Last month I started craving ginger-molasses cookies and couldn’t stop thinking about them. And when that happens, there’s no stopping me. I have no problem with follow through–I am going to bake those cookies. After looking at lots of recipes online, I came up with my own version.
When Alan saw them, he said they looked perfect, but the biggest compliment followed his first bite when he said they tasted just like “the real thing”. For all of the gluten free and dairy free bakers out there, you know that is the ultimate goal: to make it as good as the real thing.
In January, I marked five years of eating gluten free. Food restrictions are challenging, can cause stress (what am I going to eat) and friction with family or friends (a little bit won’t hurt you will it?), but, if looked at through a positive lens, can take you on a lifelong adventure of learning and experimentation.
Hands down, the thing I miss most from my old life is real bread. Fresh, artisan loaves of ciabatta, focaccia, boule, baguette made with local, organic flour in a bakery right down the road…OK I’ll stop torturing myself now. One of my early purchases was Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Let’s be honest, nothing will ever quite taste like bread full of wheat and gluten yumminess, but the breads I’ve made with this cookbook definitely satisfy my cravings. The deal with the “five minutes” is that you mix up the flour blend and then make the dough and store it in the fridge. Then any time you want bread, it takes five minutes to shape the dough, let it rise, and bake it. I love refrigerator doughs! So, if you’re gluten free, I recommend you get a copy of this book.
My favorite sandwich/toast bread, however, was given to me by a good friend back in 2014. And this is the recipe I will share with you here.
Ellie’s Gluten Free/Rice Free Multigrain Bread
1 cup millet flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1/2 blanched almond flour
1/2 cup brown teff flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup flax meal
2 3/4 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups hot water (110-115 degrees F)
2 tablespoons honey
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Combine dry ingredients, mixing until evenly blended.
In separate mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, molasses and vinegar.
In small bowl, combine honey and hot water. Sprinkle in yeast and stir to combine. Allow to proof for 7 minutes.
When yeast is bubbling, add wet ingredients to dry while mixing on low speed (about 30 seconds), stopping to scrape bowl to ensure even mixing.
Add in yeast mixture and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes or until dough is smooth, making sure to scrape bowl occasionally.
Pour dough into a parchment lined, well-greased, metal 9×5 bread pan. Cover with cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Remove cloth when bread has risen enough to almost touch it. Allow to rise another 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until firm all through.
Remove loaf from pan and allow to cool on wire rack.
“Mother took the pie out of the oven and it hissed fragrant apple, maple, cinnamon steam through the knife cuts in the top crust. She was making her world beautiful. She was making her world delicious. It could be done, and if anyone could do it, she could.”
― J.J. Brown, Death and the Dream
The day before Thanksgiving, I baked a grain-free pecan pie from Gluten Free and More Magazine and I told you I would share photos if it came out right. Well, I’m happy to report that it came out beautifully and it tasted scrumptious even four days after Thanksgiving when I finally got around to trying it.
The crust came together easily, with few ingredients and pressed into the pie plate without crumbling. It cracked, but was moist and it was easy to repair and crimp the edges.
The filling just mixed up in a bowl and then was poured into the crust and baked.
I am going to use this pie crust recipe for all sweet pies from now on. Apple is next on my list, and raspberry after that.
“America has developed a pie tradition unequivocally and unapologetically at the sweet end of the scale, and at no time is this better demonstrated than at Thanksgiving.”
― Janet Clarkson, Pie: A Global History