How to make gluten-free pittas
If you get as excited as we do about The Great British Bake Off then you were probably curious about what the contestants were going to make for episode five, and a first in the Bake Off tent, the alternative ingredients episode. No gluten? No dairy? No sugar? Could they possibly make something as delicious as it was impressive without access to all the vital ingredients they’ve been using since week one?
Last week, delicious. intern Phoebe set about the architectural feat of building a Spanish windetorte. This week I had a slightly easier, and a lot less long-winded, task of trying my hand at this week’s technical challenge – gluten-free pitta breads.
Reading through the ingredients list, I was slightly concerned. My first thought being… what on earth is psyllium and how do you use it in baking? After research, I found out it’s a plant husk and, when mixed with water, it’s able to form gluten-like fibres which help keep the mixture together. Most health food shops supply it in powder or husk form, so it’s pretty easy to source, but before the programme aired, I wondered how many of the bakers would know what to do with it.
Here’s how to make gluten-free pittas:
1. Start by mixing 30g psyllium with 300ml water, stir and set aside to thicken.
2. Mix 750g strong gluten-free flour with 3 tablespoons of nigella seeds (black onion seeds) in a large mixing bowl.
4. Add 3 eggs, 1tbsp white wine vinegar, 90ml olive oil and the thickened psyllium (it should look like a Weetabix that’s sat in milk too long) to the middle of the bowl and mix with your hands.
7. Right, here we go, the moment of truth… Yes! My dough rose nicely. Now, turn out your dough and divide in to 12 equal pieces – I found it easiest to divide it like a pizza.
Have a look at our pitta collection for some inspiration.
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