This past week I got together with 3 enthusiastic bread bakers. I’d brought two buckets of dough to work with; the master recipe from ABin5 and the gluten-free brioche from HBin5. From those two buckets we baked everything from an epi and sticky buns to flatbreads like pita, pizza and naan. Charlie, Anne and Carole are very creative and not at all intimidated by bread baking, although they are fairly new at it. I was there to teach them about baking and yet I came away with all kinds of new ideas and inspiration. Out of a request for quick breakfast ideas to feed their kids (some of whom are on gluten-free diets) we experimented with making the gluten-free brioche into a naan. Rolled out in sugar and fried up in butter it was fantastic. The brioche cooked in this way had a crisp caramel coating with an almost pudding like interior. It was so good and easy that it got me thinking about making a more traditional version of naan with the gluten-free crusty boule dough I had left over. It was every bit as delicious as the naan made with our wheat doughs and still as quick.
I also experimented with freezing the gluten-free doughs. Several of you had wondered if this was a possibility since we only recommend refrigerating it for 5-7 days. At the bottom of this post you will see how that experiment turned out.
8-ounce piece of gluten-free crusty boule dough
1 tablespoon Ghee, clarified butter or European style butter (You can use regular butter, but you have to be careful of the butter burning. The ghee and clarified butter have a higher burning point and allow you to cook without worry of it burning.)
Brown Rice Flour for dusting the surface of the silpat and pizza peel
For the g-f dough you will need to roll the naan out on a Silicone Baking Mat that is sprinkled with brown rice flour. This method is also used for rolling out the pizza in the book.
I used a piece of dough that was about the size of my fist. This turned out to be the perfect size when fried in my 10 1/2 inch Skillet.
sprinkle the dough with a bit more rice flour and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap.
Gently pat the dough into a disk…
you may have to pat the sides to round them off.
Peel back the plastic and sprinkle with a bit more flour so that the plastic won’t stick as your roll it thinner.
Replace the plastic and roll the disk to scant 1/8-inch thick.
peel off the plastic.
Carefully transfer the dough to a Pizza Peel that is lightly coated with rice flour.
You may need to use a Dough Scraper to ease it off the silpat.
Preheat a cast iron skillet to medium heat. Melt 1 tablespoon butter and swirl it around.
Slide the dough into the hot pan.
Cover with a tightly fitting lid to trap the heat.
After about 2-3 minutes the side of the dough will be golden and the top with be bubbly, flip it over with a spatula. Cook for another 2 minutes on the other side.
I served the naan with dips I made from Suvir Saran’s Indian Home Cooking; eggplant dip with tamarind and mango chutney.
It was pure comfort food and no one knew that the naan was g-f but me.
The following is a 1-pound piece of gluten-free crustly boule dough that I froze for one week, defrosted overnight in the refrigerator and then set off to bake.
I unwrapped the defrosted dough and set it on a piece of parchment. Because it was wrapped and frozen in the right shape, I didn’t fuss with it at all before I loosely draped it with plastic and allowed it to rest on the counter for 90 minutes.
I slashed it with a serrated knife and baked it exactly how I had the original loaf.
The bread was fantastic. Great crust and amazing flavor.
The crumb was a tiny bit denser than the original loaf, but I was the only one in my family to notice this at all. I’m thrilled to report that the g-f dough freezes wonderfully.