I have list of items I want to learn how to make, eat, and share, all gluten free of course. Tonight I made Mini-Victoria sandwiches with Lynne’s raspberry jelly in the center and a stiffened whip cream around it. The sandwich and the stiffened whip cream are now checked off of my list. They were also quite yummy, reminded me of twinkies actually.
I really enjoy playing with meringues, I think they’re kind of magically fun actually. For the July 4th BBQ I made Pavlova’s; a baked meringue disk with whip cream and fruit on top. I macerated the fruit while the Pavlova base was cooking and cooling so the textures would be similar, and fruit in Alaskan stores is usually not sweet anyways so a little sugar bath does them a world of good. The one thing I found for the next time I make them, they were very tasty too, is to make sure that the whipped cream covers the meringue base as the meringue by itself was crazy sweet and the cream really helped to balance it out.
Other things on my list are; Red velvet cake, carrot cake, souffles, mousses, cinnamon-roll bundt cake, hand-pies, and a croquembouche. I’ll start making mini-cream puffs/profiteroles in big batches this week to practice. This weekend I’ll start trying to make hot sugar molds to decorate the bouche tower. The State Fair is right around the corner so I need to get a move on. 🙂
I finally opened a food stand with gluten-free food that I like to eat! Okay, it was half of a table that the Anchorage Midtown Rotary allowed me to use at the Muldoon Farmer’s Market, but it was a start. 🙂 I wanted to know if I could make food that I like, not lose money selling it, hopefully make some money, and still enjoy the whole process. It was successful on all points and I intend to continue this experimental endeavor in gluten-free baking.
For the first week I made french bread, cinnamon rolls, and peanut butter cookies. We sold out of the bread, had a few small bags of cookies left, and I made waaayyy too many cinnamon rolls. But it still worked out and I was able to give my son a half dozen rolls to take into work to share. My plan is to keep shifting the menu around each week to keep it fresh and see what sells. This next week I’ll be making the sticky buns, more french bread, toffee, and maybe marshmallows. Home made marshmallows are the best!
I am hopeful that this continues to be successful and if it is I plan to get my own stall and table for this summers outdoor markets. When I retire, which is still some years away, I’d like to own a bakery, or a bakery food truck, and this is the first step in training and planning towards that goal.
Here is my new Facebook page, if you’d like to follow along, and a link to the very nice and helpful people of the Muldoon Farmers Market;
It’s been a while since I posted about my progress as a gluten-free baker, but I have been making and eating many experiments since I last posted. I’ve made a list of GF baked items that I need to make, many of which are very basic, and top of the list was one of my wife’s favorites: Sticky Buns! I’ve never had sticky buns before so she was my official taster, and I made her a very happy taster. The recipe was based on this one from Gemma Stafford;
I substituted Namaste GF 1-for-1 flour (3 cups) and also added a little almond flour (1/2 cup) for better texture and moisture, instead of regular wheat flour. My wife is also allergic to Pecans so those are sliced almonds on top. It only makes a small batch and didn’t rise very much so I only had eight sticky buns for my test group (family & friends) to eat. Three of those testers banged the table in delight, so I assumed this to be a winner of a recipe.
Here are the ingredients with my substitution in place;
- 1 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons dried yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup butter, melted
- 3 cups GF 1-to-1 flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
Caramel Topping and filling
- ¾ cup butter, melted, plus more for sides of the pan
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups chopped almonds
I highly recommend perusing Gemma’s site and watching her videos as they are quite entertaining and educational.
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.
I’ve added a “Recipes” page with my recipe uploads since Dropbox doesn’t want to play nice anymore.
I’ll add my GF versions of recipes here.
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;
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;
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.