Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gluten-free Goodness

So, I have been experimenting with gluten-free baking and I have to say that it's really amazing how far the gluten-free choices have come. I have tried many products over the past several years, and it's been hard to find something that doesn't taste, well, like cardboard! It seems I have an "intolerance" to wheat products that has gotten worse over the past couple of years-and I just can't imagine having to live without baked goods-I mean who can really? All that comfort that comes from baking and eating the finished products...I think people these days are getting more and more wheat intolerant-due to genetic and environmental factors and there is a clear and present movement in progress to offer alternatives to those of us afflicted.

Babycakes, a bakery in NYC, has become almost famous for their gluten-free cupcakes....and now doughnuts! I will definitely go check those out on my next visit back east. They are quite successful at eliminating not just the gluten, but other allergens like dairy, soy, casein, and even eggs. They use agave to replace refined sugar as well. I have had these cupcakes and you really don't miss these things! It's truly amazing.

But I digress......back to my experiments.

Enter my new discovery: Quinoa flour. I am sure you have heard of the grain but when ground into a flour, it becomes something completely different- I like the texture it offers, and the fact that it is high in protein, makes it even a better choice. Bob's Red Mill is an excellent source if you don't have Whole Foods in your area.

I made a Swiss chard tart using a combination of quinoa, rice and tapioca flours. And somehow, I really didn't miss the wheat. There was a sort of nutty crunchy texture to it and I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Here is the recipe for the crust:

  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/4 cup quality olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

1. In a large bowl, whisk all flours with the salt .

2. Make a well in the middle and break the egg. Work into the dough until incorporated, then add the oil.

3. Finish with the water, enough for the dough to form a ball. Wrap in a plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 hours until firmer.

4. Roll out the dough and set into a tart pan with a removable bottom. (spray with oil to make it easier to remove later) Refrigerate until ready to fill with any type of custard- (I used swiss chard and goat cheese with my egg custard).

5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until set.

Stay tuned for more recipes........

1 comment:

  1. You know this gluten intolerance is genetic, right?! I too am experimenting and have finally found a good recipe for gluten free flour: rice flour, tapioca flour and potato starch. If you need more protein and fiber, you can change things up with brown rice flour,quinoa, etc. Love it. My chocolate chip cookies don't taste any different than regular. My pancakes are pretty great. Wilson is lovin' them. Made popovers today - a good substitute, but not the original! Keep the recipes coming - I'm going to make this tart! xo