large mixing bowl and stir in the baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Using cold fingertips, rub the dairy-free margarine into the flour until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in the pumpkin mixture. Gradually draw the flour into the liquid using a wooden spoon, mixing well to form a smooth batter.
- Spoon the dough into the tin and smooth the surface with the back of a metal spoon.
- Bake for 40–45 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