I am so enamoured with Bette Hagman’s book, The Gluten-Free Gourmet Bakes Bread: More than 200 Wheat-Free Recipes, that I haven’t made many bread recipes from her other cookbooks in quite a while. But, the other day I was flipping through “The Gluten Free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy” and came across this recipe for her gluten free Sesame Bean Bread. I first made this recipe when I was living in Colorado, a place famed for its high elevation. As I recall it practically burst out of the top of the machine and dough dripped down into the heating elements. Oops. This bread has some SERIOUS rising power. I was able to tweak the recipe for high elevation baking and tried again, with amazing success. I liked the bread with its faint sesame flavor and bean flour sponginess so much I actually re-named it “Happiness Bread” and wrote that next to the title. When I stumbled across it again recently the title made me think nostalgically of my life in Colorado, where I first began experimenting with a bread machine. I made the bread in my Zojurishi gluten free bread machine and was thrilled with how much it rose (without overflowing!). I started the bread pretty late at night, so I ended up leaving the bread to cool on a wire rack overnight. (I never leave my bread in the machine on the warm setting, as it deflates. I also never cut the bread before it cools, as that also has an adverse effect on the height of the bread.) Because I left it out overnight, it was a little drier than it would have otherwise been the first day I cut into it- but it was still just as delicious as I remember, and it made absolutely perfect heirloom tomato/avocado/hummus sandwiches. I also developed a special Vegan Gluten Free recipe using high quality olive oil, seasonings, balsamic vinegar, avocado, fresh heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil, both grown on my balcony. I garnished it with Hawaiian black salt and was in heaven. I later did a variation of the recipe on Kinnikinnick bagels- and both ways, it was absolutely delicious. I would give Bette Hagman’s recipe for Gluten Free Sesame Bean Bread an 8, but recommend not leaving it out all night for optimal shelf life. Why not try the recipe, and see if it is gluten free “Happiness” bread for you as well? (And if baking isn’t your thing, try my vegan bruschetta topping on some packaged gluten free bread like Whole Foods Sundried Tomato Gluten Free Bread- toast the bread really well for a contrast between the creamy, faintly sweet and salty topping and the crunchy bread.)
Basil Olive Oil Gluten Free Bruschetta Recipe
Spice Hunter or Trader Joe’s Pasta Spice mix (or any spice mix you like)
High Quality (local if possible) olive oil
3 fresh basil leaves, julienned
1 really yummy small organic summer tomato, sliced thinly
1/4 an avocado
Black Hawaiian Salt (or some other coarse ground salt you like, kosher etc.)
Freshly ground pepper
Sprouts (if you have them- for garnish)
1 thick slice of Gluten free Bread or 1/2 a Kinnikinnick tapioca rice flour bagel
Take small rice bowl and shake at least a teaspoon of Pasta spice mix into the bowl. Put your julienned basil leaves in the bowl. Add a generous glug of your high quality olive oil and mix, crushing the basil leaves a bit and making sure the spices have mixed evenly with the oil. Let sit.
Slice your tomatoes thinly, and slice your avocados into strips. OR dice your tomatoes and avocados (this works well on a square piece of bread.)
Toast your bagel or bread until crunchy and golden.
Return to your olive oil, basil mixture in the small bowl. Add a small amount of balsamic vinegar and whisk to emulsify. If you like a more tart flavor or want to use less olive oil, you can add more vinegar and use less olive oil. Add more spice mix to taste, and add a little of your gourmet salt and pepper.
Assemble your bruschetta by lightly basting the bread with the basil vinaigrette, using the julienned basil to spread the vinaigrette OR dribbling delicately with a spoon. (The basil method makes it easier to be sparing with the vinaigrette.) Be very generous with the basil. Next, carefully lay your tomato slices on top of the basil and vinaigrette. Top with your avocado slices. (If you used the diced method, sprinkle them interspersed with each other on the surface of your well toasted bread.) Sprinkle with more Black Hawaiian salt or whatever salt you have. Dribble a little vinaigrette on top of the avocado slices, adding any leftover basil to the top. Garnish with sprouts, if you like. (Optional)
Enjoy this summery, light vegan meal. (Note: Kinnikinnick bagels are dairy free but not egg free, so if you use them this recipe won’t be vegan. It would be CF though! Yay!)