Sunday, January 13, 2013


What's the hardest part about eating gluten-free?  Bread!  The rest is easy - rice, corn, or quinoa noodles are delicious, gluten-free oatmeal is readily available, there are many cereal choices made from rice or corn, and baked goods can usually be adapted by a wide variety of gluten-free flours.  Baked goods with the exception of bread, that is.  Nothing quite rises or binds or has that fluffy bread taste and texture like wheat bread.  I have tried many store-bought gluten-free breads, and so far the only brand I (and my family) have loved is Schar.  They have many products, most tasting quite "normal."  However, I have yet to find them in a brick and mortar, and online they must be bought in bulk.  For months now, I've been spending about $75 a month on bread.  Pretty outrageous, right?  But, when you have two picky little toddlers who really need to put on some pounds, you do what you have to do.  I have tried and tried to find bread recipes that my whole family will eat.  I have been semi-successful.  My three-year-old changes her mind about what she likes every day, so taking into account that she is a tricky one, I think I have some winners.  And as a backup, I will keep buying Schar, though I hope she will come to love some of these recipes as much so I can cut that cost.

When I bake, I bake a lot.  In my opinion, there's no point in hauling out all the flours, xanthan gums, powders and sodas, and all other ingredients that are necessary for allergen-free baking, mixing them all up and then proceed to attempt a recipe if you're not going to bake for the masses.  I figure, if I have all the ingredients out, I may as well make as much as I can.  This is when an extra oven or proofing box would come in handy.  Maybe someday....

And since I bake so much, I freeze a lot.  Ziplock freezer bags and sharpies are at the ready as soon as those babies cool down.  It's super handy to have breads, muffins, scones, etc in the freezer to pack for outings, lazy mornings when I'm lacking creativity, or when I have a week with a sick kid and can't get any baking done, such as this past week.  Here is what I made today:

Buckwheat rolls, basic dinner rolls, flax meal biscuits, and basic sandwich bread

Buckwheat Dinner Rolls
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 1/2 cups multigrain flour blend
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 1/4 teaspoon active yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup warm water
3 teaspoons egg replacer mixed with 4 tablespoons rice milk (equal to 2 eggs)
up to 1/4 cup additional flour for dusting

1.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.  Combine the flours, xanthan gum, yeast, salt, baking powder, sugar in a medium bowl.  Set aside.

3.  Blend the oil, water, and egg replacer in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed for about a minute.

4.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix on medium-low speed until combined.

5.  Beat for 5 mintues on medium-high speed until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl.

6.  Spread the dusting flour on a flat surface.  Scoop the dough on top of the flour.

7.  Divide the dough into eight equal portions.  I did this by splitting the dough in half, then again, then again; repeat with the other half.

8.  Roll each portion in the flour to lightly coat.  USe your hands to gently roll into balls.

9.  Arrange the balls on the lined baking sheet.

10.  Proof for about an hour.

11.  With 5 minutes left to rise, preheat the oven to 350.

12.  Bake at 350 for 13-16 minutes.

Flax Meal Biscuits
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons rice milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup Spectrum soy-free shortening cut into tablespoon sized pieces
1 tablespoon rice milk mixed with 1 tablespoon canola oil

1.  Combine the rice milk with apple cider vinegar.  Let sit for about 20 minutes.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

3.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add the flax meal and mix well.

4.  Cut in the shortening until you have a pea-sized crumb.  Add the rice ilk mixture, and stir until just combined.  

5.  Flour a surface and turn out the dough.  Lightly flour your hand and sprinkle the dough with a little flour, as well.  

6.  Gently pat the dough into a 1-inch thick disk, pressing in any loose bits.

7.  Use a floured biscuit cutter or drinking glass to cut out the biscuits.  Cut them as close together as possible.  Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet.  Gather together the scraps, and repeat.

8.  Brush the tops of the biscuits with the rice milk and oil mixture using a pastry brush.  

9.  Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  Transfer to a warming rack, or eat fresh out of the oven!  

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