Friday, March 31, 2017

Blueberry Muffins - without rice flour

I might be a little obsessed with blueberry muffins, but they are an easy go to. I certainly add other fruits - apples, raisins, cherries, raspberries. But when I'm trying out a new flour blend, I stick with my favorite.

1/2 cup and 1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup and 1/3 cup gluten free oat flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup tapioca flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
1/2 cup full fat yogurt
1/2 cup butter melted and cooled (1 stick)
3 large eggs
1 cup blueberries (or other fruit)

Blend the flours and dry ingredients together and then mix in the rest of the ingredients. I mix in the fruit last. Spoon into 12 paper lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Bread Machine Gluten free Bread

I am always experimenting with ingredients and flours to find distinctive breads, and I recently was reconnected to my Breadman Ultimate Plus bread machine, so I've been making a new loaf every couple of days. 

This loaf came out with a flavor and texture half way between sandwich bread and zucchini bread.  Can't wait to try it with sunflower butter or in my French toast!

I have two basic flour mixes I work from, and for this I used my Quick breads one - 1:1:1 sorghum, rice, and tapioca.  In this batch I made a 50/50 white rice/brown rice mix for the rice portion.  Then I used a variation of my GF Sandwich bread recipe adapted for a bread machine.

2 ½ cups flour mixture
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon yeast for bread machines
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
1 ½ cups Almond milk
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
3 eggs
1 ½ Tablespoon oil
Mix the first six ingredients together.  Bread machine yeast is recommended as a dry ingredient.  I don't use the paddle in my machine because it is a pain digging it out before the bread bakes, so its important to mix everything well before.

Add the vinegar to the milk and let sit a few minutes.  I did use the vanilla sweetened version here, and it turned out to be a great addition with this flour mix.  Then add oil and eggs, mix with whisk.  add this to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Scrape into bread pan in the machine.

I have been cooking it on the gluten free cycle, which include a  two stage mixing, about 20 minutes  to rise, and then a 52 minute baking time.  Dark crust setting, 1.5 lb. loaf.  Next time I am going to set it to bake only with a 30 minute delay start and then bake at least an hour.  The slightly denser dough doesn't get baked enough to suit me otherwise - but it's great as toast!

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Gluten Free Pineapple Zucchini Bread

Welcome to August's Zucchini Bounty
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or softened ghee)
2 eggs (or 3 tsp egg replacer and 3 Tablespoons of water)
1 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 8-oz. can of crushed pineapple with juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups gluten free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a ceramic bread pan and line with parchment and grease again. (See baking notes below for more information)

Mix the sugar, oil and eggs together until smooth. Add the zucchini, carrot, pineapple with juice, and water. Mix until incorporated.

Sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice. Blend well with the wet ingredients. Fold in the nuts if you are using them and spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake for 90 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes and remove from pan. Serves about 10-12.

Baking notes: I use ceramic pans like a Emile Henri because it seems to allow a gluten free loaf more even baking - not burning the crust before the center is cooked. When I used to bake large wedding cakes, I found Magic Strips to be essential for keeping the baking even. Ceramic pans seem to do the same for the dense nature of gluten free breads. I also use Corning glass with great success. However, if you choose to use a metal pan, reduce the baking temperature by at least 25 degrees - go slow and observe what your oven does. Magic strips might also be useful in this circumstance. I find an oven thermometer to be an essential piece of equipment even if I trust the temperature of my oven. It simply confirms that the temperature that I expect the oven to be.

I should also note that I bake my bread using convection baking setting. My operator's manual suggests that I should reduce the normal baking temperature by 25 degrees when I use convection, but I haven't found this to be the case with gluten free breads.

Variations: This recipe can be made without the pineapple. If you opt to remove the pineapple and replace it with more veggie material - make sure to add a Tablespoon of vinegar to help the loaf rise and to neutralize/buffer the baking soda.

I love this loaf for using up zucchini in the garden, and can be made 100% zucchini or summer squash, no carrot. I've wanted to try shredded raw sweet potato as well. I'm sure raisins would be wonderful in this instead of nuts. Or with the nuts - which I think might be the recipe for one of my favorite little Saturday morning haunts who make an amazing "Morning Madness Muffin" that's delicious with a cup of earl grey tea. Yes, this would make great muffins, but I'm not sure how many muffin cups it would fill.

Sugar: This bread is on the sweet but not sticky sweet range of quick breads. I heavily reduce sugar when I can. Adjust for your personal taste. And if you don't have coconut sugar, substitute brown sugar.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Summer Squash Pickles

I love gardening, although my focus is generally on what is edible.  Flowers inspire me, but if it comes down to a space choice of flower or vegetable, veggie wins every time.  I continue to learn about new things to grow that I would never have considered edible, but I still fall back on certain staples every year.  And that means I always run out of season before I run out of tomatoes of course, and last year rather than too much zucchini, I ended up with too much summer squash.

Always on the search for canning recipes for these - I found two that were really successful and want to share them.  The first is Summer Squash Pickles, and the second is a variation on Green Tomato Relish AKA (Chow Chow).  Apparently, it depends on what region of the country you come from as to which name you use, but more on that later.  For now I'll share the squash recipe.

I found this recipe on a website called The Old Farmer's Almanac:

Yield 6 pints

10 c thinly sliced summer squash (any combination will do)
2 c thinly sliced onions (I used white & red, but again, any/or a combination will do)
2 c thinly sliced green pepper (I actually used green & banana)
1 large jar of diced pimento (optional)
2/3 c salt

Soak squash, onions, peppers in 2 quarts water for 2 hours.  Drain.  (I added ice cubes to mine)

3c sugar
2 c apple cider vinegar
2 t celery seed
2 t mustard seed

Combine syrup ingredients and bring to a boil.  Drop drained vegetables and pimento into the syrup but don't cook.  Mix well.  Put in hot sterilized jars and cover with syrup.  Process in water bath for 15 minutes.

This is a wonderful pickle - crispy and lightly sweet with a spicy flavor.  The options of mixing the types of squash, onions, and peppers make it a great opportunity for cleaning up the garden and changing up the recipe!

Green Tomato Relish AKA Chow Chow

Last year was an exceptionally strange on for tomatoes.  There was lots and lots of fruit, and it all grew beautifully - it just wouldn't ripen.  The year before that I had been temporarily without a garden, and told a fellow gardener I would be willing to take his green tomatoes.  He remembered that, so at the end of the season last year I had two gardens' worth of green tomatoes.  I have some old stand-bys I use - I love green tomato mincemeat (See Sunday, November 16, 2008).  But I decided to try some new ones also.  A non-canning friend asked me to make Chow Chow, so I looked for recipes.  Apparently the term is more generic, from the South & Appalachia, and is another great way to use up extra veggies left over from a productive season.  I live in Missouri and the range of ethic influences on food and food prep - as well as their names - is really fun!  Amish, French, any variety of southern and soul food, German, and "just plain home Midwestern home cooking".

Here is the recipe I finally settled on (which was a GREAT hit with my friend!).  I don't know where I found it, the link did not carry thru when I printed it off the internet:

Yields 5 1/2 pints

12 - large green tomatoes, cored (about 20 small to medium size)
4 - green bell peppers, seeded
4 - medium or 1 extra large yellow onion (I used red and yellow)
1 - red bell pepper, seeded
1 -T + 2 t yellow mustard seed
1 - T celery seed
2 - c cider vinegar
2 - c granulated sugar
1 - T + 2 t kosher salt

Chop the tomatoes and peppers very finely.  I diced up all my veggies, I think this relish works better that way.  I had the time, you might not. So you could do small batches in a food processor.

Add the chopped vegetables in a large pot ( heavy bottom non reactive post), then add rest of the ingredients.  Stir well and bring to a simmer over a medium heat.  Cook stirring often and skimming as needed.  ( I did not have anything to skim.)

Simmer until the relish/chow chow cooks down and thickens into a relish, about 2 hours.  Turn into hot sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath.  The recipe didn't specify how long, I did 15 minutes.

As you can see, I made several batches :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Another Gluten Free Muffin Recipe

As I've posted before, I've been tinkering with a basic gluten flour mixture that I had used as a base for my Sandwich Bread.  And having success with both the bread and with pancakes made using it, I decided to try adapting a basic muffin recipe.  This one happens to be dairy free also.  The original recipe came from a 1992 version of the Betty Crocker's Cookbook, and I used the Popular Muffins version.  Below is the recipe as I modified it.  I did use olive oil this time, I was out of applesauce.

*GF Flour mixture:
3 cup brown rice
2 cup tapioca starch (you can use cornstarch)
1 cup glutinous rice
1 cup garfava flour
1 cup fava bean flour
1 cup masa harina

Muffin Ingredients:
1 egg
1 c vanilla almond milk
1/4 c oil
2 c GF flour mixture*
1/4 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t xanthan gum
1 t salt
1 c sprouts (this time I used fenugreek sprouts & a 1/4 t dill seeds. I'll leave the dill out next time!)

Heat oven to 400°.  The recipe calls for greasing bottom of muffin cups, I didn't have to.  I also used both a medium muffin pan as well as a muffin top pan.  I wanted them for breakfast egg sandwiches.  In both cases the muffins either fell out of the inverted pan or popped out with light pressure from a fork.

Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until completely moistened.  The original recipe says batter should be lumpy, but I never have good luck with a GF batter that isn't reasonably well blended.  (The lumps usually come from the starch not being fully blended.)  Then stir in sprouts. 

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  As with most gluten free baked goods, remove immediately from the pan to cool.   The recipe says it yields 12 muffins.  I actually made a double batch, which gave me 12 regular muffins and 8 muffin top muffins.

I can hardly wait to try this with blueberries or the cranberry-orange version!  And sorry, no picture, I leave that to my gifted co-blogger!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

GF Sandwich Bread PS

An added plus is that the flour mix is a very good all-purpose GF flour.  I just tried as a flour for pancakes, and it performed very well!

Tomorrow, the ultimate test - biscuits!

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Revisited

It’s been over three years since I first discovered the Gluten Free Sandwich Bread Recipe I shared (December 31, 2010), and as with any recipe over time, I’ve adjusted the basic ingredients and added some steps I use in the preparations.

I recently read  Grain Brain by David Perlmutter. He makes the point that many of the current gluten free recipes rely on starches – such as corn or tapioca – which have a high glycemic index and can contribute to type II diabetes.  That led me to start looking at alternatives that might be used in the mix to alleviate some of that impact.  By a happy accident (didn’t think that at the time though) I discovered glutinous rice flour has some interesting properties. Glutinous rice is a flour made from sticky rice.   Although it has roughly the same GI as cornstarch, it has some properties that add to the final bread texture.  Tapioca starch has a slightly lower GI. 

While making pancakes, I used glutinous rice in the batter, with the result of creating some of the best crepes I’ve ever made.  However, it will never work for pancakes.  By replacing the cornstarch – or some part of it – with the glutinous rice added a bit of that elastic property found in wheat gluten.  The resulting loaves are more flexible and hold up in sandwiches better.  No more crumbling onto the plate at that first bite!  I am varying the ingredients and ratios too.  My last batch of flour had a 2:1 of cornstarch and glutinous rice.  (My next batch I replaced the cornstarch with tapioca starch in the same ratio.  I'll let you know how that turned out!)
Another approach to expanding my food options is sprouting.  My first trial was with lentils.  I added the sprouts to the bread, and loved it!  It improved the texture again, added flavor, and increased the amount of protein.

Flour mixture:
3 cup brown rice
2 cup cornstarch
1 cup glutinous rice
1 cup garfava flour
1 cup fava bean flour
1 cup masa harina

2 ½ cups flour mixture*
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 ½ Tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1 ½ cups warm water (not hot)
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar

I’ve tried many treatments for the bread pan, as well as having changed types of pans and oven temperatures.  I find the only thing that works is parchment paper.  I cut it the length of the pan and leave enough to wrap up both sides of the pan.  I set the oven to 250° to allow the bread to rise where it’s really warm – my house is pretty drafty in that corner.

The original recipe suggested using three bowls – one for the dry ingredients, one for the water/yeast/sugar mixture, and one for the oil/eggs/vinegar mixture.  I still do that but with some added steps:
1. I take the eggs out beforehand and let them come to room temperature.  If in a rush, you can warm them up in water too.
2. I mx the yeast mixture first.  I make the water just a bit warmer than usual, then  add the sugar.  I had trouble with the yeast mixing into the water – it would clump up – so I use a fork to break it apart and dissolve into the water, as well as mix the sugar thoroughly.  I wait a few minutes and do the same thing, then leave it sit in a warm place for AT LEAST 5 minutes, sometimes more.  I wait until the top is completely covered with foam.
3. I measure the dry ingredients into a second bowl and then whisk well.
4. Using the third bowl I add the oil, then the eggs, and whisk together.  I hold the vinegar (cider really works better) until the yeast is ready.  When it is, I add the vinegar, whisk again, and pour the mixture into the dry ingredients.  Stir just a bit.
5. I then pour the yeast mixture into the egg bowl using a spatula to scrap the sides, getting all the sugar and yeast.  I use the same spatula stirring the yeast mixture and scraping the sides of the egg bowl, and then transfer all of it into the dry ingredient/egg mixture.  Scrape the sides well of the bowl.

6. I mix everything together with the whisk, wait a few minutes, and insert the parchment.  If you want to add anything extra – sprouts, spices, raisins, cranberries, caraway seeds – do it now. Whisk again, and then pour into the pan.  Level the surface and smooth into all the corners – the batter is usually about an inch below the top of the pan and a thick cake batter consistency.  Set in a warm place, cover if you wish, and let raise.  Usually takes about 40 minutes.  When the bread is about an inch over the top of the pan, it is done.  It will raise a bit more while baking.  Bake at 375° (350° if using Pyrex or glass pan) 50 – 60 minutes.  Remove from oven, loosen ends, and remove from pan.  Carefully tear off the parchment and let cool on one side and then the other.  It needs to be watched a bit to keep it from condensing moisture.

I usually can't resist and have to cut a slice off at this point, but don’t leave the bread on its bottom afterwards; it really needs to cool a good while before that.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Rustic Pan Continental

I love quick breads when it comes to gluten free baking. Partially because I've had so much success with them. Today I made the Sandwich Bread recipe which is wonderful and has the traditional yeasty bread flavor to it. Problem was, I didn't put parchment on the bottom of the pan. Despite my best efforts, I tore the bottom off of my loaf. So I wasn't happy with taking a picture of it and the broken piece was the demise of the loaf. It was like a couple of drops of blood in shark infested water. I nibbled at the crunchy goodness of the crust, and before I knew it, half of the loaf was gone. Then my husband came in to find out what I was eating and he took a couple of thick slices with butter and strawberry jam. Oh, bliss. But so much for having some bread for the week. And I was out of the rice flour so I started to dream up a new idea. What can I do with that teff I have hanging around?
Grains from Asia (buckwheat), Africa (teff) and South America (quinoa)
The flavor reminds me of pumpernickel.

1/2 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup apple juice (unfiltered)
3/4 cup boiling hot water

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 Tablespoons tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons ground flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder (use a GF brand)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs
1/4 cup light oil like olive oil
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1/2 cup apple juice (unfiltered)

1 teaspoon caraway seeds, slightly crushed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon powdered cumin seed (optional)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (with additional to sprinkle on the top)

First start with the porridge.  Using a heavy bottomed pot (iron pan in my case) brown the teff so that it is popping and you can smell a nice toasty aroma from it. While stirring pour the boiling hot water into the toasted teff being careful not to let it splash you.  Keep stirring to keep the lumps out. Now add the apple juice and continue to cook until it is a nice thick porridge. Set aside.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the oven is preheated, mix half the porridge and wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the extra spices and sunflower seeds if you wish now. Now add the remaining wet ingredients and porridge. Mix until evenly combined. Do not worry if the mixture looks "too wet for bread" Pour into a heavy loaf pan that has been well greased and add parchment if you are concerned the loaf may not lift out of your baking dish easily. I prefer Pyrex or a ceramic loaf pan like Emile Henry. Smooth the top. Sprinkle on more sunflower seeds if you wish. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Turn out of the pan and allow to cool.