Fresh Gluten Free Pasta

Fresh pasta with Ranchero Sauce

Fresh gluten free pasta with Ranchero Sauce

As it turns out, making fresh gluten free pasta is remarkably satisfying for the amount of effort that it takes to make. The amount of time that it takes to gather ingredients, knead them together and roll the dough out isn’t actually much more time than it takes to boil the water, so using dried commercial pasta isn’t much of a time saving – especially since this takes 4-5 minutes to cook instead of ~9 minutes for dried.

The pasta itself is far more satisfying than dried pasta, too, though right now I don’t have the wherewithal to make fusilli, nor the patience to make farfalle, so that still requires bought pasta. This pasta is mild in flavor, though not bland; it has a satisfying and not too delicate (aka flimsy) texture, and it doesn’t appear to be too fussy about how long it gets cooked for, either.

Although this recipe doubles or triples perfectly easily, make sure not to over crowd the pan when boiling the pasta as it will be more likely to stick to itself.

Serves 1 well, or 2 if serving with a bulky sauce

1 oz (1/4 cup) bean flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) potato/tapioca starch
1/3 tsp xanthan gum
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg

Mix the dry ingredients together.

 

Crack the egg into the dry ingredients, and stir in with a butter knife. Initially, there won’t appear to be enough egg, but once there’s no egg apparent, use your hands to bring the dough together and briefly knead.  You’ll end up with a fairly stiff and slightly sticky dough.

Roll out as thinly as possible and cut into strips (or other desired shape), or use a pasta maker.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil (~3 pints, more if you’re doubling or tripling the recipe), add the pasta and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Drain well and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

Gluten Free Chapati

Chapati are Indian flatbreads, essentially wholewheat, Indian counterparts for Mexican tortillas.

They are tasty, slightly chewy, moist, and pliant, and are good for scooping up mouthfuls of curry. They’re also quick and easy to make. If you find they’re too stiff, they’re over cooked and you should raise the cooking temperature a little (so that they get their brown spots before drying out) or shorten the cooking time. I find that as I’m cooking more chapatis, the cast iron pan gets hotter and I have to turn down the heat so I have time to roll out a chapati while the previous one is cooking.

chapati

Quantities to serve 4
1 oz (1/4 cup) teff flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) garfava (or garbanzo bean) flour
2 oz (1/2 cup) tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
4 fl oz (1/2 cup) water

Preheat a griddle or cast iron frying pan on medium high heat (don’t use oil, these shouldn’t be fried).

Stir all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then add the oil and water.

Beat all together with a butter knife until a smooth, soft, moist (but not too sticky) dough is formed. Add a little more water or flour as necessary.

Dust the work-surface with a little more of one of the flours. Take enough dough for one chapati (the size of a large egg or 1/4 of the dough), dust a rolling pin with the flour, and roll out the dough into an even, 8″ round.

Put the uncooked chapati onto the heated pan, and cook until small brown spots appear on the bottom (~2 minutes). Turn the chapati over, and cook on the other side for about a minute until it too has small brown spots on it.

Eat immediately, or place between two pieces of kitchen paper until you’re ready to eat, to prevent them drying out.

Banana Quick Bread

I had some bananas going begging, this week, which just demanded a recipe for banana bread. Daughter #2 was particularly fond of this loaf. It has a distinct banana flavor, and is moist and vaguely sweet, with more densely sweet pockets provided by the dried fruit. It slices well, and it’s also extremely easy to make!

Banana bread4 oz brown sugar
2 oz margarine
4 medium sized eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
10 oz blanched almond flour
5 oz tapioca flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup raisins or walnut pieces

Preheat the oven to 350F (this quick bread doesn’t take long to put together)

In a food processor, beat together the sugar and margarine.

Add the eggs one at a time, and process until combined.

Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients (except for the raisins/walnut pieces) over the egg mixture, and process to combine.

Add the raisins/walnuts, and process for about 5 seconds (or by hand) to combine.

Turn the mixture into two 1lb loaf pans greased or lined with baking parchment.

Cook for 60 minutes at 350F on the middle shelf, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow to cool before eating.

Variation: Instead of baking in a loaf pan, smooth the batter into a silicone flan pan (same cooking time), and when the cake has cooled, fill it with bananas and custard made with 2-3 bananas.

Cooked flan case

GF Banana Bread flan case

GF Banana Bread flan case topped with bananas and custard.

GF Banana Bread flan case topped with bananas and custard.

Crusty, Vegan, Gluten Free Bread

Cut loafAfter having been in temporary accommodation for exactly a year now, with half to two-thirds of my kitchen in storage, we’re finally looking at moving into a permanent house in a couple of weeks’ time. I’m so looking forward to being able to play in the kitchen again. Amongst other things, I managed to put into storage all my bread tins, so have been experimenting with some glass cookware (that I rarely used before, but somehow ended up taking with us).
Making gluten free bread with eggs is now pretty straight forward, but getting a good rise out of a vegan bread mix has been more challenging.

slice of bread

This slice was cut before the loaf had fully cooled, but note the lack of unleavened bread at the bottom of the loaf!

I was toying with my copy of Gluten-Free and Vegan Bread by Jennifer Katzinger (with which I’ve had limited success) a few months ago, when I realized that the logic that she was using for not waiting for the dough to rise before putting it in the oven, could be applied to what I used to do sometimes with wheat bread. Sometimes, I would only wait until the dough was mostly risen, then put it in a cold (but heating) oven so that the slowly rising heat from the oven caused the yeast to go mad, right up until the point that it got hot enough to cook. Jennifer puts her bread straight into a hot oven, but I wanted to experiment putting the dough into a cold oven, so that it only had 15 minutes of rising before cooking at a reasonably high temperature. It seems to me that we still need a certain amount of yeast action to raise the loaf, but (according to Jennifer) we don’t want enzymes to have time to break down the structure, so we’d best be using lots of first generation yeast instead of waiting for successive generations to build up the CO2 in our loaf. This means that I’ve used far more yeast than I would normally use in a loaf …. and at this rate, using individual sachets of yeast is an expensive proposition. I buy my yeast in 2 lb bags in Costco for about the same money that I’ve seen charged for a 4 oz jar in other supermarkets.

The resultant bread is mildish in flavor (but not bland) with a crunchy crust, and a soft, moist mie the texture of REAL bread (as opposed to the pointless, fluffy-white-nothing of mass-produced ready-sliced modern wheat bread, of which I was never particularly fond). The tapioca starch keeps the texture of the mie soft; the almond flour gives a mild but nutritious aspect; the bean flour is great for nutrition and structure (but tends to be rather strongly flavored which is why I’ve diluted it with other flours), and the teff flour is also nutritiously superior, but with a warming, mellow flavor. I think it’s the teff that gives the slight molasses (not sweet) flavor that my daughter noticed. All in all, I really like this loaf. It isn’t as calorie dense as my much loved almond bread, but has good structure and flavor and isn’t reliant on eggs.

2 tbsp chia seeds
6 oz (1 1/4 cups) tapioca flour/starch or arrowroot
2 1/2 oz (2/3 cup) almond meal
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) garbanzo/garfava bean flour
5 oz (1 cup) teff flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp instant yeast
2 tbsp maple syrup/1 tbsp sugar

Measure the chia seeds out into a small container, add 4 fl. oz (1/2 cup) of water and put to one side to swell. (Minimum 15 mins. Hot water speeds up the process.)

Into the food processor, put the starch, almond, bean, and teff flours. Add the salt, xanthan gum, oil, and yeast.

Teff doughInto a jug, measure 1 1/2 cup of warm water and the maple syrup. (Warm water speeds up the rising.)

Once they’re ready, add the soaked chia seeds to the processor (the mixture will have thickened). Start processing the mixture and slowly (~10 seconds) add the water/syrup mixture. Process until the ingredients are fully amalgamated (~60 seconds). Add another tbsp or two of water, if your processor is having a hard time mixing this.

Heavily grease a 2lb loaf pan, scrape the dough into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

Cover loosely with a sheet of baking parchment (not foil which increases the cooking time) to avoid over-browning.

Place the wannabe loaf in the oven, then turn on the oven to heat up to 360F and cook for 1 hr (from cold).

When cooked, the loaf will have pulled away from the side of the pan slightly. Tip it out, and allow to cool (ha ha … I never manage this bit) before slicing.

Teff Bread

Sliver pictureI know I’ve said this before, but I am still of the opinion that gluten free flours have a tendency to be either nutritionally poor and mildly flavored, or nutritionally good and strongly flavored, and unfortunately, many of the strong flavors are too intrusive and so we have to mix our flours to moderate them, or settle for the less nutritious flours. Teff appears to be a moderate flour; on its own it approaches the nutritional value of whole wheat, and there are no harsh notes. Don’t expect it to taste like wheat bread, but do expect it to taste like a great specialty bread.

This loaf was springy, flexible, and moist; easy to slice and slightly dense, and reminiscent of the malt loaf that I absolutely loved as a kid. It isn’t sweet, however, so it’s fine for savory sandwiches (although I am SO tempted to make a sweet one to toast).

I cooked this at a low temperature in order to get a soft crust, which it obligingly gave me.DSC_0011

10 oz (2 cups) teff flour
5 oz (1 cup) tapioca starch
1 oz (1/4 cup) flaxmeal
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar (for the yeast, not for you)
1 tsp white vinegar
2 eggs
9 fl. oz water

DSC_0001

Batter consistency.

DSC_0003

Smoothed, unrisen dough.

Put all the dry ingredients in a food processor.
Put all the wet ingredients in a jug.

Start the processor, and slowly (over a period of about 10 seconds) add the wet ingredients to the dry. Process for about 2 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.

Risen dough ready to go in the oven.

Risen dough ready to go in the oven.

Scrape the batter out into a greased loaf pan; smooth the top, and allow to rest somewhere warm to rise by about 50% (~35 minutes depending on liveliness of your yeast and ambient temperature).
Place the pan in the oven, cover with a sheet of parchment or foil, and set the temperature to 330F.

Bake for 65 – 70 minutes (timed from turning on the oven, not from getting up to temperature).
Remove from the pan, and allow to cool (ha ha!) before slicing.

Teff Pancakes

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Teff American Pancakes served here with scrambled tofu. These pancakes are moist, light, and springy; a little more flavorful than wheat pancakes, with slight undertones of chocolate.

Teff seems to be a very well behaved gluten free flour. These American style pancakes are soft and springy, with the sweet version having a taste mildly reminiscent of an orange and milk chocolate cake, which is great for those of us who appear to be unable to tolerate chocolate!

It’s also low-FODMAP, if that’s something that bothers you.

This amount makes two 4″ pancakes.

1 egg
1/4 cup (1 1/4 oz) teff flour
0 – 3 tsp sugar (0 tsp for savory meal, 3 tsp for sweet)
1/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 – 2 tbsp dairy free milk OR orange juice (for sweet meal)

1 tsp oil for frying

Put all the ingredients (except oil) into a cup or small mixing bowl, and beat together briefly with a fork to form a batter.

Heat the oil in a frying pan until hot (and a splash of water instantly beads up and evaporates if splattered in the pan). Reduce the heat to medium low, and spread out the oil with a spatula or by tilting the pan.

DSC_0003Pour out the batter into two rounds in the frying pan, and allow to set for about 2 minutes until small bubbles have appeared on the surface of the pancake, the edges have set (and look less shiny), and the bottom has browned slightly.

Use a spatula or fish slice to flip each pancake over, and cook the other side for about a minute or until it too is lightly browned.

Serve hot with the usual breakfast accompaniments.

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Thin Crust Pizza

I was in the kitchen indulging in some tortilla making this morning (mainly because I was craving carbs), and I was turning one of them into a quesadilla, as I finished making the others, when it occurred to me that I should be able to turn the tortillas into individual thin crust pizzas, too, albeit in a slightly thicker and bigger format, and cooked a bit longer to get a crunchy crust.

Cooked thin crust pizza

One of the tortillas succumbed to my experiment, but it wasn’t ideal as I had no pizza sauce on hand, and the crust burnt at the edges, but it showed promise; I just had to thicken the crust at the edges so it didn’t burn so easily.

I had another go this afternoon, and the resulting pizzas were sturdy enough to hold in the hand, crispy around the edge of the crust, and chewy and tasty all over. They were also really quick to make once the pizza sauce and dairy free cheese were sorted. 20 – 30 minutes start to finish for 4 pizzas. During the process, I figured that I needed to prepare all the ingredients before I started putting the pizza together, as once I got started, it all happened quickly, and I didn’t have much time for slicing veggies. Note that I put the cheese under the veggies so that it would melt more easily, and I put the veggies on the very top of the pizza so that they would cook under the broiler/grill, and not get shielded by the cheese.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 batch of amaranth, all purpose, or quinoa/bean flour dough
  • Pizza sauce (Herb and Garlic pizza sauce, Veganesca, Ratatouille, Ranchero sauce, or your favorite)
  • Dairy free cheese (home made or commercial), thinly sliced, or diced
  • Toppings (thickly sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced red onion, black olives, raw garlic slices, halved fresh baby tomatoes, pineapple chunks, soy chorizo, oil preserved sun dried tomatoes, etc.)

Heat the pizza sauce, and set to one side.

Prepare all the toppings that you’re thinking of using, and also set to one side.

Place a pizza stone about 6″ underneath a hot broiler (grill), and preheat it.

Pizza doughDivide the dough into 4 evenly sized pieces.

On a well floured cutting board or work surface, roll one of the pieces of dough into a round about 10-12″ across, and then fold the edges back over so that the edge of the crust will be thicker than the rest of the pizza (to prevent burning, and make the crust look rounder).

Heat a dry cast iron pan on the stove on medium heat until hot, and place the rolled pizza dough onto the pan, with the folded over edges facing upwards. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottom of the crust is very slightly browned, and then flip the crust over, smear with pizza sauce, then the cheese, then the vegetable toppings, and then scoot the pizza onto the pizza stone for about 5-7 minutes while the veggies cook, the cheese melts, and the pizza crust browns around the edges.

While that pizza cooks under the broiler/grill, roll out the next pizza base and repeat the process.

Burger Buns

Burger bunsYou may or may not know this. A nice little trick with bread involves knowing that high cooking temperatures will give a thicker, crunchier crust, and lower cooking temperatures result in a thinner, softer one. So, if you want your bread to have a soft almost non-existent crust, much like burger buns, then a lower cooking temperature is required.

I normally cook my almond brioche bread at a medium temperature (~360F/180C) to get a medium amount of crust. To get these soft, thin crusted baps, I drop the temperature to 320F/160C, though I suspect that lower would work, too. Additionally, I wet the surface of the dough before it goes in the oven, to delay the formation of the crust (due to the surface drying out) so that the dough can continue rising in the oven for a little longer. I happen to love the mild (but not non-existent) flavor, and soft, flexible texture of this almond brioche bread, but if you have a favorite GF bread mix, you can just try dropping the temperature to make burger buns.

This recipe makes 8-10 burger sized rolls

1 recipe Almond Brioche dough

Line a cookie/baking tray with parchment paper, and use a serving spoon to form 8-10 equal sized mounds. Spread the batter out with the back of the spoon into patties, 3/4″ high, by ~5″ diameter.

Now, use wet fingers in small circular motions to gently smooth the top and sides of the buns. Re-wet your fingers frequently. This will give a smoother external texture, as this dough doesn’t smooth out on its own very well.

Leave the rolls to rise for 30-40 minutes.

Put the tray into the middle of a cold oven covered lightly with parchment paper to prevent over browning, and turn on the oven to cook for 35 minutes at 320F.

When the rolls are lightly browned, and spring back when prodded, remove them from the oven, and cover with a clean kitchen towel while they cool, to help keep the crust soft.

Enjoy.

Quinoa and Hemp bread

This week, a gluten eating friend of mine asked me, “Have you ever made bread with quinoa flour? I bought some and want to try it out if you have any suggestions…..” This wasn’t exactly something I could turn down, so after sending her links for quinoa tortillas and steamed bread, I got on with figuring out the following. Now, quinoa is a fairly well behaved flour, but it has a strong flavor, so I mixed it with hemp (the legal, non-intoxicating variety) which is mild and gives a stretchy quality which I like in bread. Quinoa is also known as a good protein source, but hemp is even better, so this loaf is nutritionally interesting.

Torn bread

Daughter #1 braved it when she got back from school, and declared that it was mild in flavor, had a good texture, and was interesting. Her sandwich didn’t last long. I should clarify that it isn’t mild in flavor when it first comes out of the oven. The quinoa has quite a distinctive smell and flavor which mellow as the loaf cools.

sandwich

Quinoa and Hemp Bread

5 oz (1 cup) hemp seed (dehulled)
5 oz quinoa flour
5 oz (1 1/4 cup) tapioca starch
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup margarine
2 eggs
5 fl. oz water

Put all the dry ingredients (and the margarine) in a food processor.

Put all the wet ingredients in a jug.

Start processing, and gradually (over ~10 seconds) add the wet ingredients to the dry.

Continue processing for about 3 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.

Line a loaf pan or baguette former with parchment paper, and scoop the bread dough into shape. Smooth it over, and leave to rise until doubled in size (~2 hours).

Preheat the oven to 360F, place the loaf in the center of the oven lightly covered with parchment paper to prevent over browning, and cook for 45 minutes for bagettes, 55 minutes for a sandwich loaf.

Allow to cool before eating, so the flavor can mellow.

Hemp Bread (vegan)

I’ve had this bag of hulled hemp seeds sitting in my fridge for about a month now. I came across it in Costco when I was looking for some more flax meal, and decided that I needed some even though I had no idea what it tasted like, or what to do with it. Needless to say, it then sat in the fridge ignored because the package only suggests adding the stuff to smoothies or sprinkling it on cereals.

Moist, but not gummy, with a soft crust, and mild flavor.

Moist, but not gummy, with a soft crust, and mild flavor.

Then, last week I decided to check out the web for things to do with hemp, only to discover that people only seemed to add it to smoothies or sprinkle it on their cereals (I exaggerate slightly … but only slightly)!! So, I threw caution to the wind, and attempted to make an American pancake with it. I’ve tested all sorts of flours using this method. The pancakes are not always optimal, but they do give a great idea of the flour’s properties (bean flour is strongly flavored but has good structure, almond flour has a great flavor but a tendency to be gummy, rice flour is tasteless …. that sort of thing.) Anyway, the pancakes came out light, slightly stretchy, and mild in flavor. It was at this point that I figured I might have stumbled upon something worth stumbling upon.

Bread, vegan bread is what I really wanted to make. Something that rose, and wasn’t gummy, and was not too strongly flavored, and not too bland, but just right. Anyway, this recipe went through many revisions, before I settled on this concoction. Chia seeds or flax meal? Potato starch or tapioca? 1 tsp or 1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (yes, I tried both before settling for 1 1/4 tsp …. it does make a difference, so measure carefully). My freezer is now full of half loaves which I didn’t want to eat immediately because I’d blow up like a balloon. Anyway, this loaf is moist and soft, with a bit of spring in its texture, and a soft-ish crust. It’s still best eaten the day it’s made, but perfectly serviceable the next day, especially if toasted.

The hemp that I bought was still in seed form. However, it’s soft enough that the couple of minutes in the processor with the other ingredients is sufficient to reduce it to a non-lumpy format, so don’t worry about getting hemp flour for this. If you click the picture and then click again, you get to see the texture of the bread in a fashion that my eyes don’t manage unaided, and there is still a bit of evidence of the hemp seed, but nothing that your mouth would discern.

If my sources are correct, whole wheat/meal bread has about 2g fiber per slice. This hemp bread has between 4 and 4.5g per slice.

Hemp Bread

8 oz (scant 2 cups) hemp seeds
5 oz (1 cup) tapioca starch
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) flaxmeal
2 oz (1/4 cup) margarine
1 tbsp instant dried yeast
2 tbsp sugar (for the yeast, not for you)
1 1/4 tsps salt
1 1/4 tsp xanthan gum

7-8 fl oz (1 cups) water
1/2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice, added to water (to activate xanthan gum)

Unrisen

Bread dough/batter directly after transfer to lined loaf pan. Note that it’s more of a thick batter than a bread dough. Many gluten free breads are like this.

Put all the dry ingredients along with the margarine in a food processor. Collect the wet ingredients together in a jug.

Start processing, and add the wet ingredients (lesser amount unless more needed) to the dry ingredients slowly (~10 seconds). Process for 2-3 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.

Risen dough/batter, just starting to show cracks.

Risen dough/batter, just starting to show cracks.

Spoon the dough out into a small loaf pan lined with parchment paper or heavily greased, and allow to rise until at least 50% bigger, with cracks just starting to form on the surface.

Cooked, soft, dark brown crusted bread.

Cooked, soft, dark brown crusted bread.

Put the loaf in the center of the oven. Loosely cover with foil or parchment paper to prevent over browning. Cook at 360F for 55-60 minutes. Enjoy!

Vegan Steamed Bread (Bagel Bread)

The texture of this bread is reminiscent of bagels, with a close-ish texture which tends to fight back slightly when you eat it. It makes a nice, flexible, sandwich bread with a soft crust, (best eaten on the day of cooking) and excellent toast (any time).

Recipes for steamed bread frequently call for coffee tins for the cooking vessel, but since our coffee comes in cardboard containers, I figured that wouldn’t work for us. Instead, I used 2 large (28 oz) tomato tins, whose lids I had removed with one of those tin openers that don’t leave a sharp edge. I scrubbed them out, and scoured the cut edge with a dish scourer to make sure there were no bits of loose metal, and heavily greased the inside before dropping the bread dough into place.

Note that the dough won’t rise further once you’ve put it on to steam, so make sure it’s as risen as you want it before getting to that stage. Update: Initially, I used 1 tbsp of sugar in this recipe, but when I increased the sugar to 3 tbsp, the bread rose significantly better, but didn’t end up tasting sweet, so I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect that.

Steamed Vegan GF Bread

1 tbsp dried yeast
3 tbsp sugar (this is for the yeast, not flavor)
4 oz (1 cup) quinoa flour
2 oz (1/2 cup) millet flour
2 1/2 oz (1/2 cup) brown rice flour
6 1/2 oz (1 cup) arrowroot
1 oz (1/4 cup) flax meal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tbsp chia seeds, ground

Mix the yeast and sugar with 1/2 cup warm water, and leave for 5 – 10 minutes so the yeast can prove that it’s alive and turn frothy.

Put all the other ingredients in a food processor along with the activated yeast mixture and an additional cup of water, and process for about 3 minutes to activate the xanthan gum.

Grease the inside of two 28oz tomato cans, and divide the mixture evenly between them. Allow to sit and rise for 30-45 minutes, or until 50% bigger. Timing will depend on how lively your yeast is feeling, and how warm your flour (and kitchen) is.

In a large pressure cooker, with a trivet or a few forks in the bottom to stop the bread bottom from being scorched on the bottom, bring about an inch of water to the boil.

Cover the top of the cooking tins with a layer of baking parchment and then a layer of foil. Tie them down with a piece of string to prevent steam from getting in, and place in the pressure cooker.

Put on the lid, and bring up to pressure. Cook for 45 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat, and allow to come down to atmospheric pressure naturally.

Remove the loaves from the pan, and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Sun Dried Tomato Gougere

I’m not quite sure what got me cooking again today. Was it the retirement specialist I was dealing with who said that he used to photograph food for hotels (he’d followed the blog link in my email signature; I didn’t have the nerve to ask him how I was doing), or was it the calm that has descended on the house since our brief vacation last week, that was sorely needed to restore some kind of sanity to our household. I don’t know, but my mind was able to start wandering again, and as I mused about my beloved almond bread, it occurred to me that the batter wasn’t too far off that for a gougere ….. and then I was off peering at a recipe attempt I made a year or two ago (which produced a delicious, but crunchy, affair) …. and then out popped this recipe. It worked first time! ….. and they weren’t crunchy, and the crust wasn’t too thick, and they weren’t like omelet, and they didn’t sink after they came out of the oven. Lucky, or what! I’m not proud; I’ll admit to accidental successes.

You can also cook this mixture in circles (to accept fillings and then be served as a main course – see below), or as little bowls (to accept fillings and then be served as hors d’oeuvres).

gougere

This makes 36-40 mini gougeres.

4 oz blanched almond flour
2 1/2 oz tapioca flour/starch
2 tbsp flax meal
2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional – use for a slightly cheesy flavor)
2/3 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp vinegar
4 fl oz water
4 tbsp margarine (I use spreadable Earth Balance)
3-4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup minced sun dried tomatoes in olive oil

In a bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.

In a medium saucepan, bring the vinegar, water and margarine quickly to a rolling boil.DSC_0001

Remove from the heat, and quickly shoot all the flours into the boiling liquid, then mix furiously with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough is formed (I managed a whopping 30 seconds before my arm gave out), and allow it to cool for at least two or three minutes, so that it isn’t hot enough to scramble the egg that you’re about to add.

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This paste used all 4 eggs. I have subsequently used just 3 eggs to make a thicker mixture, which also worked nicely, but produced a construction with fewer holes.

Now, using an electric hand mixer, thoroughly incorporate about a tablespoon of the beaten egg. Repeat this step until all of the egg has been absorbed, one tablespoon at a time.

Heavily grease 40 mini muffin formers, and spoon about a tablespoon of mixture into each,
OR just place on a greased or parchment paper lined baking tray / cookie sheet in tablespoon sized dollops, or form 4″ wide circles, or pipe into 5″ long sticks.

When you’re ready to cook the gougeres, preheat the oven to 400F.

Place the tray in the center of the oven, and cook for 15 minutes.

Turn the temperature down to 360F, and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, release from the tin with a knife, and serve as they are, or split, and fill with vegan cream cheese or somesuch.

stuffed gougere 2

Sun dried tomato gougere stuffed with cauliflower in an orange/tomato sauce, served with steamed chard and a walnut sauce.

Amaranth Quickbread Pizza Crust

A while ago, I blogged a yeasted amaranth pizza crust recipe (superseded since then by this much quicker version), but I don’t always want to wait for yeasted doughs to rise. The amaranth dough took especially long to rise. This recipe is pretty similar to the original, but it’s a quick bread, and rises higher to give a thicker based pizza. I considered just amending the original blog (have you noticed that I tend to tweak them?), but there are sufficient differences that it would get confusing, so here’s the new one. From start to finish, it’s done in 45 minutes. Note that I used tapioca starch here, which gives a  softer texture than corn starch. However, the pizza is still sturdy enough to take the toppings before going into the oven. The kids and I wolfed this one down this evening.

Thick crust Amaranth Pizza

8 oz amaranth flour
5 oz tapioca starch
1 oz flax seed meal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3 large eggs
non-dairy milk to make eggs up to 12 fl oz (I used rice milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 – 2 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
1/4 cup margarine (480 kcals)
rice flour for generously dusting the rolling surface
toppings (e.g. marinara sauce, artichokes, black olives, vegan mozzarella cheese ……)

Pre-heat the oven to 375F.

Put the dry ingredients into a food processor.

Put the eggs in a measuring jug, and fill with non-dairy milk to the 12 fl oz mark.

Add the other (non-topping) ingredients to the food processor and process, adding the liquid ingredients over a ~10 second period, and continue processing for about 30 seconds.

The dough will be soft, but cohesive, and look slightly stickier than wheat dough at this point, and not so smooth.

Now, quickly turn the dough onto a parchment lined cookie tray or perforated pizza pan, and lightly spread it out in an even layer with hands (or a rolling pin on top of another layer of oiled parchment paper) to more or less cover the tray/pan, or on a pizza paddle to the size of your pizza stone. You don’t want to compress it much, as the baking soda will already have done some of its job.

Top with your favorite pizza sauce and toppings.

Cook in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes at 375F.

Gluten Free Teabread (Bara Brith)

Warm, slightly sweet; best served toasted and generously spread with melting margarine, and a good hot cup of tea. This recipe came into being when I was making almond bread and accidentally used sweet vanilla almond milk instead of the required unsweetened plain almond milk, so I had to add more sugar and fruit and nuts. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do ….. and daughter #2 took this on board, and ate over half the loaf that evening, presumably to prevent me from getting fat! Sweetheart.

For Bara Brith (a Welsh bread), substitute more dried fruit/ candied peel for the nuts, and soak them in tea for at least 1/2 an hour before using.

GF Teabread

Shown here with the minimal raisins and walnuts suggested in the recipe.

2 cups (8 oz) almond flour (preferably from blanched almonds)
1 cup (5 oz) tapioca flour
1/4 cup (1 oz) flax seed meal
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup margarine
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tbsp yeast

4 large eggs
2 tsp wine vinegar
1/3 – 1/2 cup brown sugar or honey
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz) sweetened, vanilla almond milk

1/2 – 1 cup raisins
1/2  – 1 cup walnut pieces

Put all the dry ingredients together in a food processor, and the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Start processing. Gradually (over a period of about 10 seconds) pour most of the wet ingredients into the processor (hold back the last fluid ounce or two if the batter seems too wet), and process for about 3 minutes, scraping down occasionally if required. Adjust consistency after a minute or two with additional liquid if necessary. (The flax meal takes about this amount of time to absorb liquid and thicken the mixture.)

Gluten Free Bread Dough Consistency

Dough Consistency

Stir the raisins and walnuts into the batter.

Turn the mixture into a medium loaf pan lined with parchment paper.

Leave to rise for about 30 minutes.

Cook for 60 minutes in the middle of the oven at 360F, lightly covered with tin foil to prevent over browning.

Allow to cool before slicing. This is particularly good toasted and smothered with melted margarine, accompanying a piping hot cup of tea.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Galettes

My kids love these. They’re a special treat. Galettes are thin, French, savory pancakes (thinner than British pancakes) made partially with buckwheat, and served stuffed with a whole slew of different fillings. The recipes I’ve seen all have wheat make up 1/2 the flour, which doesn’t work for me. I generally don’t like using rice flour as it seems horribly low in nutritional value, but its bland flavor is desirable. However, I recently stumbled upon the idea of using raw cashews to make a rich relatively bland gluten free flour/meal which is less damp than almond flour, but still fairly nutritious, and it really does a fine job in these galettes.

The galettes themselves are easy to make, and pretty quick; it’s the fillings that take the time, so I’m more likely to cook them for a special occasion, or if we have fillings left over from a previous cooking session. I stuff ours with ratatouille, or mushroom and black olive sauce, or creamed spinach and sweetcorn, or vegetable chili …… you get the idea. They can even be used to serve up left over take-away/takeout Indian/Thai curries. You can also crack a warmed egg on the freshly flipped galette (see below for details).

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do; even my husband gave them the thumbs up. This recipe makes about 9 galettes: enough for 3 or 4 people depending on how substantial your fillings are.

Traditionally folded savory galette (square shape with filling showing in the middle). This one was stuffed with mushroom and black olive sauce, and a side of orange tomato sauce.

Traditionally folded savory galette (square shape with filling showing in the middle). This one was stuffed with mushroom and black olive sauce, and served with a side of orange tomato sauce.

3 oz raw cashews (or cashew flour/meal)
2 oz buckwheat flour
2 1/2 oz tapioca/potato starch
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsps sugar (optional)
10 fl oz water

Put all the ingredients together in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Galette stuffed with spinach and sweet corn, and a poached egg.

Galette stuffed with spinach and sweet corn, and an egg (par cooked in the microwave).

Heat a griddle, or frying pan with low sides (I like cast iron), on medium low with a smear of oil. It should be hot enough such that when you flick water droplets off your fingers onto the oil, it should sizzle.

Pour about 1/4 – 1/3 cup (2-3 fl oz) of batter into the center of the pan, and quickly spread it as thinly as possible into a round with the back of a spatula or a traditional French T-shaped spreader. Once the bottom has browned lightly, flip the galette to cook the other side, and place any fillings on the top. Fold two opposite sides over, then the other two, to make a packet.

Traditionally, the galette is folded so the filling can still be seen in the middle, but if you want to do an egg, you can fold it over to completely cover the warmed (I zap mine in the microwave oven for 15 seconds), raw egg (with salt and pepper seasoning), and then flip the package again so the top of the egg gets cooked.

Remove the galette from the cooking surface, re-grease with a smear of oil, and start again with the next galette.

Traditional equipment for galette making. Nice to have, but not essential.

Traditional equipment for galette making. Nice to have, but not essential.

American Style Pancakes

American Cashew Pancakes
American Cashew Pancakes

4 oz (1 scant cup) raw cashews or cashew flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) sorghum or quinoa flour
2 eggs
2 oz (1/2 cup) potato starch
1 tbsp coconut flour – to make the pancakes fluffier
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 – 3 tsps sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice (to interact with raising agents and counter richness)
oil for cooking (do not add to the batter)

If you have a high speed blender such as a Vitamix, just put all the ingredients in the blender in the order stated with 1/2 cup of water, and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.

Otherwise: Put the cashews and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) of water in a blender, and blend until the cashews are smooth. Let sit and soak for 20 minutes. Blend the cashews again to ensure they’re smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend again.

Leave for 10 minutes to allow the flour to soak up the liquid.

Meanwhile, heat a cast iron griddle or frying pan over a medium heat with a generous smear of oil until up to temperature. (This means that if you wet your hand with water and flick the water at the pan, the water will spit and sizzle immediately.)

When ready to cook, check that a spoonful of the pancake mixture dropped back into the blender/bowl takes 10 seconds or so to sink back in, and adjust with flour or water if necessary.

Turn the temperature down to low: you don’t want to use a high heat as this will roast the cashews and give an odd flavor, but you do want the pancakes to sizzle slightly.

Pour out as many 1/8 – 1/4 cup measures of batter into the pan as will fit without the pancakes touching once they’ve spread out.

Cook until the bottoms of the pancakes are brown, and the tops have little holes all over (3-4 minutes), and appear to have dried a little (become less shiny) around the edges.

Use a spatula to turn the pancakes over, and cook until the second side is brown (2-3 minutes).

Remove the pancakes to a warm, covered plate until ready to serve. Re-grease the pan with a smear of oil, and repeat for the next pancake, continuing until you’ve used up all the batter.

Allow the pancakes to sit for a couple of minutes or so before serving with maple syrup, apple sauce, scrambled tofu, etc.

Moist Cauliflower Cornbread

Upturned Cornbread

This is surprisingly good, and is almost a meal in its own right with a protein source, vegetables, and a whole-grain carbohydrate. It serves 6 people served with side-dishes such as Red Bean Chili or Black Bean and Veggie Chili. Note that the cornbread rises best if made in a hot pan, and put in a hot oven as soon as the wet ingredients hit the dry ingredients. You can use any combination of vegetables that you want. I’ve used, broccoli, cauliflower, and fried onions with both of them. I’m sure that small cubes of white or sweet potato or garlicky French beans would also work well.

1 medium (1/2 a large) onion, chopped
2 oz (1/4 cup) margarine
12 oz cauliflower (or ~3 cups of some other combination of veggies)
12 oz firm tofu
4 eggs
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp + 1 1/2 tsp salt
4 oz (1 cup) fine ground cornmeal (not cornstarch)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 – 1 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400F (200 degrees C).

Fry the onion in the margarine, and cook the veggies any way you like until soft. I steam/fry mine with garlic as in Garlicky Vegetable Salad in the cast iron pan(s) that I want to bake the cornbread in.

Drain the tofu and briefly squeeze to remove some of the water. Crumble it with your hands into a large mixing bowl, and season with 1/2 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.

Combine all of the ingredients in the large bowl, breaking the vegetables into smallish pieces, and scraping the cooking fat in as well.

Pour the mixture back into the hot (well oiled) cast iron pan(s) (1 x 10″ pan or 2 x 8″ pans), and smooth the top over with a spatula.

Bake for 20 minutes (if using 2 x 8″ cast iron pans) or 30-40 minutes (if using a single 10″ pan), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Bean and Quinoa Tortillas and Pita

I think this may be my favorite tortilla recipe to date. It makes tortillas that are soft and chewy, and not too highly flavored. The mixture of flours (including the starch) gives us a protein content above that of wholewheat flour, and a fiber content somewhere between wholewheat and white.

A problem for me with all of the gluten free cooking has been that, in general, the greater the nutritional value of a flour, the greater its flavor, which in some cases is rather intrusive. However, I also think that if you mix your flours, then you can reduce the impact of any one pronounced flavor, and allowing the cooked products to cool also results in a mellower flavor. This is a good thing.

When I first made gluten free tortillas, I did so by kneading the dough by hand. It turns out that the xanthan gum needs to be worked in order to develop its stretch, just like gluten. The worked xanthan gum results in a less ragged edge to the tortilla, as the dough stretches better while being rolled, so if you do it by hand, make sure to work the dough for a minute or two before using, or employ a food processor.

If you happen to have a tortilla press knocking around your kitchen, this device is particularly useful for making both tortillas, and pita breads. I find this recipe requires a slightly thinner dough round than if you were making the corn tortillas (because of the leavening agent), so I leave 4 pieces of cardboard cereal box in my press when I press the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper or freezer bag. For tortillas, the dough ball should be about the size of a regular hen’s egg; for pita bread, the dough ball should be about an inch in diameter.

And finally, a note on cooking: I find that my griddle gets hotter towards the end of the cooking time and turn the temperature down to low when I notice the cooking time speeding up. Don’t get intimidated by all the chit-chat, once you’ve found your own rhythm, these are quick and easy to make.

3 oz (~7/8 cup) quinoa flour
3 oz (~ 1 cup) garbanzo bean flour
3 oz (1/2 cup) potato or tapioca starch
2 tsps xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Earth Balance margarine or oil
6 fl. oz (3/4 cup) cold water

Combine all of the ingredients except for the water in a small food processor (or by hand in a bowl, using a pastry wire helps if you’re using margarine). Process briefly to incorporate the fat.

Bean and Quinoa Tortillas Cooking

If you make the dough by hand, sprinkle the water over the flours, then bring together with your hands and knead the dough for a minute or two.

Otherwise: With the processor still running, slowly (~10 seconds) add the water.
Process for a minute in order to activate the xanthan gum.
Heat a cast iron pan or griddle to medium heat.
Cut the dough into 6 – 8 equal sized pieces, and in your hands, form into flattened balls.
Sprinkle the work surface with gluten-free flour (I used cheap white rice flour), then roll the dough ball into a round disk about ⅛ inch thick. (Or use the tortilla press as outlined above.)
Cook the tortillas one at a time on the cast iron pan until the top surface bubbles.
Turn over once the first side has some brown flecks on it. The tortilla should still be soft and moist.
Cook the second side until it too has slightly browned – about a minute.
Turn the tortilla out onto a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towel); it will become softer and milder in flavor while it waits.
Repeat until all the dough has been used.
I use these wrapped around re-fried beans or salad, or as the bottom layer in Tofu Rancheros. At least, I do if I haven’t eaten them straight off the plate!

I make pita breads pretty much the same way I make tortillas. Use the same recipe for making the dough; roll it out a little thicker than for tortillas, and then use a 2″ cookie cutter to cut shapes out from the rolled dough. The smaller shape encourages the air bubbles that develop inside the pita during cooking to join together and make the traditional pocket.

The pita breads puff up during cooking which makes the traditional pocket. They flatten out again once off the griddle.

Gluten Free Flour Tortillas

Pliant, delicious tortilla

In general, I’m not so keen on citing pre-made mixes in recipes, because companies go out of business, they don’t necessarily sell their product everywhere, and sometimes the nutritional value is questionable. However, I made an exception with this recipe (for now) because these tortillas really are very good, hot or cold. Later I will figure out how to replace the flour mixture with my own mix of flours. Later, later ……

The tortillas are pretty bland (which is a good thing here), and they are easy to cook. Make sure to cook them fairly quickly. If it takes you 10 minutes to cook each one, not only will you be hungry, but they will be stiff. By the time the pan is properly up to temperature, each side will take about 1 minute to cook. Makes 8 small tortillas, or 4 burrito size tortillas (but you do need a big frying pan for large tortillas.)

Since I first wrote this post, it has come to my notice that the tortillas come out better if the dough is blended by machine for a minute rather than by hand in order to develop the xanthan gum, though for speed and reduced washing up, I still tend to do it by hand.

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Flour
2 tsps xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz) cold water

By hand:

Preheat a cast iron pan or griddle to medium heat.

Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix thoroughly with a butter knife until a soft dough is produced. Add a little more flour if necessary to stop it from being too sticky. However, a damp dough makes a softer, better, tortilla!

Kneed the dough for a few seconds to develop the xanthan gum (by hand or with the spoon/knife).

Cut the dough into 8 (or 4) equal sized pieces, and form into flattened balls. Sprinkle the work surface with gluten-free flour, then roll the dough ball into a round disk about ⅛ inch thick.

Bubbles forming on 1/2 cooked tortilla.

Cook the tortillas one at a time on the cast iron pan until the top surface bubbles (about 1 minute once your pan is at the correct temperature).

Turn over once the first side has some brown flecks on it.

Cook the second side until it too has slightly browned.

Turn the tortilla out onto a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towel); it will become softer while it waits.

Serve as a wrap, or quesadilla with faux cheez, or burrito covering.

By machine:

Preheat a cast iron pan or griddle to medium heat.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a small food processor.

Add the warm water slowly with the processor running, starting with 1/2 cup and then check the consistency.

Continue to add water until a soft, cohesive, slightly sticky dough is formed.

Cut the dough into 8 (or 4) equal sized pieces, and form into flattened balls.

Sprinkle the work surface with gluten-free flour, then roll the dough ball into a round disk about ⅛ inch thick.

Cook the tortillas one at a time on the cast iron pan until the top surface bubbles.

Turn over once the first side has some brown flecks on it.

Cook the second side until it too has slightly browned – about a minute once the pan is up to temperature.

Turn the tortilla out onto a plate covered with a clean kitchen towel (or paper towel); it will become softer while it waits.

Serve as a wrap, or quesadilla with faux cheez, or burrito covering.

Amaranth Tortillas

Recipe reviewed and updated Jul 8, 2013

This recipe makes a soft workable dough, and the resultant tortilla is soft and pliant, with a mild taste (not very unlike wheat flour), but not bland (like rice flour).
I actually made a variety of mixes before deciding to stick with this one. One of them used amaranth flour in place of all the flours (amaranth, cornflour, tapioca starch) to see if a more simple recipe could be used. The resultant tortillas were fine in their own right, but my husband (who tries to keep me anchored in what constitutes ‘real’ food) pointed out they were too highly flavored to be tortillas. If you decide that you have cause to use tortillas with a nutty hint (and improved nutritional value!!!), then do try these with just amaranth flour.

To shape tortillas, you can either use a tortilla press, or roll them out by hand. In either case, roll a small egg sized amount of dough in your hands to make a smooth, flattened ball, first.

If you roll the tortilla by hand, make sure that you either use plenty of additional gluten free flour to dust the work surface and rolling pin to avoid sticking, or roll the dough ball between the two sides of a freezer bag that has been slit down the sides.

If you use a tortilla press, you need to use a slit freezer bag or a folded piece of parchment paper, and because the mixture contains baking powder (unlike corn tortillas), the tortillas will cook up too thick unless you press them with 2 – 4 layers of cardboard (from a cereal package or similar) inside the press, too. Once pressed, peel one side of the bag off the tortilla, then flip it on to your hand, and peel the other side of the bag off before placing the tortilla on the hot griddle. Note that the tortilla’s taste mellows after it has had a few minutes to sit after coming off the griddle. I store mine on a plate between two pieces of kitchen paper to keep them pliant, while I finish cooking all the tortillas.

1 cup (4 oz) amaranth flour
1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz) fine ground cornflour (not starch)
1/2 cup (1  3/4 oz) tapioca starch
1 tsps xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp margarine or oil
3/4 cup (6 fl oz) cold water

In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients and then rub in the margarine (either by hand or using a pastry wire).

Add the water and stir with a knife, before gathering up with your hands and kneading the dough for a minute to bring it together and develop the xanthan gum.

Divide the dough into 8 – 10 equal sized pieces, and form into balls.

Using a rolling pin or a tortilla press, form the tortillas (see above for directions) which should be about 6-8″ in diameter, and 1/8″ thick.

Pre-heat an un-greased cast iron griddle or shallow, heavy based frying pan over medium heat.

Cook a tortilla on the griddle until brown spots start to appear on the bottom. Flip and cook until the second side also has brown spots. (1-3 minutes each side).

Repeat with all the balls, storing them between 2 sheets of kitchen paper (to keep them moist) until you are done.

Almond Brioche Bread

Fresh almond brioche.

In my pre-gluten-free days I loved to make bread. I made crusty French bread and honey wheat bread, free-form white farmhouse loaves and soft bread rolls flavored with black olives and rosemary, pizzas and bread encrusted pies. When the bomb was dropped that I could no longer eat wheat, I was devastated.

Only temporarily deterred, I’ve since made dozens of loaves of GF bread with various ingredients and with varying degrees of success. One of the battles I’ve fought has been a nutritional one. If you’ve not had a chance to check out my post ‘Exactly Why am I Eating This?’ you might find it an eye-opener. Neither rice flour nor tapioca flour/starch is a good base for gluten free bread nutritionally, but just choosing a flour with a good nutritional content isn’t really the whole story, since different flours have different flavors and structural properties.

One of my favorite flours is almond. It is one of the fussier flours, in my opinion, prone to sucking up moisture and making a soggy product if not handled right, but it has a lovely flavor and a decent nutritional profile (particularly good for diabetics, I’m told, due to lower carbohydrate content).

Baking gluten free bread is not the same as baking wheat based bread. For starters, you need far more ingredients which perform various functions and can’t really be left out. Don’t let this deter you, since once you’ve done it a couple of times, you’ll find it all comes together in an acceptable period of time. It’s NOT a complicated recipe. For a sweet variation: Add 1/3 cup each honey, walnuts, and raisins, and use sweetened vanilla almond milk instead of unsweetened plain almond milk.

This is a good batter consistency to aim for, but I wouldn’t want it any drier.

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The trick is to get the batter the right consistency. Once the batter has been worked in the processor for a couple of minutes, it should look like the picture on the left and less like the picture below.

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If your batter looks more like this, then you need to be more careful with your timing of the rise and transfer to the oven, and you run the risk of producing a damp loaf.

Almond Brioche Bread is rich in flavor with a meltingly soft mie, and a crunchy, but not hard, deep brown crust. It is rich, it isn’t a bog standard bread; this bread is a treat in its own right, not an imitation. My husband says he would be perfectly happy if I never made regular bread again since we introduced this item to our kitchen. This works fine for me, as the bread freezes well. I slice mine before freezing in a freezer bag, and then toast individual slices as and when we need them.

Note that although I’ve given volume measurements for most of the ingredients, this is an area of cooking which is better if done by weight (also included) for the flours since this is a more accurate method.

Almond Brioche

2 cups (8 oz) almond flour (preferably from blanched almonds)
1 cup (5 oz) tapioca flour
1/4 cup (1 oz) flax seed meal
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp xanthan gum

1 1/2 tbsp yeast

1/2 – 1 cup (4 – 8 fl. oz) water or unsweetened non-diary milk
2 large eggs and 3 egg whites
2 tsp wine vinegar
3 tsp maple syrup
1/4 cup margarine (optional – for richness)

Put all the dry ingredients together in a food processor, and the wet ingredients in a measuring jug. Start processing. Gradually (over a period of about 10 seconds) pour all the egg and 1/2 of the milk into the processor, and process for about 3 minutes, scraping down occasionally, if required. Adjust consistency after a minute or two with the additional dairy free milk, if necessary. (The flax meal takes about this amount of time to absorb liquid and thicken the mixture – check out my pictures, above.)

Turn the mixture into a medium sized loaf pan lined with parchment paper, or pipe/scoop into 12 rolls onto a parchment lined cookie tin, or 3 baguettes on a lined French bread former.
Leave to rise for 30-60 minutes.

These loaves are sitting in the cold oven rising with foil in place above them ready for cooking. Note that you can cook the bread starting in a cold oven providing you add 5 – 10 minutes to the cooking time, and turn the oven on just before cracks start to form in the rising batter.

Your bread is ready to go in the oven when it has risen by about 50% and cracks have just started to appear on the surface.

Once cracks start to form on the top of the loaf, it is time for it to go in the preheated oven (it probably won’t wait 10 minutes while the oven warms up).

Cook for 90 minutes (50 minutes for rolls) at 350F on the middle shelf, lightly covered with tin foil or parchment to prevent over browning (I put mine on the shelf just above the bread).

Allow to cool completely (ha ha) before slicing, so that it has time to set.