Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Millet Bread

Arguably the most depressing part of gluten-free living is the lack of bread (and pasta, and couscous and pasta).  While I haven't attempted homemade pasta yet, I've taken my first stab at gluten-free bread.  I let Google do most of the work and the first appetizing recipe that came up was this yummy bread from Gluten-Free Goddess.  You have to dig a bit on her site to find it, but Google took me directly there.

I kept her recipe basically the same, except the sorghum flour is at my lady's house and all I had was Nuts.com gluten-free all-purpose flour which turned out lovely.  I was juggling two of her recipes on my blackberry and accidentally used 1 1/4 cups of water and 4 tablespoons of olive oil.  It tasted lovely the first day and today, the second day it's great toasted with almond butter and honey, though I'll probably add a bit more salt next time.

I'm excited to make it again this weekend for the lady, a millet bread nut.  This sure beats the frozen stuff from the market.

From Gluten-Free Goddess.com

First- whisk together your dry ingredients and set aside:

1 1/2 cups sorghum flour (aka jowar flour)-I used Nuts.com GF All-purpose flour
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (not potato flour!)-I used potato starch left over from Pesach
1/2 cup GF millet flour or GF oat flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/ 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 packet rapid dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey- or raw agave nectar to keep it vegan
1/2 teaspoon mild rice vinegar or lemon juice
2 organic free-range eggs, beaten or 1 tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 4 tablespoons warm water till frothy
Using one cup of the water, proof the yeast in the warm water (110 to 115ºF) and a teaspoon of the honey/agave (add the yeast to the water and honey stir; allow it to get poofy).

Add the proofed yeast to the dry ingredients; add the olive oil, remaining honey/agave, cider vinegar and mixed egg replacer (or eggs); beat until a smooth batter forms. I use the word batter because gluten-free bread dough is more like smooth sticky muffin batter than wheat based bread dough -- it is not as thin as cake batter, though. Add up to 1/4 cup more water if you need to.

Scrape the dough into a ceramic loaf pan (or use a 7 to 8-inch round cake pan for rustic ciabatta style bread) and smooth evenly (I use wet fingers).

Top with sesame seeds. Place the pan in a warmed oven or draft free spot. Allow the dough to rise until it domes nicely -- from 45 to 50 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF.

When the oven comes to temperature bake the risen bread until it sounds hollow when thumped -- about 45 minutes to 55 minutes, and even up to 65 minutes if you're at higher altitude. Lower style round pan loaves will bake quicker -- at 30 to 40 minutes, usually.

If you like a crusty loaf, remove the bread from the pan and return it naked to the oven at 350ºF for an additional 10 minutes- keep an eye on it and don't let it get too brown. It should be a light golden color.

Cool on a wire rack.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Millet Bread

I used Gluten-Free Goddess' recipe for Millet bread...with some substitutions.  More tomorrow after I taste it.

Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus Over Creamy Polenta

Stewed Tomatoes and Asparagus over Creamy Polenta

It's been a bit over a month of df/gf living and I have to say-it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Sure I miss grabbing a croissant with my iced coffee in the morning, it's nice to grab a cookie or other snacks on the run and Shabbat isn't the same without challah. Despite the occasional temptations and the accidental slips it's been a pretty easy month. My eczema hasn't gone crazy in a long time and my stomach issues have subsided substantially.  All-in-all not bad. Except when I got a craving for Italian today.

It's a little bit chilly in NYC today and what sounded delicious wasn't a kale salad or roasted beets. What sounded effing-amazing was a giant bowl of pasta with marinara sauce and garlic bread. Thankfully there is no pasta to be found in my cupboards-they've been gone since Pesach.  What I did have was a jar of polenta, three sad, almost dead tomatoes, lots of garlic and a eggplant/olive dip in the freezer from ordering way too much food for our Seder.

I dug into the great, big, beautiful Italian recipe dictionary in my head and decided I'd make Chicken Caccitore, minus the chicken.

I'm still not measuring anything-so bare with me on this one.
You'll need
 3 medium/large tomatoes roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic diced
1 small eggplant rougly chopped
about a 1/4 cup green olives chopped
a bunch of asparagus cut 1 in long
Nutritional Yeast
Olive oil

Literally, I pulled this one out of my head with the veggies I had laying around my apartment.  I think spinach would be lovely in this as well, kale would also be nice, even broccoli.

I started the polenta before I put in the tomatoes, et al because I used stone-ground corn.  It's course and takes a while to cook, but it's totally worth the waiting and stirring.  I cooked it with plain ole water (I miss you milk) and added a bit of Nature's Balance spread and a splash of Hazelnut milk to get a creamier texture.  Salt and Pepper to taste.  You can use instant polenta, but the stone-ground stuff is amazing.  Once you've added the polenta to salted boiling water (if using stone-ground) start on the tomatoes.

Start with a medium-hot pan and saute the garlic in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until the garlic just starts to get golden around the edges.  When it gets a little golden add the tomatoes and the juices from the cutting board to the pan and lower the heat to medium.  I had frozen eggplant dip to work with, but if you're using the fresh stuff add the eggplants and olives here as well.  Cover the pan and let time do the rest.  After about 10-15 minutes add the asparagus and stir.  If the veggies stick, add some olive oil about a teaspoon at a time.  Cook the tomatoes until they start to shrivel up, and the skin starts to fall off.  This takes about 20-25 minutes.

If I had any red wine on hand, a splash would be really awesome in this.  Once the tomatoes are finished cooking add salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon the polenta into a shallow bowl or onto a plate and then spoon the tomatoes and asparagus on top.  Top with a twist of black pepper or some nutritional yeast and enjoy!

Yummy Recipe Facts
This recipe is Gluten and Dairy Free
It's Parve/Kosher
From Super Natural Food "One of the richest sources of folate, a B vitamin critical for healthy pregnancy is Asparagus."
Tomatoes are full of lycopene-a "vigilant protector against cancer, especially cancers of the prostate, testes, adrenal glands and cervix"