Hallelujah! It Worked! Gluten-Free Bread Recipe Test, Take 2

Today’s recipe came courtesy of My Life of Spice (her blog is here: http://mylifeofspice.wordpress.com/), and can be found here:

Grain-free Sandwich Bread (Paleo and SCD)

At first, when I was gathering the ingredients for this, I was a little concerned. The recipe seemed to be a little light in the flour department. Even in other recipes I have tried, it called for up to 3 cups of flours or flour substitutes. This recipe only called for a 1/4 c of coconut flour. However, other ingredients seemed to be right on. There was a liquid fat (cashew butter), eggs as a binder, an acid and a base to cause a chemical reaction to cause the bread to rise, and a flavoring agent (honey). I decided to carry on, despite my initial concerns.Image

This cooks on a relatively low temperature, something I also questioned in the beginning. However, I was determined to follow the recipe to the letter, and set my gas oven for 300 degrees.

As you know from the previous post, my bread pans are with my son in Little Rock, so again, I am using the Bundt pan for this recipe. The recipe read to place parchment paper in the pan (a little hard to do with a Bundt pan) and grease it with coconut oil. If I haven’t said it before, I absolutely adore coconut oil. I have never used it in a food, that it did not improve the flavor of. I liberally greased the pan down with a large spoonful of coconut oil.

Image

The next step was to separate the yolks from the whites of the eggs, and mix the yolks, the cashew butter, the honey, the vinegar and the almond milk together.

Image

If I haven’t mentioned it, I love my stand mixer that I salvaged from the rental house. It is wonderful. 🙂

The egg whites were to be beaten to soft peaks in a separate bowl. I had to turn the mixer all the way up to get the peaks to form.

Image

 

Next, the dry ingredients had to be mixed separately.

Image

The recipe said to add the dry ingredients first, and then add the egg whites, making sure the oven was pre-heated. The chemical reaction between the eggs, baking soda, and vinegar would begin as soon as the egg whites entered the batter. The recipe said not to over-mix it, once the egg whites went in, so I switched to mixing it by hand, just until everything was blended.

Image

Into the greased pan it went.

Image

 

The lighting was wonky with this picture. I didn’t have the flash on, but it was wonky, anyway.

Then, it all went quickly (as the recipe said) into the oven.

Image

It took 50 minutes to cook. The recipe said to place a container of water on the bottom rack, but I only have one rack, so it’s in front. (I so need a tripod–pardon the blur.) It is strongly suggested, by the recipe, not to open the oven door for at least 40 minutes to check on it, so as not to dissipate the steam, which will interfere with how the bread rises.

Finally, once out of the oven, it is to sit for 15 minutes, to cool.

Image

You can see where I tested it at 40 minutes and it needed another 10 minutes of cooking. Once it is out of the pan, the recipe says to let it sit for an hour before serving.

Image

It popped right out of the pan, perfectly, unlike my 3 previous attempts at gluten-free bread. However, it looks more like a wheat bread than a white bread. I can live with that, if I can make a sandwich or toast out of it! Now, we wait, with anticipation, for an hour.

 

 

I couldn’t hold out for a whole hour. I cut into it after 45 minutes.
1st slive, 2
The crumb factor is far better. It is still a little crumbly, but you can actually slice it and put things on it. It is a very soft bread. The cashew butter imparts a very nutty flavor to it. Next time, I will scale back on the honey I use. This time I used the full 2 Tbsp. It tasted very sweet to me, especially when combined with the strawberry jam I canned the other day. (Which by the way, didn’t set properly. I apparently didn’t use enough pectin. Now I have a pectin-free recipe.)
with jam, 2
The final test of any bread recipe for me, is how well it holds up in a sandwich. I may have wonkered the test results by cooking it in a Bundt pan, but I still had some success with it. I made a summer-sausage, pepperjack cheese and garlic mustard sandwich with it. It crumbled a little, but held up way better than any previous recipe.
sandwich 2
As a final “yes” for this recipe, the significant other, who does not have a gluten problem, said it was yummy, both with jam and as a sandwich.
In closing, cooking this in the correct pan may greatly improve it’s “sandwich-ability”. Cutting the honey down (and perhaps adding garlic?) will improve the taste for me. I can’t wait to make it again!

SCA A&S 50th Anniversary Project: Boy’s Sleeveless Tunic

I got another piece of garb done for the significant other’s son today. I used the same pattern I created for the long-sleeved tunic, but I changed the sleeve and the neck significantly. I am actually pretty happy with how it turned out!

Image

Projects always seem to take on a life of their own with me. I can’t seem to keep something simple. One of the things I did with this piece of garb was make my own hand-made frog closures. (The ones at Hancock Fabrics and JoAnn’s Fabrics were $5.00 apiece). Not only did I make the frogs, but we made the kumihimo cord the frogs were made from. The directions to make the frog closures are here: http://perfectpatterns.tripod.com/frogs.html.

Image

And as if making the frogs weren’t enough, I felt a need to “fancy up” the collar line. I made a thicker collar piece on this one, because I didn’t care for the skinny collar.The collar on the 1st boy’s tunic was so thin, it was hard to work with.  I used a blackwork pattern, but used green thread in a similar shade to that of the material for the rest of the tunic. Unfortunately, I am not crazy about it, after I finished it:

Image

And finally, just to drag this project out a little longer, I decided plain sleeves would never do. Fortunately, I had some wonderful black trim that I inherited from the rental house. This is my favorite part of this tunic.

Image

I was going to make a tutorial for this tunic, but I haven’t been able to pigeon-hole it to a specific time frame, with primary sources. I don’t really have sound historical documentation for it. It’s mostly of my own design, and I didn’t want to make a tutorial that someone might replicate, and not be able to document. Everything I used to put this outfit together came from my stash, except for the snaps I put down the front opening (the frogs are purely decorative) so 9-year-old hands can get it on easily. That made my budget for this piece of garb $2.29!

Make sure you come back later, because tomorrow I will be trying another gluten-free bread recipe, and we will start a new piece of garb on Monday. I promise a tutorial for this one!

Sweet Dreams,

Oma & the 2 Crazy Dogs

Another Gluten-Free Recipe Bites the Dust (sort of)

My search for a gluten-free sandwich bread which rivals “good ole white bread” continues. This recipe wasn’t it. It was tasty, but it wouldn’t hold up in a sandwich. With a bowl of soup, or chili, it will be awesome, but sandwich bread, it ain’t.

I found it on Food.com at http://www.food.com/recipe/yeast-free-bread-67405.

I think I knew, going in, it wouldn’t make a good sandwich bread, because I changed it. (A LOT.) Here’s what I mixed up.

Instead of the 3 cups whole wheat flour, I substituted 1-1/2 c gluten-free bisquick, (I was hoping the xanthan gum in the bisquick would resolve the crumb issue.) and 1-1/2 c of my own GF flour substitute. (A mixture of fine milled brown rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour.)

I did use 4 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of salt. I used 1-1/2 c water. The recipe also said you could use any type of juice such as apple, orange or tomato, or milk. Of course, each liquid will impart a different flavor.

I also used olive oil for the 1/4 c liquid fat the recipe calls for. From here on out, everything else, I added to the recipe.

I added 2 eggs that I beat to a froth to the recipe. My research said eggs were the glue that holds baked goods together. (Maybe I didn’t use enough glue?)

I added a Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. My research showed this would react with the baking powder and cause the bread to rise and be soft.

I added 3 Tbsp of flax seeds, because it’s a superfood, rich in Omega-3 oils, and I don’t eat near enough fish, because it’s so darned expensive.

The rest of what I added was merely for taste–I like things that taste good. I added 3 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 c cheddar cheese, and 6 crumbled slices of bacon. If I had had an onion, I would have added it, too. (and some olives…yum…)

Here’s the process:

Image

Mixing the dry ingredients. (I couldn’t totally crop my finger out of the picture. I sooooo need a tripod.)

Image

Mixing the wet ingredients seperately. Notice the eggs are frothy.

Image

Mix everything together. At this point, it looked (and sort of tasted) like mashed potatoes. The good kind. Like your Nana used to make. Out of real potatoes. Not a box. That usually came with a fried chicken leg and some over-peppered green beans on a Sunday afternoon. 🙂

Here it is in the oven:

Image

Yes, I realize that isn’t a bread pan. All my bread pans are still in Little Rock with my son, and I can’t get them until the 15th. I was hoping this would make a bread that could still be cut into small sandwich slices.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. It was less crumbly than the bread I made 3 days ago, but it wouldn’t hold up to a sandwich. However, you didn’t need a spoon to eat it–you could hold a wedge of it, like a very moist piece of cake. That is progress.

So, does anyone have any ideas or better yet, recipes for a good gluten-free, soft sandwich bread?

I have a good commercial loaf, but while it is the most edible commercial variety I have found, it’s hard. Like a rock. Or my dog Uboo’s head, perhaps. (but not as cute.) I am really craving the soft fluffiness of “good ole white bread.” Somebody help a girl out!

 

JAM!! OOEY, GOOEY STRAWBERRY JAM!!!!

For the recipe and a guide to how I made my jam, go to:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/08/canning-101-and-strawberry-jam-part-1/ 

and 

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/08/strawberry-jam-part-ii/

I found a lot of strawberries at Sam’s Club for really cheap.  I also wanted to try my hand at canning again (it’s been 20 years since I have canned anything). Maybe I am just a little nervous about having a bountiful garden this summer, and not being able to use it to its best purpose. (I still can’t believe I planted 20 strawberry plants last night.) So, I decided strawberry jam was the trick of the day.

First, we gather all our tools:

Image

Turns out, I didn’t use the pressure cooker except to boil water. I did the two half-pint jars in it. I did realize I need to buy a larger pressure cooker before stuff starts coming out of the garden. It was a struggle for my pressure cooker to handle 2 half-pints. It’s great for roasts, but not so much for canning.

Next, I prepped 3 of the 4 pounds of strawberries I had gotten.

Image

This is how pitiful 3 lbs of strawberries looks, all cut up. However, it turned out to be 7 1/2 cups, which worked perfectly for my recipe.

Now, the filled jars are taking their hot water bath:

Image

I love my old gas stove for this!

And, finally, we have jam!

Image

And we’ve confirmed I can’t take a picture to save my life! I ended up with 5 pint jars and 2 1/2 pint jars. I am waiting to see if the seals took now. I can’t wait for jam! 

Other Projects

In all this time I have been slow to blog, I have not been idle. Here are some projects I have been working on:

* A slightly complex gherkin for Jerry’s son (more on that later).

* Trying to find a gluten-free bread recipe that produces a loaf that doesn’t require a spoon to eat.

* Making strawberry jam!!!! (more on this, later!)

Image

I really need a tripod. I can’t take a non-blurry picture to save my life!

* I also spent an entire day strolling the mall in Bossier City. That place is awesome, especially the kitchen store and the Chocolate Alligator! I love that place!

A&S 50th Year Anniversary Project: Child’s Tunic

I started this project because Jerry’s son may be able to go with us to Gulf Wars next month, and he has outgrown all his current garb. (Which consisted of 1 tunic Jerry’s ex-gf made for him, like 3 years ago.) The kiddo needs clothes! I finished this in less than two days. However, I may go back and make changes to it later. I planned the pattern based on the idea that he will grow, so it has an extra 3 inches in both the length and the arm length, and 5 inches of wearing ease throughout. In retrospect, I think I should have given it up to 7 inches of ease, but that is a lesson for next time. I was so excited to sew something that wouldn’t take a year to finish! I started this the day after I finished the epic crazy quilt, and was completely done before I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures of the process. So here is the end result:

Image

 

I am horrible at taking pictures! LOL The neck trim came from the stuff I inherited from the rental house. The pine tree is Jerry’s symbol for his heraldry, and this is made to match Jerry’s parti-colored tunic, of which you can see some in the background. The underarm gusset on the left side is sort of poofy, so I may rework it later. After this picture was taken, I made a hand-made button and loop to keep the neck closed. (They tell me safety pins aren’t period…) All of this tunic was done from my stockpile of fabrics and stuff so the budget for this tunic was $00.00 right now!