Author Archives: squirmydad

About squirmydad

Theatrical lighting and scenic designer and all-around theatre technician, fisherman, carpenter, 3d-modeller, and maker of desserts who lives in Alaska.

Bagels! (GF)

I’ve really wanted decent bagels for quite some time and I experimented with a few this week and finally came up with my own hybrid recipe. The dough is a little plain, but I always saw bagels as more of a textural experience that you add flavors to. The recipe is in the files section if you’d like to play with it.

bagel.jpg

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My GF Baking Tips

A good friend recently asked me for gluten free “Masterclass” baking tips, but I consider myself a student with many teachers. Here are a few tips that I’ve picked in my baking education;

1) Buy in bulk. But you already knew that. 🙂

2) Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer when dealing with dough as it helps to aerate the mixture. The hook is a waste of time.

3) Kneading is pointless as there is no gluten in the dough it will always look like messy cake batter.

4) Wet hands to shape the dough. My french bread loaves look like that because I shape the wet dough like clay to look like bread loaves. (see pics below)

5) Add an extra egg or extra Tbsp of oil for more fluff. This helps with some of the density issues that are very common in GF flours.

6) If you do have to roll something out put down saran wrap or parchment paper with flour or oil on them and then put another layer of paper/plastic with flour/oil on top. That way the dough is between two layers that it won’t stick to and you can use a roller or your hands without them getting all gummed up.

Patience with the inevitable messes is also useful.

I’ve heard that love is an important factor, I swear a lot when I’m cooking though.

Here is what it looks like when I’m making the GF French Bread recipe;

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Some yeast is more equal than other yeast.

The city seemed to run out of good Fleishmann’s yeast at just the wrong time for me. Going into round two of the State Fair Baking competition I ran out of Fleiscmann’s yeast and all the stores had was a junky brand called “Red Star Yeast” which I suspect had been in a warehouse since the 90’s. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I tried to make a loaf of sourdough bread and ended up with an unleavened doorstop instead. See if you can figure out which of these loaves had Red Star yeast and which had Fleischmann’s;

bread-yeasts

The one on the right is a little underdone as it was a new flour recipe to me and the top browned nicely but it really needed a tinfoil covering and about 20 more minutes of baking to be really finished.

I just found out that America’s Test Kitchen, a program I love, has an online cooking course. I’d really love some training I just need to find out if they have any serious gluten free options available. I’ll share once I know more about their program.

Doughnut errata

Previously when I posted the recipe for Gluten-Free Maple Glazed Doughnuts I mistakenly put ony 1 cup of flour for the dough, it should be 1-1/2 cups of flour. Otherwise you end up with a kind of gooey mess that doesn’t cook right.

The file download has been corrected, sorry about that.

Baker Bragging

This is a post bragging about my first weeks successes at the Sate Fair Baking Competition and what I entered for week two of the competition.

  • Cinnamon Rolls = 1st
  • Sourdough Sandwich Bread = 2nd
  • French Bread = 1st
  • Irish Soda Bread = 1st
  • Eclairs = 2nd
  • Maple Glazed Donuts = 1st

I’m very pleased with the cinnamon rolls taking a first place as they were not in the separate GF category, they beat out all other cinnamon roll entries. Likewise the Sourdough bread was in the general sourdough category and took second against wheat versions. The Irish Soda Bread, which I really enjoy, was in the GF quickbreads category, took 1st, but the Judge’s commentary was, “Good for gluten-free.” Kind of a back handed compliment, and exactly why I pushed myself to make tasty baked goods that could be enjoyed by everyone.

I moved way out of my comfort zone for some of the round two entries, and re-submitted the French Bread and Sourdough sandwich bread into different categories to see how well they stack up against the wheat bakers. Here are the new recipes;

Mini S’Mores Cakes

Mocha Roulade

Sourdough English Muffins

The Mini S’Mores Cakes and the Sourdough English Muffins are adapted from recipes available at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/

The Mocha Roulade is from the wonderful food blog; https://cookingupthepantry.wordpress.com/ I highly recommend both of these sites.

Here are my round two entries getting packed up to travel.

round2