Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gluten Free Cinnamon Apple Braid/Twists :)

I made these last week and told the lovely Linda from Cooking In Cleveland that I would post the gluten-free version of her tasty cinnamon twists over the weekend, but I was a little sick and couldn't get to it. Of course, I wanted to share them with you all the minute they came out of the oven, all warm and cinnamony!

I'm so thankful that this turned out to be yet another yeast success story! Linda calls these Apple Cinnamon Twists; hers are beautiful glaze-covered twists of honey bread filled with apples and cinnamon and they're also covered in a tasty glaze. (They look like they belong in a bakery!) I took the Daring Bakers braid approach, because I couldn't figure out how to twist the dough properly :P!

You can find Linda's recipe
here. I simply made up a gluten-free flour mix for the actual twists and also changed the filling a bit (I also added apple sauce to the dough, since gluten free baked goods tend to be dry). (I forgot to add the glaze :P, so I just sprinkled them with powdered sugar for the picture :)

Dessert Bread Flour Mix (great for a cinnamon roll or twists or braids...or... :):
This recipe makes enough for 2 medium braids.


First put your oven on the warm setting.

Next, prepare the 'Yeast Mix'; combine the yeast with sugar and add the warm milk; set aside and this should become foamy on top after 5-7 minutes:
Yeast Mix:

1 1/2 TBSP sugar (I realize this isn't cups but TBSP! This is added to yeast/milk.)
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1/2 cup warm milk (Heat for 30 seconds on high)

Now, combine theses DRY ingredients in a large bowl (with flours).
Gluten-free flour mix and dry ingredients:
1/2 cup sweet sorghum flour (Bob's)
1/2 cup white rice flour (Bob's)
1/3 cup potato starch (Ener-G)
1/3 cup tapioca flour (Ener-G)
1/3 cup almond meal (Bob's)
1/3 cup corn meal
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt

Next combine theses 'Wet' ingredients in a different medium sized bowl. These are the wet ingredients I used (based on original).
Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup water (or milk)
about 1/8 cup butter (about 2 TBSP; partially melted for 30 secs in micro)
1/8 cup honey
1 large egg
1 1/2 extra Tbsp apple sauce (my addition to the original)

I prepared this filling in a sauce pan over the stove, on medium while gently stirring.
My appley filling:
1 large apple, cut into 1/4 in. pieces
1/3 cup apple juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
(cook this until liquid is thick and syrupy and apples are just beginning to soften; they'll finish cooking in oven.)

I then combined everything but the filling into the large flour mixing bowl, starting with the 'wet' ingredients, then added the yeast mix lastly. I kneaded everything together for about 1 minute.

I then boiled about 2 1/2 cups of water and put that boiled water in a cake pan on the last rack in the oven, make sure there is also a rack in the middle of the oven (where you'll place the twists).

Next, I divided the dough in half; rolled it out (with a rolling pin) into 2 rectangle shapes about 1/8-1/4 of an inch thick (use a few TBSP of rice flour if too sticky). I like to roll dough out between 2 sheets of parchment paper.

Then I added the filling directly down the middle of the rectangle, with the short side perpendicular to me.

Lastly, I made two braids, making sure to seal off the edges (or you can make twists like in the original recipe). For instructions on how to make the braid, see here: click here for an example of how to cut it.

***Forgot to note: It's best to roll out the braids on parchment paper, and when you go to braid it, make sure there is one sheet of parchment paper under the braid so you can gently slide the braid (on the parchment) onto a cookie sheet so that it doesn't come undone.

I turned off the oven completely and put the braids in the middle of the oven rack, above the hot water, and let them rise in the oven for an hour.

Finally :), I baked the braids for about 20-25 minutes at 375, they'll be slightly golden on top when ready. Let them cool and then you can glaze them with the original recipe's glaze (divide it in half, though; I forgot to make the glaze. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gluten-Free Honey and Flax Yeast Rolls!

There comes a time in every young foodies life when, suddenly, the thought of working with yeast sends a tingle of excitement from the pointy end of their elbow right down to their dough-covered fingertips... When, upon waking in the wee hours of the morning, the first thing they think of is inhaling the hypnotizing aroma of this amazing fungi's magical work: beautifully risen and golden freshly baked GLUTEN-FREE yeast rolls!

Oh oh oooooh! The smell of freshly baked GLUTEN-FREE yeast rolls makes me do crazy things... like practically fall off of my chair dancing while listening to a frilly classic tune by the material girl, like blog at unexpected times, like talk about this alllll day because, my dear foodies, this is a very special day, indeed...

Dare I say it? Have I truly mastered the art of inventing gluten free YEAST roll recipes from scratch, no mixes or outside sources involved?!!!! (Well, maybe I did read this and also fell completely in love with ground flax seed thanks to a Baking Beauties' fantastic bread recipe.)

This life-changing event calls for a celebration! Time to get out your favorite preserves and the tastiest sweet cream butter! Time to make warm, honey-sweetened, mouthwatering and completely gluten free yeast rolls (that, surprisingly, remind me of whole wheat rolls!).

Really, I'm so happy I could roll around in rice flour! Baking gluten-free is NOT easy when it comes to breads, and I've failed many many times. But I finally looked my insecurities in the face early this morning. I said, "Yeast, you're just a microorganism, a little fungi I must learn to love and not fear... and gluten, we can do chewy and delicious without you!". Then it finally happened!

Gluten-Free Honey and Flax Yeast Rolls

These taste just like whole wheat rolls, but they're ...

See Gluten-Free Honey and Flax Yeast Rolls on Key Ingredient.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Valentine's Day Picnic: BLTs, rice salad, truffles, and cookies!

Going out to eat just isn't as fun as going on a picnic! Here are a few treats that are easy to pack and eat :). First, the chocolate truffles! It isn't Valentine's Day without 'em. I got the recipe from here, it's from Alton Brown. I also made chocolate covered pecan caramels, inspired by Ina Garten's recipe.

Second, tasty, soft and fluffy gluten free orange sugar cookies. Canola oil makes these cookies soft, but they still have an addicting buttery taste and classic sugar cookie flavor; I ate 5 in one day! Eat these for dessert on your picnic or eat them before the main course! The simple recipe includes the following ingredients:

Bake at for about 10-12 minutes at 375, or until edges brown slightly; it's best to refrigerate the dough overnight.

3.5 tbsp potato starch
3/4c white rice flour (more or less, depending on if you want them firmer/softer)
1/3c almond meal
1/3c tapioca flour
2/3c sugar
2tbsp milk
2tbsp canola oil
1.5 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp orange peel
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
sprinkle with vanilla sugar

Now, the main course. A tasty BLT made with this AMAZING gluten-free bread, nitrate free applewood smoked bacon, crispy ham (I fried it :P), colby jack cheese, and the secret sauce: Jalapeno Maple Dressing (it sounds strange, but believe me, it complements the saltiness of the bacon quite nicely; it's a mayo-based sandwich dressing with a kick!). That sandwich is served with a side of ham and rice salad...jeez, so much ham! But it tastes delicious when combined with unique ingredients and veggies, see the recipe below!

Maple and Jalapeno Dressing BLT with Ham and Rice Salad

This BLT is made with grilled ham and finished off ...

See Maple and Jalapeno Dressing BLT with Ham and Rice Salad on Key Ingredient.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cinnamon Celebration: Gluten and Lactose Free Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Cake

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This is my contribution to Grace's Cinnamon Celebration! Oh boy, did I dirty a lot of dishes to put this monster of a cake together, and it does look like a monster. Don't worry, that isn't a bacteria colony growing on the top of the cake! In fact, it's what makes the cake yummy. The edges of the cake were scrumptious -- all gooey and sweet, pudding-like in texture. I'm not kidding!

I have to admit, I was hoping to get a much more 'tres lechesy' cake out of this invention (I saw this here recipe and was totally inspired by its tastiness), but c'est la vie. The topping makes the cake; in this case, it's what's on the outside that counts; but don't let the appearance fool you, let your taste buds be your guide!

If you're lactose intolerant but also love the unique flavors found in a tres leches cake, have no fear! This one's for you. Same goes for my fellow gluten-free folks. You can have your cake and eat it too ;)!

Here are the stages of how I made the tres leches glaze:

This is what it looks like before it begins to boil:

Boiling and thickening:

Caramel-like in color...remove from stove at this stage:


Gluten and Lactose Free Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Cake

A cinnamon cake with a tres leches glaze and dulce ...

See Gluten and Lactose Free Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Cake on Key Ingredient.