Monday, April 30, 2012

Better bread techniques?

Nicole Hun's Glutenfreeonashoestring recipe blog has some promising looking bread recipes I'm going to give a  try.  The Japanese Milk Bread recipe uses a water roux to make it thick enough to be a dough rather than a batter before cooking. There are even  Croissant and Puff Pastry recipes!

My only gripes other than all the advertising is that most of the recipes use rather a lot of xanthum gum and starchy unwholegrain flours.  I know this is because the high starch content makes baked goods fluffier, but I prefer to add some wholegrain/beany flours to increase fibre and protein, and reduce the glycaemic index. I try not to use more than 1/2 tsp xanthum as it can give a bitter taste and make things rather rubbery in texture. Also a lot of coeliacs I've spoken to on message boards have developed an intolerance to it, so think it's best to go easy on it...I don't want ANOTHER allergy!!

The Sandwich Bread recipe is the only one that looks like it uses a more wholesome mix of flours, but honestly any bread you need to toast before eating I don't think you can class as suitable for making sandwiches...I use this kind of bread for breakfast/dinner only...still, will give it a try!

Friday, April 6, 2012

home-made GF Pasta!!

What a triumph!  Thanks to Gluten Free Girl for sharing her GF pasta recipe on her blog.

I usually get disheartened by all the special flours bloggers in the US use that I cannot buy here in the UK, but I thought it worth experimenting with what I had in the kitchen and it paid off.  I made it using normal sized free-range eggs, substituted garbanzo bean flour with chickpea flour and millet flour with brown rice flour and used whole psyllium husks (a lot cheaper than psyllium powder - find in healthfood shops or online e.g. goodness A big 300g tub will last you years!).  Don't be put off by the really beany smell of the raw chickpea flour as it has a mild taste when it's cooked.

This recipe makes a lovely pliable stretchy dough to roll out and cut into strips and would also be good for making ravioli.  This is one you can get the kids helping with as it isn't prone to crumbling like GF pastry.  They could cut out funky shapes, but you may want to roll it out thin enough first so that it cooks evenly.

Here it is in a nutshell with my changes:

3oz chickpea flour
3oz brown rice flour
3oz potato flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp psyllium husks

1 egg and 2 or 3 yolks
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp olive oil

Mix the dry ingredients well and place in food processor (or pulse a couple of times in the blender to mix). Then in a mug, mix together the wet ingredients with a fork.

Add the wet mixture to your blender and pulse until you have greasy-looking crumby mixture.  If it pinches together to make a doughy texture you can tip into a bowl and knead, otherwise add a little more oil and water.  Its pretty fool proof though, so if you make it too wet you can always add more flour.

Knead and roll out thinly. I put a silicone baking sheet on a kitchen towel to stop it slipping and use a silicone rolling pin.  Another trick is to use a flour shaker filled with corn flour and douse the rolling pin and surface with that to stop the dough sticking.

Once cut into strips/shapes, put the pasta in boiling water for 2-3mins. That's it.  Drain the pasta and serve.  Serves 2-3 people.

Note:  To double up the quantities, it is easier to make 2 batches in your blender otherwise the blades won't mix it all thoroughly.  Alternatively you could mix it all by hand in a bowl and knead well.