Monthly Archives: September 2013

New to Gluten Free?

Hang on to your wallet. If you are new to gluten-free, it’s easy to spend waaaaay too much money on boxed food with labels that say GLUTEN FREE. That’s fine, but there is an easier way.

Cook.   Bake and make it yourself.

It’s tastier from your own kitchen anyway, but those pre-baked and processed boxes are handy in a pinch.

Stick to plain food. Think whole fruit- berries- potatoes-rice- plain meat. Use your crockpot. Really. Try to stay away from processed food-and sauces or mixes, as much as you can, and you will be on the right track. Call me if you want a menu plan based on whatever you are used to eating, I can help you make it safe for gluten free.. and my family loves my food, and not all of them are gluten-free, so there’s that. Plus, I learned to cook from my grandmother…so, you know it’s yummy. Who doesn’t love grandma’s cooking? Really.

Not all of my recipes are on this blog… so if you are looking for something, let me know!

Sugar cookies ….gotta have these…This is my favorite recipe. We make it several times a month. Freezes well. 

Wonder Dough ….I use this for everything… pizza, breadsticks, pretzels, etc

Bread ….real bread? yeah it’s possible. good with jam. Here’s one recipe.

Pancakes!! ….yes please

Chocolate Waffles .. uh.. yes.

Brownies …duh!

Alright, Alright! Cinnamon Rolls…

cin5The season is changing from summer to autumn… and with all the leaves falling in the yard, I am longing for savory breads and toasty things from the oven.

Today I experimented with sourdough-cinnamon rolls. Okay.. yes please! am I right? Seriously. Yum.

I have never had a cinnamon roll made with sourdough before… seems like I would remember that. And I have never seen a recipe for them either, and I read a LOT of cookbooks… so I modified my favorite recipe to use the sourdough sauce on my counter. Yep, it’s still going strong after weeks of experiments. I wonder how long I can keep it going? Some of the “tips and tricks about sourdough” that I have read, suggested that you can keep in the refrigerator. Eh. The short answer is yes, yes you can. But mine works better if it lives on the kitchen counter, where it can be a constant temperature.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

  • 1 Cup sourdough batter
  • 1/2 C rice syrup (which I used in place of honey)
  • 2 “eggs” (I used “flax eggs”)
  • 1/4 coconut/hemp/rice milk
  • 1/2 Cups oil
  • 1/2 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 Cup tapioca flour
  • 1 3/4 Cups potato starch
  • 1 Tblspoon dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tblspoon pixie dust xanthan gum

Mixed in the Kitchenaid mixer for about two minutes until well mixed.

Spoon out onto a well dusted waxed paper rectangle.

cin1

 

Then, spread with melted butter (about 3 Tablespoons) an

d sprinkle with

  • 2/3 Cups brown sugar mixed with 1 tsp cinnamon cin2

Using the waxed paper to help pick up and roll the dough, roll into a log. Cut 1 1/2 inch rolls and place cut side up spiralscin3in well greased 9×13 pan. Let rise 30-45 minutes.

cin4

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutescin6

Drizzle with vanilla glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tblspoon butter
  • 2 Tblspoon coconut/hemp/rice milk

 

Sourdough Recipes

I love sourdough bread. I am from the West Coast. Connection?… yeah probably. The sad thing is that bread of any type made with wheat is off the charts bad for me. Not on the list. Nope. Really can’t go there.

So, I have done without my favorite bread forever years. No one should cry over bread. Life is short. But finding gluten-free alternatives is really hard. There are some brands at the store.. sure, but none of them are “real” bread. Certainly not like the kind I used to bake at home. Sooooo… make my own! It’s a quest adventure! On adventure. ahhhhh.

My wish list for real bread:

  • should be delicious.. not gummy.
  • should smell yummy… not smell like chemical stew.
  • should have a shelf life.. not expire in 15 years.
  • should be chewy.. not fall to pieces when you pick it up.
  • should taste good .. not icky.

So…. I started some sourdough exactly like I used to but used gluten-free flours. It takes a minimum of 3 days to get it really working, but when it does… it’s like magic!

Main tips for the gluten-free sourdough sponge:

  • use filtered water
  • “Feed” the sponge every 12 hours for three days
  • …and be patient.

I left it on the counter for three days in a Ziplock container that had a loosely fitted lid available. Finding the right container is most of my struggle with sourdough. Glass or plastic? Either, just not metal, and nothing with a tight lid.

I started by mixing more GF flour, one cup at a time, into the goo about every 12 hours.

I mixed a large batch of gluten-free flour ahead of time: mixing rice flour, potato starch, some tapioca starch and a little bit of potato flour and just added one cup of the mix at each “feeding”. Ratios vary but, generally I use 1 rice, 1 potato starch,  0.3 tapioca starch and possibly some potato flour, but not very much… 1 Tablespoon per cup of rice flour is plenty.

 

The “rules” about making sourdough vary depending on who you listen to…. so, I added flour and probably 1/2 – 3/4 Cup of lukewarm filtered water each time, depending on how soupy it looked when I stirred it. This is not rocket science. Do what looks like it makes sense to you. It will all work out just fine. Mine usually has the consistency of pancake batter.

My favorite gluten-free sourdough bread recipe so far:

Mix together:

  • 1 Cup of sourdough batter
  • 1 1/2 Cup of warmed (not hot) milk (I used rice milk/hemp milk/coconut milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons of softened butter (substitute 1T palm oil if you are dairy free)

Mix these dry ingredients together and add them to the wet ingredients.

  • 2 T potato FLOUR
  • 1/3 C tapioca starch
  • 1/3 C sweet rice flour
  • 1 C rice flour
  • 1 C + 2 tablespoons potato STARCH  –!!– note: potato starch is not potato flour!!
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 /2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of pixie dust xanthan gum

I used my trusty Kitchenaid stand mixer to mix it all together really, really well and then portioned the dough into baking pans. A regular loaf pan of this dough took about 45 minutes to bake at 400 degrees.  I also tried golf ball sized amounts of dough in a greased muffin tin, and those turn out really good at about 20 minutes, also baked at 400.

smallloaves

Mini hamburger buns! Sliders anyone?

Reports back from everyone so far that tried this recipe baked as mini- loaves and as tiny buns has been very positive. I will be making more of this bread for sure.

pancakesSourdough Pancakes:

  • 2 cups sourdough batter
  • 2 cups milk (coconut/hemp/rice)
  • 2 cups gluten free flour mix (I used 1/2 rice flour and 1/2 potato starch)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tblspn sugar
  • 2 Tblspn oil
  • 2 eggs (replaced with flax and hot water)

This is best when mixed and left to rise for about an hour or so before you make the actual pancakes… but it tastes fine if you make them right away too.

 

Sourdough Madness Continues

smallloaves pancakesbiscuits… check

small loaves of bread… check

pancakes… check

 

Sourdough Experiments

I started some sourdough the other day and while I was waiting for it to percolate and do it’s thing for 3 days… I started looking for recipes to turn it into something “real”. I am thinking maybe some pancakes, or bread , or something.

If you have been gluten-free for more than about 2 hours, then you know the bread problem. Sure, there are some store bought options, but the real truth of it is that many of those options are just gross. Or they have too much sugar, or weird flour blends that I can’t have. What I want, is what I used to have: home baked, fresh sourdough bread. Really, is that too much to ask? Yeah, for gluten-free, it probably is.

Having to toss out a decades old sourdough starter when I realized it was full of poison (gluten) ..was like saying goodbye to a family member. So sad. It took me years to restart a new tub of sourdough. The first attempt was gross, and I moved on by just making other kinds of bread, buying some from the store freezer,  and mostly doing without. But last week, I decided to try once more and I am so glad I did. I know what I did wrong last time.. and this attempt seems successful so far.

Real Bread. It’s yummy. bread