Saturday, January 12, 2013

GF Cooking/baking Experiments

I've been slowly venturing into the world of gluten free baking. Part of the problem is that I feel uncomfortable swapping wheat flour for the long list of flours/gums/starches that you have to use to replicate flour. And since I've been eating so many fewer sweets since cutting wheat out, I feel that perhaps it's for the best anyway.  (I'm also reluctant to use mixes or buy pre-made versions--if I didn't eat a lot of processed stuff before, why would I start now?)  I've also given away all of my beloved baking books (except for one--it's a handy reference guide).

No real recipes (yet), but a bunch of handy links to recipes for my GF/curious readers.

The recipes I have been seeking out, then, have been simple ones with few ingredients.  The first recipe I stumbled on inadvertently was this one for Tapioca Parmesan Rolls, which was super easy and super delicious. Since I forgot to take a baked picture (because they disappeared so fast, here's the dough:

If you've ever made cream puffs (or pate a choux), it's very similar, and the resulting roll is bready, cheesy, and light. They are a little eggy, but I like them that way. I halved the recipe, because it was hard to give up a full cup of the delicious (but pricey) Parmesan that I get from our co-op.

The next experiment was with a similar dough but slightly different ingredients. It turns out that these Parmesan rolls are actually a variation on a Brazilian cheese bread. Ooh, neat! I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour site, and L made them the other day. They are a bit more dense (and we baked them in a muffin tin because the dough was a bit too wet, as the blog entry discussing this recipe mentions they might, depending on the type of tapioca flour/starch you use. Here's a picture of the rolls with the lovely dinner we had the other night: (spatchcocked Cornish game hens with cabbage and braised radishes).

Delightful. These were a bit less eggy, but were also delicious (I won't tell you how many I ate, especially after a few glasses of wine). The recipe is a keeper, though I won't make them super often because they do take a lot of cheese, but they're a good roll recipe to have on hand for get togethers or holidays.

I tried to make a GF banana bread, which was acceptable, but I'm not happy with the recipe yet. Part of it might be that I'm not so used to the grainer/grittier taste of gluten-free baked goods, part of it was that I forgot to add in delicious things like nuts and raisins to the bread. I'll share the recipe once I figure it out a bit better.

Finally, today I made these crackers from Oh She Glows--seedy crackers are lovely, and now that I've made them, super easy. The one adjustment I might make to her recipe is to make them a bit thinner--I like them less thick, I guess. But they are fabulous, especially with the hummus I made using Deb's technique that she shared over at Smitten Kitchen--peeling your chickpeas.

That's been about it for my cooking adventures. It's actually been a lot of fun navigating the different ways of eating, trying to recipes and foods, and it's pretty easy to not look back and what I have had to give up (especially now that I feel SO much better).  It was a little sad to be at Little Bread Co. today as L partook of their delightful scones--I will miss all of their wonderful baked treats. But not as much as I love the healthier me.

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