Category Archives: Baking

Fresh Air Does Gluten Free

FreshAir

For those of us that listen to Fresh Air on NPR, it was a joy to hear Terri Gross interview food experts about gluten-free cooking and baking.

Terri interviewed Jack Bishop and Julia Collin Davison of America’s Test Kitchen. They spent the last few years testing recipes and brands to find the best. It’s a great, informative show.
Click here to listen to the full story. 

How-Can-Gluten-Free-Cookbook

 

On common problems with gluten-free foods

Collin Davison: Gluten is kind of magical, and so when you take it out of the equation, you’re left with flours that can’t absorb liquid as well, they can’t absorb fat as well and they can’t trap those air bubbles that are really crucial for baked goods. So you wind up with things that are … very dense and squat; they’re often greasy and they crumble apart. They don’t have the binding structure of gluten.

On the best store-bought gluten-free flour

Collin Davison: The one that we found worked best universally — and that means in cookies, in bread dough, in biscuits, in muffins — was King Arthur Flour gluten-free blend. And it is very much like, actually, our recipe for gluten-free flour blend in that it uses two types of rice flours — white and brown — and it also uses two types of starches, which is potato and tapioca. And those four ingredients, we found, were really the magic key to finding a blend that worked almost as good as a wheat flour.

Here is one of the recipes from the book, for classic chocolate chip cookies.
sfs_chocolate_chip_cookiessmall_custom-cf7e8fd10997aa8ebc0850d811e334b486dbbb9d-s3-c85

Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 8 ounces (13/4 cups) ATK Gluten-Free Flour Blend
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 1/4 ounces (3/4 cup packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 ounces (1/3 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 7 1/2 ounces (11/4 cups) semisweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk flour blend, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt together in medium bowl; set aside. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together in large bowl until well combined and smooth. Whisk in egg, milk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth. Stir in flour mixture with rubber spatula and mix until soft, homogeneous dough forms. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest for 30 minutes. (Dough will be sticky and soft.)

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 soupspoons and working with about 11/2 tablespoons of dough at a time, portion dough and space 2 inches apart on prepared sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until golden brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking.

3. Let cookies cool on sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Cookies are best eaten on day they are baked, but they can be cooled and placed immediately in airtight container and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day.)

Advertisements

Tasty Fall Quickbread Recipe

pumpkin bread photo

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Treehugger has a nice looking recipe for gluten-free pumpkin quick bread, take a look!

There’s nothing like a quick bread straight from the oven to ring in autumn. As the weather cools and harvest slips from summer fruits to fall vegetables, it’s time to pull out the pie spices and start making some favorite comfort recipes.

One of the things I love most about quick breads is how easy it is to make them vegan. Vegan versions have all the moist fluffiness and sweet flavor of old-fashioned recipes, with a fraction of the fat and refined sugars. They are also really easy to make gluten-free without sacrificing flavor or texture.

This pumpkin bread is super moist and sweet with just a bit of spice. It tastes pretty much like pumpkin pie in bread form. This recipe would be great to make in muffin tins as well, with a little spiced vegan whipped cream on top!


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Ingredients:

  • 1 c multi-flour gluten-free blend (I like Multi-Blend Flour from Authentic Foods)
  • 3/4 c brown rice flour
  • 1 c loosely packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp cardamom
  • 1 1/4 c pumpkin purée
  • 1/4 c plus 3 Tbsp vegetable oil (or apple sauce for low-fat version)
  • 3 Tbsp maple syrup (or honey, agave or similar natural sugar)
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 3/4 c chopped walnuts, almonds and pecans

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour a loaf pan.

In a large bowl, mix together flours, sugar, soda, baking powder, salt, and all the spices.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Next, in a small bowl, stir together pumpkin, oil, syrup, and water.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, combining until everything is just moistened and forms a thick batter.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Fold in chopped nuts.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the center rack of the oven.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack and let cool for 10-15 minutes.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Using a butter knife or flat spatula, gently loosen the bread from the sides of the pan, and tip it out. Set the loaf on the wire rack to finish cooling.


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Enjoy!


© Jaymi Heimbuch

Thanks to Treehugger and Jaymi Heimbuch for the recipe!

FDA FINALLY Rules on Gluten Free Labeling

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 8.10.05 PM

Call it bureaucracy in action, but a mere nine years after they were told to rule, the FDA finally laid down some rules on gluten-free labeling.  Officially, 20 parts per million and under of gluten will be allowed to be labeled as “gluten-free”. Up until now, it has been entirely voluntary and left to marketers to spin as they see fit.

Via National Geographic:

The regulation comes almost a decade after the FDA began requiring food packaging to list wheat and other major allergens under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.

“Many people think that developing a labeling rule is an easy thing to do, but a lot goes into it,” says Felicia Billingslea, the FDA’s director of food labeling and standards. Years were devoted to researching a safe threshold for consumers with celiac disease. “We have a standard definition now, and it’s consistent internationally with Canada and the E.U.”

The rules also ensure that companies can’t label products “gluten-free” if they could be cross-contaminated by other foods processed at the same facility. Manufacturers have until August 5, 2014, to comply.

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Some terms on food packaging may still confuse consumers—”organic” versus “all-natural,” “cage-free” versus “free-range.” But the “gluten-free” label now stands to ease the minds of millions suffering from serious food allergies.

“My son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, and now I can feed him and not worry about it. It’s something every mother would hope for,” says Geller.

Review: Petunia’s Pies and Pastries

If I could conceive of my dream GF bakery it would turn out looking exactly like Petunia’s. Walking into a dedicated gluten free facility generally has a very positive effect on me (i.e. OMG I can eat anything??) but in addition to this Petunia’s has employees outfitted in handmade uniforms, a cute yet clean and sophisticated design, and I do believe I saw a jadeite mosser glass cake plate. This is my new happy place.

Me, coincidentally matching the Petunia’s color palate.

ImageA successful wholesale business raked in capitol for founder Lisa Clark, and distribution in local coffee shops gave her brand recognition and credibility in the Portland GF market. I think I can safely say that we’ve all been looking forward to this opening, and it certainly did not disappoint.

On top of the dessert treats we’ve come to love (like Millionaire bars and Mint Chocolate Brownies) there is a list of savory items including White Bean, Kale & Tomato Soup, Seasonal Green Salad and Seasonal Vegetable Cheese Tart. But Ben and I arrived early in the day Saturday and couldn’t resist testing some cookies and a double chocolate “Babycake” along with our Stumptown coffee.

The Double Chocolate “Babycake”

Image

Ben enjoying some chocolate mint cookies!Image

It was such a great experience I decided to return later that night for a cocktail. With a special drink menu created just for Petunia’s by Aviation Gin and an adorable staff shaking them up, you can’t go wrong stopping in for a quick sip. They are pretty sweet and the bakery closes at 11pm so I wouldn’t peg this as my new watering hole, but I had a grand time sitting in a cute candlelit bakery sipping a Brandy cocktail from a coupe with my friend.

Libby sipping the Water Lily signature gin cocktail (and also coincidentally matching!)Image

The Widow’s Kiss signature brandy cocktail.Image

Petunia’s, you officially get the Gluten Free PDX stamp of approval!

Petunia’s Pies and Pastries Opening Friday!

l

Portland has an extremely close-knit food community, and when a local baker opens up a brick-and-mortar space, it’s bound to be a fun event. And we’re thrilled to have Petunia’s great gluten-free and vegan treats in their own permanent storefront!  The shop officially opens on March 1st (Friday), and we’ll be there, exploring the space and tasting the many foods (and drinks!).  The bakery is located at 610 SW Alder. We hope to see many of you there for the opening!

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 2.39.40 PM

Here’s a great little video explaining the history of Petunia’s, through owner Lisa Clark’s own words.

Petunia’s Story from Petunia’s Pies & Pastries on Vimeo.

Product Review: Pamela’s GF Brownie Mix

I don’t like many things that come from a mix, gluten free or not, but brownies are one thing I’ve always thought taste just as great out of a box as they do from scratch. With this in mind, I decided to grab a few brands of GF brownie mixes and test which one I liked the best.

Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie was the first I tried and they turned out so yummy that I haven’t even bothered with the rest yet!

Continue reading