Saturday, July 31, 2010

Gluten Free Whole Wheat Faux Bread

Scott & I just returned from a wonderful trip to Lake Tahoe, to visit our son Ryan, who is there on a summer project with Campus Crusade for Christ. The beauty of the lake is beyond description. The water was crystal clear and the most beautiful blue I have ever seen in freshwater. God's handiwork was simply breathtaking!

While on our vacation Scott and I celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. We enjoyed an evening on the lake with a dinner cruise. 


The last batch of bread I made I took to Tahoe to share with our son, who is also gluten intolerant, so I was quickly back in the kitchen upon our return, in order to have a piece of toast ready for the morning. This recipe comes in a close second to the soft white bread recipe I shared previously. It uses gluten free beer and molasses to give it a wonderful, almost whole wheat like flavor; that's why I named it Whole Wheat Faux Bread! It tastes great toasted with butter and jam.

(Gluten Free) Whole Wheat Faux Bread

1 Tbsp. Cider Vinegar
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 bottle of beer (gluten free)
2 Tbsp. Molasses
1 Egg

1/2 cup Warm Water (110 degrees)
1 tsp. White Sugar
1 Tbsp. Quick Rise Yeast

1 cup Chick Pea Flour (garbanzo bean flour)
1 cup Brown Rice Flour
1 cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 cup Corn Starch
1/2 cup Millet Flour
3 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp. Xanthan Gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a small bowl, combine the first five wet ingredients, gently stirring, then set aside. 

Place one tablespoon of quick rise yeast and one teaspoon of white sugar 
into a half a cup of 110 degree water. Set aside to allow yeast to proof.

In a large bowl, place all remaining dry ingredients and mix.

Slowly add in beer mixture and proofed yeast.

Mix with a blender on high speed for ten minutes. Dough should appear like heavy cake batter.

Place batter in four small loaf pans or one large loaf pan. 

Place in a warm area and allow to rise for approximately one hour.

Place bread pans in a 325 degree oven. Cook one loaf for approximately 50-60 minutes or until thumping the top of the loaf sounds hollow. If cooking four small loaves, only cook for 25-27 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gluten Free Soft Sandwich Bread

I've posted before how many times I've made a loaf of gluten free bread only to have it fall in the last part of baking; the once glorious risen loaf, now a deflated counterpart to it's distant cousin "Mr. Gluten" who remains puffed up in all his glory. Well, now there is a recipe to rival it. I've never been a wild fan of bean flours, but if just the right blend of flours are used, the taste of the bean flour can be masked and a beautiful loaf of bread will arise!

My husband tasted this bread and remarked, "Now there's a loaf of bread to get fat on!"

This recipe is so easy to follow, there are no pictures, but the gluten free delicious end result. Enjoy!

Gluten Free Soft Sandwich Bread

1 cup water
1 tsp. white sugar
1 Tbsp. quick rise yeast

1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup milk (or 1 cup rice milk)
1 egg (or 3 Tbsp + 2 tsp. egg replacer)
1/4 tsp. maple extract

(dry ingredients)

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup arrowroot (cornstarch)
1/2 cup gluten free oat flour
1 Tbsp. xanthan gum
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Take one cup water and heat to 110 degrees. Add 1 tsp. sugar and 1 Tbsp. quick rise yeast to the warm water and set aside to proof yeast.

In separate small bowl combine vinegar, olive oil, milk, egg, and maple extract. 

In large bowl add all dry ingredients. Place wet ingredients and proofed yeast into flour mixture. Mix with a blender on high for 10 minutes.

Place dough (looks like very thick cake batter) into one large loaf pan or 4 mini loaf pans (I prefer the mini loaves). Place in a warm area and let rise until doubled. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour (large loaf) or 25 minutes for mini loafs. Thump top of loaves and listen for a hollow sound to test doneness.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler GF Delicious!

When I was a little girl I remember visiting my grandparents' farm where my sister and I would grab a basket and head to the chicken coop to gather fresh farm eggs. Today, I can purchase farm fresh eggs at my local farmer's market. If you've ever tasted farm fresh eggs, as apposed to store bought, you know there is no comparison!

I love this time of year when the local vendors at the farmer's market hawk their wares; anything from homegrown fruits and vegetables to crotched hats and hand painted cards. I bought a dozen eggs yesterday for $4. Yes, they were expensive, but it helps a local farmer and my scrambled eggs this morning were so delicious, it brought me back to the days on my grandparents' farm. My advice, splurge when you can and purchase some farm fresh eggs; you'll be glad you did. This recipe doesn't call for eggs, but it does use a couple of ingredients that are only found local this time of year, strawberries and rhubarb.

One of my summertime favorites--Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler. Delicious on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

2 cups chopped rhubarb
2 cups chopped strawberries
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar (divided)
1 cube butter (melted)
2 cups GF baking mix (I use Pamela's)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

                                            Chop rhubarb to approximately 1/2 inch chunks.

                                                                  Chop strawberries.

                      In a 2 quart saucepan, add rhubarb, strawberries, water,
                      and 1 cup of the sugar.

Mix well and bring to boil.

Simmer for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, add remaining cup of sugar, 2 cups GF mix, baking powder, and 
slowly add in 1 cup of buttermilk. (I use powdered buttermilk and add water.)

Mixture should resemble cake batter.

Pour fruit mixture into a buttered 3 quart baking dish.

Slowly pour batter over the top of the fruit.

Melt 1 cube of butter in microwave and slowly pour on top of batter.

Place in 350 degree oven and bake for 40-50 minutes or until center comes out clean.

Completely cool and serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

All for a Chocolate Chip Cookie!

My husband and son are away on a motorcycle trip traveling 1700 miles up through Canada. Last night they came across a black bear, which other than the scenery of Banff and Lake Louise, has been a highlight. They took both our cameras, so today I decided to stop by Walmart and pick up a very inexpensive digital camera. It has no card that can be removed, so you have to download directly from the camera to the computer. I thought, no problem, I can do that. I proceeded to take pictures of every step in creating what I think are wonderful gluten-free chocolate chip cookies.

I tried to download the software, which you have to use in order for the images to download to the computer, only to find the disc was damaged. Frustrated, I went online to the manufacturer's site and emailed support to receive a downloadable version, which they promptly sent. I tried to download the files but my computer would not open them. I decided to call the support number. After twenty minutes of being on hold, I gave up and took my camera and damaged disc back to Walmart, only to realize I had left the usb port back home. I returned home more frustrated than ever, grabbed the port and headed back to Walmart. The gentleman was kind enough to open a new package and retrieve a new disc for me.

Downloading the new disc, I was excited to finally get the images online, however, the document would still not open! I had now wasted nearly my whole day and still no pictures. I've decided to post the recipe without them, besides, everyone knows the steps of making chocolate chip cookies.

My men are due home tomorrow. I can hardly wait! I guess I'll clean the house; probably what I should have been doing all along.

Yummy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2 1/4 cups GF flour mix (I use Pamela's)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3.4 oz. package of instant vanilla pudding
1 cup butter softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (opt)

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. Place softened butter in a medium size bowl and add eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until fluffy.

Add butter mixture to flour and thoroughly blend. Add chocolate chips and nuts.

I bake my cookies on parchment paper, but a plain cookie sheet will work too. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Thoughts on marriage

At the end of this month my husband Scott and I will celebrate 26 years of marriage. Today's blog is not so much about my gluten free recipes as it is about a recipe for a lasting marriage. I would love to say that we've had a perfect marriage, but we haven't, and quite honestly, I don't know if they exist. The recipe that has made our marriage last through the good times and the bad has been forgiving one another, keeping short accounts, good communication, serving one another, laughing at each other and ourselves, and loving often.

I realize through the years when problems arise in our marriage it is usually due to selfishness on one of our parts. Learning to compromise and being willing to watch out for each other's best interests are good ingredients for a happy marriage. Always remember to look at your spouse as a gift. Don't take them for granted. Find small ways to show you appreciate them. 

About a year ago Scott bought a motorcycle. I called it his mid-life-crisis, but he didn't agree. He wanted so desperately for me to ride with him. He purchased a comfortable seat for me, bought me wide floor boards to rest my feet on, and many other products to make the ride as comfy as possible. Two weeks ago we rode a little over 600 miles together. He asked me when we got home if I loved riding the motorcycle. I sayed, "I don't love riding, but I love you, and so I ride." He smiled and I smiled back.

The foundation of our home has been the word of God. It sustains us, gives us renewed strength, disciplines us, and draws us closer to each other. Like our marriage, I'd love to say I've followed God's word without question, but I haven't. I am a sinner, saved by His grace, and the closer I adhere to His loving Word, the sweeter my marriage becomes.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Thoughts of a gluten-free life

It is a funny thing to sit at the computer and blog for the very first time. It makes me wonder if anyone out there in cyberland would care what I had to say, or if anyone would even come across this blog and read it. But if no one does, it's fun to feel like you have a voice, even if no one is listening.

You who have recently been diagnosed gluten intolerant, I have one thing to say, Lucky You! I know you don't feel that way, but you must know that it was not that many years ago that gluten free products on the market were rare, let alone edible! I remember my mother buying a loaf of soy bread from the health food store back in the early 70's. My sister and I had to toast it, smother it with peanut butter and wash it down with a glass of milk. And then there were the years of attempting to make my own bread, when the only available flours were rice and soy. I honestly believe I could have killed someone with the bricks I produced. I can't tell you how many times I would get my hopes up watching a loaf of bread rise, only to have it fall in the last stage of baking. Thankfully, with new flours on the market, my skills have improved. I now enjoy a slice of bread, and I don't have to smother it with peanut butter just to choke it down!

Here is one of my favorite recipes I've created. If you are having dinner guests, they'll never know it's gluten free. Enjoy!

La Valencia Orange Rum Cake-Gluten Free

Prep & Cook Time: Approx. one hour
Serves: 8-10

2 Tbsp. GF flour mix for dusting (such as Pamela's, Bob's Red Mill, Mama's, etc.) I use Pamela's.
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, room temp.
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups gluten-free baking mix (again I use Pamela's)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups 2% milk (heated)
1 Valencia Orange (preferably organic- you will use the skin)
1/2 cup dried Craisins
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

6 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup Bacardi Rum

2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup juice from Valencia Orange
2 Tbsp. butter melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease and dust a bundt pan with 2 Tbsp. GF flour mix.

Cake instructions:

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine flour mix, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt.

Heat milk, but don't boil. Slowly add the milk and flour to the butter mixture. Beat on med-low speed until incorporated.

Remove rind from the Valencia orange and place in a water-soaked paper towel. Place in microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 1 minute. Carefully unwrap rind and chop into smaller chunks. Place rind, Craisins, and nuts into food processor and chop until it resembles crumbled meal. Gently fold into cake batter.

Place batter in prepared bundt pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes, remove from bundt pan onto a plate.

Syrup Instructions:

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and sugar together. Add water and bring to a boil. Add rum and boil for 30 seconds more. Remove from heat and pour evenly over bundt cake.

Glaze instructions:

Slice inner portion of Valencia orange in half and remove all seeds. Squeeze juice from each orange half into a medium size bowl, discarding pulp. Add powdered sugar and melted butter. Drizzle glaze over COOLED bundt cake.