Friday, February 27, 2009

Gluten Free Bread that tastes Okay

I'm following a gluten-free diet since 30 september 2008, because I have coeliac disease. The last month has been hard. Suddenly realisation hit me: I am never - ever going to eat those things again. And those things are a lot of things. Before being diagnosted with coeliac disease, I ate pasta quite frequently, I enjoyed bread immensly and I loved a piece of pie. Now all those things are 'forbidden'. Ofcourse, gluten-free pasta excists. But it's expensive. And rather less tastefull, in my opinion. So I eat that less than before. I bake my own bread now, a process I would have enjoyed with regular bread. But gluten-free bread is just not that ... yummy. The texture isn't at all like regular bread, and it tastes different. On top of that, gluten-free flour is expensive, and the baking process is rather more difficult. I don't mean 'difficult', but you have to try a lot before you find something that actually works. Oh well, I shouldn't complain. But it's just hard sometimes... And I know I will be confronted with a lot of things I can't have. Man, I truly hope my children won't have coeliac disease ! That must be so hard for a child...

Back on topic.
I managed to bake a bread that, I think, is quite alright. I did use quite a lot of yeast in comparison with regular bread... But hey, if it works.

Gluten-Free Bread

• 400g gluten-free flour mix (I use "Coelidiet")
• 50g corn flour
• 50g chickpea flour
• 2 t dry yeast
• 1 t salt (to taste)
• 50g sunflower seed
• 50g flaxseed
• 300ml milk, lukewarm
• 200ml water, lukewarm

Put the salt on the bottom of a large bowl. You have to be carefull that the salt doesn't come in direct contact with the yeast. Add the flour, seeds and yeast. Mix it a bit. Add the fluids, lukewarm, a bit at a time. Mix toroughly.
When you have added all the liquid, you have to 'knead' the dough. But it's not at all as kneading a regular bread ! You do not use your hands or the kneading tools on your mixer. No, you have to mix the dough with a whisk:

This way you can beat air into your dough. It really does make a difference, I believe ! If you have an electric one, use that. Try whisking it on high speed for 3 minutes, and then at a lower speed for about 2 more minutes.
Put the dough in a buttered bread or cake mould. Cover with a dry, clean cloth or plastic and put aside to rise. A warm place is recommended. It was quite cold here, so I put mine on the heater. Let it rise for 30min to 45min. Preheat your oven at 230°C.
Now, I sprayed my bread with some water when I put it in the oven and I baked it for about 5min on 250°C, to create a firm crust. That way your bread doesn't dry out as much. I baked it a further 30min on 230°C.

Et Voila.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gluten free Oreo Cookies (Home made, ofcourse !)

Today is my birthday, so I figured I could give myself a treat.

Inspired by this month's theme of "Sugar High Friday", which is "Copycat", chosen and hosted by Palachinka, I made Oreos. Since being gluten-free, I'm in the need of a good chocolate cookie, and this cookie certainly is !

I based myself on this recipe for gluten-free Oreos, but had to adapt it a bit, because I didn't have the right kind of flours...
So here goes my version:

Gluten Free Homemade Oreos

• 115g butter, room temperature
• 200g sugar
• 1 egg
• 64g potato starch
• 34g buckwheat flour
• 64g rice flour
• 64g dark cocoa powder (unsweetened)
• 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (GF)
• 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 175°C.
Beat butter until creamy and smooth.
Add sugar. Cream together.
Add the egg. Beat together again.
In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (the flours, cocoa powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, baking powder, and salt).
Add dry ingredients to sugar/egg/butter mixture. Mix together until the dough comes together. This takes a while, but don't worry, just keep mixing.
Cover a baking plate with baking paper.
Pinch the dough off in small bits (teaspoon size) and roll in to a ball. Place them on the parchment paper. Place another (small) piece of parchment paper on top of the ball and press with a flat-bottomed glass to aprox. 5mm thickness. Continue placing balls and flattening them but be sure that the flattened cookies have enough space between them.
Bake the cookies for 8 - 9 minutes. Allow to cool a couple minutes before sliding on to a cooling rack and cooling completely.
Cookies can be eaten as is, stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days or so. Or you can fill them. Which I didn't really do...

Actually I like my chocolate cookies as they are, without cream. But especially for Sugar High Friday, an event created by Jennifer, The Domestic Goddess, I made a couple with a sugary filling. It isn't as butter-y as the real Oreos, but hey, these are my cookies ;-)