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Updated Easy Gluten-Free Peasant Bread

Even though food intolerance can be cured, it takes time which means time avoiding the trigger foods, and of course allergies are a different story all together. The most visited post on my site is the Easiest Gluten-Free Peasant Bread Ever post which is understandable, because it truly is easy and it’s different than anything you can buy. I’ve worked with this recipe so many times now that I finally feel I can update the recipe which is not only gluten-free, but also dairy and egg-free, and now, xanthan gum free too. Of course, feel free to use butter instead of olive oil, and if xanthan gum doesn’t bother you, go ahead and add it if you wish. I’m using ground psyllium husks instead which helps with the smoothness because I’m just not convinced xanthan gum is a good choice for our family with multiple food intolerances. Also, I make up a big batch of the flour and store it in my pantry for ease of use, and I make up extra once-risen dough to store in my fridge for a week or two. If you find you can’t digest oat flour well, or don’t have access to certified gluten-free oat flour like Bob’s Red Mill, then replace it with Teff or Millet, or a combination of both. Here’s the recipe:

Flour:

3 1/4 C Oat flour

2 C Brown Rice flour

2 C Millet Flour

2  C Sorghum Flour

1 3/4 C Tapioca flour

1 1/4 Potato Starch

1/4 C Ground Psyllium Husks

Mix all together for your flour blend.

Dough:

4 T Flax Meal + 3/4 C warm water

6 1/4 C Flour blend (This is half of the flour blend from above.)

1 T yeast

1/2 T kosher salt

2 T sugar

Put the flax meal and water in a large measuring cup b/c you’ll be adding more water to it, but first let it sit for about 10 minutes. Mix the dry ingredients together. Add enough warm water to the flax mixture to get to 3 3/4 Cups liquid. I use a glass 2 cup measuring vessel in which the flax and water set for 10 minutes, then add water up to the 2 C line which I pour into the bowl with the dry ingredients, then add another 1 3/4 C of water to the mixture. If you have a 4 C measuring cup then it is even easier. Blend all together and let it rise for about 2 hours. I do this in the oven~ warm the oven up for a minute on high, then turn it off and let the dough rise with a damp towel over it. Once it has risen, it can be stored in the fridge for a week or two. This is enough dough for 3 loaves of the peasant bread baked in the pyrex glass bowls though you could also use this basic dough in another recipe if you wanted.

To bake the Peasant Bread

First oil or butter a pyrex bowl, or spray with a non-stick spray like Trader Joe’s coconut oil spray. However you choose to do this, make sure it is good and thick because the dough is sticky and I’ve ruined many loaves’ crusts by not making a good enough non-stick barrier. In other words, grease it well, then grease it again. I actually find the cooking spray works best. Take about 1/3 of the dough and plop it in the glass bowl to rise another hour or so. I do this in the oven again, which means I have to take it out of the oven when it is time to preheat.

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Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Stick a shallow pan of water on the bottom of the oven for steam. Bake the bread for 10 minutes before turning the heat down to 375 degrees F for about 22-25 minutes. Take the bread out of the bowl and if you like a crustier loaf as I do, put the bread sans bowl back in the over for another 5 minutes.

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Let it cool before cutting.

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Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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Canyon Bakehouse Breads

Canyon Bakehouse Breads

We recently had the opportunity to try the entire line of Canyon Bakehouse goodies and we now have some new favorites in this house. The seven grain bread is the closest thing we have had to whole wheat bread. The texture and taste are surprisingly familiar to the whole grain breads I grew up on and altogether different from any other gluten-free bread I’ve had in these past 10 years of being completely gluten-free.

7 grain bread

The other new family favorite is the focaccia. Both my sons loved the taste fresh out of the bag or warmed up in the oven under the broiler. This is a perfect bread to add to the side of soup or salad although really my sons will eat it along anything. This bread is also a unique offering in the gluten-free field and I appreciate the fact Canyon Bakehouse also makes these breads dairy, soy, nut and gmo free.

focaccia

Life is short~ be kind, be wise, and try some new bread.

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Lunchtime

Who doesn’t love a good sandwich? Even when I eat salad or soup, I always have a hearty carb to accompany it, which might take the form of rice with soup or corn tortillas to wrap up my salad, but lately most of my lunches involve Schar Classic White Rolls. These taste delicious with a sourdough flavor and a real classic bready texture that leaves no issues with unseen holes that gluten-free loaves are apt to hide. They are free of dairy and eggs too and make excellent hamburger buns although usually I just use them for regular old sandwiches. They are too big for my toaster even though I have one of those bagel toasters so I always just put them under the broiler for a few minutes each side before adding the extras, unless I’m using cheese and then that goes under the boiler too, just for the last-minute or so. My favorite sandwich does involve cheese, mozzarella to be specific, plus tomato and basil with extra greens and a little olive oil and vinegar for a caprese-inspired sandwich. Yum!

Yesterday I had this salad I’d gotten from PCC’s deli called something along the lines of ‘ravishing radishes’ with my roll and it was so delicious and healthy that I had to see if they had the recipe posted…but, unfortunately I don’t see it yet on their recipe page yet. It was full of radishes, garbanzo beans, feta, cherry tomatoes, herbs and a light vinaigrette. Definitely going to try something similar…Here’s a pic so you can too:

Salad with Schar roll

 

And here’s one with the salad on the roll:

Salad on Schar Can’t you just taste it? So good! If you are tired of your gluten-free loaves surprising you with little holes in your slices of bread, try these rolls instead. They are guaranteed to make your lunch a fulfilling one!

 

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Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup with Gluten-Free Breadsticks (Nut Free)

When I looked for recipes online for vegan cream of broccoli soup I found a lot of recipes with cashews. My oldest and I do not do nuts very well, or at least our stomachs don’t, so those recipes obviously wouldn’t do. I looked at regular cream of broccoli soup recipes but was reluctant to try a complicated recipe with so many substitutions required, so I was pleased when I finally found a recipe that used white beans for the ‘cream’ part. I tweaked the recipe a bit because it was a simple recipe and easy to add to it, but the bulk of it comes from Tasty Yummies, so thank you TY!

vegan cream of broccoli soup

It’s hard to make green soup look good, but trust me, it tastes like a dream. My oldest was so excited he ate it every day for three days straight and loved every drop. I served it with garlic bread sticks which I make almost every day anyway, by taking Trader Joe’s flat breads

Gluten Free Pizza Crust
Gluten Free Pizza Crust

or a gluten-free baguette if we happen to have one, (if we do it is Olivia’s Super Free or Wildflour brand).  Whether I use the flatbreads or baguettes, I preheat the oven to 425, spread about 1/2 t olive oil on a piece of bread, add crushed garlic and Tuscan Sea Salt which has Italian herbs added into it, then bake for 10 minutes, or less if the baguettes are room temperature. Truth be told, I make breadsticks so often I actually just have all the ingredients in a jar of olive oil so I can just scoop it out and rub it on the bread, no garlic crushing or salt sprinkling required. Anything to get dinner on the table faster, right?!

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup:

1 head of broccoli

1 chopped leek

1 chopped yellow onion

enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a soup pot

3-5 garlic cloves, crushed

1 15oz can of cannelloni beans

2.5 C veggie broth

Sea Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 t. Herbs d’Provence

First steam the chopped broccoli for about 3 minutes, until nice and bright green. Sauté the onion, garlic, and leek in a soup pot until translucent, sprinkle with the Herbs d’Provence, then add in the beans and broth. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat and add in the broccoli. Once cooled a bit, puree in a blender until smooth~ it doesn’t take long. Add salt and pepper to taste, then scoop out with a bread stick and eat your fill guilt-free since this is one ‘creamy’ soup that is low in fat and high in fiber as well as highly nutritious. For a blended soup, this was exceptionally quick and easy. Definitely will go into my week night meal rotation.

 

 

 

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Schar Sandwich Bread

This is just a quick note to say we have a new favorite gluten-free everyday bread at our house. Schar Classic White Bread:

Schar Bread This bread surprised us for two reasons. The first being that the second ingredient listed is sour dough, made with rice flour and water. When I bought the bread I had only looked at the area that says “contains: soy” to see if it contained dairy and or eggs, so I happily bought it when I saw that it didn’t. I had no idea I was buying a sourdough bread! But as soon as I tasted it I could taste the sour dough and was so excited~ a dairy free, egg free gluten-free, sourdough sandwich bread is something we haven’t had since….well, ever, actually. We are eating a lot of sandwiches these days.

The second reason this loaf surprised me was because it isn’t in the normal spot where I shop for bread at the Whole Foods I frequent. I imagine this is one of those things probably debated among store employees, vendors, brokers, and merchandisers. At the Whole Foods I go to there is a dedicated gluten-free aisle, but there are also gluten-free items throughout the store. Normally when I buy bread, I go to where all the bread is and pick up a loaf or a bag of bagels or rolls. Schar bread is not there. It is only in the aisle dedicated to gluten-free items and by the time I hit that aisle my cart is usually already filled with bread products I got from the bread area. Hm. I know it is difficult to set up a store, I’ve worked in several myself, so I’m curious what people think…Do you like your store to have the gluten-free items mixed in with the other food, or do like it all in one specified space? Or mixed, with a dedicated gluten-free area but with other gluten-free items mixed with the other food in all the other aisles?

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Redmond Market

Redmond Market Flowers

Aren’t these flowers just the prettiest? I got them at the Redmond Farmers Market last Saturday and they are still going strong in our front windows. These aren’t what I went to the Redmond Market intending to buy, but I couldn’t help myself, especially since they had such an inviting price ($5). The Redmond Market, located right next to the Redmond Town Center, is a Saturday tradition from May-October and the gluten-free options there are abundant. If you are hungry you can order a gluten-free crepe (made where the other crepes are so do be careful)at Anita’s crepes or enjoy a tamale just down the way at Hermosa Mexican Foods’ booth which is my son’s favorite thing about the market by far. Wildflour Gluten Free bakery has a booth there and when I get there early enough I buy two of their baguettes, but they sell out fast! Many of their items are dairy free but not all, and most have eggs in them, but all are gluten-free and there is a nice variety at her booth. It is delicious fun to buy a pint of fresh berries and sit down with a baguette and snack while watching some live music that rotates through there all summer. Another gluten-free bakery that has a booth there is Fancy Free bakery which touts a much longer list of ‘free-of’ ingredients~ no peanuts, eggs, dairy, etc, so pretty much anyone could find a treat there, and they will not be disappointed. I bought sourdough bread there and it is truly sour-ly awesome. I heard two other vendors discussing with near rapture the lemon bars they bought there but when I went to check them out myself I was too late…definitely getting to the market earlier next Saturday. There are of course plenty of produce farmers, jewelry makers, planted pots venders, much more there, but I personally adore the fact that there are so many gluten-free finds. I just wish it lasted all year-long, but I guess that just makes it all the more special. Now if only I could wake up and get going on Saturdays earlier to fully take advantage of it…Hm, maybe by August I’ll get that part down. At least I managed to get flowers last week. They are lovely.

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Seattle Gluten-Free bakery

The other day I had the rare opportunity to wake up in downtown Seattle and look around for a breakfast place. It happened to be mother’s day so it was busier than usual, but we found a place to sit and eat some breakfast foods, which honestly were nothing special. I didn’t mind the mediocre hash browns though because I had a mission for the day to find this gluten-free bakery near Pike Place Market that I had read about called Coffee & Specialty Bakery. It is a tiny little hole in the wall which we walked right by at first and we had to backtrack to find it. I’m so glad we did. It smelled like a real bakery in there and I bought the boys and myself croissants, something we haven’t had in ages. I didn’t ask if they were dairy free but they sure didn’t taste it, so I’m guessing they were made with butter, but it was worth every bite. I have no idea what flours they use but if I hadn’t known it was from a gluten-free bakery I would have sworn it was a traditional croissant. The reviews of the place speak a lot to the friendliness of the owners and it’s all true. If my sons had been with me I’m quite sure they would have been compelled to hug them because they were both so sweet and smiley. I’ll definitely be heading back there any time I am in Seattle from now on.

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Gluten-free Sourdough Bread cont.

First GF Sourdough bread Well, there it is. The first gluten-free sourdough bread we made. After stirring the ever-funkier starter for several days complete with cabbage leaves and apple skin, my son was not feeling too confident about actually trying the bread. To be honest, neither was I. I really had no idea if the starter we’d made was going to work because it wasn’t ever as bubbly as I expected it to be, but we both were pleasantly surprised. The bread is pretty good!

First taste of GF SourdoughAs you can see from this picture, it did not rise much though. I am guessing as the starter sits for a few more days there will be more yeast activity, and we will try again on Wednesday to make another loaf.  My son thought the bread was more than “pretty good” incidentally, probably because he helped make it and felt ownership in it. That loaf is a blend of teff flour, millet, brown rice and tapioca and he pointed out that the hard crust tasted like cereal and he was right~ it really did. Next time I might do less teff and try gluten-free oat flour for a lighter loaf~ more trials to come!

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Gluten-Free Sourdough Starter

My son needed a science project and I needed a reason to try to make the sourdough starter recipe I’ve been eyeing for months, so we decided to work together and see what happens. The recipe we are using is from Jennifer Katzinger’s Gluten-Free & Vegan Bread. I’ve wanted to make sourdough starter for a long time now, ever since I read about it being a more easily digested bread than other types with single strands of yeast, but the recipes I read always seemed too complex and involved too much planning. Once I read Katzinger’s version which was already gluten-free I started thinking I could do it. Except I didn’t. There was still that planning part that got in my way, until my son’s science fair came up and I thought, we could do this~ we have a week and a half, plenty of time to get the starter going and then to try to bake with it a couple of times, with enough time even for a failure or two. We will actually use the starter later today for the first time, but actually making the mother was easier than I expected, so in case you are feeling daunted by the idea yourself I thought I’d share the steps so far. First, get a gallon size glass jar and put in 1C teff flour and 1C water.

Making starterStir well.

Then add two purple cabbage leaves and the skin of half an apple.

Adding cabbage and apple skin

Mix well again and then let it sit in a warm spot for 12 hours before stirring and adding more teff and water. After 48 hours (with 12 hours in between stirrings and adding more flour and water) it should be bubbling with yeast activity.

Yeast bubbles

It is then time to take out the cabbage leaves and apple skin and put it in the fridge. It is ready to be used.

Taking out the cabbage

Now it’s time to test if this has worked. There is starter resting on my kitchen counter right now warming up with fresh teff and water for 4 hours and hopefully creating some yeasty activity. Crossing my fingers that we will have fresh sourdough bread by tonight. We’ll see!

 

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Some New Gluten Free Finds

I don’t know how long I’ve been overlooking this bread, but I have a feeling it’s pretty new to the scene, but boy has it made a splash. I’d say about half the time I go searching for it, there’s none to be found:

olivias super free This is Olivia’s Super Free Baguette and that picture is from their site: http://oliviasuperfree.com/home.html. I’ve been making garlic bread with the baguettes~ olive oil, Tuscan salts, garlic, 425 degrees for 10 minutes, and it turns out really lovely. I can imagine making a big sub sandwich with these too. The texture is great, the flavor is good, and the lightness makes it easy to use in meals (as opposed to being so heavy that all you can do with it is slice and eat it.) The kids whole-heartily approved.

The other bread I’ve found lately is Flying Apron’s new white bread which tastes even better than their old one and they are actually finally making enough that you have a decent chance to buy one on white bread days, (bonus!), which at the Redmond location are Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Flying Apron's White Bread This is a hearty loaf made with quinoa, oat, and I think sorghum flour though I could be wrong about that last one. It has the whole grain goodness of stand-out healthy grains which is so rare in a gluten-free loaf. I love this bread but surprisingly, my sons are not full-on excited about it, though my oldest adores the white rolls made from the same ingredients~ go figure. I think they have gotten so use to the fluffy lightness of gluten-free breads that this denser loaf seems strange to them, like a child who’s been eating regular white bread suddenly tasting a whole wheat loaf~ not exactly the same thing. That’s fine for now because it means more for me! I’ve been making veggie sandwiches with this bread~ one side gets hummus spread on it, the other gets avocado, and in between goes spinach and lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers and whatever else I can find. I haven’t had a fulfilling sandwich like that in so many years I can’t even begin to remember~ until last week that is, at which time I started having them almost every day. Seriously, if you are in the Seattle area and haven’t tried this loaf because you aren’t in the habit of buying a ‘white’ bread~ this loaf will surprise you.

Those two breads above are also vegan, soy, and nut free~ it can be done!

The last product is a granola bar from KIND. These are not the same bars that have been around for a long time, they are different~ flatter and wider for one thing, but the best part is at least one flavor, the oats and honey, is nut free.

kind barThis pic is from their website.

Trying to find a gluten-free, dairy-free protein bar that doesn’t have any nuts in it, especially almonds, is extraordinarily difficult. We eat some bars from Nugo and Enjoy Life Foods, but having a new one to throw into backpacks for snack time is extremely welcome at this point.

If you have any new gluten-free favorites, let me know~ I’d love to hear about them.