About Me

My photo
It's All About the Baking came about because I want to share my Gluten-free baking. I've developed recipes and tricks over the past ten years so I could enjoy old favorites that tasted, well, just like the old favorites! Hundreds of experiments and tastings (including and especially friends who can eat gluten) later, I'm ready to share!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Seeded Chocolate Chip Cookies, New York Times

Seeded Chocolate Chip Cookies   
from Martha Rose Shulman, New York Times
I've adapted the recipe from the June 18th edition article, "Chocolate Chip Cookies Spread Their Wings." Instead of the recommended whole-wheat and all-purpose flour in the recipe, I used a combination of sorghum and millet flour. Both are whole "grain" and quite nutritious and each lend a unique quality to the end product: the sorghum has it's own sweetness and softness and the millet, a crisp texture. I love them and will definitely double the recipe next time! In my opinion, they're better than almost any other chocolate chip cookie I've tried. I'm also providing a link to the original recipe from the New York Times.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Sift or stir together:
1/2 Cup (60 grams) millet flour
1/2 cup (65 grams) sorghum flour
   Or: 1 cup your favorite gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp guar gum

Cream together in stand or hand-held mixer until light, stopping to scrape down:
4 ounces (1 stick) butter at room temp
1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (80 grams) packed light-brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Add to butter/sugar and combine thoroughly:
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Measure and reserve:
1/4 plus 2 tsp (50 grams) sunflower seeds
2 heaped TB (25 grams) pumpkin seeds
1 TB (12 grams) chia seeds
1/2 cup (scant) (50 grams) rolled oats

8 ounces block, bittersweet chocolate chopped into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces or 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
"Chipped" chocolate!

Add the flour mixture to the butter, egg, sugar mixture and mix/beat until thoroughly incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the seeds, oats and chocolate chunks and thoroughly mix in by hand.

At this point I covered the dough and put it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. I always chill my GF cookie dough from an hour or two to a couple of days.

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and drop the dough by heaping teaspoons full. Space them two inches apart then bake for 14-15 minutes. This baking time produced a crisp cookie; if you like yours softer, reduce the baking time by a minute or two.  I got three dozen (minus 2) cookies. They will be dark brown and crisp but are not over baked.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Oatmeal Muffins

These are not glamorous muffins. They are the workhorse of breakfast and afternoon snacks. They have a wonderful, nutty flavor and a unique texture from treating the oats two different ways. They're delicious and good for you. Add a glass of milk or a cappuccino and you have breakfast!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees; line 12 muffin cups with muffin papers.

Whisk together:
1 cup sorghum flour (or a combination of sorghum, millet, corn flour or oat flour; this is flexible)
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg, optional

1 c gluten-free oats, divided

1/2 cup dried blueberries (or raisins, dried cherries, chopped dates) OR 1 cup fresh blueberries, optional
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, optional

1 generous cup whole milk, not quite an extra 1/4 cup
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil of choice
1 tsp vanilla extract

Soak half of the oats in the milk, 15 minutes or so is good, longer is OK, too.

Stir the reserved oats, nuts, and fruit into the dry ingredients.

Stir the eggs, vanilla, and oil into the soaking oats and then combine all with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly then cover and let sit for 15 to 25 minutes. The batter will be thick and spoonable.

Batter will have foamed up slightly so stir it down. Divide between the 12 muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine are done at 23) and test at 20. Cool for a few minutes in the pan then cool on wire wrack. Enjoy! These are best warm so when eating left over muffins, wrap in foil and warm for a few minutes in a low-temp oven. They freeze well, too.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Rhubarb Pie!

I'll have a slice!
Or cherry or berry! The trick is in the gluten-free crust. It isn't difficult at all, the hardest thing for me was forgetting all the years and dozens of pies in my gluten-filled, pie-making past. Gluten-free crust handles differently, so don't worry about handling it too much. You will likely have to patch it in places which is just fine; it won't be tough or ruined. This crust is crisp, really tasty and delicious. I hope you'll give pie a try soon!

this is adapted from the America's Test Kitchen Gluten-free Cookbook

Notes: The instructions call for use of a food processor. If you don't have one, cut the butter and shortening in by hand with a pastry cutter or two knives. For the flour, I made the ATK flour blend* but you can use your favorite GF flour, though results and taste may differ a bit. I would use a mixture of rice flour,** millet flour, and sorghum flour.

For the crust for one nine-inch double-crust pie***
5 TB ice water
3 TB sour cream
1 TB rice vinegar

13 ounces (2 3/4 cups plus 2 TB) gluten-free flour blend
1TB sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of xanthan gum
1 tsp psyllium seed husk. If you don't have this ingredient, double the gum. I use the husk because it makes the crust more pliable
8 TB unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces and frozen
8 TB shortening cut into a few pieces (I use Spectrum organic shortening.)

Thoroughly combine the ice water, sour cream, and vinegar. Set aside.

Process the flour, sugar, salt, xanthan gum, and psyllium seed husk in food processor or whisk by hand for a few seconds. Sprinkle the frozen butter and shortening over the flour and pulse (or cut with pastry cutter or two knives) until the butter and shortening are about the size of small peas. Pour in the wet ingredients and pulse a few times until the dough comes together (or toss with a fork). Divide the dough in half, flatten it into a five or six inch disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour, taking it out 10 to 15 minutes before you plan to roll it out. Don't let it get too warm.

After it's chilled, roll one half out between two sheets of parchment or wax paper so it's 10 to11 inches in diameter. Peel off the top sheet and replace it with a fresh sheet. Flip the crust over and repeat with new paper for the bottom side. Remove the top sheet and carefully roll or flip the crust over your pie plate. Or you may center your plate on the rolled-out dough and gently flip both. If dough gets too warm/soft at any point, slide it back in the fridge on a cookie sheet for a few minutes.
Ready for the oven!

For the filling
The filling is adapted from Joy of Cooking.
Combine thoroughly and let sit for 15 minutes, giving an occasional stir:
5 cups rhubarb cut in one-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 to 2 pounds)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Set aside 1 TB butter cut in small pieces

Pour the filling into the bottom crust. Roll out the top crust using the same method used for rolling the bottom crust. Top with the pieces of butter.
You'll need to cut vents in the top which I did using the center from a donut cutter. You could just make slits or use another shape like a star.  Once you've flipped the top crust on to new paper, carefully center (using the "roll/flop" method) it on to the pie, then trim and crimp the edges. If desired, brush half-and-half or milk over the crust with your fingers and then sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 30 minutes. Turn the temp down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, watching for browning.
When making a fruit pie I always slip a cookie sheet on the rack below the pie to keep the inevitable drips from hitting the oven floor and burning.
Let cool on on a rack, then enjoy. If there's any left, you'll find that it's magically turned into Breakfast Pastry by the next morning!

* ATK flour blend:
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (3/4 cup) potato starch
3/4 ounce (3 TB) nonfat milk powder
If you want to understand the science behind why this works, please buy the ATK cookbook.

**I always use Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Flour.

***This would be great with a streusel topping instead of a top crust.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Yogurt Cake

Yogurt Cake with Rhubarb Sauce

I bought a rhubarb plant a few years ago. It felt like it would take forever before it was large enough to harvest much rhubarb but now it's huge! I made a pie on Saturday (watch for the recipe!) and will make this cake for friends tomorrow. It's simple yet elegant, moist, just right for a warm summer evening, maybe with a glass of Proseco. Hope you make it soon; enjoy!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a nine-inch spring form pan. Cut out a circle of parchment to fit the bottom of the pan and grease it, too. Set aside.

1 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil of your choice. I use canola or olive oil
1 cup  sugar  (don't cut this back. This is not an overly-sweet cake)
zest of half an orange
1/4 cup of orange juice *
2 large eggs, lightly beaten*
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups gluten-free flour. You may use sorghum or America's Test Kitchen* mix, or a GF flour mix you like. One of my favorite flours is Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Flour.
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum or two tsp psyllium seed husk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Yogurt Cake
Whisk the wet ingredients together. Sift or whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the two in the bowl of a stand mixer, a regular bowl if using a hand-held mixer, or a bowl and whisk by hand until nicely combined. Pour this batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick or skewer comes out of the middle of the cake clean. Cool on a wire rack for ten minutes, then run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan. Loosen the side of the pan and lift it away. When completely cooled, you may transfer to a cake plate.

Rhubarb Sauce 
2 cups rhubarb cut in 1/2 inch pieces
1/3 cup sugar, more or less to your taste
2 teaspoons corn starch
1/4 cup water
Combine dry ingredients in a sauce pan, stirring to evenly distribute sugar and corn starch. Pour in the water. Turn heat on to medium-low and cook until rhubarb is soft and sauce has thickened. Serve next to or over the cake.
If you run out of time, the cake is perfectly delicious plain.

*You may substitute lime or lemon zest and juice for the orange for a delicious twist.
*OR separate the eggs and beat the whites to just stiff-peak stage. once wet and dry have been combined, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. The cake will be lighter and hold the "rise" a bit better. If short on time, the quicker method yields a wonderful, moist cake.

** ATK flour blend:
24 ounces (4 1/2 cups plus 1/3 cup white rice flour
7 1/2 ounces (1 2/3 cups) brown rice flour
7 ounces (3/4 cup) potato starch
3/4 ounce (3 TB) nonfat milk powder
If you want to understand the science behind why this works, please buy the ATK cookbook. Having said that, I use only Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Flour for both types of rice in this formula. This is a wonderful company and deserves supporting and this flour makes the absolutely best baked good.