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Friday 7 September 2012

Gluten Free: Hikers' Brunch

I'm a bit sad that Sussex Week is coming to an end, it's been fun. In the spirit of food with brilliant names (which has been a bit of theme of the week) I have attempted to make Hikers' Brunch, gluten free. Hikers' Brunch is a Sussex version of a sausage roll but with bread instead of pastry wrapped round the sausage. Sounds great so far, now here's the catch - gluten free bread is an absolute pain in the arse to make. 

Gluten is the thing that makes bread dough elastic and that's how it traps the air bubbles, caused by the yeast, that make the bread rise as you prove and bake it. Gluten free bread has brought me to tears on a number of occasions and I've come close to giving up on bread altogether at times. The biggest lesson I've learned amongst it all is that gluten free bread dough is very fragile after it's been proved, handle it too much and it will flop, then it's basically useless. Once those air bubbles form, you don't want to disturb them. There's no gluten to work, you don't need to knock it back so shape the dough before proving, be gentle with it and you'll be fine.

I have used chipolata sausages, mostly to make sure that the sausage cooks through before the bread burns, but also because I'm a bit in love with The Black Farmer's Daughter's chipolatas. One tip I found whilst researching these was to put some chutney in with your sausage before you wrap it up, I'm going to try that sometime. All you Sussex foods purists might want to look away now, as I give one of your classics the GF treatment...

You'll need

  • 400g gluten free bread flour, plus extra for dusting (use one with xanthan or guar gum in the ingredients, Doves Farm or Bob's Red Mill make good ones)
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tps sugar
  • 200ml milk, blood temperature (stick a finger in it, if it's neither hot or cold, it's right)
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 gluten free chipolata sausages (The Black Farmer are available in most supermarkets)
Make it!

  • Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl, add the milk, melted butter and eggs and combine thoroughly to form a sticky dough.
  • Lightly dust a piece of baking paper with a little of the gluten free flour (just a sprinkling) and turn the dough out on to the paper. Place another piece of baking paper on top and roll out until the dough is about 1 cm thick.
  • Cut the dough into 6 pieces and wrap each sausage, sealing all round. Place the sausage rolls on a baking sheet and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for about an hour to rise.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 220°C and bake the sausage roll for 10 minutes before turning the temperature down to 180°C and continue to bake for 10 minutes more.


  1. These look awesome. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up the pastry, but I think you can play around with these a little more.

    1. From a GF point of view, these ones are fab. As much as bread is a pain in the arse, puff pastry is even worse! You're right about playing around with them, there are so many possibilities.

    2. Oh that's sad - I think I'm at least 17% puff pastry at all times.

  2. I really want to dunk one of those into a big pot of houmous


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