Gluten Free Wild Garlic (Bärlauch) Bread
This wild garlic bread is the softest and fluffiest homemade bread you will ever eat, and yes I am comparing it to normal gluten filled breads. I promise this bread is that good you can't even tell that it is 100% gluten free. Perfect for a side at a bbq, to dip into a warm bowl of soup and even sturdy enough to hold sandwich for lunch. If you don't have access to wild garlic, no problem. Sub in any fresh herb like rosemary or oregano... but then definitely add in some freshly chopped garlic.
What is wild garlic? Well here in Germany it is called Bärlauch and it is a seasonal wild herb that only grows in the early months of spring. While Bärlauch is not known to grow in the US, it has a cousin, ramps. Ramps are very similar to Bärlauch so wherever you are, you can make this delicious bread.
This is one very important seasonal herb that should not be overlooked. Bärlauch is a wild green herb that has a light green stem and one long and narrow leaf. It is packed with flavor, inexpensive to buy when in season, and turns every dish into a star... including this bread recipe!
Bärlauch grows for about 1-2 months here in Germany and is absolutely delicious! It has this amazing earthy combo of intense garlic and onion without the hassle of peeling actual garlic. Traditionally, here in Germany, Bärlauch is used to make pesto or added to soups, but I wanted to experiment and see what it would be like if I added it directly to bread. I LOVE garlic bread, so adding in this wild garlic seemed like a no brainer.
The best part? You can use the entire herb when baking and cooking. Yes, you can use the stem! Just wash the herbs, dry them off, and chop away. You can mince or roughly chop, however you like.
Let's first look at what we need to make this incredible bread. Below are all the ingredients that I bought from local store on in Germany.
Here is a quick translation for some of the products:
Kartoffelmehl- potato starch
Feinster Back Zucker- fine grain sugar for baking
Reismehl Vollkorn- brown rice flour
Reismehl hell- white rice flour
Now that your German lesson is done for today, let's start baking.
Most important: Proofing your yeast.
This is where most bakers freak out or make mistakes. That is because baking is a science. Baking is not like cooking where you can just add this and that into the soup pot. I highly recommend buying a baking thermometer to measure the temperature of the buttermilk. Baking thermatures are easy and cheap to buy on Amazon.
You will be proofing your yeast in lukewarm buttermilk and 1 tablespoon of sugar. First warm up your buttermilk and before you add in your sugar and yeast, make sure that the buttermilk is between a temperature of 40C-44C (104-111F). If your buttermilk is in that range then your dough will rise.
1st picture: At the start, directly after whisking the buttermilk, sugar and yeast together
2nd picture: After 15 minutes
Do you see how much it foamed and bubbled up???
Now we are ready to combine all the other ingredients into the stand mixer, but don't add the herbs yet. Turn your mixer on low and let it knead the dough.
After 10-15 minutes then you can add your chopped Bärlauch. Turn the mixer on low and let it knead for another 10 minutes. The dough will be super wet and sticky. This is good. This will ensure a very soft and moist bread.
Normally, recipes say that the dough should all stick together, in a ball shape, and pull away from the bowl. Yes this is true, but not for gluten free dough. Without the gluten we lose all that elasticity so don't be afraid that you made a mistake with this sticky dough.
After you have let your dough rest you can add it to a prepared bread pan. Now remember, gluten free bread dough is much different than normal dough. This gluten free dough will barely rise during those 60-90 minutes. Don't fret, it will rise in the oven, I promise.
See, I told you so.
I have made this recipe about 3 times in the last month and each time the bread comes out of the oven, golden brown, and smelling so incredible that I can barely wait to slice my first piece. My kids are standing around our kitchen island begging to have the first slice. I don't listen to my own advice and take out the bread too early. No real damage done, but the bread was a bit too warm to start slicing.
The day before we left for spring break in Austria I surprised myself by having packed being super organized before the kids even came home from school that Friday. Having nothing to do on this cold and rainy early April day I thought, let's make bread! Since we were leaving the next morning at 6:30am for a week, I thought it would be best to use up whatever else we had in the refrigerator. Lots of tomatoes, carrots, and wild boar bacon. Our good friend is a hunter and gifted us some of this homemade smoked wild boar bacon and I did exactly what you are thinking... I chopped it up, fried it up, and threw it in along side my Bärlauch right into the bread dough! I even used a few tablespoons of the bacon grease in the dough to give it even more bacon flavor.
Homemade Wild Boar Bacon
I mean, how good did this bread turn out???
Can you see those huge pieces of the fried up wild boar bacon?
This was the absolute perfect last meal to enjoy as a family before we drove the 6 hours down to Austria the next day. Homemade roasted tomato soup and fresh bread.