The recipe for these gluten free batards was originally part of the bonus e-book for my new cookbook, Intolerance Friendly Kitchen. Now that the book is out, though, I wanted to share it with everyone. It’s an incredibly easy and delicious recipe, if I do say so myself.
These gluten free batards are FODMAP friendly, gum free, nut free, and use only two flours. They’re not overrun by starch, but they do contain tapioca flour for that stretch and light, white fluffiness. They are also enriched with an egg and butter, but we’ll go into vegan options below.
- As always, make sure the white rice flour you use is finely milled and fresh. Musty, rancid rice flour has a distinct smell (unlike fresh, which smells mildly milky but otherwise not much at all). That smell and will shine through in your baked goods, as will grittiness from coarsely milled rice flour. Make sure you choose a fresh, finely milled variety – I buy mine at bulk food stores.
- Again, as always, psyllium husk is not an optional ingredient in this recipe. It is a binder that forms the backbone of the baguettes. It holds them together and creates shape, but also binds enough water into the dough to make it lovely and soft.
- See below for notes on how to veganise these batards.
- The sugar in this recipe is food for the yeast in the dough. You could also try using honey or maple syrup if you would prefer.
Recipe tips and tricks
First and foremost: yes, this recipe really does need an overnight (or 6+ hour) rest in the fridge. I tried to make it without and the result was lacklustre and flat. The resting time slowly ferments the dough to develop flavour, but it also gives it time to absorb liquid. A firmer dough = a batard with better shape.
Which brings me to the lack of a second rise in this recipe. I experimented with forming the batards and then leaving them to rise for another 30 minutes before baking, but found that the baguettes tended to spread during this time, leaving them a little flat. For a lovely perky baguette, it’s best to shape them and get them straight into the oven.
You will need a lame (bread scoring utensil) or a sharp knife and a baguette pan or two long pieces of baking paper for this recipe.
Putting the baguettes straight into the oven from the fridge will help them retain their shape. This is particularly important if you don’t have a bread pan, because they tend to spread outwards if they are left for a second proof on the bench. A second proof is more suited to a baguette pan, where they will still be given support in the oven.
I have a baguette pan and I really love it. They are definitely optional, but it does give the baguette a lovely shape and that classic pattern on the bottom of the baguette.
Making these gluten free batards or baguettes vegan
First and foremost, I haven’t yet tested these batards in vegan form. However, given the recipe I assume it is quite straightforward to do. Simply use a vegan butter substitute in place of the vegan butter. To replace the egg, add 5g extra psyllium husk and 50g extra water. Proceed with the recipe as written.
Make sure that you also brush your batards or baguettes with vegan butter. It tends not to brown as well as regular butter, so I recommend cranking the oven before putting the baguettes in. Alternatively, you can brush the baguettes with a plant based milk mixed with a little maple syrup or agave to aid with browning in the oven.
Yeasted batards or baguettes
For the baguettes:
- 200 g 1 1/4 cups white rice flour
- 90 g 3/4 cup tapioca flour
- 15 g psyllium husk powder
- 1 sachet 7.5g instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon 5g salt
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
- 1 extra-large egg
- 40 g butter melted
- 350 g water
- Extra white rice flour for flouring the baguettes
- Melted butter for finishing the baguettes
The night before:
- Combine the dry ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl then whisk or stir thoroughly to form a smooth, cohesive dough. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or ideally overnight.
The next day (or 6+ hours later):
- Preheat your oven to the highest possible setting. When it’s ready, boil the kettle and place a heatproof dish (I use a cake pan) of boiling water at the base of your oven.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and dump it out onto a clean, dry and floured work surface. Divide the dough into two, then use floured hands to roll each ball out into your preferred shape (batard or baguette). Keep in mind that the loaves will expand in size as it proofs, so you can roll it a little thinner than you’d like. Either way, make sure the loaves have smooth tops as this will impact their appearance once baked.
- Gently place your loaves in your baguette pan or on a long piecesof baking paper on a baking tray, lightly floured. For extra browning, brush the baguettes with melted butter, then sprinkle them with some rice flour. Score your batards with the lame or sharp knife - This creates a weak point to direct the expansion of the dough as it rises. Place them in the oven, standing back as you open it (it will be hot and steamy!)
- Bake the baguettes for 10-15 minutes at the highest setting, then turn the oven down to 200C and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (for a total of 30-35 minutes baking time) or until golden brown and crisp on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. If you cut into it too early, the bread might be gummy as it hasn’t fully set yet.