Tuesday, January 04, 2011

GF Crash Course

Yet another friend is experiencing relief and greater energy thanks to a gluten-free diet, and asked me for some recipes.  Here is my answer to her, in the hopes that it helps someone else!  Feel free to forward this to any GF newbies, people hosting GF guests, or to link up to this post any time!  It's here to help!!

With gluten-free baking, the smaller the better.  GF flours don't rise very well, and tend to be very crumbly and/or dry out very quickly, so small things like muffins, little waffles, pancakes, mini-quiches, etc., are better than loaves of breads.  You also have to handle the dough differently-- no rolling it out then picking it up; it just doesn't stay together like that.  You have to usually pat it into place on/in whatever you'll cook it in, or put it on parchment paper or a cutting board, then do a sleight-of-hand-dump-over-the-top routine.  It's a talent. :)

I've also found that using the whole grain by soaking it overnight helps make things gum together better than using flours. So does adding in ground flax seed-- it contains a LOT of oils and really helps things gel. Keep a box of it in your fridge at all times and add it to EVERYTHING. Certain flours are "thirsty," meaning they take a LOT more liquid than usual-- corn flour especially-- but I actually like using these since I prefer to sweeten with honey or maple syrup instead of sugar, and often use oil or applesauce instead of  butter (because we go through an obscene amount of butter, and buy organic... so it saves us money for me to bake with some oil instead of always butter).  To buy corn flour, look in the Hispanic section for sacks of"Maseca" or "Masa."  It's cheap, and as an advantage it comes from corn soaked in lime water then ground-- much more nutritious and digestible!!  Your kids will also love chanting "maseca."  I speak from experience. 

In buying dairy products such as sour cream or yogurt, you MUST buy the all-natural (preferably full-fat) version to avoid modified food starch & other yukkies. Thankfully, most Krogers carry a store all-natural brand.  Cottage cheese is the toughest to find.  Daisy whole-fat, large curd brand is the ONLY one I can find that doesn't have modified food starch, aka gluten.  It is also free of all the other nasty crap in the other cottage cheese brands.  'Round here, Meijer is the only store that carries it... though I'm sure you could find all-natural brands at health foods like Whole Foods or Rainbow Blossom.

The following are some of my favorite bread-like things.  I've culled them from various sources, and adapted them enough that I think I can claim them as my own by now. :)

GF Oatmeal Muffins (originally from Sina Shuey)
1 c gluten-free rolled oats (Bob's Red Mill is the easiest to find; Kroger carries it)
1 c buttermilk (I use whole milk plain yogurt thinned with water and it works GREAT.  You can also use soured raw milk, or whole milk soured with whey, lemon juice or even apple cider vinegar, or sour cream thinned with water in a pinch)
1 egg
1/3 c butter or applesauce or 1/4 c oil
1/2 c b. sugar or 1/3 c maple syrup
1 c GF flour (I use 1/2 c corn starch, 1/2 c Maseca corn flour)
1 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 c ground flax seed (can leave it out, but I never do)
1 t xantham gum (when I use maple syrup, flax seed, and soak the oats over 2 hours I can leave this out)
1 t cinnamon
ginger, nutmeg, allspice, ground cloves to taste
"add ins" as desired:  raisins, chocolate chips, chopped apple, cranberries, strawberries, etc.

Soak the oats in buttermilk (in a NON-metal bowl) overnight, or at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Add all wet ingredients to soaked oats.  Dump in the dry and stir with a fork.
Bake in greased muffin tins for ~14 minutes; watch for drying out!
Serve plain or with butter... yum.

Old- Fashioned Southern Corn Bread (straight off the corn meal sack)
2 T bacon drippings, butter or oil
2 c stone-ground corn meal (OT a cornbread mix!)
2 t bk powder
1 t bk soda
1 t salt
2 T honey
1 egg (or 1 T white vinegar in a pinch)
1 3/4 c buttermilk (or yogurt thinned with water-- you want it to be kinda chunky; thick)

Put grease, butter or oil in cast iron skillet or deep-dish glass pie pan in 400 degree oven until bubbling.
Meanwhile, mix corn meal, powder, soda and salt.  Add in egg, honey and buttermilk.  Batter should be thick.
Pour into the hot pan, right in the middle of the hot oil/butter.
Bake @ 400 for 20-30 minutes or until brown and cracked.

Variation:  add in 1 c shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack), 1 T chili powder (or more to taste), chopped bell or jalapeno peppers & whole kernels of corn (I dump in 1 c frozen corn).  I usually add in an extra egg and 1/2 t extra of baking soda to help the heavier batter rise.  I love it!! 

Pre-Soaked Pancakes (originally from John & Jessica Moody)
Day 1 (the night before)
3/4 c water
3/4 c yogurt (or 1 1/2 c buttermilk)
2 T coconut or olive oil
3/4 c millet berries
1/2 c rolled GF oats
1/2 c brown rice
1 t vanilla extract

Blend for 3 minutes on high.  Leave in glass container overnight.

Day 2 (following morning)
1 egg
1 t sea salt
1-2 t bk powder
1/2 t bk soda

Add and blend one more minute.  Do not over blend.  Pour on hot, well-oiled griddle as per your usual pancake-mixin' routine.

Variety:  substitute 1/2 c buckwheat groats or amaranth for brown rice or millet berries.  Can also try with (rinsed!!) quinoa grains or wild rice for a nuttier flavor. Can add in sliced bananas, frozen or fresh berries, chocolate chips, etc.  These just make pancakes trickier to flip (they stick more), so have LOTS of butter on hand to grease that skillet!

Cottage Cheese Pancakes (from Ryan's first-ever company retreat)
1 c cottage cheese
1 c sour cream
1 c rice flour  (can use some GF oats too if you like)
4 eggs

Mix- batter will be lumpy.  Pour onto well-oiled griddle...
These are high in protein and will fill you UP!  Great with peach butter & creamy butter... oh yes...

My favorite Double Crust GF Pie Crust (great for chicken pot pie!- adapted from Mrs. Mohler's "famous" pie crust recipe)
1 c cornstarch or tapioca starch/flour
1 c rice flour (I usually substitute 1/4 c of this with ground flax seed) or buckwheat or millet flour, or a combo
8 T butter
2 T olive oil
1/3 cold milk (or my favorite: cold orange juice- it provides a light sweet tartness that is great!)
1 t xanthan or guar gum
1 t salt (can omit if using salted butter above)

Bake as needed.  For pumpkin pie, add in pumpkin pie spice (ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & ground cloves or allspice) and 1 t maple syrup.

Emergency One-Crust Pie Crust
1/2 c butter
1 1/2 c rice flour
4 T cold water

Mix, then press directly into pan.

Dairy-Free GF Pie Crust
3/4 c rice flour
1 t honey
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 t xanthan gum
1/3 c butter or oil
2 T cold water.

Mix, then roll out between aluminum foil sheets for easy(er) transfer.

Another breakfast favorite (recipe has been referred to dozens of friends with rave reviews all around) is baked oatmeal from my friend Emily-- just make sure you use GF oats. I've used this pita recipe several times and it's good. I make my gyros like my friend Jenny does, except I add in cumin, coriander, cinnamon & other middle-eastern curry spices, as well as using 1/2 ground lamb, 1/2 ground beef.  Everything on here is amazing.  But as she's a chef, married to a chef, sometimes the recipes are a bit too involved for me... Go here to my staple meat-loaf recipe. Lastly, in a pinch, Pamela's Gluten-Free Bread Mix is my favorite.  You can make it in any bread maker on the white wheat setting.

No comments: