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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

gluten free banana bread

 I am not a huge fan of gluten free bread, I don't really like the taste- it seems metallicy or something and I will only eat it toasted with something of it, like an open sandwich and only rarely.
But sometimes it would be nice to have a bread to pop in the toaster for breakfast.
I came across this bread one day on the internet- I am not sure the original source, but I have made it twice now.
The first time I used pecans instead of walnuts because that's what I had and the second I doubled the recipe and put it in the smaller of my bread tins and it came out like a normal size loaf, it took double the cooking time. 
I have cut it in to slices and we (the gluten free people) have been enjoying it toasted for breakfast.
I didn't cut it as thick as suggested but thin to make it go further, particularly as bananas are so expensive in Australia at the moment due to the cyclone in Queensland, this is despite the fact that we have bananas grown locally, but they take 2 years to grow as opposed to 1 year in Queensland.
The recipe calls for very ripe bananas, I bought seconds at our local fruit and veg and left them for quite a few days but because it is winter they simply do not ripen and go off like they do in summer, so they were not as ripe as they should be for a recipe like this, but it still turned out well.

Banana Bread
2 eggs
3 medium, very ripe bananas
130g (⅔ cup) caster sugar
90ml (⅓ cup) canola oil
350g (1¾ cups) gluten free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
¼ teaspoon bicarb. soda
½ teaspoon salt
65g (½ cup) chopped walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease a loaf tin.
In a medium mixing bowl beat eggs until frothy. Using a fork, mash bananas on a plate and add to eggs, mix well.
Add sugar and oil and beat until well mixed.
Add flour mix, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarb. soda and salt to banana mixture. Stir in nuts and mix until well blended.
Pour into prepared tins and bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and cooling completely.
To serve, slice generously thick and toast, if desired. Store well wrapped in the refrigerator.
Makes 14 slices. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

almond bread

Almond bread or almond slice as it is sometimes known is a favourite of mine.
My dear aunt used to make it for me and while I had tried to make it myself  I could never get it quite the same. 
Now with my aunt no longer here with us I thought my almond bread days were over, until I came across the recipe in my 4 ingredients Gluten Free Cook Book.
My first attempt was fine but I could not get them really thin for the second baking, but then an idea came to me (in the middle of the night, like these things often do), if I froze the loaf first before cutting I could get a much thinner slice, and it worked YAAYYY!!!!
So without further ado here is the Almond Bread recipe.

Almond Bread
4 eggs
1/2 C raw sugar
1C gluten free flour
1C almonds

Preheat oven to 180C
Separate eggs and beat egg whites until stiff, then add sugar slowly and beat until dissolved.
Sift flour and stir in and add almonds.
Place mixture in a lined loaf tin (the trick to getting your baking paper to stay still is a dot of butter in the bottom of the tin) The tin I use is thin and long with straight down sides 8cm x 25cm and makes a really nice sized piece.
Bake for 40 minutes. 

The recipe states when cool enough slice thinly- now this is what I tried first but ended up with the freeze and cut method as mentioned above, my aunt and in several old recipes I have read actually leave the loaf for several days before slicing.

Place slices on a baking tray and return to oven until browned 10-15minutes (I like to turn my oven down for this step to about 160C as they can easily go too brown really quickly so keep an eye on them)

With the freezing I can get a much thinner slice and get many more than the 15 stated in the recipe, I keep the loaf in the freezer and just slice off as many as I need- or otherwise they go really quickly- too moreish!!!

 Note the one missing- that was a taste test.
These are a lovely crisp biscuit great with a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

gluten free flat bread

As I mentioned in my previous post I have been making a gluten free flat bread that we really like.
It is quick and easy to make and everyone even those not gluten free like it.
We tried several gluten free flat breads but the problem is that all the commercial flat breads, tortillas etc left a lot to be desired, they don't fold well, tending to break and are rather hard and unpalatable.

I have been experimenting and found that cooking them in your sandwich press gives good results.
I have used these as savoury crackers for dips etc. by cooking them once and then cutting them into triangles and putting them back in the press for another couple of minutes until crisp.

Gluten Free Flat Bread.
1 C tapioca flour
1 t baking powder
1 t sea salt
2 T oil
2 T water
2 eggs

Mix well, pour (or roll out and press into shape, then place) into
hot skillet. 
Turn over when half done. 
Takes maybe 8 - 10 minutes. 

Now this is the recipe how I first got it, here are my tweeks.

I make the mix runnier like a pancake batter and either use a frypan, the flat hotplate on my stove or now the sandwich press. You can make it thicker like a hotcake batter or thinner like a crepe batter by varying the amount of water- experiment to find out what you like best.

Here are some photos showing the sandwich press method.

 Place a large spoonful onto a hot sandwich press.

 with the back of your spoon make it circular, shut the lid.

 It only takes a minute or two to cook, this batter was more crepe like, so if your batter is thicker it might take longer, if you leave it too long it will become crispy and difficult to fold.

 We used these to make steak sandwich wraps, while the others used normal bread.
We use sizzle steak for our steak sandwiches so it is nice and thin and easy to roll.
I just put some BBQ sauce on the bread, topped it with the steak, caramelised onion and salad fillings and rolled it up- yummy! 

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chebe bread

I have been living a wheat free and dairy free life since October last year except for 6 weeks around VCH's holidays and Easter time when I had to go back on gluten for 6 weeks so that I could have a coeliac test.
The test came back negative, but I immediately went back to being wheat free, as I feel I have a wheat intolerance.
I am no longer tired all the time and my hayfever symptoms disappear when I stick to my diet.
Two of my children are also on this diet with me as their respiratory symptoms disappear (one has a constant runny nose, the other starts to wheeze) when they stick to the diet.
When we first went on the diet  B4 was really missing bread, so I bought some GF bread, which was fine but rather expensive, now, I have had lots of experience with bread making but making GF bread leaves me with the heebee geebees, I think it is using the expensive ingredients and have it flop that holds me back. 
I have used a couple of mixes with success though, but obviously these involve planning ahead and are not good when you find you have run out of bread 10 minutes before lunch.

One day I remembered a recipe I got off a group I was on ages ago, this was for chebe bread.
I made up a batch and we liked it and have been using it ever since.
I went looking to find out what it is traditionally made out of and was surprised to find that it was made out of tapioca flour which is what my recipe used, I was also surprised to find that it is not a flat bread at all but little balls of cheesy bread, with cheese in it.
Now as I said we have been dairy free, but recently discovered that cheddar cheese has no lactose in it, so we have been having a little of that on occasion.
I printed off an "authentic" recipe and have been making that as well as our flat bread version.
Now I have two quick and easy breads that can be make in a matter of minutes.
Here is the original and I will post the other in another post.

Gluten Free Pao de Quejo ~ Cheese Bread
Makes 12 – 1 1/2 inch wide biscuits/rolls
1 1/4 cups tapioca flour (same thing as tapioca starch)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
2 teaspoons dill
2 teaspoons dried chives
(I have also added some crushed garlic to make a garlic bread substitute)

  1. Preheat your oven to 220C (the original says 450F)
  2. Mix together all ingredients in your mixer well.
  3. Form in to balls (about 1 1/2 inches or 2 inches) and slightly flatten.
  4. Place on baking paper on an oven tray.
  5. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. Serve warm with sandwich fillings. (I love then with butter straight from the oven) 

Here is a link to the original recipe I found.

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