Posts Tagged ‘food photography’

Fresh Pear Upside-down Cake, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved.

The original recipe for this week actually called for upside-down baby cakes made with rhubarb. Since we had neither baby cake pans nor rhubarb, we decided to change things up a bit.  Upside-down cakes are extremely versatile, allowing for easy substitutions, and are among our favorite cakes for this very reason. The other issue we ran into, looking at the original recipe, was the fact that it called for bourbon, not something we are particularly fond of. However, we could see ourselves using some sweet white wine for poaching some pears. Good thing our local store happened to carry some delicious fresh Bosc pears.

Bosc pears, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved.

Sadly, our own pear tree will not bear any fruit this year, since some unexpected late storms packing high winds, followed by frost, pretty much destroyed all the newly emerged blossoms overnight. Growing fruit at high altitude has its challenges. Hopefully, some other local growers faired better than we did, perhaps offering some of their crops at the farmers’ markets later on this summer.

Getting back to the recipe, other than the substitution of pears poached in white wine, we converted the recipe to gluten free, using a combination of chestnut flour, brown rice flour, sweet rice flour and tapioca flour. An interesting addition that we also included in this recipe, in place of the typical gums and binder, was psyllium seed powder (1-1/2 tsp. dissolved in 2 Tbsp. of warm water). Why psyllium seeds you might ask? Well, we have been using rice bran as a thickening agent in the past (works really well in bread recipes and muffins but has mixed results in delicate desserts and cakes). Psyllium seed powder  has a funny name and is surely known to many you as the agent that keeps you “regular.”  You know what we are talking about. However, don’t knock it, it works very well as a binding agent in gluten free baking. For the caramel, we kept the amount of sugar suggested in the recipe, but substituted equal amounts of coconut sugar and sucanat for the brown sugar. We love coconut sugar for its low glycemic index and delicious molasses-like flavor, a perfect addition to caramel. We only used half the amount of sugar called for in the batter, and replaced the granulated sugar with sucanat.

Bosc Pears, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved.

If you are interested in the original recipe, please check out the beautiful site of this week’s host, Erin of Pastry Brush. You can also find the recipe on page 244 in Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan. Also, do check out the many contributions by our talented fellow Doristas at TWD.

Fresh Pear Upside-down cake, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved.

As we mentioned earlier, we used a larger cake pan (9″ spring form, lined with parchment paper), set on a heavy cookie sheet, to prevent spillage. After peeling, halving and coring the pears, we poached them in about 3/4 cup of white wine (Alice White Lexia Muscato, from Southern Australia). While the pears were poaching, we prepared the caramel, as suggested, substituting the same white wine for the bourbon. We continued with the rest of the recipe, exactly as described in the book. The cake rose and baked beautifully, but needed an additional five minutes of baking time – this could be attributed to our high altitude, or our oven, which can be temperamental at times. Once baked, we let it cool for a few minutes in the pan, just loosening the outer edges with a sharp knife. The recipe suggests flipping the cake immediately on to a cooling rack. Flipping a cake takes courage and conviction – you have to believe you can do it ahead of time. The rules for baking gluten free are slightly more challenging. We knew that we could flip the cake, but were less sure whether it would survive the cooling rack, followed by another transfer to a platter. So it went straight onto a platter, fingers crossed and breath held. Success – a beautiful cake after all.

Fresh Pear Upside-down Cake, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

After the cake had sufficiently cooled, we could finally enjoy the reward of sampling a slice. This cake immediately moved high on our most favorite list. The combination of flavors is outstanding. Delicate, subtle and sweet and completely satisfying. Do give this dessert a try. We loved it.

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Strawberry Delight, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

This is one of our very favorite desserts. It meets all the criteria we look for in making a dessert. It is generally loved by young and old alike.  It doesn’t require baking, there are no gluten free flour ratios to balance out, no added sugar,  free of lengthy preparation and complicated steps, and most importantly so delicious. In our globally connected world, you can now find strawberries almost year round. We generally prefer to eat foods as they are available seasonally, and locally grown if at all possible. But that is just not always practical when you live in a high desert environment, where so much of our food gets trucked in. Nearly all our local stores carry quite an assortment of berries throughout the year, which makes this dessert such a nice treat, especially during the winter months.

Strawberry Delight, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Looking out at the garden beds,  my own strawberry plants looks rather sad right now, holding a mere promise of a harvest still several months away. I found these organic strawberries in our local store and couldn’t resist making this dessert. Like I said, it is extremely easy to make, using the following ingredients:

  • 15 strawberries
  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 4 oz. white chocolate chips

Wash the strawberries and allow them to dry completely, leaving the stems on.

Strawberry Delight, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

In a double boiler, combine the semi-sweet chocolate chips with the coconut oil and melt over very low heat. The added oil makes the end result just a little smoother. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Dip each strawberry into the melted chocolate, allowing any excess chocolate to drip off. Place on the parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the strawberries are covered. Place them into the refrigerator for about 20 minutes, allowing the chocolate to set and harden.

Strawberry Delight, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate chips. Pour the melted white chocolate into a pastry bag, fitted with a small writing tip. If you don’t have a pastry bag, you can also fill a zip-lock bag and cut a very small hole in one of the corners.

Strawberry Delight, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Remove the refrigerated strawberries and “draw” lines across the dark chocolate.  When finished, again place the tray with the strawberries back in the refrigerator for another 20 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator when fully set, and serve. They easily store in the refrigerator for a couple of days, if necessary.

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Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

When most of you land on our website, your have come to expect yet another gluten free dish, ideally in a baked version. Don’t worry, we are still developing gluten free recipes and plan on doing so for some time to come. However, in our own home, we also prepare many raw food dishes as well. We especially enjoy the many nutritional benefits they offer.

I was first introduced to raw foods about 25+ years ago,  through friends and acquaintances and through their convincing arguments, enthusiastically  purchased a champion juicer. I loved making vegetable and fruit juices, as well as the occasional nut butters. Some of the resulting vegetable pulp was used in making delicious vegetable burgers, blended with spices, seeds and some rice, or spelt. But my all time favorite comfort foods have always been salads.  Now, I am not talking about the currently popular “tossed meals”, overflowing with the addition of too much meat and cheese, and, of course, the inevitable croutons.  I am talking about salads that are primarily made with a variety of greens, sprouts, carrots, avocados and some fruit. In those days, I was completely unaware of being gluten intolerant and, no doubt, consumed too many gluten containing breads, crackers, etc. No one ever talked about gluten intolerance, or celiac disease. In fact, everyone talked about adding whole grains to one’s diet. Some health books espoused this untruth and many followed these teachings, myself included. At the time, book selections involving nutrition and health, were far more limited than they are today. But Ann Wigmore’s books were readily found in most health food and book stores.  I read most of them and found her to be  a fascinating lady. In her autobiography “Why Suffer? How I Overcame Illness and Pain Naturally,” Ann Wigmore (1909-1994) recalls observing her grandmother using herbs and natural remedies, growing up  as a child in Lithuania. As an adult, she began testing various whole foods and dietary approaches, which she credits with solving her medical problems and changing her life.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Together with  Viktoras Kulvinskas, Ann Wigmore co-founded the Hippocrates Health Institute back in 1968 . She was an early pioneer in the use of wheat grass juice and living foods for detoxifying and healing the body, mind and spirit. In case you are not familiar with her work, you may want to check out two  living food lifestyle and health facilities that continue to spread her teachings.  One is located here in New Mexico, the other program is located in Puerto Rico.  Today, Brian Clement owns the Hippocrates Health Institute, which he moved from Boston to West Palm Beach, Florida.

If you are familiar with her teachings, you already know that she recommends a raw living food lifestyle to heal from disease. [ Please note, that we are not advocating a particular program to heal from disease. If you find yourself ill, do your homework, and, if necessary, consult with an accredited health professional of your choice.] It should also be mentioned, that we are not living a 100% raw lifestyle, but generally abide by a whole foods lifestyle ,with the exception of the occasional recipe development project. All we know is that if you have celiac disease, are gluten intolerant, or just sensitive to gluten, please, do yourself a favor, and eliminate it strictly, completely and permanently. Even the occasional small ingestion of gluten can leave a residual and damaging effect that can last for months. You don’t have to necessarily exhibit symptoms either, although most do.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Now to my favorite raw soup recipe. Aren’t we all looking for a little more energy around now? This tasty and very simple to prepare soup offers a lot of that.  When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, juices and smoothies offered an easy to digest and prepare alternative.  Always having had an interest in nutrition, I read countless books on raw food cuisine. The original “energy soup” recipe recommended by Ann Wigmore, calls for the addition of rejuvelac, a fermented beverage made from sprouted wheat berries. Some say, that there is no, or little gluten in the finished product, but I personally would want proof, and no has been able to offer me that. As a result this recipe does not include any form of grains, gluten free, or otherwise – the emphasis is strictly on organic greens, sprouts, cucumber, lemon, garlic, herbs and one fruit. It is best to use a high powered blender to achieve that desired creamy consistency in the end product. A Vitamix, or Blendtec would be perfect, but we are currently using a Ninja blender, which does the job adequately. . . for now.

Ingredients for 2 large servings:

  • One head of organic romaine lettuce
  • Large handful of organic baby spinach
  • 1 organic cucumber, peeled, cut into smaller chunks
  • 1 organic avocado
  • Leaves from several sprigs of Thyme
  • small handful of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 organic lemon, peeled and quartered
  • 1 organic apple (any variety), quartered and seeds removed
  • 1 cup of your favorite sprouts (sunflower, alfalfa, radish, etc.)
  • 3/4 cup organic cherry tomatoes
  • a few small pieces of dried dulse, (optional)
  • 1-1/2 cups of purified water

Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, scoop out the flesh, and add it to your blender. Top with the remaining ingredients (tomatoes, cucumber, romaine, spinach,  apple pieces, lemon, sprouts, garlic, thyme, dulse and the purified water). Pulse several times, incorporating the ingredients and then blend for a couple of minutes at the highest setting until everything is well blended and creamy.

Energy Soup, copyright 2013, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Pour into your favorite soup bowls, garnish with some fresh herbs and enjoy right away. It is a wonderfully tasty and delicious alternative to regular soup, and of a slightly heavier consistency than green smoothies. If you enjoy this soup, or green smoothies, also plan on growing some of the vegetables in your own garden this Spring and Summer.

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Persimmons, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

Many of you landing on this page today are probably looking for our gluten free version of the Finnish Pulla. Time just did not allow us to develop yet another yeast-based bread recipe. We hope to deliver this sometime in the new year. After reading about this recipe, we thought it was somewhat similar to a traditional challah bread, which is doable gluten free, but probably not in a ring shape. Braiding anything gluten free, without the excess use of starch, while still having it turn out light and fluffy, can prove to be very challenging. But enough said. No baked recipe today from us, but if you are so inclined, please stop by Erin’s beautiful site The Daily Morsel, who is the host for this recipe and has done a truly beautiful job with the regular gluten version of this recipe found in Baking with Julia on page 106-107. You can also check out all the beautiful creations by the rest of the TWD bakers at this site.

Persimmon Pudding, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Instead, we are treating you to one of our favorite pudding recipes, which, by the way, does not require any cooking, or baking. That is a true bonus, especially around this time of year, with an over-abundance of cookies and pies everywhere.  At this point, it should be noted that we love persimmons. Fuyu persimmons to be exact, since they are sweet, not at all astringent, and can therefore be eaten raw. Though they somehow resemble a yellow/orange tomato, their flavor is mild, sweet and rather exotic. We wish we could grow one right in our own yard. But our cold winter temperatures are just too extreme. To us the high enzyme profile of fresh persimmon, is an added bonus, especially since we adore raw fruits and vegetables.  Persimmons were more readily found back in the days when we lived in the Pacific Northwest and always signaled the onset of winter, since that is when they are generally available. Many people there are actually able to grow them in their own gardens. We were first introduced to persimmons at a local food co-op in the greater Seattle area, at a time, when the co-ops were still relatively small, and everybody knew everybody. Today that same “quaint” little co-op has morphed into a chain with stores the size of a Whole Foods – still offering great service, but due to size, much more impersonal.

Persimmons, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and sets by itself, when chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours. If you want to make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients, which make 6-8 servings:

  •  6 ripe Fuyu persimmons, peeled, and quartered
  •  1 can of whole organic coconut milk, or 2 young coconuts (coconut water and meat)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tsp. raw honey
  • shredded unsulphured coconut, for garnish, and/or white chocolate chips, coconut cream, or whipped cream (optional)

Place the peeled and quartered persimmons into a blender, add the coconut milk, vanilla extract and honey. Blend well, until creamy.

Persimmon Pudding, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com, All rights reserved

Fill into your favorite dessert glasses or cups, and place in the refrigerator for at least two hours, ideally overnight. It will gel up beautifully.  If desired, before serving, garnish with a little shredded coconut, white chocolate chips, whipped coconut cream, or, if tolerated, regular whipped cream.

We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do.

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Gingerbread Cake, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

This week’s TWD recipe heralds the beginning of the holiday baking season, at least for us. Anything involving gingerbread is a definite favorite in our house, invoking fond memories of baking with Mom and Oma – three generations in the kitchen, gathered around the table, cooking and baking together. Albeit a very rare occasion, made possible only during our not so frequent visits to Germany.

Instead of its namesake, today’s recipe  reminded us more of the British “treacle cake”, served on bonfire night, than the typical gingerbread, or German Lebkuchen, that we are familiar with.  Treacle cake, to the best of our knowledge, in addition to the liberal use of ginger, both fresh and dried, is made with other spices such as nutmeg and cloves, but otherwise is almost identical to this gingerbread cake.

Gingerbread Cake, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

For anyone wishing to make this cake, the precise recipe can be found in Baking with Julia on page 247-248. Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories, is the host for this recipe and has the original directions and ingredients listed on her website.   Please also check out the contributions from the other members of our group by checking this link.

Naturally, our contribution is entirely gluten free with the following substitutions. Instead of 2 cups of regular flour, we substituted 1 cup each of brown rice flour and tapioca flour with the addition of 1-1/2 tsp. of guar gum. Since we couldn’t find espresso powder (is there such a thing?) we used instant coffee granules, which seemed to work just as well. We only had raw cocoa powder in the house and used that instead of the regular unsweetened cocoa powder. As always, we replaced the brown sugar with coconut sugar, but we cut down the recommended 2 cups of molasses to 1-1/2 cups. Other than that, we followed the recipe exactly as it is written in the book. We turned our recipe into a cake, using a 10-inch spring form, lined with parchment paper, instead of the called for baby cakes, requiring a 50 minute baking time.

Gingerbread Cake, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

It baked beautifully, filling the house with the sweet and gingery smell of Christmas. What a very welcome change to the smell of house paint, that has taken up most of our spare time over the last two weeks. November and December, at least so far, have been exceptionally mild with temperatures that have allowed us to paint – a job that had been waiting to be completed for some time. The previous owners had selected a rather bright tone of red for the trim, which over time with the high UV at our high elevation had degraded into a rather unappealing orange brick red.  None of us  ever appreciated the color choice, and are happy to finally be able to change it into a more beautiful creamy white. A couple more days and it should all be done – weather permitting.

Gingerbread Cake, copyright 2012, gfcelebration.com All rights reserved

Yesterday, after coming in cold and sore from painting, we finally got to taste the cake, prepared yesterday morning. It was everything the recipe promised – just not gingerbread. It was moist and rich with the predominant flavors being ginger and molasses. This cake is delicious and we would be making it again, but only for the special occasion of the holidays. It is very rich. We served it with a dollop of whipped cream.

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 In general, muffins are one of the easier recipes to make, and this also applies to gluten free baking. They especially lend themselves to the novice gluten free baker. You can truly make them your own by including any number of healthy ingredients, leaving out dairy, substituting a  healthier type of sugar, and, of course, substituting your own gluten free flour preferences. We should mention that we have not made this particular recipe with a commercial gluten free flour mix, as we prefer to make up our own, largely as a result of allergies to so many of the ingredients included in many of the commercial blends.

The last few weeks have been so busy for us that, for the most part, all we had time for was our participation in TWD, and even with that we couldn’t accomplish what we had set out to do this past Tuesday. There just wasn’t enough time. Our sincere apologies to those of you awaiting our contributions. We thought we would make up for this by posting a recipe we converted into gluten free a while ago. The recipe was inspired by  Kim Barnouin’s Ultimate Everyday Cookbook (Skinny Bitch), a fun and insightful book, filled with creative recipes and ideas. Highly recommended! We altered the original recipe significantly to not only make it gluten free but also emit the use of soy and regular sugar. This muffin recipe has turned out to become a favorite in our family and just about perfect for a Fall, or Winter dessert. It  can also be further altered, by baking the entire recipe in a bundt pan, instead of the suggested muffin pan.

You will need the following ingredients. The original recipe suggested that it would make about 12 muffins, but there is enough batter to overflow into a second muffin pan, or, if you wish, just use one large bundt pan.

  • 1-1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sorghum flour
  • 1 cup tapioca flour
  • 2/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. guar gum
  • 2 Tbsp. rice bran
  • 1-1/2 tsp. gluten free baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalaya salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided (add 1/4 tsp to 1/3 cup of the walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup grass-fed butter, or non-dairy alternative, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 /4 cup vanilla yoghurt, or coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2/3 cup walnut, chopped (1/3 cup added to the dough, 1/3 set aside for the topping
  • 1/4 cup sucanat

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).

You will need two smaller bowls and two larger bowls. Add the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar to one of the smaller bowls. Mix well and let sit until the milk begins to curdle.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, guar gum, rice bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and mix well.

To the remaining large bowl, add the room temperature butter (or dairy free alternative), and blend with the coconut sugar and the egg, using an electric mixer. Mix until soft and creamy. Add the yoghurt, the previously prepared milk mixture and the vanilla extract. Continue to blend with the electric mixer. Add this mixture to the other large bowl containing the flour blend. Mix together with a spoon until well incorporated. Add one third cup of chopped walnuts and the mashed bananas. Spoon this mixture into the paper-lined muffin cups (or greased bundt pan). Fill the muffin cups until they are just over two-thirds full. Set aside.

In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining third cup of chopped walnuts with the sucanat and the remaining 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Blend well. Sprinkle a small amount of this mixture on top of each muffin. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

The batter rose beautifully while baking, creating that natural muffin top, so sought after in gluten free baking – that is on the muffins only, if the muffin top shows up on you, adjust your consumption accordingly ;-).  The flavor was perfect, combining the natural sweetness of the bananas and the richness of the coconut milk, adding a delicious moisture to these muffins. The added coconut sugar is just right without overwhelming the flavor of the other ingredients. The walnuts added just the desired amount of crunch and texture.

Enjoy with your favorite beverage.

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We did it! Success at last! After several more attempts trying to perfect that perfect chewiness and flavor of “real” bagels, we finally accomplished what we set out to do. Keep in mind, by no means did we bake every single day, we just don’t have that kind of time available.  In the process of developing a recipe, we always only make a small fraction of the recipe for each trial, because seriously, how many bagels can anyone eat? There is also only so much room in our financial budget for the inevitable failures. Since we committed ourselves to achieving a perfect result that everyone would be thrilled with, we tried everything, including baking them without the water bath – that was a complete failure.  In that version, we set out to boil them, but the dough completely dissolved and turned into porridge in the boiling water.  As you can imagine, that was not a pleasant experience. Hence, our thoughts turned to baking the rest of the batch, without boiling them. The idea behind this was sound, but the results were less than enviable. Instead of puffing up, they just flattened out too much.  Not to the capacity of a cracker, but not at all recognizable as anything one would look for in a bagel. Some time ago, someone recommended making a yeasted sponge and letting it sit overnight. Well, nice try, but it doesn’t work for gluten free baking. The dough rose beautifully, but completely collapsed, lacking any stability to withstand a water bath and baking. For this attempt, we used a combination of sorghum, tapioca and a little bit of whole brown rice flour with the addition of some guar gum and honey and molasses to activate the yeast. It also included the addition of an egg.

Studying the failures of this version, for our final attempt, we prepared a simple sourdough sponge, by blending sorghum and whole brown rice flour with water (a total of 1-1/2 cups of flour) and letting it sit overnight in a warm place in the kitchen, covered with a kitchen towel. That sponge became really active (lots of bubbles) during the last few hours, since it was sitting on the warm stove top, while we were busy making, what turned out to be a failed version of this recipe.

For our successful recipe, we basically had to change everything.  In the end,  the only factors that still remained true to the original Baking with Julia recommendations, were the 25 minute baking time, and the boiling method (which is fairly standard for all bagels). Those of you that are familiar with our own flour preferences know, that we rarely, if ever, use starch in any of our recipes, but felt it might be a necessary addition for this recipe.  As it turns out, true gluten free bagels are nearly impossible to create without the use of some starch. In this case, we chose to add potato starch.  In order to make sure, that these bagels did in fact rise, we chose to prepare the remaining flour combination using a blend of tapioca, brown rice, sweet rice and potato starch, along with rice bran and only 1-1/8 tsp. of yeast. The Red Star yeast has consistently delivered the best results. Again, we included an egg, which is essential to bind all the ingredients successfully. This time we used honey and sucanat to develop the yeast and added a very small amount of apple cider vinegar to the dough, to help condition it. Since we experimented in the past with adding shredded cheese to a bread dough to help achieve cohesiveness, we added some finely shredded raw cheddar cheese to this recipe. In the final product, you cannot even taste the cheese, but it does lend a wonderful light chewiness to the bagels.

The dough was very sticky at first, and so could only loosely be shaped into a ball. We let it rise, covered with cling wrap and a cloth, for about 2 hours on the warm stove top. It took it that long to double in size. This still very sticky dough required the addition of a little more sweet rice flour, in order for us to shape into little balls. While the water, with the addition of a little sucanat and baking soda, came to a boil, we shaped the dough into little balls and placed them on cookie sheets. Just prior to boiling we pierced a hole into the center of each bagel, continuously working on containing the shape of the dough, as it wanted to spread outwards. Note, it is very helpful to have helpers when making this recipe! The difference between gluten dough and gluten free is like night and day. Containment in gluten free is everything. We were amazed as to just how perfectly this dough rose. Containing the outward spreading tendency was the only challenge. But unlike the previous attempts, this one also rose high. Each bagel withstood the boiling process beautifully, while still remaining light and airy. After boiling, the bagels were placed on a silicone mat covered baking sheet, which is especially helpful in gluten free baking, preventing the bottom crust from hardening excessively, achieving a perfect result.  We brushed the bagels with a mixture of a whole egg and a little coconut milk and topped them with sesame seeds.

We now know, that our “Part 1 Version” truly suffered because of the steam and the excessive temperatures recommended in the book. As a result, we baked them for 25 minutes at only 375°F, without any addition of water, or steam to the oven. We did leave the bagels in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, with the oven turned off and the door ajar.   The full batch made 11 good sized bagels. One half of it was baked in our regular gas oven, the other in our  counter top convection oven, which explains the slightly darker color in some of the bagels. Everything browns just a little more using our convection oven, even with a reduced temperature.

The bagels were allowed to cool for  a little while on a wire rack before putting them to the final taste test.  And we have to say, the end result was well worth the effort. They not only look like true bagels, but taste like them too. The perfect flavor and chewiness one would expect. Perfect, for slicing and serving with your favorite toppings – perhaps, with butter and jam, cream cheese and/or lox. We will definitely be making this again in the future.

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