Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New and Improved Gluten Free Bread Making with Video!

For the past two years, I have had some ups and downs with making my own gluten free bread. I have finally gotten to the stage when I can be creative and develop recipes that really go far beyond those gluten free breads you buy in the store. This process is indeed just that: a process. The money I spent, the frustration, the endless hours have definitely paid off. I believe I have perfected it. I've learned to have fun with it as well.

That being said, I've updated my recipe, which I've am sharing, and I've included a step-by-step video to help you see exactly the process. Maybe this will help you avoid the endless hours of frustration. Have fun, and let me know if you have any questions. I will be happy to answer anything I can.

(This is my own recipe, so if you re-post this, please make sure to site this blog as your reference.)

Dry Ingredients (Make sure all are Certified Gluten Free)

1 cup brown rice or sorghum flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup of potato starch (NOT potato flour. You can substitute corn starch.)
2/3 cup tapioca flour (sometime it goes by starch instead of flour)
1/4-1/3 molasses  (or more depending on how sweet you want this bread)
1 Tbls xanthum gum
1 scant Tbls sugar
1 tsp baking soda

I mix this ahead of time in gallon-size storage baggies with the zip--Ziploc works great. In fact, I mix the ingredients in the sealed baggie. Much quicker and neater than doing it by hand in a bowl. 

I store the baggies ahead of time and use them to make the process easier and less work. Make sure the flour is at room temperature (at least 3 hours out of the freezer/refrigerator)

Other Ingredients

2 XL eggs or 3 small
12 oz lukewarm tap water
1.9 oz. vegetable oil (sunflower oil works best)
1/4-1/3 cup honey or molasses (I prefer the molasses--add more or less depending on taste)
1 scant tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dry active yeast
1 ½ tsp salt (last ingredient to be added)
1/4 cup of amaranth seeds. (Toast them in an oven 350º or toaster oven (this works best) for about 3 minutes or until the seeds start to making popping sounds. Do not burn them. Watch carefully! Cool before you add them to the flour mixture.)

Putting it all together
  •  Place water and yeast in the bowl of a food processor (make sure you are using the attachment designated for dough) proof for 10 minutes (let it sit). Beat for 2 minutes on low speed.
  • Add molasses or honey and beat for another minute or so.
  • Add oil, eggs, and vinegar. Beat for another minute or so.
  • Add the flour mixture and pulse the food processor until the flour is mixed in. Then turn the processor on for 2 minutes.
  • NOW add the salt. Stir in well before you mix it again. Beat on low for another minute.
  • Let sit for 1/2 hour in the processor
  • When the half hour is up, beat again for another minute.
  • Transfer to a prepared loaf pan (I use cooking spray--make sure its GF!)
  • Cover with parchment paper and set in a warmish place for 1 1/2 hours.
  • A half hour before the bread is done, preheat the oven to 375º. Put a pan on the lowest shelf of the oven.
  • When the 1 1/2 hour is up, add a handful of ice cubes to the tray, remove the parchment paper, and immediately place the bread on the top rack of the oven.
  • Bake for 1/2 hour
  • Remove from the oven, cover the bread with aluminum foil, rotate the pan 180º and put back in the oven.
  • Bake for another 20 or so minutes. It is done when a knife inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Cool for a few hours on a cooling rack. (I keep it there until it is completely cooled--at least 4 hours)
  • Once cooled, use a sharp bread knife to cut loaf. Separate each piece with a square of wax paper. Store in freezer. Your bread will last longer this way. Warming or toasting it first really brings out the flavor.

Monday, May 12, 2014

My Dream Yoga Retreat

I have been looking into treating myself to a yoga retreat for my 50th birthday. I haven't been too dedicated since I have a year and a half to plan it. But last week, I found the perfect place advertised in the May edition of Yoga Journal. Before I tell you about that, I have to share with you a fantasy about the future I've been having.

A basic-style yurt
When I retire, I have this vision of becoming a certified yoga instructor who works with people with chronic pain. As a chronic pain sufferer myself, I know the benefits of yoga and how it can calm down even the worst pain. So I was telling my husband about having a house with a large piece of land that I could turn into a yoga retreat. I would like to have 3-5 yurts on the land to accommodate up to 15 people. One of the yurts (the biggest one) would be a dedicated yoga studio. Of course we'd need enough capital to get this started, but again, this is just a dream, and if we have a windfall of sorts, this is what I'm going to do.

OK, now back to what I found in the Yoga Journal. They listed the best retreats they found, and you know? This one happens to be in my home state! But better than that, it is a place where you garden and learn to live organically and fully. AND they have tents or YURTS! Man! I just found the perfect spot when quite frankly, I wasn't looking. It just appeared, and now I know. This place, Stonehouse Farm in Paw Paw, IL is just amazing! Check it out! It is also very economical. I can't wait to spend the weekend or a few days more nourishing my body and soul. This place is definitely calling out to me.

Hope all you mothers out there were spoiled rotten on Mother's Day. I know this mother was. Namaste.