Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.
makes 1 square 9-inch bread
This rustic flat bread is great served with white bean dip or dunked in red sauce. It’s also wonderful dipped in olive oil. Be sure to serve it warm.
11/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
1 teaspoon agave nectar or granulated sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) packet rapid-rise yeast
31/2 cups Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
11/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
1. Combine the water, agave nectar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure the yeast is completely dissolved.
2. Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture in two batches and mix well for about 1 minute, or until the dough is coming together.
4. Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with baking spray or grease with vegetable shortening and dust with cornmeal, tapping out any extra.
5. Transfer the dough to the pan, using a rubber spatula. Use a frosting spatula to smooth down the surface and coax the dough into the corners of the pan. Cover with a folded dish towel or cloth napkin. Place the pan in a dishpan and pour hot water to come two-thirds up the sides (or just fill your kitchen sink basin). It may float, but don’t worry, that’s fine. Be sure to fold your cloth so it’s not dragging in the water. Let the bread rise for 1 hour. I generally replace the hot water with new hot water after the first 30 minutes. Check it periodically to make sure it’s still quite warm.
6. After the dough has risen for 1 hour, use your fingers to gently make dimples all over the top of the bread. Return the bread to its warm bath to continue rising while you preheat the oven.
7. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Once it’s heated, pour the olive oil over the top of the bread, brushing lightly with a pastry brush to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the top with the coarse sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until golden on top. Transfer to a cooling rack, turn out of the pan, and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing.