Sunday, September 15, 2013

My advice for your GF pancakes

 Your pancakes coming out flatter than a pancake?
 Did they look good before you flipped them?
 Gluten free pancakes cannot be treated like normal pancakes, you can put all the baking powder in that you want and if you treat them like normal pancakes they will still come out like crepes.
 Imagine if you will, you are cooking normal pancakes, they start to rise, you see bubbles start to form, the edges start to set, you flip, you hear the sizzle and then the pancakes rise more, puff up and then set.
 Ah the joys of gluten, without the gluten the batter can only raise x amount then it gives up the ghost entirely, so after the flip above it stays flat and doesn't rise again, or if it does it is minimal.
 Well here is the simple fix, break the rules, put a lid on it for one, yes -gasp- I said a lid, second cook it a little lower and do not flip until the entire pancake has set, then flip and then leave the lid off after the flip to keep the crispiness on the top. (or leave it on to soften it)
 That is the trick, that's it, that's all there is to it, but if your mother saw you do that she would yell out you that you cooked it wrong, but it's not wrong, it is how you cook GF.
 You can also use a waffle iron, when it raises and hits the top of the iron the heat sets it and it stays risen, lol I have put in too much baking powder before so it raised to much (trying to get around the raising thing above) and I came out with hollow brown waffle shaped shells.
 Enjoy and be gluten free and eat your pancakes too.

 BTW, in my testing you will find that for GF stuff like pancakes, cakes, quick breads, it is pretty much all the same, the eggs, the water, salt, flour, oil/butter are pretty much all the same the variation is the sugar/sweetener, and the water, more water more light fluffy cake like, less water more quick bread style.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Basic GF white flour mixture

 First off I am still working on this recipe to determine which starch is better for what, whey and milk or just one or the other etc. but right now it is really good and works for bread and quick breads.
 Not the best for you but neither is bleached white wheat flour so.... ;-)

30 g Tapioca starch
38 g Potato starch
24 g Corn starch or Arrowroot (I haven't decided which I like best.)
42 g Sweet Dairy Whey powder *
24 g Milk powder *
180 g White Rice flour **
180 g Brown Rice flour **

 Put everything in a bag or large container with a lid and shake it baby.... or use a flour sifter if you want to sit there for hours. When I buy white and brown rice flour I just mix the two packages together so the amounts up above is what I use cut in half.
 This makes roughly three cups of flour as I am keeping it small to use in testing but that's the joy of using weight measure, just times the #s by whatever, not hard to grow it.
 If you do not have a kitchen scale I recommend you get one if you want to make the same product again and again instead of a dry one one day and pudding the next.
 Don't put any gums or ground psyllium husks in it, cakes, muffins, pancakes, quick breads do not need them or gluten, that is why all the above normal wheat recipes say to mix just until brought together, you do not want to trigger the gluten so leave it out and just put them in when you make normal bread.
 The ratio I am trying to stick with is two parts flours to one part starch, that seems to be the best ration I have found, right now I am working out the effects that the different starches bring to the baked goods. My wife laughs at me when I tell her that I want to turn the spare room into a test kitchen, I have some ideas on some gadgets to test tenderness, how rubbery, moisture etc. but she just thinks I am cracking a joke, I am very meticulous about things and will spend loads of time just deciding if 1 tsp makes a difference or not.
* Still deciding if one or the other makes a better product but I tend to put in both.
** if you don't use both milk and whey then use 160 g of each rice flour.

GF Basic Bread Recipe (revisited)

 I took another look at my basic GF "White Flour" style bread, I have been working on this for a while and I think I have made it much better than it was.

 Right now I only have the recipe in U.S. measurements as I have been testing it and it is easier when you grow up with those measurement methods to stick with it but as the flours absorb moisture they can react different so measuring by weight is the only way to get the same loaf of bread every time.
 I will be converting it to weight shortly (would do it now but ran out of rice flour. ;-) )

4 cups GF flour *
1 pkg Yeast *** 1 1/3 C water **
2 eggs
1 tbsp honey (2 if you like)
 2 tbsp butter or oil (I like the flavor of butter)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Salt (to taste)
4 tsp Psyllium Husk powder used instead of Xantham and Guar gums, IMHO it works better has more health benefits and does not give me a stomach ache.

* New version coming that is so much better than the old one.
** May need more, may need less.
*** Bulk Yeast package says 2 1/4 tsp = 1 pkg.

A note about my flours I use.

A note about the flours I use

I have tried many brands of flours, the ones in bulk that I have tried from the health food stores around my house all have way to course of a grain, all their rice flours are very gritty, their almond flour is so course that if you don't want to eat chopped almonds I have to run it forever in a food processor with the other flours (so it doesn't turn to almond butter to use it.) so they don't turn out well.


Bob Red Mill flours are the best I have tried to date hands down, they are incredible.
The only ones I have not tried from Bob are the Millet flour, and Golden Flax seed (I have the brown Flax meal from bob though) I will be trying them payday. (broke at the moment)
They are extremely fine ground, most are whole grain and I have not found a broader variety from one place yet.
 From what I read he grinds all his GF flours in a separate GF mill and have dedicated farms to be GF.
 No I don't work for them but he is my absolute hero, I am sure the money matters as he is a business man but I really wonder how it makes him feel to know that he helps so many people eat "normally" every day.
 My current "White" flour is Bobs white rice, brown rice flours, potato*, tapioca, arrowroot starches, and sweet whey powder.
 I am going 2 part "flour" to 1 part starch and it seems to be working very well, I am very picky though so I am working out which starch alters what. i.e. crumb, stiffness, moisture, etc.
 My "Whole Wheat" flavored flour so far (OMG it really tastes like whole wheat) is a kitchen sink flour, it has every type of GF flour/starch I have quinoa, white rice, brown rice, flak seed meal, sorghum, amaranth, and coconut flours, potato*, tapioca, arrowroot, and cornstarch for the startches.
 I will be posting the weights and measures of it when I get it weighed out, I am waiting to get some millet flour and golden flax meal to throw in it.
 I threw it together to see what would happen and oh man, I think I hit it on the head the first try, the test bread I made from it tasted just like my mothers honey whole wheat bread that I grew up on except mine is not as dense as hers and does not dry out so bad. (hers at times could anchor boats but had the most awesome flavor.

 So all in all I must say Bob, my wife and I thank you for giving us the baked goods that we craved after for years after I was diagnosed gluten intolerant. 

 What I have not tried from Bob is his mixes (I need GF and sugar free and they have sugar in them).
Soy flour (I like it but for whatever reason Soy everything hates me)
 Millet flour, Hazelnut meal, Corn flour (Tried someone elses and it was so bad I am weary about trying it from anyone), black bean, fava bean, and oat flour (can't have oats orders from the DR. it stinks, I love oatmeal more than I do bread), I am planning on picking up the millet flour and golden flax seed on payday, unfortunately the stores around me do not have the Hazelnut and the bean flours so I will have to get them online.
 I have had the Creamy Buckwheat, and creamy brown rice farina it was really good, especially with some butter and a touch of molasses (it only takes a drop to give things that brown sugar flavor) 

  Again, no I do not work for Bobs Red Mill, or am any way associated with them but I am extremely grateful to him for making my food taste so much better.

* Remember there is a difference between potato starch and potato flour, the starch is the white film on your cutting board from grating potatoes and the flour is ground dried potatoes. huge difference.

GF Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp starch (Corn, Tapioca, Arrowroot, Potato)*
1 tsp Chili powder
1 tsp Paprika
3/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Minced Onion or 3/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/8 tsp Ground Mexican Oregano **
1/4 tsp Garlic
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Sucralose (Splenda)

 Mix well, sprinkle over a pound of ground beef and 1/4 c of water, some cook the meat first but I tend to add it and the water to the raw meat and it flavors the meat more and the water helps break the hamburger into finer pieces.

 This what I use for all my taco flavored dishes, Mexican Meat Loaf, Taco Chicken etc.

* I use a combination of starches since they have different properties.
** I use regular oregano all the time, tastes fine to me

Friday, August 30, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Bread

1/2 Cup Splenda
8 Tablespoons Butter/Margarine
3 Bananas (Mashed)
2 Eggs Beat and add to the mixture
1 & 1/4 cup Gluten Free Flour Mixture
Pinch pf Nutmeg (Optional)
Pinch of Allspice (Optional)
Pinch of Clovers (Optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp Cinnamon (to taste) (Optional) 
1 tsp Baking Soda (I used 2 tsp GF baking powder when I made it)
1/2 tsp salt

 Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl, blend together all the dry ingredients in another bowl, slowly mix the dry into the wet. (there is no gluten so mix all you want, I say slowly as to not make a huge mess)
 You can also add Walnuts/Pecans but Rob and I prefer it plain.Set oven to 350 for 30-45 Min (I have found that mine usually need about 1 hour on 350) so just keep that in mind, do the toothpick trick to test for doneness.
 With starches in the GF flour they tend to brown quickly so don't take it out when it looks done, if the top is getting too brown cover it with foil to keep from getting too dark until center is done.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hamburger Rice Zuchinni Skillet

Hamburger Rice Zuchinni Skillet

1 pound ground round beef
2 cups quartered lengthwise, sliced zucchini (2 cups = 1-1/2 med)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 cups brown rice cooked
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Small Package Mushrooms
1 teaspoon minced garlic 
3/4 cup shredded Cheddar & Monterey Jack Cheese Blend

1-  Add Garlic & Cook Hamburger add salt & pepper if desired
2-  Sautee Onion in separate skillet
3-  Add Mushrooms to onion & saute
4-  Combine Mushrooms & Onion w/ground beef
5-  Sautee Zuchinni until tender
6-  Combine Zuchinni, Cooked Rice & Ground Beef
7-  Add diced tomatoes
8-  Top with cheese and stir cheese cook until cheese is melted.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A full pantry

 We had a busy weekend.  My hubby gets a quarterly bonus with work.  We bought an automatic jam & jelly maker this time around.  It is really cool, you don't have to stand over the stove stirring everything constantly, it does it for you. 

  Everything in the picture was canned this weekend. We made 48 1/2 pints of jam (12 different kinds of jams), 9 pints of jam (we ran out of 1/2 pints), 7 pints of bread & butter Pickles, 4 pints of dill bread & butter pickles, 13 pints of crushed tomatoes, 5 pints of salsa, 3 pints chili sauce. We still have peaches we need to do something with.  The jams are all sugar free as well. 
in that pile is Jams: strawberry rhubarb, blueberry rhubarb, strawberry, strawberry/orange/candied ginger, mixed berry, raspberry, mixed fruit, spiced blueberry, blueberry, and blueberry peach .  Jellies: lemon ginger, pepper, & garlic.

  It feels really awesome to finally have a stocked pantry again.  We haven't canned anything since 2010, so it was long overdue.  I'm excited as we were able to find a bread recipe that actually works.  We eat gluten free, and the loaves you buy at the store that are gluten free are dense and hard as rocks, so we have been experimenting and found the perfect recipe for light and fluffy bread.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Zucchini Bread Muffins

2 cups Cake Four (Recipe found here:
2 Cups Shredded Zucchini
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of Nutmeg (less than 1/8 teaspoon)
Less than a pinch Ground Cloves (tiny tiny bit)
1/8 t Cardamon
1 & 1/2 t baking powder
3/4 t Apple Cider Vinegar
1/8 t salt
2 T Honey
1/4 cup Splenda (or sugar)
4 T Canola Oil (or your preference)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Gluten Free Bread Recipe

Over the past 3 years we have toyed with many recipes trying to make the perfect bread.   We finally found a recipe that works and actually tastes like REAL bread.

Using this flour recipe as the base flour:
Then add the following to it:
1 3/4 cup flour mixture
2 eggs
2 & 1/4 t yeast or 1 pkt
1/2 cup water
2 T butter melted
2 T canola oil
1 T Honey
1/8 t salt

We mixed ours up in our Ninja, but a mixer would work just fine. 
Let it rise like normal bread before cooking it.
It made 10 dinner rolls with this recipe.  If you want a loaf of bread, double the recipe.

We are Rob & Heather, have been happily married for 8 years. Well the day before (August 23rd, 2010) Rob's 40th Birthday we got some scary news from the Dr, he felt that Rob is sensitive/allergic to grains and they were creating a constant inflammatory process in his body. So this is our journey to be Healthy while Living Grain Free! What exactly is a grain free diet? Click Here to see what a Grain Free Diet is All About

Favorite Substitutions

These are some of our favorite substitutions:
When we say we use Baking Powder we use a substitution
Baking Powder Substitution
Our Favorite Sugar Substitute: ZSweet Natural Sweetener
Replacement for regular flour