After a brief break from baking in general, we are back once again on a Tuesday, baking along with our fellow doriestas. This week we were given two options, either a Fig Crostata, or Johnny Cake Cobbler. The selection was easy, since we had just purchased the most amazing, locally grown fresh peaches at Whole Foods. The recipe actually calls for sliced nectarines and purple plums, but peaches are in season and were an easy substitution. For those of you that are unfamiliar with our TWD baking experiments, there is usually a weekly host who supplies the actual recipe from the book Baking with Julia. Lacking a host for this week’s recipe, we will break with tradition and supply our own gluten free version. Continue reading
As promised last week, here is our gluten free version of the savory brioche pockets. They were easier to make than originally thought, but required an additional 10 tablespoons of flour to achieve the right consistency described in the book. Our trusted old stand mixer ended its life during the creation of our last cook book, and we have not been able to replace it since, holding out hope for a pro KitchenAid. But it turns out, with a little effort, one can make this recipe using an ordinary hand mixer. Maybe we can credit the blend of gluten free flours for allowing this, a heavier wheat dough might not cut it. In all fairness, we did not have to run the mixer for the 15 plus minutes suggested in the book. We managed to achieve the desired results in about 10 minutes, with the mixer running warm, but still alive. Continue reading
Who would have thought a cookie recipe could turn out to be such a challenge? If you bake with gluten, cookies are one of the easiest recipes to make. Even when baking gluten free, classic drop cookies, like chocolate chip, are fairly simple to create. A basic combination of flour, butter, sugar and eggs. In other words, not particularly difficult. When baking in general, the ratios of liquid to flour, and the proportions of butter and eggs are usually what determines the success of a recipe. This becomes even more important when creating a gluten free recipe. As a rule, most gluten free flours are not able to absorb high amounts of fat in the same way that gluten flours can. Continue reading
Gingerbread, for so many of us, is synonymous with the Christmas holidays. There are certainly many different types of recipes available, but this particular one is one of our family’s favorites, and has been converted into gluten free, using Oma’s special recipe. Gingerbread was Oma’s specialty around Christmas and I have many fond memories of her in her tiny kitchen, lovingly preparing this delicacy, made just once a year. If she invited one of us to help her, that was truly special. It is not a ginger cake, but a true traditional German-style gingerbread. While baking, it will fill your house with the beautiful scent of its combination of spices – ginger, anise, cloves and cinnamon. In the olden days, this type of gingerbread was made using peculiar ingredients, such as “Hirschhornsalz,” “potash” and “natron.” Some of these ingredients supposedly provided softness to the dough, and, no doubt, insured greater longevity of the end product. After researching these ingredients, that makes sense, especially considering the Ancient Egyptians used some of them for embalming purposes. Sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?!? Naturally, we would never use any of these more questionable ingredients in our recipes. If you insist on their inclusion, you may do so at your own risk. However, they are simply unnecessary, and we don’t know why anyone would even want to. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
Better late than never. At last, the posting for our gluten free version of the Best Ever Brownies, which we actually managed to make a couple of days ago for a birthday celebration, but didn’t have time to actually post.
Brownies have a special place in our hearts. In our own personal experience, we have been welcomed to several homes, including our current one, by some special neighbors bearing flowers and a beautiful plate of brownies. In fact, upon moving in to my very first apartment in this country, near San Francisco, my new neighbors, whom I had never met before, left a basket filled with brownies alongside a beautiful bunch of flowers by my doorstep. Continue reading
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. Continue reading