Category: Flour MIxes

Gluten-Free Orange, Lavender and Almond Syrup Cake

This is almost straight from Maria Elia’s Modern Vegetarian – just tweaked for the gluten-free element. I considered making it egg-free – using either bananas, or flax, or both – but in the end the lunch date we had where I was due to take it had to be cancelled. Enough subordinate clauses …

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, or margarine, or perhaps even coco butter??
  • 1 cup superfine sugar – you can use cane, tho, and it will turn out almost as good
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 T flour mix #2
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • juice and finely grated zest of 2 oranges
  • 1.5 cups polenta / coarse maize meal
  • 2 cups ground almonds (I was under and made up the difference with maize, I think)
  • splash of water – if needed – to make up for original recipe ‘4 oz greek yoghurt’ – which we just didn’t have.

For the syrup: 

  • juice and zest four oranges
  • 8 tsp dried lavender
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cups sugar

Method

I made the syrup a year ago, or a little less, the last time I made this cake. So I could skip that this time around – I mention it, tho, to emphasize the fact that the recipe makes a LOT of syrup.

Preheat oven to 170C. Grease and line appropriate springform pan – I used a 20 or 25cm one. Cream butter and sugar (if using coarse sugar, just mix). Sift in flour and baking powder – or just add, screw the sifting. Fold through orange zest, maize, and ground almonds. Add orange juice. Stir to combine.

Bake for 1 hour or until firm / knife comes out clean. If you haven’t made the syrup, make it now – combine all the ingredients and simmer until syrupy. Don’t be afraid to boil it hard for a bit if time is short.

Remove cake from oven. Cool slightly. Pierce all over with sharp knife (before removing from tin) and pour on about half the syrup. Let cool completely. The cake should have absorbed all the syrup leaving plenty of zest and lavender on the surface.

Pictures to follow.

Gluten-Free Sourdough Waffles

I’m in the process of taking a course on sourdough bread from Recipes for Living. Out of respect for Chris, I’m not going to post details of what I’m doing under his tutelage – I may post photos! – but here’s some other action.

This morning we decided it was time to use the traditional waffle iron we bought a while back. I never ate waffles growing up, so had not experience of what they should be like. However, I hacked together a recipe based on one here together with the flour which we ground last night based on specifications from here.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz or 115 g) melted butter
  • 1 cup (250 ml) water
  • 1 cup  + 1 T (270ml) starter (flour mix #2)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp (packed) brown sugar
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

Method:

The original recipe mixes everything bar the eggs and baking soda and leaves overnight. I didn’t have that luxury so went straight ahead and mixed in the eggs and baking soda upfront – and then simply heated the waffle iron on the gas burner and cooked about 1 cup of batter at a time for about 3 minutes a side.

Results:

I have not really eaten waffles before, but my partner has – and she was very positive. The waffles were crispy and brown on the outside with a chewy, soft core and a distinct sourdough taste. I think it could certainly be done without the sugar, and likely would benefit from adding some lemon. Savoury buckwheat waffles should also work well. More to follow!

I also made: Gluten-Free Banana Bread

Wanting to cook – per How We Montessori – we threw their method out and adapted the cornbread recipe to make a banana bread this afternoon. Worked out very well, tho it took a while to cook. However, pretty porr from a montessori / practical life perspective. Win some, lose some.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons ground sugar
  • 2 eggs, divided, whites beaten to soft peaks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon almond milk powder
  • 1 & 2/3 cup flour blend # 2 + 1/3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 cup raisins

Method:

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and mix. Mix flour, salt, and powders and incorporate, mixing the cup of water in gradually to avoid clumping, and the banana and raisins at the end. Fold in egg whites and pour into a lined loaf tin. About 45 minutes at 425 F / 220 C.

Results:

Outstanding – not at all crumbly, moist (a bit too moist maybe – adjust the water down a little), and full of flavour.

I also made: Gluten-Free Cornbread

A while ago, the first thing I tried to make consciously gluten-free was cornbread – only, since I had purchased a bag of coconut flour, I wanted to make gluten-free coconut cornbread. Kind of niche, maybe? Who knows. In any case, amongst the paleo and the plain weird, I didn’t really get anything I wanted, and I started down the fermented gluten-free bread route.

Today, however, we wanted something to accompany a leftovers lunch, including the use of a half jar of maize or corn kernels. So it was that I took a look on the internet, finding this recipe. A great looking recipe, but since I live in Spain we find most non-standard (and nonUHT / longlife) milk products very hard to find. Also, we tend to be reasonably lacto-free (that is, we eat butter and cheese). Didn’t have enough butter, of course. So I made it as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup margarine
  • 4 tablespoons coco sugar
  • 2 eggs, divided, whites beaten to soft peaks
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 heaped tablespoon almond milk powder
  • 1 cup flour blend # 2 + 1/3 tsp xanthan gum
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels

Method:

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolks and mix (I didn’t mix). Mix flour, salt, and powders and incorporate, mixing the cup of water in gradually to avoid clumping, and the corn kernels at the end. I then folded in the egg whites and poured into a lined loaf tin. About 25-35 minutes at 425 F / 220 C.

Results:

This was by far the best loaf I have made gluten-free. Of course it was – it was chock-full of gums n powders – but hell, it was nice to eat a light, fully flavoured, cornbread. It reminded me of the bread at Watts Grocery in Durham NC. Update: I repeated this recipe a day later using only buckwheat flour. The only noticeable change was significant crumbliness compared with the earlier version.

Gluten-free Sourdough, lacto-fermented zucchini loaf (savory) #2

If the last one was thrown together, this was more of an insouciant blending. I ballsed up the ‘slurry’ again – I decided to mix it in dry but neglected to whisk the flours for a good blend, so I got some clumping. I switched up the starter and made it more of a 100% hydration (typically I have used about 65% hydration).

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour mix #2 (with tweaks per prior posts) –
  • 3/4 cup 5/6 day fermented grated zucchini – chilled, so why I am bothering to add this since it should have no active fermentation, I don’t know
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • about a 1/4 cup sugar – I am not sure why I increased this
  • 3/4 cup active (ie just went through a rise & fall cycle) starter
  • 10g / 10g flax / chia ground and added as dry
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Method:

I mixed everything together at once, as before, and let it rise 12 hours. There was some, not particularly appreciable activity, and so I baked an hour at 180. Disappointing.

Gluten-Free Cheese Scones

We used to eat these scones a lot in the past whenever we ran out of bread. They’re quick and easy. Yesterday’s experiment with a gluten-free mix was not a total success, but gave some good pointers. Needs revisiting – maybe with xanthan gum to see if that makes a difference, as the recipe is so quick. The original recipe is from The Big Book of Bread: 365 Recipes for Bread Machines and Home Baking

Ingredients:

  • 15 g roughly equal of flax and chia seeds, ground
  • 210g flour mix #2
  • 1 T baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • pinch cayenne
  • 40g butter, diced
  • 115g parmesan, grated
  • c 150ml water

Method:

In theory, it’s dry, rub in butter, add ‘milk’ (water in my case) to make a dough, roll out and bake 15 min at 200. In this case, I added too little water, and after 10 minutes in the fridge it was dry and almost crumbly. Inspired, I added more water, another 10 mins in the fridge, and then added flour mix to the outside of the dough as I rolled it out. Suggest this step is curtailed via addition of a quarter cup up-front … I also screwed up the addition of flax and chia, and instead of adding to 210 of flour I added to 360, mixed, and then realised my mistake and backed it out. So, all told a bit of a scramble. The parmesan should also really be 115 in at this stage and a further 25g to sprinkle on top before baking.

However – results were good. We rolled them out too thinky, but some that I rolled out fatly towards the end rose well. The others had promise – not too firm, but nicely browned. So, to be repeated.

I’m currently fermenting some zucchini for a gluten-free sourdough zucchini bread. I think Imma make it with the fermented honey water. Eggs => basket.

Update:

I made these again, without the screwups. Rise was terrible; however, the addition of oat bran made for an interesting texture (light) and colour (deep brown). Will try again, with the slurry as slurry, and with the temp a little lower.

New Flour Mix #2

As usual when you don’t have immediate access to unusual grains (when you live in the countryside and it’s a 25 minute drive to the nearest town with a health food store) necessity rears up with alarming frequency. Out of the appropriate polenta, I mixed up a half batch of the following (ie each measure is a half cup, due to shortage of buckwheat)

  • 3 buckwheat
  • 1 chickpea / garbanzo
  • 2 brown rice
  • 2 whole oat flour
  • 1 fine grained cornmeal

Since my focus is on trying to use local (or locally growable) ingredients, this is actually pretty solid. I’m not sure at all if soy would grow here, although I think it would. The rest is all locally growable – the rice is grown in catalunya, which is not within 100 miles or indeed within fewer than 8 hours driving – but baby steps.