Friday, October 26, 2012

Yes Pizza Hut! Well done!

Just had the most amazing yummy pizza hut pizzas.  The base is soft and tasty - just like regular one. We ordered GF ones for the whole family even though my hubby is not coeliac and he was really impressed too.

It's such a brilliant idea to make them square so you know it's your order - otherwise I would've had to get them to check and double check as it was so like a normal pizza! It's reassuring to be able to identify it as the freefrom one straight away.

I love that you can order any of the toppings as they are all GF. And of course if you are milk intolerant and not just lactose intolerant you can order without cheese.  

My only gripe is that you can only order these from the restaurant branches and not the takeaway shops, but who knows they may do them in the future if they are as popular as they have been so far.  Our local chain has had trouble keeping up with demand already so ring ahead to check they have stock!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pizza Autumn Fever...

Well, this Autumn lots of big Pizza chains have announced they will be serving GF pizza which is prepared and cooked separately to the gluten-containing ones: Pizza hut, Dominos, Zizzis, Prezzo and Ask Italian.



I've yet to try them, but all the reviews on the coeliac forums I've read for the Pizza hut GF pizzas are overwhelmingly positive.  What great news! Pizza hut have even been working with leading charity CoeliacUK in order to get the preparation right.  I read a while back that Dominos were going to start offering GF Pizzas in the US, but they had such a long disclaimer paragraph that I think it would be pretty likely there'd be issues of contamination with toppings and how they are cooked - which completely defeats the object!!

Pizza hut GF pizzas are square, which a great idea so you can feel confident you've been served the right one, can come with any topping and are served uncut (with their own pizza knife) in order to further avoid contamination issues. Brilliant.

"white" Pasta

For those who don't like chickpea flour or simply can't be bothered to stock it in their kitchen.  Here is a pasta dough that is pliable although a bit more delicate to handle than the chickpea version.

1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup corn flour
1/2 cup potato flour
2 tsp psyllium husks
1/2 tsp xanthum
1 tsp salt

2 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp water (approx)

The easiest way to mix the ingredients is to pulse in a blender, but you can also beat with a fork a little and then knead by hand.  The amount of water needed will vary slightly depending on the humidity of your kitchen so add 5 tbsp and only add more if your dough is too dry to hold together well.

Once your dough has formed a ball, leave to rest for 10 mins before rolling out.  I roll mine out (half a batch at a time) on a silicone mat with either a sheet of clingfilm or baking parchment on top.  Cut with a blunt knife and place on a (Corn) floured plate until you're ready to cook it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My first worthy dinner rolls!

And when I say worthy I mean worthy of being shared with non gluten-free people.  The secret is getting the dough to rise. Check out glutenfreeonashoestring's post on rising the dough in the microwave before baking. The result is light fluffy rolls!


Here's my version of a soft fluffy roll recipe:

Soya soft bread
2 cups GF plain flour
1 ½ cups soya flour
2 tsp xanthum (less if your flour mix contains it)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp cream of tartar
2tbsp sugar


2/3 cup melted marg, cooled
1 egg
1 cup water
2 tsp dried yeast

Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately and then combine.  Beat well with a fork and then a metal spoon until a very soft, floppy dough is formed.
Very carefully, roll spoonfuls of the soft dough in GF flour and arrange on a silcone baking sheet. Leave to rise covered with a hot, wet kitchen towel for 30-60 mins (you may need to reheat towel). Bake for 30-40 mins in a moderately hot oven.

serve warm.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Bread Proofer - updated

You can now get hold of Brod and Taylor's electric bread proofer in the UK from Lakeland stores.  Unfortunately it will set you back £150 but it does get rave reviews and doesn't take up as much space as a bread maker (and it folds away).

There seems to be 2 key factors in getting GF bread to rise a) not kneading it, b) getting it to rise in a warm steamy environment in the first hour - unlike gluteny bread, which benefits from a long, slow overnight rise.  You can use glutenfreeonashoestring's microwave + hot tea towel method, but it does mean remembering to go back and reheat the towel every 20 mins which my nappy brain just can't seem to remember to do... Or you could buy a reasonable breadmaker for £60 but you need to make a batter style GF bread and use the longest setting (not the quick gluten free setting that some machines have!). See my post about machine GF bread. And I havent figured out how to make rolls yet as GF dough doesn't like being disturbed once it's risen!

Monday, October 1, 2012

GF Shoestring book review

I have often pored over the delicious-looking photos on the glutenfreeonashoestring blog looking for baking inspiration. At first I was a little put off by the references to branded flour mixes (all American brands) and the advertising, but there's also info on how to approximate these mixes yourself and actually the book just suggests you use a generic plain GF flour and xanthum gum.

I have the Kindle version of the book so no mouth watering photos, but the staple recipes are sound.  I love the beginning chapters about how to get organised and prepare doughs ahead to freeze/refrigerate so that you can make a quick pizza, pasta or cookie batch mid week.  Essential tips when you have impatient little mouths to feed mid-week and not much time to devote to mid-week dinners.

There's also lots of advice on how to save money whilst cooking gluten-free,as the title suggests, and most of it is  also relevant for a UK audience.

I think the most impressive things I've made so far are crispy pizza bases which can be picked up and eaten like a regular pizza and light fluffy dinner rolls.  The tips on making GF bread rise are especially good and handy if you don't have a bread maker (most GF cookbooks only cater for breadmaker owners!).  Finally I have managed to make bread rolls I would happily share with my dinner guests and it's nice to have the house filled with the smell of freshly baked bread again...

My only criticism is that the recipes are a bit waffly/verbose and the ingredients aren't necessarily listed in the order you use them in the recipe.  That said, it is useful in some recipes to have extra info.about the texture you're aiming for, but most recipes could be more succinct.

So check out the blog, try some free recipes and if you like them, I recommend the book.