Four-Ingredient Gluten Free Bread (vegan, oil-free)

January 2, 2014 § 4 Comments

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You can see the small bowl of risen yeast top middle

I just love fresh, warm bread with a chewy, crunchy crust, mmm, slathered in avocado and thick slabs of tomato with a few leaves of basil from the garden. My favourite was this excellent no-knead bread – stupidly easy to make even for kitchen beginners like me back when I was a gluten-loving fiend. Sadly it no longer feels the same way about me.

The alternative is a couple of toasted slices of storebought gluten-free bread, and there are a few great ones out there now. I’ve even made my own, but you know what? The long list of ingredients puts me off. Gums and starches and stabilisers. Is it so much to ask for a simple loaf? Well after my mum brought home a lovely little gluten free loaf from the Oneroa markets last weekend with a short list of ingredients I thought it was time I gave it another go.

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The result is a mix between a sourdough loaf with its crusty shell and a dense Breadman type loaf on the inside. And by dense I mean very dense. As in, this isn’t sandwich bread, but it toasts beautifully and fills your tummy with just one or two slices, and the flavour is pretty mild. I wouldn’t say this recipe is perfect, I still have plans to try the no-knead version plus a couple of other ideas – but let me know if you try out a variation on this recipe and how it goes. I will update with any improvements.

Oh and as an extra tip: this recipe also doubles brilliantly as a flatbread, pizza base, crackers etc – please share any experiments you do!

Notes: you can use store-bought flours or make your own using a high-speed blender. For an extra health kick you could sprout and dehydrate your grains first (I didn’t).

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Thanks for the fingerprints my curious wee daughter

Basic Gluten Free Bread (vegan, oil-free, gluten-free)
2 tsp active dry yeast + 2 tsp sugar (I used coconut sugar) + 5 tbsp warm water (ok this is three ingredients I’m counting as one, but it still works right?
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed (little over 1/4 cup whole seeds makes 1/2 cup when ground. I haven’t tried with brown flaxseed/linseed but I imagine it’s the same, just darker)
Salt is optional, I didn’t add any but if you like it add a tsp or so

Combine yeast, sugar and water in a non-stainless steel cup or small bowl, give it a stir, then set aside for at least 10min (it will grow). Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Once yeast has risen, add to the dry ingredients along with 1 cup water. Stir well until combined. Turn out onto a (rice) floured bench and knead very well for at least 10 minutes. Keep adding a little brown rice flour to prevent sticking.
Place back in bowl and cover with a clean, dry teatowel and leave somewhere warm (not in sunlight) for an hour or so. Its rise will be modest and it is a small loaf but it should gain in size.
Turn out again onto a lightly floured bench and knead for at least another minute. Shape into a little loaf, score the top with a knife and place on tea towel in bowl, cover with rest of tea towel and sit in a warm place for another hour.
At least half an hour before dough is ready, turn oven to 220degC and place a heavy, covered pot in to heat (I have a cast iron Le Creuset I picked up for $30 at an opshop which works well). Once ready, remove loaf from bowl and tea towel and place carefully in hot pot, covering with lid and placing back in oven. After 30 min check on the loaf. Mine took 40min on fan bake. It should have a golden crust and, once removed, sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Place onto wire rack to cool. Will keep for a couple of days in a dry, sealed container in a cupboard, probably a couple more in the fridge and I imagine a few months in the freezer.

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Birthday Banoffee

December 18, 2013 § 2 Comments

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So it was my good friend Emma’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to make her a cake. Because I love her and I love making food. And also because I’m a masochist. It’s the kindy holidays and baking and children, while a really good combo on TV ads for flour and plastic storage containers, in my house equals a pre-schooler running around like he’s on P shouting about chopping people’s heads off with a spatula (thanks to all the maple syrup he helps me pour drinks) and a toddler who thinks coconut cream is body paint.
This time I was smart and craftily avoided death by insanity by making the base and caramel layer the night before and after the kids had gone to bed. The only problem was my trusty springform pan was actually a cheap piece of crap and had broken so I had to use a really large one, which meant my cake was more of a thick plate and I broke the crust getting it into a plastic storage container and it ended up being soft the next day anyway and wow this story is getting more riveting by the second.
In short, use a smaller springform pan, and make it to eat the same day. Just not with children.

One of my all-time favourite food bloggers is an 18-year-old Norwegian girl and she is a fecking genius. This recipe is totally lifted from hers (aside from the base) so go check out the original here and ogle her other awesome creations.

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Check out my Steiner candles. Oh yeah.

Banoffee Pie (vegan, gluten free, oil free, soy free, can be made nut free)
Base
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal (use ground buckwheat if nut-free)
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp almond butter (use more coconut butter if nut-free)
2 tbsp coconut butter, melted
Pinch salt

Caramel
3 cups soft pitted dates
1 cup coconut water (from can of coconut cream)
1 tsp vanilla
Good pinch sea salt

Cream
Cream from 1 can Trade Aid coconut milk
1-2 bananas, sliced
Cacao powder

The day before you make the cake, put the can of coconut cream in the fridge.
Turn oven to 160degC.
To make the base, combine all ingredients in a food processor or bowl and process or stir well to combine. Press into a 9″ springform pan and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. Let cool a bit, then remove carefully onto a wire rack so bottom doesn’t go soggy.
Take coconut cream out of fridge and gently scoop the thick creamy layer from the top into a bowl. Set aside.
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined, using half a cup of the coconut water and adding a little more until you’re happy with the consistency (should be thick enough to slice through). Scoop mixture onto cooled base.
Whip coconut cream with an electric mixer until thick, then add banana and stir through. Spoon over the caramel, then top with a dusting of cacao powder. Serve immediately.

Delicious Fat-Free, Salt-Free Tomato Sauce

November 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

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Brown rice bowl with tomato sauce mixed through and mountains of veg

I’ve really started digging low-fat/high-carb food lately – it makes me feel a-may-zing. And for a tired mumma who still feeds through the night this is pretty unheard of. Normally I’m just a reeeeally grumpy zombie. Sticking to lots of ripe fruit, vegetables and some cooked carbs and limiting fats and salt seems to be working. I know I have intolerances that appear to be many and varied and so far eating this way helps me avoid them.

Being the food and cooking obsessive I am, however, my biggest concern is feeling creatively restricted. Luckily within this way of eating there is much to learn and get creative with! And in the end my shonky digestion is just so much happier it’s totally worth it.

I’ve just started reading 80/10/10 and will let you know how I get on. In the meantime, here’s a freaking awesome oil-free, salt-free tomato sauce recipe that still tastes fantastic and is dead-easy to make. I’ve used it as a sauce with rice and veges, in homemade sushi and as a dip for dry-roasted kumara and potato chunks.

Easy Moreish Tomato Sauce (oil-free, salt-free, vegan, gluten free, soy free)
1 jar organic passata (pureed tomato – I used a 680ml jar)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp onion flakes
Few shakes Bragg’s salt-free herbs and spices seasoning mix (or any dried herbs etc you like)
3 soft pitted dates
4-5 drops liquid smoke (optional but makes it awesome)

Put all ingredients in a heavy-bottomed pan and bring to the boil, then turn to low and let simmer, stirring enough so that it doesn’t catch or burn, until it reduces to a thick sauce. Around 30-40 min. Store in a clean jar in the fridge. Makes about 400ml.

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