Tag Archives: gluten free bread

potted herbs > packaged herbs

mintI’ve come to a revelation– I hope to never buy herbs again in the grocery store!  This reality goes far beyond any sort of farm-to-table philosophy and straight into my pocket.  Take note:

herbs

Each of these plants cost no more than 3 bucks.  In the grocery store where the herbs will probably die in like 3 days anyways?  One buck less.  And they don’t keep having little herb babies.

Buy your own herb pots!  Even if you have no garden (I surely do not have enough moolaw to afford a garden in this urban landscape) simply keep a few pots of choice in your kitchen next to the window.  These lovelies reproduce more quickly than rabbits.  …which is why I don’t feel bad using the baby leaves to top my tartines with my teff bread.

plated tartine herb

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gluten-free teff BAGUETTE

cooked baguetteswhen the goin’ gets teff… (first and last bad joke, I promise)

brushing oil teff breadoh baby

teff milkTeff flour has been one of my favorite substitutes for wheat flour for a while now.  Teff milk was a new discovery today: I’m not sure that rice milk is the best thing to consume out of the lactose-free milks as it’s basically just sugar.  It’s not bad, but it’s not rich, either.  Teff milk has now been my favorite dairy-free milk for one day.  A whole day.  And now night.

It’s real here: baguette is something that surpasses stereotype.  It surrounds the daily function of the Parisian, clings to the backs of those dedicated enough to leave an opening in their backpacks for the long strand of yeast-risen staple, breaks beneath the fingers of the eager who cannot make it home without finding the tip missing.  Yup, baguette’s a thing.  And today I wanted one real bad.  That’s when I found teff flour for the first time in grocery stores here.  Sha buy yah roll call

teff bread demi baguetteI think you’ve gotta be a bit of a geek to make it in this world.  Tech-y stuff is all over, and what’s slightly paradoxical is that I’ve found the more I give up my old ways of traditional-is-better-because-it’s-more-human, unless I actually want to go Neanderthal, it’s hit me that these new advances in images and sound and things with computers and wires can actually make the human things we do more interesting.

shaping baguetteIt’s not like the computer made the baguette.

I say this because you may notice that these pictures look slightly better than the past.  That’s because technically they are.  I’ve succumbed to, with the greatest pleasure, an actual camera.  It’s manual, I control things like aperture and shutter speed, and photoshop is now something taking up space in my hard drive.  In between washing off the teff flour and gluten-free yeast from my hands,  I spent my first day with my new ally in the kitchen.  And then ate some baguette so I’d have something pretty to share with you.  Of course, that was the only impetus to construct a plate like this.

plated breadExcuses are lovely sometimes.

Teff Baguette

-vegan-

-gluten, nut, soy, dairy, egg, and corn free-

ingredients: 2 tbs (21 g) flax seeds, 3 tbs (41 g) hot water, 1/4 cup (50 g) + 1/3 cup (75 g) teff milk [can substitute water], 3/4 cup (90g) teff flour, 3/4 cup (100 g) brown rice flour, 2 tbs (16 g) arrowroot starch/flour, 8 g yeast, 1/4 tsp (a large pinch) sea salt, 2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar

method: In small bowl, pour hot water over flax seeds.  Let soak 20 minutes.  Combine flax seed mixture with 1/4 cup teff milk (or alternative dairy-free milk or water) until puréed.  Set aside.

flax seed mixCombine all dry ingredients in large bowl, adding salt at the very last second before you add liquid.  (Salt will kill the yeast if left too long without the sugar to feed on.)

dry ingredientsAdd flax seed mixture and half of the teff milk.  Knead with hands.  Add honey/agave nectar and remainder of milk and more if needed to get a moist dough that is not sticky.  If too dry, add more milk or a bit water.  If sticky, add a bit of rice flour.  Knead for about 5 minutes, form into a ball, and let rise in bowl covered with wet towel.

kneading doughcovered rising doughKnead again for 5 minutes, separate into three balls for mini baguettes, two balls for demi baguettes, or keep whole for a large baguette.  Roll into a cylinder, then taper out the edges.  Place on a prepared baking sheet (silicon mat and a light oiling will do quite well) and flatten a bit in the middle, and then fold in both edges (see photo at beginning of post).  You’ll make a bit of a smushed taco.  Flip over (the smush is the bottom of the baguette) and make lines with a small knife on the top.  Cover with a damp towel and let rise about 1 1/2-2 hours minimum.*  Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).  Bake bread for 5 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush with a fine layer of oil and sprinkle with salt.  Place back in oven turned the other way, for even cooking, and bake another 10 minutes.  If the inside or bottom is not cooked through, reduce heat to 375 F (185 degrees C) and bake for another 5-10 minutes.  This really varies upon the size of your baguette and your oven.  Remove from heat, let cool to touch, and consume within a day for freshness.  To keep longer, keep it in the freezer until use.

*If preparing the night before, keep covered in the refrigerator and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours the next day.

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5-minute pizza bread and herb salad dinner

pizza bread and herb saladThere are days when you (I) want to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, tasting every bit of seasoning, perfectly brunois-ing that shallot until it disappears into thin flavor air, geeking out on how amazing it would be if I could infuse smoked rose into something.

And then there are days like today, when after driving 4 and a half hours in rush hour traffic to return home from a weekend in Burgundy (not bad, not bad), I want to do nothing more than have a few slices, a glass of wine, and a Kubrick film I’ve not seen yet.

Bourgogne drive homeThis is France’s version of a rest stop.

There’s really something I miss about living in New York, or Portland, or even LA (gasp!) for this reason: gluten-free “fast” food is so available and us Americans have gotten really creative in making it taste good.  Tonight, I had no PIE by the Pound or Mississippi St. Pizza to call upon.  I have a local organic store down the street that sells gluten-free bread, and some organic Italian tomato paste in my fridge.  And garlic.  But saying I have garlic in my kitchen is like saying I have a kitchen.

I skipped down the street, more like trotted as my ankle is killing me, to the organic store and found some gluten-free buckwheat loaf, and meanwhile found the aroma of the fresh mint in the produce section to be an irrevocable calling for purchase.  Pizza and mint are not my usual idea of a dinner combination, but I’m gonna follow the old nose tonight.

gluten free pizza bread

mint, parsley, and tomato paste

Bless you naval cavities, you did good.  Within 5 minutes of arriving home, I diced up some garlic, put the extra vegetables I had in my fridge through both sorts of Japanese mandolins I have at home, and popped a combination of Italian flavors topping the gluten-free bread in the oven on broil.  What developed was nothing short of a delicious and surprising combination of flavors!

There are nights you want to spend hours dancing with your ingredients.  There are nights like tonight where I think I could now dance for hours after only spending minutes with them.

gooey pizza bread gluten freePIZZA BREAD (serves 1 as dinner, 2 as appetizer)

ingredients: 3 slices your favorite gluten-free bread; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tbs. tomato paste (organic if possible); 1/2 tbs. fresh parsley, chopped (dried works, too); a large pinch dried oregano; 1 tbs. olive oil; a large pinch sea salt or pecorino or parmesan cheese (low in lactose) or vegan parmesan shreds (both optional but good additions if possible)

method: Pre-heat oven to broil preset.  Top with garlic, olive oil, parsley, and oregano.  Top with tomato paste.  Spread with spatula or finger until evenly distributed.  Top with cheese or vegan cheese or sea salt.  Broil for about 5 minutes, until top has browned and caramelized a bit.

HERB SALAD (serves 2 as a side)

ingredients: 6 red radishes, cut into thin spheres; 3 tbs. fresh parsley leaves; 2 tbs. fresh mint leaves; 1 carrot or 1/4 jicama cut into thin julienne (optional); 2 cups baby lettuce leaves of choice; 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar; 2 tbs. high quality olive oil; a pinch sea salt; a dash paprika

method: mix all ingredients in salad bowl and serve.

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Beans!

mung beans

The Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras forbade the eating of beans, as he decreed that the legumes contained something of which the soul was composed.  I think he might have been exaggerating just a tad, but I can understand his enthusiasm for the magical fruit.

Tonight I had a simple rather bistro style dinner of gluten-free toasts and seasonal French cheese (easier to digest as it’s raw) and some leftover fava beans that I made into a sort of spread and topped with basil and mushrooms.  It was awesome.  And I didn’t feel like popping afterwards.

fava bean spread

What’s so good about beans?  Mr. Laertius may have been right about them being something exceptional, but here is the tip of the ice berg of reasons why they should not be banned from your regime:

1. Beans are a huge source of fiber.  Yes, yes, that’s why they are also the “magical fruit”, but if you want to pass things that are not magical in your body, tally ho.

2. Beans have a low glycemic index.  Composed of complex sugars, these carbohydrates take time for your body to break down, but are easier to process.  This makes you stay full longer, reducing cravings, while providing a natural source of sugar your body readily uses, not stores.

3. Beans are full of protein.  In combination with rice, they make a complete amino acid, which is the protein found in meat that most vegans or vegetarians are missing from their diet of they don’t work for it.

4. Beans are full of vitamins and minerals.  Another problem vegetarians might find, or anyone really, is a low level of iron.  Beans have a lot of this– as well as copper, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B6, which is a vitamin that is reduced if you’re drinking booze, so if you’re making some parties, jump on board with the beans to get your energy back up!

5. They taste awesome when cooked from their dry form with a bit of thyme and a bay leaf, and then are sautéed with onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, a touch soy sauce, and some oregano afterwards.  Oh yeah.

…and they’re also gluten-free.  (since you find them on this blog, you can imagine they would be!)

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No Oven Gluten-Free Bread

steamed buckwheat loafToday was an odd day in technology for me, in turn spawning some very odd human behavior.  First of all, you may notice that these photos are less than subpar quality.  That is because for some reason my camera decided to eat the “lock” switch on my memory card, guarding the camera decidedly in “memory card locked” mode like an unfair coma.  Given that I spend all of my money on food, I have not updated my cellular device for several many years, and this is what is providing the images today.

RIP OvenFurthermore, my oven died.  It’s really not a huge shame, as you can see from the picture on the right, it was a bit abysmal to begin with.  I suppose churning out breads and desserts and braising meats for hours on end is not what this little guy was originally designed for.  Boo hoo.  This all happened, however, after I had prepared the dough for my favorite Buckwheat Herb Loaf and it had already risen to well over two times its original volume.  I really wanted a sandwich today.  This just wouldn’t do.

Thus, I started thinking how I could possibly make this uncooked loaf a slab of bread.  Only one thing came to mind: steam it like a vegetable.  The world is strange, and this is stranger: it tasted better than when I cooked it in the oven.  Steaming it provided a perfectly even cooking and guarded the moisture inside the bread without having it remotely undercooked.  Its air bubbles stood up taller.  It’s even more spongey.  Whaaaat a weird way to finally get my sandwich.  I had to torch my lactose-free cheese with a creme bruler burner to have it melt.  Alright.

torching cheesenot like pudding

sandwich at lastvictory, you’re so sweet

Anyways, this necessitated the use of my unintelligent smart phone to share this knowledge with you.

Steamed Bread: (!)

1. Take your favorite gluten-free bread recipe (try Home Sweet Honey Buns or Herb Buckwheat Loaf from this site) and put it in a greased and floured mold that will fit into a large pot with a vegetable steaming basket underneath (see photo at right.)  Prepare recipe and let rise indicated time.

2. Boil enough water that it won’t evaporate during 20 minutes cooking but will not overflow into the bread.  Bring to a boil, then put your loaf in the steaming device.  Cover the pot, let cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, replacing water if dry.  You will be able to tell it’s cooked through because the top will be solid and when you tap the crust of the dough it will feel solid throughout, as well.

3. Remove from steamer, let cool about 5 minutes before running a knife around the edges to loosen from mold.  Feel free to toast it afterward if you have a functioning oven.

steaming bread

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