Millet-Quinoa Kefir Flat Bread (gluten free, egg free, vegetarian, yeast free)


This recipe is an adaptation of Susan Jane Murray's fabulous recipe for Rooibos Quinoa Flatbread. Made with rooibos tea and with a slightly sweet flavor, her recipe is amazing (although i've always substituted some other flour for the soy, due to my allergy). You must explore her website, it is full of inspirational, easy, and super food intolerance friendly recipes. I like to use her recipe as a framework for a super adaptable flatbread that goes together quickly, bakes in a jiffy, and freezes well. It is delicious and moist, sturdy and beautiful, and loves to be changed! So get creative, and try out something new each time.  I whip this bread out a lot; it has become a standby in my freezer and is loved by one and all who tries it.  Plus, if you use a slightly smaller pan, you can slice it in half horizontally, and use it for sandwiches, like focaccia.

My favorite flour combination for her quinoa flatbread recipe is quinoa/millet, but other flours work great too (rice, garbanzo, or buckwheat - she has a separate recipe for buckwheat flatbread that will bring you to your knees). This time, instead of throwing it together quickly with a bit of rice milk or water, I decided to use overnight soaking method from Sally Fallon's wonderous Nourishing Traditions (love!).  My flours sat for about 12 hours in my lovingly homemade goat milk kefir.  

I've done a lot of baking this week, it is a little freaky, actually.  But I made that kefir the other day, and am heading out of town to Seattle for the weekend.  The kefir needed to get used, and I wanted a variety of frozen, tasty baked goods to throw in my carry-on for easy food while there for the weekend.  Plus, I just got my copy of Nourishing Traditions in the mail the other day, and I wanted to try another kefir/yogurt soaking recipe after my success with Carrot's Whole Grain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins, an adaption of a recipe inspired by Fallon's book.  

And now, I am having a seriously hard time not devouring the entire loaf.  I wasn't going to eat any of it, just put it in the freezer right away.  But it smelled so damn good, it was so golden and crusty, so beautiful...I couldn't resist.  I should have known I'd eat a square.  It is GOOD.  Damn good.  Wow.

The result of this flatbread is TOTALLY different than when making it with water.  Soaking the flours in kefir yielded a moister, richer texture, and a wonderful, slightly sour flavor that combines oh so well with the quinoa. It is lighter and more fluffy, but still has a sturdy and substantial texture.  This bread is good, and reminds me of the tasty buttermilk cheddar cornbread I used to make from time to time. Plus, if the friendly bacteria in the kefir was doing its job, the flours should be more digestible and all those good vitamins, minerals, and protein more available and easily assimilated.  Hooray!  Fermentation is fun.

If you want to skip the whole kefir thing, and just make the recipe the normal way, just check out Susan's website, and try it out.  You won't be sorry!  And while there, you must must must try Susan's recipe for Wholemeal Buckwheat Bread, a similar flatbread loaf made with buckwheat flour. I substitute quinoa flour for the soy flour, and quinoa flakes for the millet or barley flakes (you can't find millet flakes in the U.S., and I'm off gluten). It is amazing. Totally amazing. That is probably my favorite gluten free bread on earth.  I'd like to try it with the kefir soaking method.  Also try her Carrot Cake recipe.  Holy smokes.  So good. I made it last Thanksgiving for my family (substituted flax eggs for real eggs) and even my grandparents loved it.  

 

QUINOA MILLET KEFIR FLATBREAD (gluten free, egg free, yeast free)

yield 1 flatbread loaf

1/2 c quinoa flour
1/2 c millet flour (or another flour option, like rice, amaranth, buckwheat, or garbanzo)***
3/4 c quinoa flakes (or millet flakes, if you can find them!  I can't find them in the U.S.)
1/4-1/2 c whole millet or quinoa grain (or another whole grain, try matching up your alternative flour choice!)***
1 1/2 c kefir or yogurt (I use goat kefir)
squirt of agave
a little water
1 t salt or Herbamare/Trocomare
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
1/4 t vitamin C crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
optional: handful of sunflower seeds or other seeds/chopped nuts
optional: herbs, spices, or other seasonings of your preference, like one of these combinations...
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • curry powder and cumin seeds
  • caraway seeds
  • lemon zest, cardamom, and poppy seeds
  • herbes de provence
  • basil, oregano, and rosemary
  • garlic (roasted mashed cloves, diced, or powder)
  • orange zest and clove
  • roasted onions and fresh parsley
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • saffron soaked in kefir
SOAK THE FLOURS
  1. Mix flours, quinoa flakes, whole quinoa or millet grains, optional seeds in a large bowl. 
  2. Pour in kefir and optional agave, and mix well.  Cover bowl with towel and let sit on kitchen counter for 12-24 hours.
MAKE THE BREAD
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 8"x8" square pan, or 9" round pan with oil/ghee/shortening, or line with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt/Herbamare, herbs/spices, baking soda, cream of tartar, and vitamin c crystals.
  3. Dissolve dry ingredients in a couple tablespoons of water, and pour over kefir/flour mixture, and stir until just well mixed.  Add just enough additional water to create a batter of pouring consistency, and stir until just evenly moistened and mixed.  Do not overmix!
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crisp, with some crackles, and a fluffy but firm inside.  A toothpick inserted in the middle of loaf should come out clean.
  5. Remove from oven, allow cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  6. When cool, slice into squares or wedges of desired size.  Try slicing in half horizontally, and using for sandwiches, like focaccia.
***Flour choice creates very different breads in this flatbread.  I really love quinoa/millet.  Quinoa/rice yields a lighter color, moister and lighter crumb, and a slightly lighter flavor. Quinoa/garfava yields a strong beany flavor, a stable texture, and a nice, crispy crust. The garfava blend is tasty with curry powder and cumin seeds.  I've never tried quinoa/amaranth in the flatbread recipe, but I imagine it would be very tasty, especially with whole amaranth grains thrown in.  Whole soaked millet and quinoa added are very tasty, as is buckwheat.