Amaranth is one of the easiest pseudograins to grind into flour; itty bitty seeds, even smaller than millet, are transformed into clouds of silky dust inside of 60 seconds with a standard burr grinder.
It has a rich, earthy aroma that reminds me of beets. I’ve been combining it with other flours to find a complimentary blend, and here’s the ratio I’ve settled on (by weight):
1 part potato starch : 1 part sweet sorghum flour : 2 parts superfine brown rice flour : 2 parts amaranth flour
For this month’s Gluten Free Ratio Rally, I took inspiration from the amaranth flatbread recipe in Kim Boyce’s Good to the Grain.
This month’s Rally challenge, put to us by Karen of Cooking Gluten Free, is bread. (Head on over to her site to see what other Ralliers are making!) The Rally uses Michael Ruhlman’s book ‘Ratio’ as a starting point, then we work back from there to find the ratio that works best for the gluten free flours we’re each using.
Ruhlman’s bread dough ratio is 3:5 (liquid:flour). My ratio using this amaranth multigrain blend is 4:5.
I tried it out with large flatbreads, both sweet and savory …
and with palm-sized (Nina-sized) pita pockets.
I have no idea how this dough would work in an oven — I prefer flatbreads made in a cast iron skillet. This dough is yeasted, but since it is also gluten free, only one rise is necessary. In less than two short hours (or the span of two Gilmore Girls or Dr. Who episodes, which is how Nina and I measure time during the lazy days of summer) you will have delicious bread!
Amaranth skillet flatbread
Makes 3-4 large or 10 minis
25 grams potato starch
25 grams sweet sorghum flour
50 grams superfine brown rice flour
50 grams amaranth flour
1 teaspoon ground psyllium husks
1/2 teaspoon active yeast (set aside; do not sift into dry ingredients)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
A few pinches of herbs, spices, etc (optional)
120 grams filtered water
olive oil for brushing the dough
Sift all of the dry ingredients - except the yeast and optional toppings - together.
Make a well in the center and add the water. Do not stir.
Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let sit for a few minutes to bloom. When you see bubbles, it’s ready.
Mix everything together. Your dough will be thick, and a little wet. This is okay. Cover with a dish towel and place in a warm, draft free place for an hour and a half or so. I usually preheat my oven to 140 degrees, turn it off and place the bowl inside.
After your rise (which will be ~50%), divide and shape the dough into balls. The dough will be soft and pillowy. It won’t pass the windowpane test that is the hallmark of glutinous bread dough, but it should hold together well when pressed into a ball. When you divide it, there will be small pockets of air where the yeast did its work.
If making large flatbreads, you will need to flatten them out with a rolling pin between two lightly floured pieces of parchment paper.
If making the minis, you can flatten them out right in your palm. You’ll want to leave them about 1/2 inch thick in order for them to puff up in the center.
Lightly brush the tops of your flatbreads with olive oil and spinkle with salt.
Heat up your cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. As soon as drops of water sizzle on the surface, the pan is ready. Add your flatbreads salted side down. If making minis, leave at least half an inch between them. Quickly brush the top sides of your breads with oil and sprinkle with more salt + herbs. Your bread should bubble up - all over for the the large, and in the center for the minis. As soon as the edges look golden brown, flip them over. They should be done in another 2-3 minutes.
- For savory flatbreads, I used an herbs de Provence blend from my kitchen garden.
- For sweet flatbreads, I used a mixture of ground cinnamon + ground ginger + muscovado sugar.
- You can leave out the psyllium husk, but then you’ll want to eat your flatbreads as soon as they come out of the skillet. If you use the psyllium husk, they should remain soft and pliable for a few hours, especially the minis.
Tags: #amaranth flatbread #amaranth flour #gluten free flatbread #gluten-free ratio rally