Wednesday, 27 May 2020

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread

Great title for a loaf of bread! This is one of my favourite gluten-free breads that we make at home. I came across it quite a while ago - also discovered it is an option at the very very wonderful Star Anise cafe in Stroud. Apparently this life-changing loaf was made famous by Sarah Britton of My New Roots (i) back in 2013 - although clearly the idea of bread made entirely or almost entirely of nuts and seeds is not ‘new’ by any means. There are also now nut free versions. 

The recipe below, I am sure is one of the adaptations from Sarah Briton’s original. What is so good is that you can adapt according to what you have and/or your taste. Ours is always gluten-free, vegan and completely sweetness free; I don't think you need that maple syrup but guess the lack of sugar in my diet has meant I am more aware of sweet and often find things too sweet. Although still have cravings but that is for another blog! I recently had a great version of this which had a tablespoon of carraway seeds and about 90g of chopped and pitted kalamata olives. Yum!

135g sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds
90g flax seeds (ii)
65g hazelnuts or almonds (chopped)
145g rolled oats (iii)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
4 Tbsp. psyllium seed husks (3 Tbsp. if using psyllium husk powder); this is the stuff that holds it all together so can’t be missed out. It is hugely absorbent containing both soluble and insoluble fiber and soaking up ten times its weight in water. It can both sooth  the digestive tract as well as helping remove toxins and can be used to reduce cholesterol levels, aid digestion, and alleviate both diarrhea and constipation.
1 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 Tbsp. maple syrup (or alternatives like honey, pinch of stevia or your fancy)
3 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or ghee
350ml water
1. In a flexible, silicon loaf pan combine all dry ingredients, stirring well. We use a bowl then an ordinary bread tin lined with parchment paper. This makes it so easy compared to all that ‘mess’ with flour - no kneading and no yeast or starter dough! Whisk maple syrup, oil and water together in a measuring cup. Add this to the dry ingredients and mix very well until everything is completely soaked and dough becomes very thick (if the dough is too thick to stir, add one or two teaspoons of water until the dough is manageable). Smooth out the top with the back of a spoon. Let sit out on the counter for at least 2 hours, or all day or overnight. To ensure the dough is ready, it should retain its shape even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it it.
2. Preheat oven to 175°C.
3. Place loaf pan in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove bread from loaf pan, place it upside down directly on the rack and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool completely before slicing (difficult, but important).
4. Store bread in a tightly sealed container for up to five days. Freezes well too – slice before freezing for quick and easy toast!

I have a friend who claims it is the best bread in the World - well it certainly is very tasty indeed. Coming soon I will share another great loaf; one made with buckwheat.


  1. Philip thank you so much for this recipe! I love the bread at Star Anise and have wanted to be able to make something like it for a while. I've had one go (with a round cake tin - limited by lockdown!) and it turned out pretty well, perhaps not quite as baked through as I'd like. I've now retrieved some of my loaf tins from storage and will have another go soon. Thanks again, Bonnie

    1. Yes I also love this bread - and quite an easy recipe!


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