Friday, 8 June 2012

Gluten free cheese and herb loaf - perfect accompaniment to winter soups!

By reading my earlier post on ice cream I'm sure you would think I was living in Far North Queensland (I WISH!).  But sadly I'm braving yet another chilly winter down here in Melbourne, and although there are few things I actually like about the thermostat plummeting, I must say that soul warming soups and rich, slow cooked meat dishes are something I look forward to.

I tend to find a soup each year that quickly becomes a favourite and this year I have already found one that the whole family enjoys, Quirky Jo's creamy chicken and brown rice soup.  This soup is like a blanket, wrapping itself around you and warming you through to your core, whilst lifting the soul!

Now if you have a European background like I have (or even probably if you don't!) you would know that it is mandatory to serve bread with soup.  Well, it is mandatory to serve bread with everything in many cultures but with soup, it is definitely a must!  The only problem with that comes when you are a Coeliac, like myself!  Because us Coeliacs know that a good bread is hard to find, and instead of enhancing a soup experience, it would more often than not spoil it.  Until now.  On receipt of our Thermomix we also bought the gluten free cookbook designed for Thermomixes which contains a fantastic bread recipe developed by Cyndi O'Meara, an inspiring and thought provoking nutritionist who is refreshingly simple in her approach to achieving a healthy lifestyle.  It is a fantastic bread for three reasons: it tastes great, it is made predominately from scratch - and I mean milling grains and legumes, and is nutrient rich - something a lot of gluten free breads on the market are lacking.

So anyway, back on the point (!!), I have used the bread recipe as the base for this delicious cheese and herb loaf - perfect for soups but also great for lunch or snacks on the go for kids having the nutrients of all the grains and legumes plus fresh herbs and a calcium hit from the cheese. For those with intolerances, it is obviously gluten free but to make it dairy free, simply use a soy based cheese or omit the cheese and just mix the herbs and a chopped clove of garlic through the mix.  To make it egg free, either use egg replacer available in health food shops and some supermarkets or mix 2 tbs chia seeds to 3 tbs of the water qty and leave for 10 minutes before adding to the mix.  This should help bind the dough sufficiently.
For a snack on the go, follow the method below but layer into large/texas muffin trays instead of the loaf tin and cook for approx 20-30 mins.  

If you haven't started your own herb garden yet, this recipe should get you up out of your seat and off to your local nursery ( :

If you don't own a Thermomix, you could still make this recipe.  Simply use rice flour, quinoa or millet flour, chickpea/besan or buckwheat flour in place of the grains and mix all together in a food processor or electric mixer with paddle or whisk.  Finely chop herbs and grate cheese.

Gluten free cheese and herb loaf


220 g rice (I use a mixture of basmati and brown)
80 g quinoa (or you could use millet)
40 g chickpeas (or raw buckwheat)
20 g raw cane sugar or rapadura sugar
140 g arrowroot flour (or corn flour, potato flour or glutinous rice flour)
2 tsp xantham gum (available in health food section of most supermarkets or health food shop)
2 tsp dried yeast (or one sachet)
1 tsp sea salt
40 g mixed seeds of choice (I use flaxseed/linseed and chia but also try sesame, soy grits, sunflower)
400 g warm water
30 g olive oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (if you dont have apple cider use white)
2 large eggs
100-150g tasty cheese
handful fresh herbs of your choice (I used basil, thyme, sage and rosemary)


  1. Chop the herbs for 5 seconds/speed 6.  Set aside.
  2. Blitz the cheese for 3-5 seconds/speed 6.  Set aside and wash and dry bowl.
  3. Weigh the rice, quinoa and chickpeas into the TM bowl.  Grind for 1 minute/speed 10.
  4. Add remaining dry ingredients.  Mix 15 seconds/speed 6.
  5. Scrape down sides of bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Mix on speed 6 until all ingredients are thoroughly combined - approx 30-40 seconds.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the mix into a greased high loaf tin.  Sprinkle over a third of the cheese and half of the herbs.
  7. Cover with 1/3 of the bread mix and sprinkle on top of that another 1/3 of the cheese and the remaining herbs.
  8. Cover with remaining bread mix and sprinkle remaining cheese evenly on top.
  9. Turn oven on to 180 degrees celcius and while the oven is heating, place tin in a warm place until it reaches close to the top of the tin.
  10. Place tin in preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes.
  11. Turn out immediately onto cooling rack.  Best served warm.


  1. Looks like a this would go well with any meal!!

  2. Oh wow, that looks amazing!!! Thanks for linking to my blog - I'm so glad you like my soup :) I'm going to link to this recipe on my Facebook page - for those who can have cheese, it looks divine!!
    Jo xx

  3. This looks sensational. Thank you for sharing, and thank you to Jo from Quirky Cooking for posting it.

  4. Many thanks Jo - for creating such a delicious soup (and many other recipes) and for linking the recipe!
    Farmtocitygirl and The Self-Raising Kitchen - Thanks for your comments and hope you both enjoy it too!

  5. WOW!!!! This bread looks amazing :) I cannot wait to try it!

    1. Thanks Haid! I'd love to hear how it goes!

  6. Yum!! Can I ask where you get your Rapadura Sugar from in Melbourne?

    1. Hi Julie,
      I order mine online from which are actually Sydney based but I find their prices really reasonable (especially buying in bulk) and they have a wide range of other items that I tend to buy at the same time saving on shipping costs.
      Hope you enjoy the bread!

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