Category Archives: gluten free breads
March 21, 2013 by Tamika
I am currently grain free and finding it challenging and rewarding to redo favorite recipes, yet again, into grain free and sugar free options. This loaf is based on one that is gluten free and features almond meal, one I made and devoured, until my body rebelled against grains. I’m not forcing you into this journey with me, (I’ll offer the original GF recipe too), however, I’m discovering people are eager for grain free options. I am a firm believer that variety in our diet, as in less grains and starches, more seeds, nuts and legumes, can only be healthier for us.
Coconut flour tends toward the dry side, it absorbs a huge amount of liquid, the batter may seem thin for loaf batter, like pancake batter, don’t worry, almond flour keeps it moist while the coconut soaks up the liquid.
This loaf would be wonderful with orange zest and juice, or lime, substituted for lemon.
Almond Lemon Honey Loaf.
3 large eggs, separated (2 lg eggs not separated for gluten free version)
1/2 cup softened coconut oil OR olive oil (extra virgin will impart a strong flavor)
1/4 cup yogurt (or kefir/coconut milk/ almond milk), or more
2 tsp. lemon zest
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
1 3/4 cups almond flour (1 1/2 almond flour if doing gluten free version)
1/2 cup coconut flour (3/4 cup brown rice flour if doing gluten free version)
1 Tbsp. flax seed meal
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder (OR if sensitive to baking powder use 1 tsp baking soda and 1tsp apple cider vinegar).
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp. honey
Pre-heat oven to 350*, oil a loaf pan, set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients in a small bowl. Beat egg whites until stiff, set aside. With stand or hand mixer, beat egg yolks (whole eggs if doing gluten free), yogurt, honey, juice, zest and vanilla (and apple cider vinegar, if using) until well combined, add softened coconut oil then dry ingredients. Beat for a couple of minutes, to ensure the coconut flour absorbs liquids, add egg whites, if batter seems thick, add a little more yogurt or milk (or even water).
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the sides are golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle has no raw dough on it.
Meanwhile melt honey and lemon juice together. Drizzle on top of loaf while it’s cooling, it will soak in, adding moisture and a hit of flavor.
Remove from oven and LET COOL COMPLETELY before turning out and slicing…..
Because it doesn’t have gluten to hold it together and will most likely fall apart if it’s not cool. It’s alright, it’s still delicious!
February 5, 2013 by Tamika
I miss bread. Real bread. Fresh baked bread. The flexibility of throwing a loaf together and knowing it will be, if not perfect, then completely passable as bread. What I miss more is sourdough bread. I tossed my sourdough starter once I had to cut gluten out of my diet. Pfft. I figured I was never doing THAT again.. no great bread. Ever.
This has been many
monthsyears in the making. My trial and many errors of gluten free bread baking. If you read this you’ll know I don’t consume corn or corn products, that includes the golden child of gluten free baking xanthan gum. Which, as most of us gfr’s know, makes gluten free bread behave like glutened bread, all air pockety, stretchy and chewy. ( Actually it’s the golden child of the corn industry and is in nearly everything these days. I just found frozen sweet potato fries coated with it.. WHY? I won’t address the conspiracy to undermine the health of the general public here). I’ve been working through established gf bread recipes as well as creating my own for 3 years now. I’ve made some pretty good bread and excellent pizza dough ( wood fired in a friend’s outdoor straw bale oven, the best). Unhappy with all the starch needed (tapioca, arrowroot and potato) for gf bread, I’ve been working it down in quantity for months now. When I decided to make a go of sourdough starter with this buckwheat flour, I was hoping to be able to eliminate yeast as well.
A good sourdough starter takes time and patience. Gluten free sourdough starter takes a little coaxing and a lot of patience. I followed this starter recipe that was featured on Michael Rhulman’s website a few years ago, it comes from Two Sister’s Bakery in Alaska, and is perfect. I chose to use light buckwheat flour because it has a wonderful taste, it’s one of my favorites, you could choose another grain or seed flour (buckwheat is a seed, like quinoa) keeping in mind it will be the bulk flour of what you bake with it, therefore the bulk flavor.
Gluten Free Sourdough Starter
In a quart sized jar, or larger, combine 8 ounces flour with 8 ounces water, stir well. Place 2 leaves of ORGANIC red cabbage into the mix. Let this sit at warm room temperature (70-80*) over night, uncovered is fine ( I have cats who I’m positive creep the counters at night when they know I won’t douse them with water) I cover mine with a coffee filter, it is porous enough to let natural yeasts from the environment in to get the starter going and can be changed if it gets crusty.
Around 12 hours later add another cup of flour and water each, stir again. At this point the red cabbage may be bleeding colour out into the starter, this is normal. The cabbage is fermenting, the same process as sauerkraut, the liquid that it releases will create a natural yeast environment for the flour to begin a slight fermentation process, and attract more natural yeasts from your environment. It will smell sour, even stinky. Continue to keep it warm.
Depending on the temperature of your starter you may not see any fermentation bubbling action (see top photo) for a few days. It will not bubble up the same way gluten flour does (see photo with Rhulman link), with gluten free flours the process is slower. My initial starter turned a purple grey with an unpleasant smell, I persevered, stirring it and scraping off purplish crust from the sides of my jar, it took 4 days to be just right. When to start feeding the starter is determined by how fermented the initial batch is; if it’s bubbly and sour smelling it’s time. As you feed it the smell will become more mild and pleasant.
An important part of keeping a healthy sourdough starter is FEEDING, removing some starter and adding fresh flour and water for the yeasts to feed on. The starter you remove will be the base for your dough, bread, pizza, crackers, even pancakes. For your first feeding, remove the cabbage leaves. If your container is large enough add 4 oz flour and 4 oz water to the starter stirring well, just this once. Again, keep at warm room temp. If your container is maxed out for space, remove 1 cup of starter, mix 4 oz flour and 4 oz water into the remaining starter in the jar. Every feeding following your first will require you to remove at least one cup of starter and replace with same amounts of flour/ water (1 cup starter = 4 oz f/w each. 2 cups starter= 8oz f/w each). I feed my starter once a week, at least. If I want to bake twice in a week with it I make sure to keep it at warm room temp and have at least 2 full days in between removing starter for use (and feeding!).
3 months into my starter it is now at a point where I can go with out yeast in my dough, until now I have had to add small amounts of yeast, using the starter as ‘flavour’ more than as leavening. I will be posting some bread and pizza dough recipes in the upcoming month. Until then, go ahead and explore!
If you want to take a break from maintaining your starter, keep it in the fridge and feed it once a month. It will go dormant, reawakening once you bring it out to room temperature for a few days.
Quick Crackers: What to do with the starter you took out during feeding, when you have nothing else to make: 2 cups starter, 1 cup other flour (amaranth, rice, ect) 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp salt and 1tsp pepper: knead into a ball, let rest 20 minutes. Divide ball in half. Roll out on a rice floured surface as thin as you can, cut into squares and bake in a 400* oven until brown and crisp.
Of course, this could be a flat bread covered with olive oil and zatar or smoked paprika, onions, olives, anchovies.. or a cracker like pizza dough.
October 22, 2012 by Tamika
Ode to the Cheese-y Cracker. One nibble and I swoon. Cheese, butter, crunch, again, more! I can barely stop myself. Buttery, flaky, cheese-y goodness! This is ‘foodporn’ (that strange new catch word) that I like. I want to taste the lusciousness, feel the texture, come back for seconds (I can’t do that with a photo and you shouldn’t have to either).
It’s been so long since I’ve had anything like this. I’ve crumbled them up in soup three times this weekend and keep eating them out of hand. I sent a bag in to work with Dan today (to limit my supply, but also I can’t wait to make more!). With all my food ‘sensitivities’ I’ve been seriously limited in the cracker/ bread department, except for what I make myself. There are a few commercial crackers I buy that I’m completely over now. I like variety. The spice of life.
Making CRACKERS is liberating. I had no idea. I can play with this recipe in so many ways. I love it so much I’m even thinking of wrapping apple in the cracker dough, like a Cheddar encased Baked Apple Dumpling, with out the sugary topping, a savory one (oh goodness, maybe pancetta and rosemary inside? I’m going to have to work on this). The inspiration came from Joy the Baker’s Sharp Cheddar Cheese Cracker recipe. I was practically drooling when I saw her photos.
This is the kind of comfort food I go for. Not the chocolate chip cookie or chocolate sweets (though a really good dark chocolate bar, Mast Brothers for instance, I will never pass up). I go right for crunchy and cheesy things. These crackers are crunchy baked macaroni and cheese. That’s my ultimate comfort food.
Let’s get to it:
This made tons of crackers. I doubled Joy’s recipe because, well, just because I recommend doing that when making things you might obsess over. You can always make half right now and bake the rest tomorrow or a few days later, or put the dough in the freezer. I also used two different cheeses, mostly because I doubled the recipe and didn’t have enough cheddar. I love the 2 cheese combo and many varieties of cheese would work. You’ll see.
Cheese-y Crackers gluten free
2 sticks butter at room temp (if using salted, don’t add salt to the recipe)
14- oz finely grated cheese (use one, two or three cheeses! I used Emmentaler swiss and extra sharp yellow cheddar)
2 cups fine ground white rice flour (the kind Asian stores sell is perfect, and my favorite for pastry, make sure it’s gf)
2 tsp Psyllium husk powder
1 tsp salt (unless using salted butter)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder (I used ancho)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or more if you’re of a mind)
4-6 tbsp cold water
Begin by putting the butter and cheese in a stand mixer with the paddle and beat until well combined and it forms a ball. With mixer on low speed add the flour, psyllium and all the seasonings, it will be dry. Start adding water one tablespoon at a time, letting it beat in.
The dough should be easily pliable but not too moist that it will be a pain to roll out. Remove the dough, divide into two discs, wrap in parchment or plastic wrap (I favor parchment over silicone mats, particularly for gluten free doughs). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
When ready to make the crackers remove one disc of dough to soften a bit, pre-heat oven to 375, adjust racks to center and top 1/3 of oven, line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Keep flouring the dough, your rolling pin and the parchment, turning the dough from time to time so it doesn’t stick.
Once you’ve rolled it out you can use a small (1- 1.5 inch) biscuit (cookie) cutter to cut out round crackers (like Joy the Baker does) or use a ravioli cutter to cut wavy edge squares, or just cut with a knife. I used a ruler to make straight lines, you don’t have to, but it gave my ravioli cutter a good edge to roll against.
I’m not a control freak I swear.
Using a thin metal spatula remove the cut crackers to a prepared baking sheet. They don’t spread, so they don’t need much space in between. They puff up, not out. Repeat with remaining dough, including the disc still in your fridge if you’re of a mind. Or do that one once you’ve gobbled up all these crackers.
Bake for 13-17 minutes. Rotate pans part way through. I found the crackers along the edges of the pan baked fast and actually removed some and baked the ones in the center a bit longer.