Navigating the wheat free, gluten free diet

Posts tagged ‘Gluten-free bread’

Disaster

I think I just had my Julie and Julia meltdown moment.

I came home excited to combine the three different flours and other essentials I’d bought during a shopping spree with a sweet Groupon coupon for Mother Earth (now Earth Origins) here in Gainesville.  I even bought a set of canisters to put the combined flour and separate flours in where they’d be air-sealed and readily available.

So I came home and set to work, but it went downhill quickly.

While I was getting the bags of flour ready to be combined, removing the canisters from packaging, etc. my two kittens were hovering around, curious.  This is something I should have dealt with immediately.

I opened a bag of brown rice flour and carefully measured three cups into a bowl.  I began to do the same with corn meal, following the directions of the Gluten Free Cooking School GF flour recipe.  Except I didn’t realize I was supposed to be using corn STARCH until it was two cups too late.  Disheartened, I decided to go ahead and empty my bag of Xanthan gum into canisters before heading to the store to get more brown rice flour and corn starch.  It’s expensive, and I didn’t want it going bad.

But, of course, some of it spilled and I grabbed a wet paper towel to clean it off the counter.  Mistake #2.  As soon as water hit the Xanthan gum I realized why it’s called gum.  The sticky, slippery mess is finally off the counter, but not my hands or my memory.

But what really took me over the edge was that while I was scraping the gooey mess off the counter, my boy-kitten sneakily jumped into the unattended bowl of flour mix behind me, marveling at the way it felt on his paws.

It got everywhere.

So somewhere between washing the cat from head to toe with damp rag to prevent the flour disaster from spreading through the house and answering the door covered in flour to a man selling meat door-to-door (who does that?), I decided I needed to take a break from the kitchen.

I’ll pick up tomorrow.

-Taylor

Gluten-free Betty Crocker + Bread Baking Disasters

Oh, the ups and downs of gluten-free life.

On the plus-side this week, I was in line at my local supermarket when this caught my eye:

After I laughed for a minute at “Pizza! Yes you can!” I picked the thing up and threw it on the conveyor belt.  When I looked through it, I was happy to see  the ingredients in many of the recipes are both less expensive and less hard to find than some more substantial gluten-free cook books and cooking manuals.

According to Celiac Facts, gluten-free expert Jean Duane and the Betty Crocker test kitchen collaborated on the magazine-style book to create GF recipes for sweet breads, dinner rolls, pizza (yes you can!), pies, muffins, cornbread, sugar cookies, waffles, scones and even gravy.  Plus, it boasts that “The Sandwich Bread is sure to become a regular in every gluten free household.”

Well, I’m gonna have to check that last part out ASAP because, on the downside this week, I have gone through three unsuccessful loaves  of sandwich bread in my beloved breadmaker (that’s $18 worth of mix).   I have found that there’s nothing more heartbreaking than waiting for four hours, and even smelling delicious bread cooking, only to open the machine to see a half-risen, rock-hard ball of what can only be called breadfail.

Breadfail 3; a moderate success, comparatively.

I troubleshooted (troubleshot?) via the Internet for a little while, and at first thought it was a problem with the kneading blade coming loose mid-knead and causing the loaf to become malformed.  But then I made two successful loaves of Cinnamon raisin bread for some friends and decided this couldn’t be it.  After the third failed loaf (the one you see above, and actually the most successful of the three), I decided it must be a problem with the yeast activating.  I bought some new ingredients and a bag of the mix at a different store and I’ll give it a go tonight.  I’m also ordering some new kinds of mix to test out, but what I’d really like to do is make my own from scratch.

Which is why I’m very excited for my next interview, with Mary Frances of the Gluten Free Cooking School.  I intend to find out exactly how one gets started creating brand new gluten-free recipes without  going crazy (and with three kids no less!).  I’ll also be talking about the e-book she wrote with her husband, The Gluten Free Survival Guide.

Look for that in the next couple days, along with an update of my loaf-baking success or failure.  The next loaf that comes out wrong will be sent flying across the room.

-Taylor

Japanese Bread Machine Offers Gluten-free Setting

A few days after I posted my top ten gifts for the gluten-free lifestyle, a friend linked me to an article about a new bread maker that turns uncooked rice into a loaf of bread.

Gopan

If you’re confused about the logistics, think of all the other awesome crap the Japanese have provided us with over the years (Nintendo, Toyotas, etc.) and stop asking questions.  No word yet on cost or availability (unless you happen to read Japanese) but still an awesome concept for those with wheat allergies.

Then, earlier this week I was doubly impressed with Japanese inventiveness when I read about the Zojirushi Home Bakery Supreme Bread Maker.  On the surface it just seems like a fancy bread machine outside of a grad student’s price range at $281.

But the machine is unique in that it offers a gluten-free bread setting, ensuring that your alternative flours, whichever you choose to use, are kneaded to perfection.

zojirushi

Even more exciting, Celiac Chicks has been given the opportunity by Zojirushi to give away one of the machines.  All you have to do is leave a comment about bread in the comments section of the corresponding post.  The drawing takes place Dec. 14.

Fingers Crossed!

-Taylor


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