November 26, 2007

Beet Focaccia with Dill & Beet Greens - Gluten Free

A November Daring Baker's Challenge

We are on the road today, traveling back from Atlanta where my family converged on my brother's home for the week. The Thanksgiving holiday's were wonderful and we had lots of great family time building memories and created a new tradition for playing cut throat Monopoly.

Before we left for Georgia, I made my Daring Baker's November challenge. This month's challenge is from Tanna of My Kitchen In Half Cups and the recipe is for Tender Potato Bread from the book "Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour & Tradition Around the World" by Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid. We could make either a loaf of bread, rolls or focaccia.

I chose to make focaccia and due to my nightshade allergy, I substituted red beets for the potatoes and topped it with fresh dill and fine strips of young beet greens. My picture will be posted this evening when I return home, as I was having technical difficulties with the hotel's Internet service. (Update 9:20 pm: I updated the post with my pictures of my gluten free beet focaccia.)

Although I had to alter the recipe a bit to make it gluten and nightshade free, I chose to boil the beets since that was the way the potatoes were cooked in the recipe. However, it does take a very long time for beets to boil until tender. Alternative ways to cook the beets would be to roast them in the oven at 450 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or cook them in a pressure cooker. I added one tablespoon of cane sugar to improve the flavor of the gluten free bread dough.

Recipe

1 1/4 cup water
1 tsp salt, divided
4 oz chopped beet root (approximately 1 medium beet)
1 pkg gluten free dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups + 2 Tb brown rice flour
3/4 cup arrowroot starch
3/4 cup sweet rice flour
3/4 tsp butter or coconut oil/butter
2 tsp ground chia seed
1 Tb cane sugar
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup finely sliced young beet greens
olive oil for topping focaccia

1. Place the chopped beet in the water and 1/2 tsp salt into a sauce pan. Boil until the beets are tender. You will need to add more water periodically to keep the beets covered.

2. Drain the water off the chopped beet and save the water. Place the beets in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.

3. Place the yeast into a medium bowl with 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1 cup of warm water (110 -115 degrees Fahrenheit). Allow to sit for 30 minutes to proof.

4. Dump the rest of the salt, flours, butter, chia seed and cane sugar to the food processor. Then pour in the proofed yeast mixture and process until blended.

5. Pour the dough into a large bowl greased with olive oil and allow to rise in a warm location for about 1 hour.

6. Lay out several rectangles of parchment paper that are approximately 9 x 12 inches. Divide the focaccia dough onto the parchment paper. Pat out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick and is a round or oval shape. Then cover the top with olive oil, chopped dill and finely sliced young beet greens. Allow the dough to rest.

7. Place your baking stone or baking tiles in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Press your finger into the dough making dimples prior to sliding the parchment paper onto the baking stone in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bread to cool prior to serving.

What did my family think about the beet focaccia? I was delighted that they all enjoyed the bread. The beet bread had a lovely flavor and the dill and beet greens added a spicy peppery touch to the bread. This recipe will be a keeper for us, although I will roast the beets in the oven the next time.

38 comments:

glamah16 said...

Im so curious to see how it looks. Sounds interesting. Were they red beets or golden?

Tamara said...

As someone who is newly gluten-free, I find it inspiring that you are able to participate in the daring bakers. Sounds like good focaccia too!

Judy said...

I'm looking forward to seeing your bread. Did you use red beets or golden ones?

breadchick said...

Wow great adaption for the gluten free bread. Great job on this month's challenge.

glamah16 said...

AHHH. Now I see it. Great job. The texture looks the same . So the beets worked well.

I(dot)J said...

truly a beautiful creation. Great job.

Peabody said...

Alway so amazed at the bread adaptions! Fantastic job.

Baking Soda said...

I amdire you for taking on the recipes in a gluten free environment and altering them to suit your needs. I know how hard that can be; tip my hat!!
Lovely way of substituting!

Esther said...

Oh beets.. I assume you mean what we call beetroot ie the standard one is a dark red/purple and stains your hands? Sounds wonderful. may just have to try that it's one of my favorate vegs.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions on my Daring baker entry, I've been wary of rice flour since some bad experiences with it tasting gritty early on when I first went gluten free but will try again I think as it would be nice to have a mix both me and mum can eat

70% cocoa said...

just wrote a whole long comment and then blogger barfed! AAArrg!

What are chia seeds? I'm intrigued...

FoodieFroggy said...

Wow, a gluten-free bread, i did not even know it was possible ! Congrats for this challenge !

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful focaccia! Well done!

Cheers,

Rosa

Butta Buns said...

The greens and dill make it so wonderful! I've recently develop acertain food intolerance and it's inspiring to know that there are plenty of alternatives out there. Blogs like yours are a boon!

BB
buttabuns.wordpress.com

Annemarie said...

As ever, I'm incredibly impressed with what you manage to do and how you think laterally given the obstacles! Fabulous job. (p.s.: pictures of the kitchen will, indeed, make the blog, though perhaps I'll wait until it resembles more of a kitchen in order to show it off)

Bruno said...

Delicious looking bread Sheltie Girl!

kellypea said...

How cool is that that you can sub beets for potatoes! I had no idea. I guess when you have an allergy like that, you learn a variety of interesting ways to eat differently. Thanks for the idea! I especially love the idea of the green shoots. Excellent!

the veggie paparazzo said...

And no eggs! I can actually eat this. Yay! It's going on my baking list for next month.

BitterSweet said...

I must admit, I'm still somewhat mystified by the whole concept of gluten-free bread... But really this is quite an accomplishment, and it looks so delicious, too! I will definitely be keeping tabs on your blog, because I could certainly use some tips on how to cater to those who can't eat gluten.

Veron said...

I've never used beet before...it looks great!

Simona said...

It is so interesting to read about how you adjust the original recipe to address your needs. I would have never thought about beet root. Your focaccia looks great.

VeggieGirl said...

so happy to hear that you had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration; and kudos to you on completing this month's DB challenge!! It's great/interesting to see a gluten-free version of the potato bread!!

the pastry princess said...

wow your adaptation of the focaccia is such inspiration! not to mention absolutely gorgeous. beet root...such a clever idea.

Jen Yu said...

I am so glad there are gluten-free members of Daring Bakers. You guys take it a step further and really come out with tremendous results. I will always have the utmost respect for your baking skills and knowledge. Wow! Your focaccia is beautiful.

-jen at use real butter

Deborah said...

Wow - I'm so impressed that you did this challenge with the substitutions you had to make. You are a true daring baker!!

Gabi said...

Natalie,
As always I am totally impressed with your adaptation of the DB challenge! Way to go you clever woman!
xoxo
Gabi

Christina said...

It looks great, and I love the variation with beets. Your focaccia looks wonderful!

Curious, why did you choose sweet rice flour over regular rice flour? I have a whole bunch of regular rice flour and I once ate a cake made with sweet rice flour, but it was kind of gritty.

Christina ~ She Runs, She Eats

creampuff said...

Wow ... I can't believe you made the bread with beets ... that's amazing!

Claire said...

This bread was made with BEETS!?!?!?! Wow! Looks good. I'm impressed with the innovative ideas you succeed with because of the changes you have to make.

Tartelette said...

I bow to you...seriously you had two allergies to overcome this month and you did a absolutely fantastic job! I am bookmarking your adaptation for clients I have. Thanks!

LizG said...

Wow! Roasted beets would impart a really nice flavour, I would guess...What a great idea!

Julie said...

This is so wonderful! I'm blown away by your beet substitution--it sounds like a wonderful idea! I'm going to send this recipe to my friend who can't have wheat or gluten. I think she'll love it! Wonderful job on the challenge--the focaccia looks delicious!

iCook2live said...

What an imaginative way of completing the challenge. Well done! I'm really looking forward to the month when you challenge us with a glutten free delight.

sher said...

Marvelous job--and I admire the way you did this. The bread looks delicious!

Aoife said...

I'm so impressed that you managed to make this recipe despite your allergies. It actually sounds more interesting this way!

Dolores said...

What a creative approach you've taken with this one. Thank you for sharing... I learn a LOT from the vegan and the gluten free among us.

Sheltie Girl said...

Thank you for all the kind words about the beet focaccia.

I did use red beets. By the time they were incorporated into the bread, the dough was a lovely pink color.

As far as gluten free rice flours go there are different grinds available. I use an extra fine grind of brown rice flour that is available from Bob's Red Mill or Authentic Grains. I haven't run into a large grind of sweet rice flour yet. The two brands that I use are both extra fine grinds, they are Mochiko & Bob's Red Mill. By choosing the extra fine grinds of rice flour you can eliminate the grittiness from caused by larger grinds.

Esther: I don't have a source for these flours in the UK. I would recommend asking the different flour companies about their grinds. That might help you locate one that does an extra fine grind. Also, check with your local Asian market for sweet rice flour.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Chia seeds are the seeds of salvia hispanica. I buy mine from Native Seeds (www.nativeseeds.org). They are high in Omega 3's and were used by the Aztec's for energy food by their army or messengers.

Chia seeds have a natural gelling ability when added to water. They will form a nice firm gel, not unlike hair gel. It can be used as a binder for gluten free food in place of xanthan gum, pectin, gelatin, or guar gum. You can also grind the chia seeds into a meal and use it in baking. It will also have gelling abilities in it's ground form too.

In Canada, you can buy ground chia seed under the brand or name Salba flour. In Mexico or South America this ground meal would be called pinole. I simply call it ground chia meal. I grind the seeds in the coffee grinder that I use just for spices.

Sheltie Girl

Andrea said...

Wow, lovely job on the bread. I had no idea that beets could be substituted for potatoes. My sister has celiac disease, and I'm sending her a link to your blog.