Friday, May 28, 2010

GF Wrap Sandwich Bread-- Recipe Correction

   In my GF Flatbread Wrap Sandwich Bread recipe post, I mistakenly wrote 1 tsp of pectin for the egg replacer.  It should have been 1 tsp gelatin.  Huge difference!  I apologize for any bad wraps made out there.  I hope you will try the recipe again with the correction.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Allergen Free Baking Handbook - Review


   Smells of cookies, chocolate zucchini bread, and cake have been filling my home.  I have loved every minute of it!  I have cooked several of the recipes that grabbed my attention in The Allergen Free Baking Handbook, and I have had deliciously, consistent results.

     Grade for this cookbook:  A+  in taste, texture, and accuracy of the recipe.   Following the recipe as written gave consistent success the first time around.   Every recipe that I tested was gobbled up by our family with mom getting requests for more!

  Now on a side note.  I have a confession-- I have been cooking gluten free for years, and up until this time, I didn't have a GF cookbook on my bookshelf.  The reason?  Because I have checked out many a GF cookbooks from the library with disappointing results in the kitchen.  The food would often turn out gritty and inedible.  I would try several more recipes, and the ending was always the same---I was left angry that I wasted so much of my time, and that my money was sitting in the trash with food I didn't even get to eat.  What a waste of ingredients!  So, I have to tell you, when you I tried several recipes in The Allergen Free Baking Handbook, and I had success after success, I was thrilled.  If there is a recipe in the cookbook that isn't up to snuff,  I haven't found it yet.   The recipes are delicious, with not a hint a grittiness in any of my desserts that I tried.  I now own my first gluten free cookbook and very happy with it!

     I have listed below the recipes that I tested.   Also, following this post are three recipes that Ten Speed Press has given me permission to reprint.  So give them a try, and decide for yourself!



Sponge Cake:

I have to tell you, even when I ate gluten, sponge cake was not really my thing,  but this one tastes really good.  My kids devoured it before I could get a full slice.  The one thing that I did love about this cake was it's versatility.  I used it in my strawberry pie (which, I never got to take a final picture with the strawberry glaze put on top.... the kids ate the pie while I was taking a phone call!), and in my parfaits.



  
Thin Crispy Oatmeal Cookies:


Once again, the kids devoured these up within ten minutes.  These were truly delicious cookies.  I loved how big the cookies came out.  You would think with the size of these cookies, that one would be enough, but they were addictive!  Oh my waistline!  I ate four in one sitting!


Chocolate Chunk Blondie Cookies:

These are beautiful cookies and taste just as great.  This was another recipe that all ten of us in the family gave the thumbs up.  This recipe is found in the post below. 

Chocolate Zucchini Bread:




This chocolate bread was a huge hit.  I added nuts because my kids aren't allergic to walnuts, and it was fantastic.  It wasn't crumbly when you cut it, but was moist, and chocolately.  Another food that was a huge hit with our crew.

Blueberry Boy Bait:






     I have never had a bait before, and it was delicious.  It is a nice change of pace from a cobbler, that has lots more fruit.  My kids aren't wild about fruit desserts, but liked this one because it was more cake than fruit.  Loved this!  The recipe is in the following post below.


I you like all of these recipes and you want to keep up with Cybele, she has her own website http://www.cybelepascal.com/.   I see listed on her website that she will now be blogging weekly on the Body and Soul for Martha Stewart!  Yeah, for Cybele!








Cybele Pascal's Flour Mixes

Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.



Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
makes 6 cups

The key to the very best gluten-free baked goods is Authentic Foods superfine brown rice flour; it is the Cadillac, or cashmere, of brown rice flours and is worth its weight in gold. It is not grainy like other rice flours, and bakes the most fantastic cookies, cakes, pie crusts, and so on. If you can’t find it at your local natural foods market or Whole Foods, order it online. Both Ener-G and Bob’s Red Mill brown rice flours will also work in these recipes, but they won’t turn out quite as well. I do not recommend Arrowhead Mills brown rice flour, which I find too gritty. The brands of potato starch and tapioca flour or starch are not important; I find them all interchangeable. (Please see Resources, page 177, for more information.)

4 cups superfine brown rice flour
11/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour)
2/3 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)

1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.

2. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.













Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix
makes 6 cups

11/2 cups millet flour
11/2 cups sorghum flour
2 cups tapioca starch
1 cup potato starch

1. To measure flour, use a large spoon to scoop flour into the measuring cup, then level it off with the back of a knife or straightedge. Do not use the measuring cup itself to scoop your flour when measuring! It will compact the flour and you will wind up with too much for the recipe.

2. Combine all of the ingredients in a gallon-size zipper-top bag. Shake until well blended. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Note :  For recipes in this chapter, be careful not to overheat liquids before combining them with the yeast. If the liquids are too hot, they will kill the yeast—and the rise. Invest in a thermometer and stick to the temperature recommendations firmly.




Allergen Free Baking Handbook Chocolate Chunk Blondie Bars



Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.


Chocolate Chunk Blondie Bars
makes 16 bars

I was so excited when Enjoy Life came out with their new line of chocolate bars, I literally jumped for joy. I was already a huge fan of their chocolate chips, and now they’ve given me a whole new genre of chocolate to bake with. These chocolate chunk cookie bars are an old-fashioned picnic or school function favorite. So easy and yet sooooo good!

21/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
11/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
11/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 2 tablespoons rice milk
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon rice milk
6 ounces (about 4 bars) Enjoy Life Rice Milk bars or Dark Chocolate Boom Choco Boom bars, chopped into centimeter-size chunks

1.            Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 9-inch pan.
2.            Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3.            In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, granulated sugar, and brown sugar, beating on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
4.            Add the vanilla and egg replacer and mix for 20 seconds.
5.            Add the flour mix in three batches, mixing on low speed, alternating with the rice milk, and beginning and ending with the flour mix.
6.            Fold in the chocolate chunks.
7.            Spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the baking pan.
8.            Bake in the center of the oven for 35 minutes, or until lightly golden, rotating the pan halfway through.
9.            Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 15 minutes. Cut into 16 squares. Let cool. 

Allergen Free Handbook - Blueberry Boy Bait



Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.


Blueberry Boy Bait
makes 8 servings

This moist, buttery coffee cake with its crisp, cinnamon-sugar topping is based on an old-fashioned recipe from the 1950s, called Blueberry Boy Bait, a coffee cake named for the effect it had on teenage boys. My boys aren’t teens yet, but this bait works for them. They’ll gobble it up in one day—with not a crumb left over.

2 cups Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix (page 19)
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dairy-free, soy-free vegetable shortening
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
41/2 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 6 tablespoons rice milk
3/4 cup rice milk
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries tossed with 1 tablespoon Basic Gluten-Free Flour Mix
1/4 cup granulated sugar mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 9-inch baking pan and sprinkle with a little gluten-free lour mix, tapping out any extra.

2. Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the shortening, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes, or until fluffy.

4. Add the egg replacer and mix for about 20 seconds.

5. Reduce the speed to medium and beat in one-third of the flour, mixing for 15 seconds.

6. Add half of the rice milk, mixing for 20 seconds.

7. Beat in half of the remaining flour, then the remaining rice milk, and finally the remaining flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

8. Add half of the batter to the pan, using a frosting spatula to spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with half of the blueberries. Top with the remaining batter, spreading it as evenly as possible across the blueberries. Top with the remaining blueberries, then sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

9. Bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour, until the cinnamon-sugar mixture has begun to caramelize and the top is golden. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes before turning out onto a serving platter (or just cut into pieces and serve out of the pan). Serve warm or at room temperature. This cake is even better on day two!

Tip:  If using frozen blueberries, keep frozen until the last minute, or they’ll turn your batter blue-green. 

Allergen Free Handbook Focaccia Bread


Reprinted with permission from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook: How to Bake Without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, and Sesame. Copyright © 2009 by Cybele Pascal, Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.


Focaccia
makes 1 square 9-inch bread
This rustic flat bread is great served with white bean dip or dunked in red sauce. It’s also wonderful dipped in olive oil. Be sure to serve it warm.

11/2 cups warm water (110° to 115°F)
1 teaspoon agave nectar or granulated sugar
1 (1/4-ounce) packet rapid-rise yeast
31/2 cups Gluten-Free Bread Flour Mix
1 tablespoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
11/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1. Combine the water, agave nectar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well. Make sure the yeast is completely dissolved.

2. Whisk together the flour mix, xanthan gum, and salt.

3. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture in two batches and mix well for about 1 minute, or until the dough is coming together.

4. Spray a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with baking spray or grease with vegetable shortening and dust with cornmeal, tapping out any extra.

5. Transfer the dough to the pan, using a rubber spatula. Use a frosting spatula to smooth down the surface and coax the dough into the corners of the pan. Cover with a folded dish towel or cloth napkin. Place the pan in a dishpan and pour hot water to come two-thirds up the sides (or just fill your kitchen sink basin). It may float, but don’t worry, that’s fine. Be sure to fold your cloth so it’s not dragging in the water. Let the bread rise for 1 hour. I generally replace the hot water with new hot water after the first 30 minutes. Check it periodically to make sure it’s still quite warm.

6. After the dough has risen for 1 hour, use your fingers to gently make dimples all over the top of the bread. Return the bread to its warm bath to continue rising while you preheat the oven.

7. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Once it’s heated, pour the olive oil over the top of the bread, brushing lightly with a pastry brush to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the top with the coarse sea salt and rosemary. Bake for about 22 minutes, or until golden on top. Transfer to a cooling rack, turn out of the pan, and let cool for about 15 minutes before slicing. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Dirty Foods, Clean Foods


Every year they print a list of the top dirty foods---foods that have so many pesticides that they recommend that consumers buy them organic.   I just read this years top 12 dirty foods and top 15 clean foods at the Daily Green.   Here is there report for this year:

Dirty Foods:

  1. Celery - 64 pesticides detected.
  2. Peaches - 62 pesticides detected.
  3. Strawberries - 59 pesticides detected, but apparently if you buy them out of season, they are more likely imported from other countries and thus less stringent regulations of pesticide use.
  4. Apples - 42 pesticides detected.
  5. Blueberries - 52 pesticides detected.
  6. Peppers - 49 pesticides detected.
  7. Nectarines - 33 pesticides detected.
  8. Spinach - 48 pesticides detected.
  9. Potatoes - 37 pesticides detected.
  10. Grapes - 34 pesticides detected.
  11. Leafy Greens - 51 pesticides detected.
  12. Kale - which is usually disease and pest resistant but was found to have high amounts of pesticide residue this year. 
Clean Foods:

  1. Onion
  2. Avocado
  3. Sweet Corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mango
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet Peas
  8. Kiwi
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Papaya
  12. Watermelon
  13. Broccoli
  14. Tomato ( this one is inconsistent from year to year)
  15. Sweet Potato
If you want to read the article yourself, you can do so buy clicking on this link