Baking with gluten free flours is not an easy task especially when it comes to making bread or similar recipes that require rising.
Gluten gives dough elasticity and it forms a protein network which traps gas and prevents it from escaping during the baking process.
The "rising" in baked goods is essentially just streching of the gluten network.
The flours I use mostly are quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, chickpea and fava.
But these types of flours have no structure to hold the rising of the dough because the gluten is missing so when baking with gluten free flours we need to substitute the gluten with something else.
Since September 2017 I've been experimenting a lot of recipes with psyllium husk.
Psyllium husk is made from the outer coating of the seeds of the Plantago Ovata plant. It is a binding agent, it swells when exposed to fluids and when used in baked goods it creates a similar network like the gluten one.
This makes baking with gluten free flours a lot easier.
I wasn't too keen on the idea of making gluten free AND dairy free croissants because it's such a traditional recipe and it's just not the same once you take out the two most important ingredients: wheat and butter.
But I decided to give it a try because I like experimenting and because it's what makes baking so fun and interesting. Plus I know a lot of you can't eat gluten and dairy so you might give this version a try!
Of course they're nothing like the real crispy-buttery croissants, they're more like soft brioches i would say and they're indeed 100 times faster and easier to make.
Just make sure the water is between 120°F – 130°F.
Hope you'll like them!
250 g quinoa flour
430 ml warm water
35 g psyllium husk
2 tbsp grape seed oil or sunflower oil
6 g active dry yeast or instant yeast
zest from 1 lemon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg for egg wash
semi-sweet dark chocolate bars cut into sticks
*You can also add sugar in the dough if the chocolate is not too sweet, 50-60 g depending on how sweet you like it.
In a large bowl mix dry ingredients: flour, psyllium husk, yeast and lemon zest. Give it a quick whisk.
Gradually start adding the warm water into the dry ingredients. Keep whisking while you add the water to prevent lumps. Add the vanilla extract and the oil as well. In this phase you'll need to whisk for a couple minutes until the dough becomes very sticky. I suggest you use your hand for better mixing.
Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using lightly floured hands, knead until smooth, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with some more flour if the dough is still sticky. Don't add too much flour tough otherwise it'll be harder for the dough to rise.
Let dough rise:
Place dough in a bowl, make sure it's not a large bowl.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Roll the dough:
Roll the dough into a 12x40-inch rectangle about 1⁄8 inch thick.
Trim the excess edges to make it as straight as possible.
You can use a ruler to mark where you need to cut the croissants.
I cut them 3 inches wide and 8 inches high with a knife.
In this phase you can add the chocolate too, just spread 1 tsp on each triangle.
Starting at the base, roll each one tightly all the way to the tip to form an even, croissant shape.
Press slightly at the tip to adhere and to make a slightly flattened base for the croissant to rest on.
Continue rolling the croissants in this manner, then transfer them spaced evenly apart and flattened side down on the prepared baking sheets.
Egg wash the surface of the croissants.
In the picture you can see I overlapped 2 triangles because I wanted the croissants to be more puffier when they bake. You don't have to do it like it, you can just roll a single triangle.
Bake the croissants at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until they're golden brown.
When the croissants are ready, let them cool a bit, take them off the sheet pan and put them on the cooling rack.
These croissants don't come out crispy like the regular ones because there's no butter, therefore if you freeze them you can warm them up in the microwave oven for about 90 seconds.