Clara Gluten Free

Sandwich Bread

It finally happened- I totally solidified my sandwich bread recipe. So much so that actually, I'm baking all of our bread these days. And, if I do say so myself, it's super yummy.

I started on this recipe over the summer, when I heard resounding cries for fluffy, white bread that was exactly like the Whole Foods sandwich bread. And I didn't entirely take it as an insult that these were not resounding cries for my then-failing multigrain bread.... Anyway. My research stage was pretty simple: I read the ingredients list, took a guess at proportions based on where things were on the list, and started testing. I adjusted flour ratios, switched out sugar for corn syrup and then agave, dropped some eggs, switched oils, and worked on the method for how to rise the bread- which turns out to not take very long. Which also means bread comes out of the oven sooner. Which I like. A lot. :)

Sandwich Bread- makes 1 loaf

*Note: I almost always double this recipe to make two loaves, and occasionally triple it, so I know these ratios work. You can use table sugar instead of the agave or corn syrup- just increase the water by 1/3 cup to make up for the fluid lost. As for oils- my favorite is coconut (for it's sweetness), but canola oil, olive oil, and butter are all good substitues, 1 for 1. 

Also, it makes a significant difference to rise the bread in a warm oven- around 150 F. My oven has a warm/proof cycle, but you can warm yours by setting it to the lowest temperature possible for around 10 minutes (depending on the oven), and then turning it off once your oven thermometer reads 150, or the inside racks are just beginning to be too hot to touch (be careful!). In addition, if your oven heats up quickly, it is best to rise the bread in the oven, then turn the temperature up to bake it, without removing the bread. Alternatively, you can remove the bread from the oven and heat it up to temperature. Avoid being rough with the risen dough- you may flatten the air bubbles if it gets hit or put down sharply. 

2/3 cp water or milk (warm)  
1/3 agave, corn syrup or sugar
3 tsp yeast
4 tbs coconut (or other) oil
1 1/4 c brown rice flour  (5.25 oz)
1 c tapioca flour (4.35 oz)
3/4 c cornstarch (3 oz)
1/2 tsp baking powder
11/4tsp salt
2 tsp xanthum
2 eggs

1- Set oven to warm. Prepare a poolish with the warm water, agave, and yeast. Stir until the agave is entirely dissolved. Add oil. Allow to stand for 10-15 minutes while the rest of the ingredients are prepared (watch the poolish though- it's pretty amazing once the yeast start metabolizing the sugar!)

2- Combine all dry ingredients in the bowl of a large stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Stir to combine.

3- Add eggs and poolish dry ingredients. Beat for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough begins to look stretchy- you will see long sections of dough stretching from the sides of the bowl to the paddle, and holding a clear shape for a few seconds.

4- Meanwhile, prepare a loaf pan: grease the pan lightly with a bit of oil, and line the bottum with parchment paper. Once the dough has finished kneading, transfer to loaf pan.

5- Proof the dough in the oven for 45 minutes, and up to 60 if you want a fluffier, yeastier flavored loaf. Set oven to 400 F. Bake until the bread is golden brown and solid-feeling when tapped or the internal temperature of the bread is between 200-205 F- about 40 minutes. 

6- Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes for the crumb to set. Remove from pan. Allow to cool 10 more minutes before slicing. Serve immediately, or let cool entirely before freezing. 

Fluffernutter Cookiewhiches

Anyone else like words made out of combined words? I think my preferences are clear. Anyway. I've been fiddling around with different uses for chocolate cookies- on ice cream, under ice cream, sandwiching ice cream. You can see the pattern. Then it occurred to me to make it without ice cream, and that suddenly became interesting.

UPDATE: I now realize that my title is misspelled. However, I like that spelling, so it shall remain. Carry on. :)

I'm quite the peanut butter fan, so PB & Fluff was the obvious choice. Especially fluff toasted s'mores style, via blowtorch of course. For this particular cookiewhich, I also added strawberry jelly (my brother's favorite), but the additional jelly/preserves is entirely taste-based. Grape might be nice. Grape as in the age-old question of kids everywhere- "can I have a PB and J with Fluff for lunch?" Or one made on double-chocolate chip cookies for dessert. 

Fluffernutter Cookiewhiches- makes 1
Note: Multiply this recipe as many times as needed for the number of people to be served! Regular chocolate chip cookies or brownies could also be substituted in. Also, if you do not have a blowtorch, simply skip that step (# 3) in the recipe. 

2 double-chocolate chip cookies
1 tbs peanut butter
1 1/2 tbs marshmallow fluff
2 tsp jelly, optional
peanut butter + chocolate chips for garnish

1- Lay out the two cookies, flat sides facing up. Spread peanut butter onto one of the cookies. 

2- Top the peanut butter with fluff

3- Using a narrow flame on the blowtorch, toast the fluff.

4- Spread the jelly onto the flat side of the other cookie. Sandwhich the two cookies together

5- Serve immediately with chocolate and peanut butter chips for garnish.

Mocha Marshmallow Brownies

I was baking this weekend because I had ingredients to use up (yes, you can steal that excuse for a reason to bake). But for realz, I had a brownie mix to use and some ideas to try out.

I used Bob's Red Mill brownie mix  for the brownie (because that's what I had in the pantry) and coffee for the main liquid (because that's what I had in the kitchen) and a bag of marshmallows (because that's what I like to add to everything). It was pretty much as dump-and-stir method, but the way the brownies cooked up was really nifty- the marshmallows in the batter made the brownies puff up as they  baked into this fluffy chocolate-marshmallow cloud-wonder. Of course, it collapsed as it cooled, but it was worth it to see. I love it when my baked stuff puts on a show.

Mocha Marshmallow Brownies- makes 20 brownies
Note: The measurements for the chocolate chips and mini marshmallows are approximate, because they affect the volume of the batter the most. If you do not have a high-sided pan, it is best to reduce these quantities. 

1 egg
1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (3/4 c)
3/4 c warm, black coffee
2 tsp vanilla 
approx 1 1/2 c chocolate chips
4-5 c mini marshmallows

1- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 13" x 23" pan with parchment paper- make sure it covers the sides of the pan as well- and grease lightly.

2- In a medium bowl, combine butter, coffe, egg, and vanilla. Pour brownie mix into a large bowl. Add liquid ingredients and stir until just combined. 

3- Add chocolate chips, stir until evenly distributed. Add approximately 2/3 of the marshmallows. Fold into the batter until evenly distributed.

4- Pour batter into the prepared pan and press into the corners. Spread out the remaining marshmallows over the top of the batter. 

5- Bake for approximately 35 minutes- until an instant read thermometer reads 195-200 F. Remove and allow to cool in the pan  on a wire rack until the brownies are room temperature. Carefully slide the parchment paper out of the pan and onto a cutting board. 

6- With a long, sharp knife, slice the brownies into squares. Serve immediately for a melty texture, or chill until cold for fudgier one. 

Suggested Reading II: The Gluten-Free Goddess

This suggested reading is way past over-do. Karina Allrich's blog, The Gluten-Free Goddess, is a (perhaps 'the') standard for all things GF cooking, baking, and food-preparation. She's amazing, her recipes are manangable, and always work. I have used them and loved them. As have the people I have been cooking for. Take a look- The Gluten-Free Goddess is an amazing resource. And if the recipes aren't necessarily what you're looking for, her wealth of information on GF, vegetarian, and vegan cooking/baking is astounding. A hearty "thank you!" to Karina for everything she has written.

Image from The Gluten-Free Goddess (isn't the photography amazing!?)

Swedish Meatballs

Let's be real here: of course this blog post is going to start with a reference to the American Standard of Swedish Meatballs, IKEA. And that reference is: we like to get stuff there every so often, and were deeply sad after going gluten-free that there would be no more IKEA food in our future. So, in good GF cook fashion, I adjusted the recipe (which, is incidentally posted all over the interwebs).

Swedish meatballs use both pork and beef, which gives them a springier texture, and use potatoes for a binder. Mostly GF already. The method was also quite straight-forward- not unlike making hamburgers- so it was quite easy to whip up. The main difference though? The cream gravy- not many Italian dishes have that! In general, I like making GF gravies more than when I was doing gluten ones- the flours are simpler to work with. When I first started, it was kind of a surprise. Now it's a bonus. 

Swedish Meatballs and Cream Gravy- serves 6
Note: For best results in the gravy, cook at least a few of the meatballs in a frying pan and use the drippings in the gravy. Alternatively, the gravy can be made from broth alone. 

1 lb lean hamburger meat
1 lb ground pork
2 eggs
1/4 c potato starch
2 medium potatoes, riced 
salt + pepper

1-2 cups chicken or beef broth
2 tbs potato starch
3-4 tbs half-and-half
salt + pepper

1- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Mix together meats, processing through your fingers until well combined. Add eggs and process again. Dust potato starch evenly over surface of meat, and process through your fingers to combine. Add the riced potatoes, process until even.

2- Form the meatballs into small, 1 to 1 1/2 tbs-sized meatballs. Preheat a lightly-greased frying pan on medium-heat. Set aside 10 meatballs for cooking in the frying pan. Bake the rest in the oven for 40-50 minutes on a sturdy broiler pan. Remove from oven when cooked through and golden brown. Salt and pepper to taste.

3- Cook the 10 meatballs in the frying pan until golden and cooked through, flipping occasionally. Remove from pan promptly. 

4- Deglaze the pan with the broth, bring to a boil. Allow to reduce for 10 minutes. Vigorously whisk in the potato starch until no lumps remain. Add the cream. Return to a boil and boil until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper. Serve meatballs and gravy warm, with potatoes or noodles if desired.