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Richard Kilgore

Gluten Free Breads and Pastry?

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I occasionally cook for a friend who is 100% gluten free in her diet. I found a cornbread recipe by Andisenjie in Recipe Gullet that looks good, but what other bread and pastry recipes do you like?

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I've been using the IdeasInFoods gluten free mix in my cakes for a while now with great success.  For my sandwich bread and pizza crust I've been using:

 

1 C Millet

1 C Rice (I prefer calrose but any will work)

Soak overnight.  Drain next day.

 

In blender, add grains with 1 3/4 C water, 3 T oil of your choice, 1 t salt, 1 t sugar or honey, 1 t cider vinegar.  Blend super duper well.

 

Heat cast iron (8" or less round) in oven at 450ºF.  

 

Add 1/4 C seed (flax, amaranth, sesame) and/or herbs (rosemary, thyme) to blender and blitz for a minute.  

 

Add 2 t Baking Powder and blitz for 10 seconds.

 

Immediately pour into hot, lightly oil cast iron to 1/2" thick.  Bake 15-18 minutes and if your skillet was seasoned it will pop out.  

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Some ideas for pastry:

Torta caprese

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/128462-torta-caprese/

I also sometimes make a Piedmontese hazelnut cake (300 g toasted and peeled hazelnuts, 230 g sugar, 6 eggs whites). Grind to a powder the hazelnuts and the sugar, incorporate the whipped eggs whites. Bake at about 375 f for 30-40 minutes. It's not supposed to be a tall cake, so no more than an inch in height and needs a day of rest.

Also comes in my mind a very good Lebanese cake with almonds flour and whole lemon, I have a tested recipe, let me know if you are interested I need to translate it.

Macaroons

Coconut macaroons

Ricciarelli di Siena

Amaretti

Biscotto celiese (it's delicious, from Rosetta Costantino dessert book)

Tarta de Santiago

Persian chickpea cookies

You cold also look into pao de quejio and mochi bread.

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I think there are several threads on this sort of thing if you search around, I have a few family members with gluten issues and other allergies and always read the relevant threads when they come up.

 

In general, you'll find that lots of European recipes are already gluten free - such as Franci's above - as they tend to use nut meals instead of wheat flour.  Almond meal is especially common, and I use it a lot.  Most of the cakes I like are based on almond meal anyway.  If you want to take a normal recipe and make it gluten free, you can try replacing the wheat flour with 75% almond meal and 25% corn flour, and then use baking power if the recipe originally used self raising flour.  Or just look for flourless recipes - there are many around for flourless orange cakes and flourless chocolate cakes.

 

FWIW I personally like cakes based on almond meal,  but I have also tried hazelnut meal and chestnut flours.  Cakes made with hazelnut meal tend to taste like nutella when they're cooked, which can be a good or a bad thing depending on what flavours you're pairing it with.

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I've been using the IdeasInFoods gluten free mix in my cakes for a while now with great success.  For my sandwich bread and pizza crust I've been using:

 

1 C Millet

1 C Rice (I prefer calrose but any will work)

Soak overnight.  Drain next day.

 

In blender, add grains with 1 3/4 C water, 3 T oil of your choice, 1 t salt, 1 t sugar or honey, 1 t cider vinegar.  Blend super duper well.

 

Heat cast iron (8" or less round) in oven at 450ºF.  

 

Add 1/4 C seed (flax, amaranth, sesame) and/or herbs (rosemary, thyme) to blender and blitz for a minute.  

 

Add 2 t Baking Powder and blitz for 10 seconds.

 

Immediately pour into hot, lightly oil cast iron to 1/2" thick.  Bake 15-18 minutes and if your skillet was seasoned it will pop out.  

Thanks, gfron1. How thin is the pizza crust you make with this recipe?

 

Thanks for all the ideas, Franci.

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Chris Z, thanks for the pointers. I actually did do a search before starting this discussion. Many, many topics came up with something related within, but none with a sole focus on gluten free breads and pastry.

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There are a boatload of specialized sites. I have heard good results from Gluten Free Girl and the Chef - they have cookbooks, and are taste oriented. 

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the crust should be around 1/2"  Any thicker and it gets gummy and while thinner is okay, its best in the half inch range

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Gfron1, thanks for sharing! When baking bread do you just add your mix to a loaf pan and bake? What temperature and how long?

Much thanks!

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It's been a year since last posted on this topic. I suspect much has changed in that year. I have been asked to try and produce a gluten-free white sandwich bread. Cannot use corn in any form nor can I use buckwheat. Anyone? Please, please let's stick to baking and leave the medical science to others.

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Here's another contender. Anyone with personal experience with either of these?

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For an entire year, America's Test Kitchen spent many months testing and perfecting gluten-free baking and began airing the segments locally last fall, although in different areas they were broadcast earlier last year.

 

Here's one link to some recipes that work.

 

And this is the flour blend they developed - no xanthan gum, which they add only when using the GF flour in certain recipes.

 

Last week, the segment for gluten-free pizza dough was re-aired locally and looks like a winner.   I immediately did a search for the online recipe and have it printed out, ready to try.

I have tried other GF pizza doughs - none have been satisfactory, most were totally inedible. 

 

And this link is to some IMPORTANT HINTS on how to handle and bake GF items.

 

 

P.S.  They did state that the only TWO  commercial  GF flour blends they found acceptable were  King Arthur's and Bob's Red Mill. 


Edited by andiesenji (log)

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For an entire year, America's Test Kitchen spent many months testing and perfecting gluten-free baking and began airing the segments locally last fall, although in different areas they were broadcast earlier last year.

 

Here's one link to some recipes that work.

 

And this is the flour blend they developed - no xanthan gum, which they add only when using the GF flour in certain recipes.

 

Last week, the segment for gluten-free pizza dough was re-aired locally and looks like a winner.   I immediately did a search for the online recipe and have it printed out, ready to try.

I have tried other GF pizza doughs - none have been satisfactory, most were totally inedible. 

 

And this link is to some IMPORTANT HINTS on how to handle and bake GF items.

As always Andie, your input is valued. I shall be anxious to hear how the pizza dough works out. Still chasing someone who was actually made a loaf of white sandwich bread that they are satisfied with. Without gluten I can only imagine that a compromise will be the end result. Kerry Beal and I had gluten-free buns on Manitoulin that were acceptable but the restaurant was not about to divulge the recipe and it certainly was not white bread.

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Anna, I made this one time

http://brittanyangell.com/worlds-best-paleo-sandwich-bread/

And also this

http://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/21/grain-free-white-bread-paleo-and-scd/

Toasted they are ok. Not what I would call great, but if you have not seen real bread in ages definitely acceptable

Brittany Angell has a new book out, with very good reviews, I don't have it and cannot comment on it


Edited by Franci (log)

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Anna, I made this one timehttp://brittanyangell.com/worlds-best-paleo-sandwich-bread/

And also thishttp://againstallgrain.com/2012/05/21/grain-free-white-bread-paleo-and-scd/

Toasted they are ok. Not what I would call great, but if you have not seen real bread in ages definitely acceptable

Brittany Angell has a new book out, with very good reviews, I don't have it and cannot comment on it

Thanks for your input, Franci.

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So let the games begin.

I was able to pick up some ingredients today and decided to start with the recipe that CatPoet linked to which had already been recommended by a friend of mine. It has the most familiar ingredients and the method is also very familiar.

The first challenge I had to overcome was converting the recipe from volume to weight measurements. One cannot really experiment in cups and teaspoons in my opinion. One might think that converting from volume to weight measurements would be easy but when I started to Google tables that claim to make this conversion I found them wildly erratic. The most egregious being the rice flour.

So I did it this way. I scooped and swiped and weighed and when I came close to a source that I trusted I accepted that as the appropriate weight of the ingredient. This took more time than assembling and mixing the ingredients.

The batter, as one cannot call it a dough, is now on its first rise.

The instructions are to grease the bread pan but in the interest of retaining my sanity I think I will line the bottom with parchment and grease the sides. Stay tuned.

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image.jpg

The batter is well risen.

image.jpg

Now out of the oven and cooling.

Requester and I waiting impatiently for it to cool so we can slice into it and see what we have. It smells quite nice but not at all like bread.

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image.jpg

So here it is. Not bread but I would definitely use it to enclose a filling and I'm betting it will be even better toasted. The person who requested it is very, very happy with the result.

Next up would be the Canadian Living recipe which I posted a link to. Then I would like to repeat this recipe adding one additional egg as was suggested in one of the comments.

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So today I attempted the Canadian Living recipe ( I gain having converted it from volume to weight). The recipe suggests that after 20 minutes in the bread pan it will have risen to the top of the pan but after almost an hour it had barely reached that level. Someone else had noted that in the comments so I was not surprised. When I first took it out of the oven it looked quite attractive but within a very short time it seemed to sink in along one the long side. You will be able to see that in one of the photographs. I made a small sandwich with two slices and for someone who is more concerned with the inside than the outside of a sandwich it would have probably gone over quite well. Later I toasted and buttered a single slice and I could see me eating that for breakfast without any problem at all. Both the texture and its thirst for butter reminded me of a crumpet. The remainder has gone home with the request and I will await the verdict.

I was much more than skeptical when I started this. And I am certainly not suggesting that either of these loaves qualify as bread as most of us know it. But I can see the appeal to those who cannot eat bread. I was expecting much, much worse results than I got.

image.jpg

The loaf as it came out of the oven.

image.jpg

The crumb

image.jpg

You can see here how one side collapsed.

image.jpg

A sandwich.

I shall continue playing with these two recipes and will be anxiously awaiting Andie's report on the pizza crust but I am getting the impression that interest in gluten-free breads has waned somewhat and I don't want to bore you.

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The bread looks very nice in the photos, Anna. In what way don't they qualify as bread to you? Is the texture too soft? Flavor still off?

I have never had to pursue gluten-free recipes, so have been happy to lurk in this topic...but if I needed to accommodate some as-yet-unmet friend I would be pleased to have this topic as a resource.

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The bread looks very nice in the photos, Anna. In what way don't they qualify as bread to you? Is the texture too soft? Flavor still off?

I have never had to pursue gluten-free recipes, so have been happy to lurk in this topic...but if I needed to accommodate some as-yet-unmet friend I would be pleased to have this topic as a resource.

I bake wheat bread almost every week and I can eat it as it is without any spread or filling and my granddaughter devours it the same way. These gluten-free breads have neither the taste nor the texture of the real McCoy. I wouldn't dream of eating them as they are. That being said if we could give them a name other than bread there is a place for them for those who are truly allergic to gluten.

I cannot say that I embraced this challenge with much enthusiasm but as I move along and research and try I am beginning to enjoy the challenge if not all of the end products.

Strangely I got word back that the first bread, the one from the Land o Lakes site proved to be much too crumbly when toasted. I did not attempt to toast that one. The second one from the Canadian living site got poor marks for its toastability from the requester but I thought it was fabulous toasted. Because it is so easy to throw together I even considered it as a backup for my own toast requirements!

So it is back to the drawing board or the Internet where I am delving into the science behind gluten-free flour blends. Even if you are the only person interested I will continue to post. I just don't want to be totally boring!

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One of the issues I am running into is that gluten-free recipes on the Internet are frequently posted by people with agendas that differ from mine. For example I was asked to attempt a naan bread. Even without any restrictions regarding gluten or anything else the naan bread I have made in the past has been very acceptable but certainly doesn't measure up to the amazing stuff I can get in my favorite Indian restaurant. But at least I have a clue about the ingredients and the method.

I tracked down a gluten-free recipe that seemed promising in terms of ingredients but the instructions for combining those ingredients left much to be desired.The poster, however, had given a source for her version which I followed until I found the original. This one had less inviting ingredients but the method was clearly demonstrated. But she was trying to meet the requirements not only of gluten-free but also of a Paleo diet and called for coconut milk where I would've used yogourt.

So I followed her recipe to a T except for replacing the coconut milk with yogurt.

The consistency of the dough reminded me of something which only came to me just as I fell asleep last night. It is almost identical to homemade corn tortillas only much more fragile.

image.jpg

The first one was a complete disaster.

image.jpg

But eventually I got the hang of it.

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At first bite I thought they were quite promising. Even the texture seemed not too far off. But a few more bites and I realized that they were both too sweet and too heavy. Warm from the oven and with a decent curry they might pass as better than nothing but that is about all.

Until we attempt to bake without it I think we really fail to appreciate the value of wheat and its gluten!

I need to delve more deeply into the chemistry behind all this to try and understand the role of the sugar and cream of tartar in this recipe. I need to delve more deeply into the chemistry behind all this to try and understand the role of the sugar and cream of tartar in this recipe. My suspicion is that sometimes these recipe developers are simply throwing ingredients together and hoping for the best with little science to back them up.

Moving from bread to cookies today while I dig a little deeper into the science. Perhaps I should reread Bakewise.

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Dispatch from the trenches! Who knew that the Ideas in Food team had a book out on gluten-free flour blends that they have developed. Anyone familiar with it?

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