Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gluten Free Blueberry Crisp

I was gawking at food on today and saw this lovely blueberry crisp that I just had to try. Number one, I have all these ingredients. Number two, it is very easy to adapt to gluten free. If you haven't purchased Better Batter yet, get to you nearest Whole Foods or shop online. So, thank you for this delish addition to my GF recipe book! This is a delicious general crisp that you could use with many fruits. Happy berry picking!

Toss blueberries with GF flour and sugar and pour into a greased pie dish or 8"x8" baking dish.

Using your pastry blender, hand-mix the butter, flour and brown sugar into pea-sized crumbles.

This is the perfect consistency...You want to keep blending until there are no longer dry ingredients in the bottom-It is all incorporated into the butter.

Once you have your crumbles, mix in the oats and cinnamon. This recipe is actually ridiculously easy, with crowd-pleasing results.

Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 or until it is golden and bubbly. The cinnamon will make your house smell fabulous while baking.

Ta-Daaa! Serve this warm with ice cream!

Recipe for Blueberry Crisp (GF)
2 pints fresh or frozen blueberries
1 T Sugar

Toss together in separate dish and pour into greased pie or 8x8 pan

3/4 Cups Better Batter
3/4 Cups packed Brown Sugar
6 T Butter

Combine with a pastry blender until pea-sized crumbles result and dry fully incorporated

1/2 Cups Oats
1/2 t Cinnamon

Blend oats and cinnamon into crumble mixture. Pour on top of berries and pat down. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. Crisp will be golden and crispy on the edges.

This tastes amazing with ice cream!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Eye Candy

Ok, so not exactly Gluten Free, but I thought it was too cute not to post! This is for a "guess how many" game for Easter, and it is also the prize. My daughter helped me put this together, and let me tell you, it was a tasty project. Thought I'd share!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake (Scones)

Sift together dry ingredients.

Cut butter into pieces and add to dry mixture.

Using a pastry blender, mix cold butter with dry ingredients.

Whisk wet ingredients in medium bowl.

Blend wet into dry ingredients.

Press dough into a 1" tall disk and cut into 8 pieces.

Baste with cream.
Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together in a large bowl:

2 cups Better Batter
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt plus a pinch

Cut into pieces and drop in:

6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter

Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or two knives, coating the pieces with flour as you go, until the largest pieces of butter are pea-sized. Keep this mixture cold, chilling it in the refrigerator if the butter starts to soften.

Stir in:

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) and/or
1/2 cup dried fruit (optional)

Whisk together in a separate bowl:

3/4 cup cream (substitute unsweetened coconut cream if you are lactose intolerant)
1 egg
1-2 tsp orange or lemon zest (optional)

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until the mixture starts to hold together, then gently knead the dough a few times with your hands. Depending on your flour mix, the dough may be very sticky. While this makes it difficult to handle, it is okay. If the dough seems dry and won't hold together easily, add 1-2 Tbsp more cream and knead it in.

Put the dough on a large baking sheet. Gently push the dough into a flat disk about one inch high. Cut into eight equal pieces and arrange them on the baking sheet about one inch apart. Brush some
cream onto the tops of the scones. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one comes out clean.

This Recipe is courtesy of Gina E. Kelley of Portland, Oregon. (I changed to better batter)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Gluten Free Pizza on the GRILL!

Anyone who knows me will tell you my favorite food is pizza. No if's, and's or but's. I am a self-proclaimed connoisseur. And there is no pizza better than pizza from a wood-fired oven. So last night I decided to try a gluten-free pizza on my BBQ. And let me tell you, it turned out better than I could have imagined. (And if I didn't have a piece-of-junk grill that heats unevenly you wouldn't be looking at blackened crust on one side).
Before starting this dish, I knew I would have to do a few extra steps to make the gluten free dough tough enough to be put on the grill. If you have ever made GF pizza, you know that the dough is more of a batter that must be spread onto a pizza stone. More on this later! So, here I am adding the yeast-sugar-water mixture to the Better Batter, salt and oil.
This is where I started to get creative. While mixing the dough, I heated my oven to 450 degrees with my baking stone inside. When I was done mixing the dough, I took out the baking stone and greased it and sprinkled cornmeal on it. I then turned off the oven. I spread the dough onto the stone, making it nice and thin. I could have made this much dough into two pizzas by making it thinner. (The part of the pizza with the thinner crust tasted the best). I was hoping that the hot stone alone would set the dough enough to make it moveable, but it still needed to go into the hot (but off) oven for about 5-7 minutes. Not long enough to cook it, just to set it.
When the dough was done in the oven I used a spatula to loosen it, then flipped it onto a new tray. It was basically like regular pizza dough now and could be slipped onto the grill without worries of breaking apart. I basted it with basil-infused olive oil.
From here on out, I would suggest having a helper, because it goes quickly and you don't have time to waste looking for tools or toppings! (As I found out as we went). Here we are slipping the dough onto a clean, greased BBQ grill. The temp was about 400, but I turned the burners down on the side the pizza was on. In the meantime, make sure all toppings and sauces are ready nearby. For flipping, I had a flat baking sheet, but you should definitely have something larger like that...A spatula might cause the dough to break.
Here is the crust after about 8-10 minutes, but watch closely. Our grill burns hotter in the back, so we had to slip some foil under the section that was done quicker. So, we see the bubbles, I check underneath and it is perfect! I made my husband flip it for me because I was scared. But it held together perfectly and was starting to take on the texture of an amazing crust.
Here is the crust after an amazingly executed flip by my husband. As you can see, back burned front not so much. Rrrr. My old BBQ tried to sabotage my pizza, but didn't succeed I'm happy to say. But notice the grill lines and great color. The texture was perfect.

Right after that flip is where you have to work quickly. Get the oil or sauce basted on quickly and throw on those toppings so you can close the grill and let the heat melt the top as the bottom of the crust is crisping-up. It goes fast if your grill is hot. I had to use foil again to keep the back from burning.

Ok, now we are carnivores, so you probably won't see a lot of veggie or vegan pizzas in our house. We went all out with browned Italian sausage and pepperoni and fresh cut grape tomatoes. No sauce, just basil-infused olive oil. I also used fresh sliced mozzarella instead of the shredded kind. What a difference.

This pizza was amazing. My GF husband even went as far as to say it was "the best pizza" he's ever had. It was probably the Italian sausage and pepperoni talking, but I'll take the compliment. I thought it was excellent pizza and worth all of the work! It was actually kind of fun cooking outside. Let me just say that I would gladly pay money for this pizza in a restaurant...So you should definitely give it a try!

Gluten Free Pizza on the Grill!
2 Cups warm water
1 Pkg. yeast
1 T. Sugar
2 1/2 Cup
2 1/2 Cups Better Batter
1/2 t. Salt
2 T. Olive Oil
1-2 T. cornmeal for pan

**Preheat oven to 450
1. Proof yeast in sugar and water for 5 minutes. Make sure it is well dissolved.
2. Sift flour and salt, and add olive oil
3. Add yeast mixture to flour mix. and beat on high for 3 minutes. Dough should be like cake batter.
4. Grease and sprinkle cornmeal on a hot baking sheet. Turn off oven after it has reached temp.
5. Spread batter onto baking sheet in a thin layer. (You may need to make this into two crusts depending on how thin you want your crust).
6. Set pizza dough in the hot but off oven to let it set for 5-7 minutes.
**Start heating your outdoor grill to about 400.
7. Flip crust out onto a different tray to carry out to the grill. Brush it with olive oil.
8. Have all toppings ready to go right next to the grill.
9. Grease grill and turn down heat on the side where the pizza will go. Slide dough onto grill.
10. When dough is bubbly and you can see by peeking underneath that it is ready, then using a large, flat tray or spatula, flip the crust over.
11. Brush with olive oil or sauce and place all toppings on the pizza. Close the lid to the grill so the heat can melt the toppings.
12. When the bottom is done, remove the pizza and serve!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

French Bread-Gluten Free

This is not normally a spread you would see in a gluten free household. It is one we have missed dearly. I've said many times I could probably live on bread alone. And cheese. That's all I need. After the gluten free verdict, I tried to stay brave for my husband's sake. But inside I was dying a little. Needless to say, when I stumbled upon this recipe on a GF recipe site from the UK, I was skeptical. But, somehow this recipe actually tastes like French bread. The crust is crisp and brown and crackles when you tear it. The inside is chewy and moist. There is no grit and no aftertaste. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sooooo Good!
By the way, how cute is that olive oil plate? My Mother and Father in-law brought those back for us from a trip to Italy. They have been hidden away, but are now back in use!
Below is the first step...Proofing the yeast. You should use a fast rise yeast. Warm water, sugar and yeast...Wait until it foams.

Beat the egg whites before adding.

To the dry, sifted ingredients, add the yeast mixture and then the whites, butter and vinegar.

Since this is GF bread, there is no kneading. Just set that mixer to high and let it roll for about 3 minutes. It will look like cake batter.

Here is the consistency when you are ready to put the dough in the baking pans.

I am so excited about this purchase! French bread pans! It gives the loaf a chance to rise and not just spread, like on a baking sheet. You actually get a loaf shape, which makes you feel good...Like you actually know what you are doing or something.

Spoon your dough into the loaf pans you are using, or onto a baking sheet, and shape them like a loaf. I sprayed my fingers with Pam and tried to smooth the dough as much as possible. I then brushed the top of the dough with melted butter and cut little slits down the length. The recipe recommends letting your dough rest, covered until it has doubled. Mine never did...Grrr. So, I had really low expectations for this bread. (It ended up rising in the oven and tasted perfect, so there you go).

Here is a little tip I found somewhere along the way. I can't believe I actually posted a picture of the inside of my oven. Wow, that needs a pass with Easy Off. Anyway, to get that crackly, golden crust here is the trick... Put the bread in at 450 for 15 minutes and throw about 4 ice cubes into the bottom of your oven. Then turn the temp. down to 375 for 15 minutes and throw 4 more ice cubes in. The steam keeps the crust from setting too early, thus keeping the loaf from expanding. Then when the inside is done expanding, the crust can get brown and toasty. For a more rustic look, sprinkle a little four on the bread before going in the oven.

Aaaaah. Freshly baked bread. Is there anything quite so wonderful in this whole wide world? To keep the bread crusty, let it cool on the counter, don't wrap it up. My kids and I dug into one of these loaves before it had even cooled. We had put a whole loaf down before I realized we had better save some for Daddy! (The reason I bake GF :). He was blown away with how good this bread was. Just the other day he was reminiscing about bread dipped in olive oil. I always aim to please. Give this recipe a try. It has a few steps, but is SOOO worth it!

Recipe for GF French Bread
1 1/2 t. Salt
2 T. Sugar
1 1/2 C. Luke Warm Water
2 T. Fast Rise Yeast
2 T. Butter, melted
3 Egg whites, beaten slightly
1 t. Vinegar
Melted butter for brushing

1. Proof yeast in small bowl with water and sugar
2. Sift flour and salt
3. Blend yeast mix. into dry
4. Add butter, whites and vinegar; beat on high for 3 minutes
5. Spoon dough into greased/cornmealed (optional) loaf pans (makes 2 loaves)
6. Slash diagonally and brush with melted butter
7. Cover and let double in size (20-40 minutes)
8. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes and don't forget those ice cubes in the bottom of the oven, then at 375 for another 12-15 minutes with 4 more ice cubes.
9. Remove bread and allow to cool, if you can before digging in!
**Keep uncovered or the crust will get soft


**Ok, post script, this bread does not keep well overnight. Like many gluten free baked goods, it is best the day you make it. So plan on using it all up that day!

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Crazy Good" Gluten Free Blueberry Pancakes

Ok, so here is my middle baby, Sam wanting to get in on the action. That was a hot plate, hence the "I'm going to drop this thing in 2 seconds flat" look. It was a quick shoot, blurry pancakes and all, but my little helper was very excited to get that dinner rolling. I have to tell you that this was the first attempt at pancakes in a LONG time. Last time I tried, they were buckwheat bricks and tasted like I threw in some sawdust for good measure. Needless to say, everybody was VERY wary for my latest attempt. These were good. Better than good. They were "crazy good" according to my GF husband. I have to agree...They had a buttery, chewy/crispy outside and caky, soft inside. And they were thick and light. What more can I say? Whether you are GF or not, these tasted so good I won't ever go back to regular pancakes. Make them.
Beat the eggs, milk and vanilla on high for 3 minutes. This gets the frothy, airy texture going.

In the meantime, melt 3 T butter and add to the egg mixture with a spoon until just blended. From this point on, it's wooden spoon only. The key to the light consistency is not over beating. Lumps are good.

Add the sifted, dry ingredients to the wet by stirring for maybe 10 seconds. Repeat...We don't care about lumps. The batter will be sitting now for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour or even overnight. It gets thick, bubbly and those lumps get absorbed.

Right before you are ready to grill the pancakes, add your frozen or fresh fruit or chocolate. This is where you can test the consistency. You want thicker batter, not too runny, but runny enough so that when you drop the batter onto the griddle it doesn't stand up in the same shape. You want it to flatten out a bit, maybe with a little help from your spoon. I had to end up adding almost a third of a cup of milk right before I grilled and it didn't change the taste at all. They were perfect!
Here is Madeline, my oldest getting in the shot. I have such great helpers. If the camera could pan down here, there is a one year old literally sitting on my feet making it impossible to move. She too, loves to be wherever her mom is. Here are the pancakes on the griddle. Notice how thick they are? My husband was worried they wouldn't taste right... (Read-the look on his face said what else can I start preparing for dinner when this idea tanks?) But, oh, vindication is nice. He was groveling. Pancakes used to be his lifeblood, and the hardest thing to go without being gluten free. After my earlier attempts, we thought pancakes just weren't going to be a part of our lives anymore. Until now. Try. These. Pancakes. Do it, they rock.

Here is the Recipe for "Crazy Good" Gluten Free Pancakes
2 Lg. Eggs
1 1/2 Cup Milk (plus extra for thinning later if necessary)
2 t. Vanilla
3 T. Melted Butter
1 1/2 Cup Better Batter (Of course)
1/2 t. Salt
2 t. Baking Powder
2 T. (heaping) of sugar

1. Beat eggs, milk and vanilla on high for 3 minutes
2. Stir in melted butter
3. Sift dry ingredients and quickly stir into wet ingredients for about 10 seconds
**Lumps are okay!! Do not over mix! When the griddle or frying pan is greased and ready to go, check the consistency of the batter to make sure it is just thick enough to need to be spread with the back of a spoon, and won't run on it's own.
5. Let batter sit for at least 10 minutes and up to a few hours covered in the fridge.
6. Throw the batter on a greased griddle in the desired size and flip when bubbly on the top. I fed a family of 5 with these amounts. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Gluten Free Cherry Empanadas

This is a recipe for cherry empanadas, something I learned to make in Home-Ec in middle school. My sister and I made them all the time growing up with cherry or apple filling. Since I have a fabulous gluten free pie crust recipe, I thought I would try it on empanadas and see if the dough held together enough to do a little manipulating. With a few little tricks it worked perfectly! Look how golden and flaky they look! And the taste is delish. I couldn't believe how flaky and buttery the crust was! There is no evidence of "Gluten Free" at this party.
So, here are the ingredients for this very basic pie dough. The recipe makes enough for 2 crusts. I usually make 2 single crust pies and freeze one shell for another time. Today, I made the empanadas with one and froze a pie shell with the other batch. I'll post pics later on making a pie.
Again, I highly recommend sifting your GF flour. Add the sugar.
Beat the egg before adding. There really isn't a particular order in which to add the ingredients. It will all be mashed together with a pastry blender (by hand).
Next comes the apple cider vinegar. I've noticed that a lot of GF recipes call for this ingredient so I would recommend buying a good-sized bottle. (Another of these commonly called for is buttermilk powder).
Then you will add a stick of cold butter. I like to chop it to small squares first so it is easier on my hands to work it into the dough.
Lastly you will add the cold water, tablespoon by tablespoon until the desired dough consistency is achieved. (Kind of crumbly, not smooth).
Here I am blending the dough with my trusty pastry blender. It keeps you from over mixing, like an electric blender would do.
It is now time to tip some of the dough onto the wax paper. This is the correct consistency. Very crumbly. It will easily roll into a smooth ball at this point. TIP: I have found that the easiest way to work with GF dough is to roll it between 2 pieces of wax paper so that you can lift it in the paper, move it to where you need it and remove the wax. No breakage that way.
Ok, so here is a small ball of dough ready to be rolled between 2 pieces of wax paper.
After removing the top sheet, put a spoonful of filling (I'm obsessed with cherry) onto the center of the dough. Don't get too carried away otherwise it will squirt out the sides.
Then you just fold it in half and seal the edges with a fork.
Before baking I will brush the dough with an egg yolk/cream mixture to get that golden and crispy color. I then sprinkle a little sugar on each one for no real reason, but that I think you should. Ok, it is to make it sparkly.
Ok, here is the recipe for these little gems, and any other pie you could think of. I use it for quiches, 2-crust fruit pies, pumpkin pie, and now empanadas!

350 for 12-15 minutes
1 egg, beaten
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
1 T. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
4-5 T. cold water

Egg yolk/milk or cream for brushing on before baking
sprinkle of sugar and or cinnamon sugar

1. Blend together with a pastry blender until crumbly. Adding only enough water to moisten.
2. Turn out golf ball sized amounts of dough onto wax paper. Flatten into disks with your hands and then roll between 2 pieces of wax paper.
3. Spoon filling into middle of each circle and fold in half, sealing edges with a fork.
4. Place on ungreased baking sheet and poke a tiny hole in each one for breathing.
5. Brush on egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with sugar.
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

These are great little desserts to bring to a Mexican food potluck. Add a little cinnamon to the top for a different kick. You will seriously enjoy this recipe for basic pie dough because it is so versatile! Happy baking!