Tag Archives: dried active yeast

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Seedy Bread


Recently my publishers took some new photographs for the cover of the paperback version of Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free. One of the recipes we tried was a bread recipe. I took the White Bread recipe that’s in the book and, in order to make it more visually punchy, added seeds to the recipe. This also adds crunchiness and an extra level of taste.

Adding seeds to bread is a brilliant way of introducing them into your daily diet. And, in doing so, you’re getting additional essential fatty acids, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, vitamin E, calcium and magnesium – helping you to enhance your immune system, combat energy and boost your brain power, amongst other things.

This bread really is delicious. It will keep well for a few days, and you can also freeze it. (I often cut it into slices, freeze it, and toast it straight from the freezer.) It didn’t make it to the cover shot, but it was lovely to eat at lunchtime on the shoot, anyway!

gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soya-free, nut-free, citrus-free

Makes 1 loaf (about 16 slices)     Preparation time 15 minutes     Cooking time 60 minutes


  • 120g/4¼oz/⅔ cup potato flour (NB potato flour not potato starch)
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 1 tsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tbsp dried active yeast
  • 75g/2½oz mixed seeds – pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and linseeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6 and lightly grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin with a little oil.
  2. Sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into a large mixing bowl and, using a metal whisk, mix thoroughly. Add the olive oil and mix in gently. Pour in 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and mix thoroughly with the whisk for at least a minute, to aerate the dough. Whisk until the dough holds some shape, but is still soft enough to fall from the whisk, adding 1 or 2 extra tablespoons of warm water if it feels too stiff. Add the mixed seeds and mix in gently. Alternatively, sift the flours, salt, sugar, gluten-free baking powder, xanthan gum, psyllium husks and yeast into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 400ml/14fl oz/scant 1⅔ cups warm water and process for 3–4 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be sticky. Remove the bowl of the food processor from the machine and mix the seeds into the dough mixture gently with a metal whisk.
  3. Spoon the dough into the tin. Dip a metal tablespoon in cold water and smooth the surface of the dough with the back of the spoon. Sprinkle some seeds over the top to cover.
  4. Bake for 55–60 minutes until the bread is golden brown. Turn out of the tin and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. If not, return the bread to the tin and bake for another 5 minutes, then test again to see whether it is done. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Gluten-free and Dairy-free Thin Crust Florentine Pizza

Ok this is a messy-looking pizza – but it’s truly delicious! This pizza has a gorgeously crispy crust around the sides, with a soft centre from the spinach and eggs. You need to be careful when you’re cracking the eggs onto the base but don’t stress about it – this isn’t a tidy pizza in any sense. It’s messy to look at, and messy to eat. Just enjoy the distinctive yet balanced flavours – and the fact that you’re eating a gluten-free and dairy-free thin crust pizza!

Preparation time 25 minutes     Cooking time 15 minutes, plus 1 hour rising     Serves 2

  • 150g/5½oz baby spinach
  • 4 tbsp passata
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 60g/2¼oz dairy-free cheese, shaved

Pizza Dough:

  • 85g/3oz/scant ½ cup rice flour, plus extra for rolling the dough
  • 85g/3oz/heaped ½ cup gram flour
  • 30g/1oz/scant ¼ cup maize flour
  • scant ½ tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  1. To make the pizza dough, sift the flours, xanthan gum and salt into a food processor. Add the yeast and pulse several times to mix together. Add the oil and blend well. Add 110ml/3¾fl oz/scant ½ cup warm water, a little at a time, and continue blending to form a soft dough. Process for 10 minutes, to aerate the dough Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to stand at room temperature for 1 hour until risen.
  2. Put the spinach in a steamer and heat over a high heat for 2 minutes until just starting to wilt. Transfer to a sieve and press thoroughly with the back of a metal spoon, pushing all the liquid out of the spinach. Leave to one side.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Turn the dough out again onto a lightly floured surface and knead a little, then shape into a ball. Flatten the dough slightly, roll it out into a circle about 3mm thick and trim with a knife to neaten the edges. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  4. Put the passata and tomato purée in a bowl and mix well, then spread it over the dough, leaving a small space around the edge. Arrange the spinach over the top and bake for 8 minutes until the edges are starting to turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and press 3 dips into the spinach with the back of a metal spoon, making enough room for an egg in each dip. Crack an egg and gently pour into one of the dips, trying to ensure that no egg liquid spills out of the dip. Repeat with the remaining eggs and bake for a further 8 minutes until the egg whites are cooked through. Remove from the oven, scatter the soya cheese shavings over the top and bake for a further 2 minutes until the soya cheese has melted. Serve hot.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Spinach & Pine Nut Pastries

These really are delicious. Unfortunately I didn’t get much as Peter polished off a couple and then Zoe ate not only hers, but most of mine, too!

I’ve used a lot of water in the pastry mixture because this makes it much easier to process it in a food processor, but it also means that it is malleable enough to work with it when you’re folding the pastry. If it’s fairly dry (like traditional pastry made with gluten) it will crack. Plus it cooks better when you add more liquid – without catching or burning. You’ll find it very sticky, but bear with me!

Spinach is an amazing food to cook with. It’s delicious, packed with nutrients (it contains 13 different antioxidants, it’s rich in lutein which helps to guard against eye disease and is bursting with calcium, magnesium and vitamin K) and it has a great texture when cooked – perfect for these pastries.

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



  • 120g/4¼oz/¾ cup rice flour
  • 120g/4¼oz/1¼ cups gram flour
  • 60g/2¼oz/scant ½ cup buckwheat flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/⅓ cup maize flour
  • ½ tsp dried active yeast
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • ½ tsp crushed sea salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 500g/1lb 2 oz baby spinach, thoroughly washed
  • 3 tbsp sultanas
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts
  • 100g soya cheese, grated or crumbled
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. To make the pastry, sift the flours, yeast, xanthan gum and salt into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend to mix together. Add the olive oil and blend again, then add 300ml/10½fl oz/1¼ cups warm water and process for 10 minutes to aerate the dough. It will be very sticky!
  2. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, to make the filling, put the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium-low heat and dry-fry for a 2–3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts have turned golden brown. Remove and leave to one side.
  4. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the garlic. Fry for about 30 seconds then add the spinach leaves, working in batches if necessary. Cook the spinach for 2–3 minutes until wilted. Remove and put into a fine sieve. Using the back of a metal spoon, push any excess liquid through. (Don’t discard the liquid, though, as it’s full of vitamins – drink it, instead!)
  5. Mix together the pine nuts, spinach, garlic and the sultanas and allspice and season lightly.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and put a sheet of baking paper onto a baking sheet. Liberally dust a large chopping board with rice flour. Transfer the dough to the board and roll it round gently, so that it can absorb enough rice flour for you to be able to work with it, sprinkling more rice flour onto the board whenever you need it. You want it to be dry enough that it won’t stick to the board. Divide the dough into quarters and gently roll out a piece of pastry to a rectangular shape, about 5mm/¼in thick. Working quickly, put a quarter of the mixture in a wide line in the middle of the pastry and cover with a quarter of the soya cheese. Turn the ends of the pastry up and then fold the sides over, making sure that the last side folds over the first side slightly. Turn the pastry over carefully, using a metal spatula to pick it up from the chopping board if you need to. Place on the baking paper and repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Serve either hot or cold.

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Brioche with Caramelized Peaches

This recipe is from my new book, Simply Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free due out next week! When I had my baby, Zoe, I had to adapt my cooking. No more spending hours making something complicated and fiddly, or cooking whenever I felt like it. Instead, I had to find ways to make food easily (and often while holding Zoe with one arm) around whatever was going on at home. I discovered an amazing thing – that gluten-free dough doesn’t need to be kneaded. YAY! When you think about it, there’s no gluten needing to be bashed and pummelled to develop it. But what it does seem to need, though, is to be processed. I guess this aerates the dough, because when it is processed for a good 10 minutes in a food processor, it rises better, and whatever you’re making – pizza dough, bread or brioche, for example – comes out of the oven risen and light. I think I’m going to chalk this up as one of my greatest discoveries in life!

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

Serves 4     Preparation time 20 minutes, plus 4 hours rising     Cooking time 30 minutes

  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup potato flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/scant ½ cup gram flour
  • 50g/1¾oz/¹⁄₃ cup maize flour
  • 150g/5½oz/heaped ¾ cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt, crushed
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 tsp dried active yeast
  • 165g/5¾oz dairy-free margarine, chilled and cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup soya milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tbsp fruit sugar or caster sugar
  • 4 peaches, pitted and sliced into 8 pieces
  1. Sift the flours, salt, xanthan gum and yeast into the bowl of a food processor with the dough blade attached and blend until mixed together. Add 150g/5½oz of the dairy-free margarine and blend until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the soya milk, 3 of the eggs and 3 tablespoons of the sugar and process for 10 minutes to aerate the dough. Put the dough
    in a large bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with dairy-free margarine. Stir the brioche dough thoroughly and pour evenly into the muffin tin. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to prove for 3 hours until light, puffy and doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Beat the remaining egg and brush it over the brioches, using a pastry brush. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool for 2–3 minutes, then turn out of the tin and transfer to a wire rack before serving.
  4. While the brioche are cooling, put the remaining margarine and sugar in a saucepan and heat over a low heat until the dairy-free margarine has melted and the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn the heat down again to low and simmer for 4–5 minutes until the mixture has caramelized slightly and become syrupy. Add the peaches to the saucepan and shake the pan to cover the peaches in the syrup. Cook for 2–3 minutes until tender, continuing to shake the pan occasionally. Serve immediately with the brioche.