This Nori Foccacia Bread recipe was a surprising success for me! I hand-harvested some purple nori seaweed (Porphyra purpurea) here in Cornwall during Winter. Its delicate texture got me thinking that it might work well as as raw ingredient in bread. Indeed, it gave a subtle flavour and went down really well with everyone on my seaweed foraging course.
There are around 6 varieties of nori/laver in the UK, each with slightly different qualities, colour and texture. I've previously made swirled laver bread several times and nori, buckwheat and rye crackers.
I've also been wanting to use Dove's Gluten-free Bread flour for a while. So I took this as an opportunity to combine both experiments. I love making ordinary bread and kneading by hand, but sometimes participants on my foraging courses are gluten-intolerant. Making gluten-free bread is a totally different experience! If you're gluten-free you might want to also check out my Dulse Soda Bread recipe.
How to Make Gluten-free Nori Foccacia
Foccacia bread is rich in olive oil, giving it a wonderful texture and flavour. This recipe uses 90 millilitres (6 tbsp) of olive oil, making a perfect gluten-free foccacia! Gluten-free flour needs longer to rise, as the gluten isn't present to activate the yeast, making this the perfect overnight-rise bread too.
- 20 g chickpea flour (gram flour) + 60 ml water
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 500 g Doves gluten-free flour
- 1 (tight) handful of dried purple nori (Porphyra purpurea), chopped
- Large pinch of good sea salt
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 1 dessertspoon dark brown sugar
- 400 ml warm water
- 2 tsp quick yeast
- 1 tsp ground/flaked nori
In a large mixing bowl combine the chickpea flour, vinegar and water and blend well. Add the dried ingredients with the exception of the sugar. Measure out the water and sprinkle in the yeast and sugar and leave for a few minutes to activate.
Preheat the oven to 220C/fan 200C and bake for 55 - 60 minutes. Remove from the tin and allow to cool. The result is a slightly grainy, slightly moist loaf with a lovely crispy outer. It is very more-ish and went down a treat and was more popular than my wheat nori bread that I made just in case…
I run seaweed courses throughout the year where I make and share homemade tasters incorporating seaweeds, like this bread. Do let me know if you try the recipe!
(Organic flour, gutweed (Ulva intestinalis) and dulse (Palmaria palmata))
Picnics, according to BBC food, require planning; as much as I agree that some planning is needed, I also want it all - good homemade food and little fuss. With our erratic UK weather, sometimes an impromptu picnic is a great adventure too, though if I can, I like to avoid shop-bought convenience food. Instead, I have a few standard homemade go-to goodies that I rely on for picnics.
Homemade bread* feels like a real treat, and it is so easy to make! Apart from 10 minutes preparation, you just need time to allow your bread to rise, then bake. Despite Summer being the time of lots of fresh fruit, salads and veg, I find I'm often prioritising outdoor adventures over thought-through meals, so adding a handful of dried or fresh seaweed into bread seems an easy way to up my nutrition and keep taking care of myself.
(Making seaweed bread)
Best seaweeds to add into bread
Seaweed bread is tasty and good for you. Some of the seaweeds suitable for bread are; sea lettuce, gutweed and dulse. You can use a small handful of dried or fresh seaweed, chopped. You can also add a teaspoon of other dried and ground seaweeds such as; wireweed, bladder wrack, egg wrack or feel free to experiment with others. I have a sea lettuce bread recipe in my wild food foraging book. and this is the basic recipe I use for all my bread, unless I'm making seaweed foccacia!
The other couple of quick and easy wild food dishes are my recipes for; Rock Samphire Salsa Verde, which you can make in 10 minutes, and my favourite Carrot, Ginger and Seaweed Salad made in 10 minutes and both these dishes will keep for a few days in the fridge too. Topped with Elderflower cordial - your picnic can suddenly feel rather wild and special as well as quick and fuss-free.
And of course, if the weather turns you can still enjoy all this wonderful food indoors.
Picnic tips for always having seaweed available
*When I make bread, I tend to make a couple of large loaves at once then slice and freeze what I can't use within two days, this way I have seaweed bread available all the time. Easy!
(Dulse and gutweed seaweeds in a Cornish rock pool ready to be sustainably harvested for seaweed bread)