Flour Tortillas – Gluten Free

Finished Tortilla

Finished Tortilla

It has been a long time since I have had a nice flour tortilla.  I’m not really a fan of corn tortillas so this was definiately a missing food link for us.  I tried several recipes and finally made one that both tastes great and stays pliable after cooking!  Bring on the Mexican food!

We had these this morning rolled up with scrambled eggs, cheese, and crumbled bacon.  We put in a bit of salsa and rolled them up.  They stayed pliable and tasty even after sitting in the fridge overnight.  The tortillas need to be warmed up a bit before using.  They even taste fantastic as a substitute for the classic Scandanavian treat of lefse rolled up with butter and cinnamon sugar.  Yum!!!

Makes about 8 – 8 1/2″ tortillas

Ingredients:

160 g white rice flour or about 1 cup
45 g potato starch or about 1/3 cup
40 g tapioca starch or about 1/3 cup
40 g chickpea flour or about 1/3 cup
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. cold shortening
3/4 – 1 cup warm water

In a food processor, mix up all the dry ingredients.

Cut up the shortening into chunks and put into the food processor.  Pulse the machine to cut in the shortening until mealy.

Continue to pulse the flour mixture and drizzle in enough water to make a nice soft ball of dough.

Roll out some dough on a piece of parchment sprinkled with more tapioca starch.  Keep everything dusted with tapioca starch to avoid sticking.  Roll out quite thin and use a luncheon plate to cut out a round. You should be able to see the imprint of your hand under the round if it is thin enough.

Cut out tortilla

Cut out tortilla

Place the dough rounds between parchment sheets until all are rolled out.  You may also use a tortilla press if desired instead of rolling.

Heat up a cast iron pan, or flat pan, on medium high.  Put a dough round on the dry, hot pan and bake until it starts to bubble and it gets light brown flecks on the underside.

Baking Tortilla

Baking Tortilla

Flip and continue to bake like the other side.  Take off the pan and place on a plate with a cover or a warm cloth until serving.  These freeze well and store in the fridge for a few days.  Keep in a plastic ziploc freezer bag.  It is best to warm them up a bit before using.

Enjoy!

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Gluten Free Potato Flaxseed Bread

Gluten Free Potato Flaxseed Bread

Gluten Free Potato Flaxseed Bread

Making gluten free bread is as much about method as it is about the ingredients.  After much experimentation, I think I have finally figured out how to make it all work.  I will describe my process and all the little tricks that I have picked up over time.  First, I will post the ingredients.  Next, I will describe my process.  Please read the whole post first before trying to make the bread. I’ll try to be as clear as possible.

Many thanks go out to this site and recipe: mennonitegirlscancook.ca.  This is where I ended up after trying multiple recipes without great results.  These are the ingredients I started with and tweaked.  Then I applied my own method that has developed over time.

To weigh, or not to weigh!  I weigh the flours and starches that I use.  I could weigh all the ingredients, but I don’t yet.  The main reason to weigh your flour is because each flour weight is different per cup.  For instance, 1 cup of chickpea flour weighs 120 g while 1 cup of corn flour weighs 112 g.  If you try to substitute other flours or starches by volume, they may have different weights and will dramatically alter the recipe.  Many wheat recipes don’t have this problem unless you try to substitute in heavy rye flour that doesn’t have as much gluten.  I have included some cup measurements but the recipe may not turn out the same unless you weigh the flours and starches.

Makes 3  8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 loaves

Preheat oven to 400 F

2 cups warm water
2 cups warm milk
4 tsp. sugar
1 pkg. unflavoured gelatin about 1 Tbsp.
3 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
4 Tbsp. regular granular yeast

4 lg. eggs – room temperature!
6 tsp. olive oil

139 g chickpea flour or about 1 cup + 4 tsp.
122 g corn flour (not cornmeal) or about 1 cup + 4 tsp.
387 g potato starch or about 2 cups
80 g potato flour or about 8 Tbsp. (I grind dried instant potato flakes in a blender or spice grinder)
4 tsp. xanthan gum
3 tsp. salt

1 tray of ice cubes

Line three pans with parchment paper.  I never oil my pans.  It doesn’t work well with gluten free bread in my experience.  I have included a picture of how I fold the parchment paper to fit the pans.  The parchment is reusable a few times.

Parchment in loaf pan

Parchment in loaf pan

I also make a foil tent to tuck down the sides of each pan and fold above to make a tent for the bread loaves.  It is really important to do this step because the bread must bake for a long time and it gets too dark unless it is tented.  Fold two pieces of foil to fit the long sides of the pan and tall enough to tent the top of the fully risen bread.  When the dough is in the pan, tuck the foil down the sides and pinch the two sides together at the top leaving the center open as a vent.

Foil tent for loaf pan

Foil tent for loaf pan

In an 8 cup measuring cup, whisk the warm water, warm milk, sugar, ground flax, and gelatin together until dissolved.  Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and whisk until slightly dissolved.  Let sit until bubbly.

In a mixer that can handle a stiff, sticky dough, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

In another measuring cup, whisk together the eggs and oil.

Pour the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and add in the egg/oil mixture.  Turn on your mixer and mix the dough for 5 minutes scraping down the sides twice.  The dough will be very sticky and thick.  It will be thicker than a cake batter.

Using an ice cream scoop fitted with a metal lever, place a scoop of dough into each corner of the pans.  This holds down the parchment paper as you fill the pans.  Fill in the middle with four more scoops.  This should line the whole bottom of each pan.  Use a wet spatula to spread the dough evenly.  Finish dividing the dough between the pans with the ice cream scoop.  Even out again with a wet spatula.  It is helpful to scrape down the sides of the dough along the parchment to make sure there are no air pockets.

Tuck in the prepared foil pieces outside of the parchment and secure the foil tent above each pan.  (see picture)

Let the dough rise in the pans uncovered (except for the tent) for 20 minutes.  Don’t let it rise much more than this as it rises quite quickly.  It may look like it is cracking in a few places.  Don’t let it go past this point.

Toss 8 ice cubes into the oven and place the three loaves into the oven at 400 F for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, carefully open the oven as the steam is very hot and toss in 4 more ice cubes. Turn down the oven to 375 F and bake for another 70 minutes.  Please do not peek into the oven.  Peeking will release the steam and the bread won’t bake as well.  At first the bread will look all lumpy and flat.  This will change with time.

After baking, take out of the oven and remove the foil and parchment.  Lay the loaves on their sides to cool.  If they start to sink in a bit, turn over to the other side to cool.  Let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Bread

Gluten Free Bread

Posted in Bread/Buns, Food, Gluten Free | Tagged | 2 Comments

Sugar Nut Croissants

This Christmas I wanted something new and special for Christmas breakfast.  I was searching for the right recipe that was sweet and yummy.  We have tried different egg dishes, cinnamon buns, bacon type dishes and many others, but nothing like what I made this Christmas.

While searching the WHOLE internet, I stumbled on this reference to something totally decadent!  Secret Croissant.  These wonderful, artery clogging pastries are made from cheap prebaked croissants that you buy from your local grocery store. I bought a 12 pack from my local Costco and used 8 large ones, melted 1/2 cup of real butter, and prepared a dish of sugar, cinnamon, and nuts. I used sliced almonds slightly crushed up but any type of nut would work. When no one is looking, roll the croissants in melted butter. (Yes, totally cover them!) Next roll them in the sugar, cinnamon, nut mixture.

Sugar Nut Croissants - Unbaked

Sugar Nut Croissants - Unbaked

Place on a parchment lined pan and bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes until the nuts are toasty. Let cool a few minutes and then enjoy with strong coffee!

 

Sugar Nut Croissants

Sugar Nut Croissants

These are the most decadent pastries I have ever had!!! Only someone with Swedish genes (me) could consume that much butter and sugar in one meal. 🙂 My family raved over these and then spent the next few hours coming down off the sugar high but everyone was happy. You must give these a try over the holidays. For a change up at a tea or special occasion, you could try the mini croissants and you will get so many compliments you will not be able to stand it!!

 

Merry Christmas everyone!

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Melting Snowmen Cookies

It’s been awhile since I have posted.  It’s a really busy time of year and posting has been pushed to the back burner for now.  I will however, post a picture and some general directions for my melting snowmen.

There are many versions of this on the internet and some are here Crazy Domestic and the original idea here Meaghan’s Snowmen.

Here is my attempt at Melting Snowmen:

June's Melting Snowmen

I didn’t want to hand form my cookies so I went on a search through my big bucket of cutters and stumbled upon my Easter bunny cutter. When I accidentally turned it sideways, I was startled at how it looked like a melted puddle. Perfect!

The process was very typical of any kind of cookie decorating. I made up a double batch of Royal Icing (my recipe is below). I reserved out some of the thick icing for colouring and piping from decorating bags with tips. The rest of the white icing I thinned down until squeezable with a tiny bit of water at a time until it was the consistency that I wanted. This thinner icing went into squeeze bottles. I bought large white marshmallows and coloured sprinkles.

I started out by baking and cooling my cookies. I squeezed out white icing over the whole cookie starting with the borders. Then I took an offset butter knife and gently spread the icing to cover the cookie. While it was still wet, I squished a marshmallow firmly with my hand on the counter and stuck it into the icing at the top of the cookie. I added the button sprinkle decorations and left it to set. After it set for a few minutes, I added on the piping colours with a #3 tip and a very small star tip for the nose. I let the snowmen sit out in the air until completely dry overnight. It is best to leave them out on a rack or the cookie will soften a bit from the moisture in the icing. This coating of icing actually helps to seal in the freshness of the cookies.

I hope you try these out. They were a whole lot of fun and adults and children alike have been enjoying them.

Royal Icing
6 Tbsp pasteurized egg white or 3 fresh egg whites
1 lb (about 4 cups) sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Beat up in a heavy mixer for 7-10 minutes.  Scrape down the bowl a few times.  Store in an airtight container with plastic wrap down over the surface of the icing.  Store in the fridge if not using right away.

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Chicken or Turkey Pie (can be gluten free)

Chicken/Turkey Pie

Chicken/Turkey Pie

This is my family’s favourite chicken or turkey pie recipe.  It’s a great way to use up all that left over turkey!!  I didn’t get a picture fast enough.  The family was already digging into the pie before I got the camera out.  It also uses my newest favourite ingredient.

I have fallen in love with crispy fried onions.  I found gluten free ones in the local Asian foodmarket.  I can find them in the ethnic food/East Indian section in bags but they are not gluten free.  Not only are they tasty, but they are cheap!  They are brown, crispy onions that are a fantastic shortcut in many meals.  They can be used in any recipe in place of sauteeing onions.  If you are like me,  sauteeing onions can take time when you don’t have time.  During the week, these little babies save me a whole lot of time and frustration when I come home from work and need to whip up supper quickly.  They can be used in soups and sauces or as a topping for a casserole.

Getting back to the reason for this post, this pie is fantastic.  It is savoury and full of chicken/turkey.  I don’t like putting vegetables in my pies because it’s so easy to add veggies to the meal from fresh.  It’s an all chicken pie with a cheesy, creamy sauce.  It is thick and yummy and is very filling.  I am going to experiment with freezing this pie before baking to see how it performs.  Enjoy!

Chicken/Turkey Pie

2 1/2 – 3 cups cooked chicken or turkey – chopped into bite-sized chunks
4 strips bacon
1/2 cup crispy fried onions or 3/4 cups raw onions cooked until lightly browned
1 tsp garlic paste or 1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour (or fine white rice flour)
3/4 cup chicken stock (may use 1/4 cup white wine + 1/2 stock)
1/3 cup cream – (35 to 40 percent fat)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/3 cup, loosely packed grated tasty cheddar cheese
1 double crust pie pastry (make or buy gluten free pastry if you want a gluten free pie)

Heat large frying pan to medium-low.  Add bacon, and cook till crisp.  Remove, cool and chop.  Add butter to pan and sautee garlic.  Add onions and stir.  Add flour and cook, stirring with a whisk, for 1 minute (mixture should bubble but not brown).

Add stock, and cream, stirring continuously.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring mixture to boil, stirring continuously.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for two minutes.  Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and remove from heat.

Add chicken, bacon, and cheese to mixture in frypan. Stir to combine then set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position; the pastry base will brown and crisp better if it is close to the bottom element.

Put chicken mixture into the pie shell. Brush edges of pastry with water and cover pie with top. Firmly press edges of pastry together with a fork.

Using a sharp knife, cut small v’s in the top of pie so the steam will vent out as it cooks.

Place pie on a baking tray. Bake pie for 15 min at 400 F then reduce heat to 365 F for another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Posted in Gluten Free, Main Meals, Pastry, Poultry | Leave a comment

Easy Coconut Macaroons (gluten free)

Easy Coconut Macaroons

Easy Coconut Macaroons

This wonderful cookie is one of my favourites.  I LOVE coconut!  They are chewy and crispy the first day.  If left covered, they go softer and chewy.  You actually have to chew this cookie as it is mostly coconut.  The easy part comes when you mix these up.  There are only FIVE ingredients.  That’s right, five.  There is no butter.   There is no flour in these cookies either, for those of you who need gluten-free recipes.  So, what are the ingredients?

Easy Coconut Macaroons

Raw coconut macaroons

Raw Coconut Macaroons

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt
2 – 300 ml cans sweetened condensed milk (eagle brand is gluten free)
2 tsp vanilla
2 – 400g bags unsweetened grated coconut

Whip the egg whites with the salt until just frothy.  Fold in the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.  Fold in the coconut until well mixed.

Scoop out dough in mounds with two teaspoons or small scoop onto greased cookie sheet or parchment covered sheet.  Place them about 1 inch apart.  Moisten your fingers and make sure there are not little stray bits by lightly shaping the mounds.  Bake for about 20 minutes at 300 F or until lightly browned.  Let cool slightly and place on cooling racks.  Makes 60-80 depending on size of scoop.

For extra special treats, dip half the cookie into melted chocolate and let cool till set.  It makes a wonderful cookie for holiday cookie trays!

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Great Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (Wheat and Gluten Free version)

Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

Crispy Oatmeal Cookies

This post is for my dear niece who has conveyed a message that I’m not posting enough!  So for her, I’ll post yet another family favourite.  Perhaps in the future my niece will submit a recipe that I can feature as a guest post, since she is quite a good cook from what I hear!  Enjoy!

These cookies are a change from the regular oatmeal cookie.  They are a great addition to any lunch, and a good after school snack with a glass of milk.  When I want to bake cookies, this recipe is one that always gets pulled out of my box.  My family is always hovering over the fresh, hot, tray as it comes out of the oven.  I have to smack fingers from taking them off the hot pan!

To take them up a notch, you can add in raisins, chocolate chips, or as my family likes, toffee chips.  The toffee chips give the cookies a crisper, butterscotch flavour.  However, the plain oatmeal recipe is so basic and simple, it’s my personal favourite with a cup of hot Earl Grey tea.  It’s so nice, on a cool day, to sit down with a book, a cup of tea, and an oatmeal cookie!

I always line my pans with parchment paper, as you may have noticed from my other recipes.  It makes clean up fast and easy.  I’m always for something that makes clean up fast!  These cookies spread a LOT!  Only place about 12 cookies on a sheet or you will be literally cutting them apart.  If they do touch, take your spatula and lightly cut the cookies apart when they come out of the oven.  Let cook on the sheet for 5 minutes.  Put them on cooling racks.

Note:  I always double the batch and freeze the extra dough on a sheet in little lumps.  When they are frozen, I transfer them to freezer bags for baking later in the month.  They take a few minutes extra to bake after freezing, but other than that, they are just as good.  A good investment is a small levered scoop.  It’s a great friend when making a lot of cookies!  The regular ice cream size levered scoops are great for measuring out muffin dough.

Great Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (and Gluten Free)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups all purpose wheat flour (or 1 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup potato starch)
3 cups oats (use gluten free for gluten free cookies)
3/4 cup coconut, shredded fine
(Optional)
1 cup raisins or
1 small bag toffee chips (skor brand) (not sure if they are gluten free)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Beat the softened butter in your mixer until light and fluffy.  Add in white and brown sugar and beat until fluffy and light, scraping down the bowl a few times.  Add in the eggs one at a time and beat until light.  Add in the vanilla, salt, and baking soda.  Put in the flour and mix well.  Add in coconut and oatmeal and mix well.  If using optional ingredients, add now.  Drop by the heaping teaspoon on a greased or lined baking sheet making sure you leave space between cookies as they spread a lot.  I usually only  place 12 cookies on a standard baking sheet.  Bake at 350 F for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned.  Let sit on the pan for a minute until they set and transfer them to cooling racks.

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Posted in Cookies/Squares, Food, Gluten Free | 2 Comments