Gluten-Free Donuts/Doughnut Recipe!!!

I didn’t mention it at the time, but last Thursday was my birthday and as a present to me, Sienna made some delicious gluten-free buttermilk donuts. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve had a donut, but during my donut-eating days I became quite the connoisseur. In fact, that’s one of my complaints about Portland – there are a lot of bad donut places. I’ve heard that there’s a place on NE Sandy that makes good donuts, and of course there is also Voodoo Donuts, whose donuts I like. Of course, sadly, this is all academic at this point.

Future gluten-free donuts

I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite donuts is the plain donut. I’m also very partial to glazed buttermilk donuts. If you like these kinds of doughnuts, then I have the recipe for you! The recipe is here: Amazing Gluten-Free Buttermilk Donuts.

That's right: gluten-free donut holes

As you can probably guess from the name, there is buttermilk in the recipe. There are also eggs, some spices, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and xantha gum. The flour mix is made with white rice flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch.

Frying doughnuts

The recipe lists a temperature for the oil, and that’s important. Too high and you burn your donuts before they’re done inside. Sienna used a kitchen thermometer, and found that to get the right temperature, she had to turn our burner up to low-medium. She also found that when she dropped the doughnuts in, the temperature went down ten degrees.

Finished Gluten-Free Donuts

These babies look good. And they were awesome! The only thing we thought could use adjusting was the sweetness. They barely need any frosting or sugar to make them taste good, and are sweet enough just by themselves, which is how we ate them!

For more amazing-looking gluten-free recipes from this same chef, check out her website, Gluten-Free Bay.

We want to know: Do you have a favorite gluten-free doughnut recipe? The last time I was at Whole Foods I noticed that they had gluten-free donuts. Have any of our readers had one? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!

Times we have visited: 1 (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same (except that gluten-free flour is expensive!)

Gluten-Free Flours for Scone Follow-up

A while ago we posted a delicious gluten-free scone recipe developed by Gina at Gluten Free Gourmand. In that post, since Gina didn’t post a specific flour mix, we tried it out with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour (that’s a mouthful, huh?) We enjoyed the resulting scones, although it turned out that the Bob’s Red Mill flour mix is kind of bean-flavored and we needed to use less liquid than Gina’s recipe called for. At the end of the post, I speculated whether or not it would be a good idea to try the same recipe with Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix (click the link to see our review of this product for making gluten-free pancakes.)

Gluten-free scones

In the comments, we had a bunch of people agree with us that the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour mix was too heavy on the bean flavor. We also heard from Sea at Book of Yum, who recommended that we avoid the Trader Joe’s mix.

So a few weekends later we tried the same scone recipe with the main flour mix recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise Roberts. Since we reviewed the book, we’ve been very happy with the flavor and quality of the gluten-free breads we’ve been able to make (although they don’t rise as much as we would like.) The scones I made with that flour mix were PERFECT and AWESOME. They tasted delicious and they stored really well. Obviously, they were at their best straight out of the oven! I would share the gluten-free flour mix recipe, but I don’t think it would be honest of me to post it here. This book can be bought from Amazon, here.

But I still had the nagging question in the back of my mind: “What would these be like with the Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Waffle mix?” So last weekend I decided to give it a try. Although with the Annalise Roberts gluten-free flour mix batch, I did the recipe exactly the same, this time Sienna requested that I leave out the lemon zest. Also, since the Trader Joe’s mix includes salt and baking powder, I omitted those. Otherwise it was the exact same recipe.

The Trader Joe’s mix scones were a disaster. First, the Trader Joe’s mix contains xanthan gum. This isn’t normally a bad thing, but in this case it was a problem. Xanthan gum imparts elasticity to gluten-free dough, which is good because the gluten in wheat flour is what makes regular dough elastic. The problem with xanthan gum is that if you get too much in a flour mix, it will absorb a lot of liquid and make a mix too runny. Then the baked result ends up being tough. So the dough ended up being too wet from the get-go. I kept adding more of the flour mix in, but it didn’t help. I finally gave up. Here’s how the scones made with the Trader Joe’s gluten-free mix ended up looking.

Trader Joe's Gluten-Free Mix Scones

So they sagged all over and then puffed up as they baked. I also had to bake them about twice as long as the recipe called for. The bad news is that they ended up way too sweet. They also did not keep well at all. Three days later they were kind of tough.

The good news is that they taste EXACTLY like sugar cookies and have the same texture. So yeah, if you really miss traditional white sugar cookies, here is a gluten-free, vegan recipe that is an excellent facsimile. I’m posting this half-jokingly, but I’m sure someone could take this recipe and make some awesome cookies with a little bit more experimentation.

1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Waffle Mix
1 cups of the “cream” spooned from the top of a can of coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Some lemon zest if you like it in your sugar cookies.

Mix everything. Add more coconut milk if the mixture is too dry. Form the cookies and sprinkle sugar on top. If you like them sweet, you might try upping the sugar to 1/2 cup. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

And there you have it!

Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger: Vegan Lemon Coconut Cream Scones

This post is part of a gluten-free blog event that Sea over at the Book of Yum put together. For this month’s Adopt a Gluten Free Blogger event, I’ve adopted Gina at Gluten Free Gourmand. I was intrigued by her Gluten-Free Vegan Coconut Cream Scones. Like us, Gina lives in Portland, Oregon. She also sells photography on Etsy.

I have to admit that I was more intrigued by this recipe because it used coconut cream than I was by the fact that it’s vegan. The scones are very easy to make. Once you get your flour mix together, it’s just a matter of five other ingredients and getting the moisture content right. Gina’s recipe just specifies that you use your favorite gluten-free flour mix. I emailed her and asked if a bread mix would work. She said that just about any mix would work, but said that it’s better if the flour mix doesn’t have xanthan gum.

We have a bread mix we like, but I decided that it would be interesting to try this with Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour. Here are the ingredients: Garbanzo Bean Flour, Potato Starch, Tapioca Flour, White Sorghum Flour, and Fava Bean Flour. A quarter cup of the mix has 100 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 3 grams of protein. On the plus side, it doesn’t have any xanthan gum. On the minus side, I figured that the Garbanzo and Fava beans were going to impart a lot of flavor into the mix. I debated trying Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix instead, but decided to stick with the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Mix.

Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix

(I bought a beautiful artichoke today.) Gina’s recipe calls for coconut cream. Specifically, you get a can of coconut milk and scoop the fatty cream off the top. By the time you get to the bottom of the cream, you’ll have about as much as the recipe calls for. Mmmmmm. Coconut. Here I’ve added the orange zest.

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Did I also mention that I decided to make half of the batch with Gina’s Kumquat Glaze? Here are some kumquats and lemon juice in an orange bowl.

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We ran into trouble with the amount of flour needed. The first time I made the dough disk to cut into scones, the disk literally sagged out of shape. I had to fold in a whole cup more flour to get the right consistency, which Gina specifies as “barely holding together.” I was panicking too, because I think with scones you’re supposed to mix as little as possible. I was actually kind of careful measuring the coconut cream out, so I’m thinking that the unexpected wetness of the dough was due to using a different flour mix.

We got it together, though.

Gluten Free Scone Pile

Here they are fresh out of the oven, eight minutes later.

Gluten Free Coconut Creme Scones

Lucky for us, the scones still turned out wonderfully light, flaky, and crumbly. They are really awesome broken into pieces with jam. As I expected, they do have a slight beany aftertaste, which does go OK with jam, but isn’t so hot when you’re eating the scones by themselves. (For the record, Sienna doesn’t notice the bean aftertaste, and between the two of us, she usually has the more discerning palate.) I think that the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour would be a lot more appropriate for use with savory foods. So something like a dinner biscuit or a crust for a meat pie. Maybe I’ll try them again with the Trader Joe’s mix. As for the recipe, I think it’s very clever to come up with the substitution of coconut cream for butter and cream. We’ll be enjoying these scones all week.

We’ll definitely try more recipes from Gluten Free Gourmand in the future. Gina just posted a pancake recipe. Everybody here should know how much I love gluten free pancakes. I would definitely recommend both her site and Book of Yum to anybody on a gluten free diet. Thanks to Sea at the Book of Yum for putting this blog event together!

Book Review: Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine

Gluten Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise RobertsWe would like to thank the kind folks at Surrey Books, who sent us a copy of this book to review. The book is Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine by Annalise Roberts. The book is rather short, weighing in at 72 pages, and very much to the point. It is about making a dozen or so varieties of gluten free bread with a Zojirushi BBCCX20 Home Bakery Supreme Bread Machine. Annalise Roberts is the author of the very popular book Gluten-Free Baking Classics.

The bad news: When we embarked on reviewing this book, we were discouraged by the fact that we don’t have a Zojirushi BBCC-X20 Home Bakery Supreme 2-pound Bread Machine. In the book, Roberts discusses what bread machines can be used. She notes that the V20 Zojirushi is basically interchangable with the X20. She also had people test her recipes using bread machines other than a Zojirushi. The machines she lists are Panasonic, Breadman, and Cuisinart. She notes that “Most were able to maneuver their programmable cycles to produce bread of fairly comparable taste, texture, and appearance.” (The italics are hers.) We were able to get our hands on a Zojirushi for testing and didn’t notice much of a difference in our own tests. See our Gluten-Free Bake-Off here.

We should mention that the Zojirushi BBCCX20 is on our Bread Machines for Gluten-Free Baking List. Here is another site with useful bread machine information.

Here’s the good news: We were still able to use these recipes to make delicious bread.

More about the book: Besides the Dedication and Acknowledgements and the index, the book is broken up into five chapters. Chapter one is an introductory chapter telling about the methods she used to develop the recipes in the book. The index looks like it’s pretty well built.

Chapter two talks about baking in general and includes a lot of helpful information about gluten free flours (the different kinds, what they do, how to store them, etc.), xanthan and guar gum, making substitutions, measuring, and thermometers. Chapter two also includes the basic bread flour mix she uses throughout the book. She uses millet flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, and tapioca flour in her base mix.

The third chapter is about using bread machines generally, and the Zojirushi BBCC-x20 bread machine specifically. She took recipes from her book Gluten-Free Baking Classics and updated them to work with a bread machine instead of baking in an oven. This includes a discussion of the main differences between the two. She also came up with ideal settings to program into the Zojirushi bread machine to make the perfect gluten free bread and presents them here.

The next two chapters are bread recipes. Chapter four includes recipes for “sandwich breads”—various recipes that use eggs and milk. Chapter five includes recipes to make bread without eggs and milk, which she calls “artisan breads.” The artisan breads are basically vegan. Roberts notes that artisan breads do not stay as flexible as sandwich breads.

Here is a list of the bread recipes in the book. Almost all of these have at least one variation. One of the recipes has a total of five variations. For example, the Multi-Grain recipe has two variations—one with pecans and another with walnuts.

Chapter Four:

  • Basic Sandwich Bread
  • Oatmeal Sandwich Bread
  • Rye Sandwich Bread
  • Pecan Sandwich Bread
  • Walnut Sandwich Bread
  • Multi-grain Sandwich Bread
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • Challah Bread
  • Babka (Ukranian Style)

Chaper Five:

  • French-Italian Sandwich Bread
  • Oatmeal Artisan Bread
  • Rye Artisan Bread
  • Pecan Artisan Bread
  • Walnut Artisan Bread
  • Multi-Grain Artisan Bread
  • Golden Italian Artisan Bread with Raisins and Fennel

You get extra points if you noticed that there are a suspicious number of duplicates in these two lists. I didn’t go over these with a fine toothed comb, but it would appear to me that, for instance, the Walnut Artisan Bread is very similar to the Walnut Sandwich Bread, just without eggs and milk. I would expect that more experienced bakers will know that they would be able to figure out how to adjust a recipe to exclude eggs and milk, but I am glad to have the assistance of someone who had the time and patience to come up with variations that work.

On to the bread. We decided to make the Walnut Artisan Bread. I should note here that our really really ridiculously good looking Head of Research for Gluten Free Portland dot Org, Sienna, made the bread and also probably saved the day by being able to figure out how to make our bread machine act as much as possible like a Zojirushi BBCC-X20 with her special program. We have a Breadman Pro bread machine. Sienna used course 2.11, which is the “Rapid White Dark 2.0 LB” setting. This was the course that most resembled the program Roberts came up with. Here are the differences: Ours had no preheating. Ours kneaded five more minutes. Ours rose ten minutes more and had two punch-downs. And last, ours baked ten minutes less. (We were able to make up for the ten minutes baking time by finishing the loaf in our toaster oven.)

Gluten Free Walnut Bread

Here it is on the cooling rack. You can’t really see from this angle, but the bread is shorter than most of the breads we make with this bread machine. The color is good, however.

gluten-free-bread-baking-dscn4073

Gluten Free Walnut Bread by Annalise G. Roberts

The walnut bread is dense and delicious! The crust is perfect. The bread toasts up well, makes good sandwiches, and is amazing with some honey or humus spread on it. We both agreed that this was our most favorite gluten free bread recipe yet. Our previous champ was Gluten Free Mommy’s Gluten-Free Millet Oatmeal Bread (click here to go to the original recipe on Guten Free Mommy).

Now that we have tested to compare making these recipes with two different bread machines, including the one the author recommends, we feel more comfortable recommending it to people who don’t have a Zojirushi. We do feel that the recipes are the best we’ve had as far as flavor goes, but we’ve been a little disappointed with how well they rise.

We’re really curious about this one: Would you buy this book knowing that it’s written for only one bread machine? Would you buy a bread machine because of a book? Do you like this author? Let us know in the comments!

Times we have visited: 10+ (So your mileage may vary.)
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same

Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine
by Annalise G. Roberts
Surrey Books – An Agate Imprint
Gluten-Free Baking Classics for the Bread Machine on Amazon

Gluten Free Food Fair Wrap-up

We got to the 2009 Portland Oregon Gluten Free Food Fair a little late. They were already doing the lottery drawings. We walked around and sampled a lot of food, took some photos, and talked to people at the booths.

Sift Gluten Free Bakery

Sift Bakery – They are a gluten-free and vegan bakery. A lot of cafes in Portland carry their cookies, which I think are pretty good. In my opinion they make the best packaged gluten-free cookie. They also had some cooking sauces there. They had a couple different kinds of Thai curry paste, a hot chili oil, a Thai hot sauce, and also a Thai peanut sauce. Their peanut sauce was good but I make better. ;) They also had falafel crackers that were really good.

Mississippi Pizza Pub

Mississippi Pizza Pub (See our review of the Mississippi Pizza Pub) – They were handing out squares of pizza. While we were walking around the tables, a couple of times I overheard someone tell a friend “There’s more pizza out. Let’s go!” The pizza was good. Sienna asked the guy there about how to get a crust more crispy and he said that olive oil is good for that. Now we’ll have to experiment!

muruku-dscn4067

Muruku Snacks – SCL Marketing – One of the more interesting items at the fair. These are basically like fried chow mein noodles, and are delicious. I love fried chow mein noodles!

Gloria's Delicious Gluten Free Desserts

Gloria’s Delicious Gluten Free Desserts – This person was selling dessert cookbooks. We tried her samples and they were really good.

New Cascadia Traditional Bakery

New Cascadia Traditional Bakery (See our reviews of New Cascadia Traditional Bakery) – We’re big fans of New Cascadia. They had a bunch of their gluten free products to sample. I tried a piece of their coffee cake and Sienna tried their cranberry raisin walnut bread.

Ener-G Foods

Ener-G Foods – Ener-G Foods had a booth, which I was really excited about. Mostly because they seem kind of hit-or-miss to me and it’s nice to sample a bunch of things without having to buy them. I liked their pretzels but wasn’t excited about their cookies, bread or bars.

Angeline's Gluten Free Bakery

Angeline’s Bakery – Angeline’s Bakery had a bunch of bread and cookie samples out. Their bread is very sort of white-bready, but good white-bready.

Some of the booths we stopped by but didn’t take photos of:

Papa G’s – They make different tofu meat substitutes which we both love, and also have a vegan organic deli with some gluten free items.

Wendy Cohan – Author of the Gluten Free Resource Guide, who also has classes on gluten free cooking. We talked to her for a while about making gluten free pizza crusts and she had a lot of tips for us.

New Traditions Bakery – I’ve looked these folks up on the internet and can’t find anything. They had a bunch of different kind of cheesecakes. The cheesecakes are free of gluten, nuts, eggs, and dairy, which brings up the question: What the heck are they made of? Whatever it is, there was a sign that they did contain soy. I thought they were good, although they really had more the texture of a frozen ice cream cake.

Lingonberries Market – The gluten free, wheat free, allergy-friendly foods grocery store in Vancouver Washington, which we’ve been to once, but keep meaning to get back to so we can take some pictures and do a review.

There were a lot more booths than I’ve included here. There were some booths selling baking mixes, one booth with exercise “power bars” that pretty much tasted like all the rest of the ones you’ve ever tasted, and even a cosmetics booth. After we left, we were waiting for the light to turn so we could cross the street, and a couple of people drove up in a van, rolled down a window, and asked us if it was worth going to the fair. We told them definitely yes. It’s always good to check out new things and find out what is good (or not) without having to buy so much stuff. We’re looking forward to next year’s food fair.

News: Gluten Free Baking Class

This in from Try Vegan PDX: Chelsea, the author of the flavorvegan blog, will be teaching a gluten free baking class (which will also be vegan, natch.) The class is scheduled for next Thursday the 16th of April. The class is an introduction to gluten free baking and will cover the basics of gluten free cooking, different gluten-free flours, and how to make pancakes, cupcakes, and biscuits. The fee is $10 for supplies.

The class will be held at:

Sunnyside United Methodist Church
3250 SE Yamhill St
Portland OR, 97214

You can sign up for the Gluten Free Baking Class online here.

Try Vegan PDX is a vegan outreach group in Portland Oregon.

Incidentally, Chelsea has some good looking baked goods up at her flavorvegan blog.

Flours for a Gluten-Free Diet

Different Gluten Free Flours

When you can’t use wheat flour for cooking, one of the obvious problems that comes up is what to use instead. Most beginners to being gluten-free find themselves launched into an orbit with spinning satellites of all these expensive flours that can be hard to track down. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to use. Here is a short alphabetical list of some gluten-free flours and basic information about them. Once you have all these you’re ready to make some bread. Check here to see choices for the best gluten-free bread machine.

Very few of these flours can be used alone to make anything edible. People who do a lot of gluten-free baking will often create flour mixes, which they will mix up in some quantity and then have handy for use any time.

Amaranth Flour – Has a light but pleasing nutty like or malt flavor. Ground from a plant seed. High in protein and nutritious. Added in small quantities to flour mixes for baking.

Arrowroot – Like the name would imply this is made from a root. If you are allergic to corn, this makes a great substitute. You can substitute measure for measure. Arrowroot is basically tasteless and keeps well.

Buckwheat - Despite it’s name, this is not wheat. It is actually a relative of rhubarb. A dark flour with a strong distinctive flavor. The seeds of the plant are ground to make this flour. Good in flour mixes for “whole grain” baked goods.

Cornstarch – This is starch that has been refined from corn. It is bland and should be used with other flours to create flour mixes. It stores well.

Garbanzo Bean Flour – Garbanzo beans are also known as chick peas. This flour is made from ground beans. The flour is high in protein and has a strong flavor. It should be stored in the refrigerator.

Garfava flour – This is made from garbanzo beans and fava beans. It stores well and has a strong flavor. Makes a good substitute for rice flour. It is also high in protein. Good for bread, cakes, and cookies.

Millet flour – Millet comes from the grass family and is one of the earliest cultivated grains. It is nutritious and a good source of protein. It has a wonderful flavor and is a little sweet. Good in flour mixes. Popular for breads.

Potato flour – Made from dehydrated potatoes. Mostly used for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups. When added to flour mixes, it adds a moist crumb. Very useful for baked goods, but usually only used in small amounts. Can impart elasticity to dough. Has strong potato flavor and keeps well.

Potato starch – Made from dehydrated potatoes. Mostly used for thickening sauces, gravies, and soups. When added to flour mixes, it adds a moist crumb. Very useful for baked goods. Can impart elasticity to dough. Not as flavorful as potato flour.

Quinoa Flour Related to spinach and beets. Made from ground plant seeds. The flour is high in protein and has a mellow flavor. Add to flour mixes.

Rice Flour, Brown – Brown rice flour is more flavorful than white rice flour. Slightly nutty flavors. It is used in flour mixes with other flours and is popular from putting in breads. Refrigerate.

Rice Flour, White – This flour is made from white rice. It can be used alone, but most people add it to other flours. It adds a sponginess to baked goods. Best for recipes that need a light texture. It is bland, not very nutritious, and stores well.

Sorghum Flour – This flour is high in protein and B vitamins and is sweet and flavorful. It is almost always used in mixes. It is good for making breads and other baked goods. It stores well on a shelf.

Soy Flour – High in protein and has a nutty flavor. Good used in mixes. Does not store well. Combines well with rice flours. Is good for making cookies.

Tapioca Flour – Same as tapioca starch. This is ground cassava root. It makes gluten-free baked goods more chewy. Low in nutrients. It stores well, is bland, and should be used mixed with other flours.

Teff Flour – Teff is the smallest grain in the world. Teff flour is high in protein, calcium, zinc, iron, and fiber. It is used in flour mixes to make breads and cookies.

Xanthan Gum – Xanthan gum is made from a kind of bacteria, Xanrhomonas Campestris. It is used for thickening and is sticky in a way that makes it handy for gluten-free baking. It is used very sparingly in flour mixes.

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Flours

Well that’s some of the basics. Obviously there are lots of other kinds of flour. When you are eating gluten-free, these flours can be very useful.

Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flours on Amazon

Gluten-Free Millet Oatmeal Bread

I just got introduced to millet recently and really love it. We eat it in a bunch of different ways. Millet can be cooked up and served with a red pasta sauce like polenta. You can also serve millet like a hot cereal. You can substitute millet for rice when eating a curry. Millet is full of protein. Strangely enough, it can also be popped like popcorn. If I had to say what millet tastes like, it’s nutty and is something like short-grain white rice but with a very mellow corn-like taste.

This recipe also has gluten-free oats in it. Actually, we took some gluten free oats and ground them up into flour. I’ve been cooking with oat flour for a while. It imparts extra heartiness and a nice sweetness to whatever you add it to. I really love adding oat flour to a pancake mix, and as regular readers here should know, I love gluten-free pancakes.

This gluten free millet oatmeal bread recipe came from Gluten Free Mommy. It is made with molasses, which informs its flavor. Sienna made a bunch of changes to the recipe, so we’re going to list it as she made it, below.

Gluten Free Millet Oatmeal Bread (made with Bread Machine)

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup gluten free oat flour (or quinoa flour)
3/4 cup millet flour
3/4 cup + 2 Tbps tapioca flour
1/3 cup arrowroot starch (or corn starch)
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1 Tbsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp whole millet
2 Tbsp whole flax seeds
2 eggs + egg replacer to replace 1 more egg
1 packet active dry yeast
1 Tbsp molasses
3 Tbsp date sugar
4 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup plus 1 cup heated water

We made it with our bread maker. For a bread maker follow the manufacturer’s instructions. (Shameless plug: We have a list of excellent bread machines for gluten-free bread making.) If you’re going to make this bread by hand, see the original instructions. Either way you go, make sure that the dough has the consistency of very stiff cake batter. To get it there, we had to add some water when the bread maker was done with its initial mixing cycle.

Gluten Free Oatmeal Millet Bread

We both love this bread! It has enough flavor that you don’t feel like you’re eating wonder bread, but not so much flavor that it would get in the way if you want to make a sandwich out of it. It tastes especially wonderful with some butter, or you can add some honey too. The added raw millet gives the texture some character.

We want to know: Do you have a favorite bread recipe? Do you have a favorite way to serve millet? What do you add to your breads to give them character?

This has been another Gluten Free Portland Oregon feature.

Product Review: Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Pancake and Waffle Mix

I think I’ve talked about pancakes before on this site. I don’t want to bore anybody but I love pancakes. They seem to add an order to my world. Pancakes are a great solution to an age-old problem: “What am I going to eat this morning?” Certainly there are other solutions to this problem, but none fits quite as well in extraordinary circumstances as pancakes. One thing that is also clear is that just because you’re on a gluten-free diet, it doesn’t mean you have to give up your pancakes.

Gluten Free Pancake and Waffle Mix

Here’s the package and about everything you need to make some pancakes. I’ve made these twice now. Inside this purple bag is a plactic bag with the mix in it. The mix is not only gluten-free, but is also free of peanuts, tree nuts, milk & dairy, soy, and corn. So these are pretty seriously allergen free. Ingredients: sweet brown rice flour, tapioca flour, arrowroot flour, rice milk powder, cream of tartar, xanthan gum, baking soda, sea salt, ground vanilla bean .

Gluten Free Mixing It Up

Today’s photos are going to feature cumquats. That’s because I ran out of lemons and oranges. The mix is really easy to use. You just throw the wet ingredients into a mixing bowl, stir them up, and then add in the contents of the bag and mix well. You have to add more or less water depending on how thick you want the pancakes to be. Once you get the hang of pancake batter, you’ll know the right consistency. I like my batter thin enough to pour.

Gluten Free Pancakes on the Griddle

The griddle temperature is important. You can test the heat by flicking some drops of water on the griddle. If the drops don’t sizzle, then it’s too cold. If the drops jump around and sizzle, it’s too hot. You cook pancakes on the first side until you have a good amount of bubbles coming up to the top, and then you flip them. Your first pancake will almost never turn out right. As the chef, it is your duty to eat this pancake and thus not cause suffering to others.

Warming the Plate

You might think that it’s time to throw some pancakes on a plate and either eat them or give them to your guest, but don’t forget to stop and heat up the plate first. To do so, run the plate under hot water for a while and then dry.

Wonderful Gluten Free Pancakes

Ah here they are. What can I say? The pancakes are good. For flavor and texture, I think I like the packaged kind better (see my packaged gluten free pancake review.) These end up being more economical and are fun to make (if you’re into cooking things.) If I had to complain about something it would be that the pancakes end up tasting very much like they’re made from refined flours. They would be more entertaining and hearty if they had some more texture and flavor.

Orange Butter

If you’re going to take the trouble to warm your plates, you should also bump it up a notch by making some orange butter beforehand. Here’s my recipe for Orange Butter at the bottom of the other pancake review.

We want to know: Which pancakes do you think are better? Have any suggestions on how to make the pancakes more flavorful? Let us know!

Times we have made them: 2 (So we feel pretty good about our rating.)
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: At $2.99, it’s very reasonable.

Book Review: Living Gluten-Free Answer Book

Living Gluten-Free Answer Book by Suzanne BowlandToday I’m reviewing the Living Gluten-Free Answer Book by Suzanne Bowland. This book promises “Practical Answers to 275 of Your Most Pressing Questions.” It was published by SourceBooks, Inc in 2008. Examples of questions it answers are:

“What should you do if you think you are gluten-intolerant?”

“What causes gluten-intolerance and celiac disease?”

“What are some strategies for eating gluten-free at restaurants?”

“How can you decypher food labels and medications?”

“If a food package says ‘wheat-free,’ is it gluten-free?” (No.)

“Could her lipstick be making you sick?” (Yes.)

The first four chapters of the book deal mostly with the basics, such as defining gluten intolerance and celiac disease, the symptoms of celiac disease, ways your life is going to change, what gluten is and how you can avoid it, and the possible consequences of not avoiding gluten if you have celiac disease.

Chapters five through nine build on the basics. Chapter five is about how to make your kitchen gluten-free. Six talks about different kinds of food you might find in a kitchen, like mixes, grains, pastas, frozen dinners, snack foods, or breads. Chapter seven reviews the grains, flours, and starches in more detail. So amaranth, buckwheat, Indian ricegrass, Job’s tears, millet, quinoa, ragi, sorghum, teff, the different kinds of rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour, xanthan gum, and guar gum. It also has information about the differences between some of the flours and starches. Chapter eight is about shopping for gluten-free items. Among the topics of this chapter are where to buy flours, pricing of gluten-free items, and how to get a store to carry your gluten-free items. Chapter nine is about some non-food items you wouldn’t think about, like medicines, toothpaste, lip gloss, and other bathroom items.

I don’t want to keep going chapter by chapter, but the rest of the book includes such topics as tips for traveling, dining out, cooking, children, social events, health and nutrition, and developing coping strategies to deal with cravings or disappointments.

Finally, there are two appendices. Appendix A has tips and substitution solutions for gluten-free cooking and baking. Appendix B is an extensive directory of gluten-free businesses.

That’s a lot of ground to cover. Suzanne Bowland’s writing is pleasing and easy to read. It is the sort of reference book you might find yourself reading just for entertainment. I’ll very often pick it up to get an answer to a specific question and then find myself reading the next section. But at its heart it really is a reference book. At the end of the book is a whopping twenty-six page index, so if an answer to your question is in the book, you should be able to find it without a problem.

My one complaint with the book is that sometimes the author spends too much time answering a question that to me seems simple. For example, a question like, “Is something that is wheat free also automatically gluten-free?” seems pretty straight-forward to me, but Bowland takes a page to answer it, and she also seems to complicate the matter by talking about oat contamination. This bothered me until I realized that the book is written so that each question is answered as fully as possible in its own section. That way, a person who wants to know about one thing can look it up and get a complete answer without having to read the whole book.

While I still think it may be that this book goes into too much detail about some questions, it is very thorough, and as I said, it is an interesting read. Bowland’s writing is easy to understand and compelling. There’s something for everyone, and all the information is organized and indexed in a fashion that makes it very easy to find an answer to any question you may have. I think it would make a great addition to anyone’s gluten-free library.

We want to know: Do you have a favorite book for the gluten-free diet? How about a favorite cookbook? Let us know!

Overall rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Same price! But it’s a book so… Yeah.

The Living Gluten-Free Answer Book – Suzanne Bowland – 2008
ISBN-10: 1402210590 – See this book on Amazon