Tag Archives: baking

Gluten Free Cornbread

15 Nov

Tastes just like my grandmother’s!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • Nonstick spray or 1 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 425.

If you have a cast iron skillet, and want to make honest-to-goodness-authentic Southern cornbread, get it out, and get ready to melt 1 Tbsp butter in it. (Don’t heat the pan yet — you want to pour the batter into sizzling, but not-burned butter.)

If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, just spray an 8×8″ pan with cooking spray.

Combine all the dry, powdery ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients and stir until well-mixed.

Now, back to that glorious cast-iron skillet. Over medium heat, heat the skillet and melt the butter in it. The butter should be sizzling, but not browned. Swirl the butter around to coat the bottom of the pan, a little way up the sides.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. The top should be just beginning to brown around the edges, and a clean knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread should come out clean.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, increase the baking powder to 3 tsp, omit the baking soda, and use 3/4 cup milk in place of the buttermilk.

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Easy Gluten-Free Pie Crust

17 Oct

With Canadian Thanksgiving just past, and United States Thanksgiving coming up, it’s definitely the season for pies!

This pie crust is as easy as a “regular” one, and it doesn’t use a lot of gluten-free flours, which are hard to find in some areas.

Brand does matter. For this recipe, it’s important that you use Bob’s Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix (yes, pizza crust mix is an ingredient in my pie crust!), or you will have a very different result (not necessarily a bad result — if you experiment, let me know how it goes!). Also, I like using a blend of butter and lard for flavor/texture, but you could use all one or the other, or even (gasp!) shortening.

This recipe may be used for 1 2-crust pie, or 2 1-crust pies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pizza crust mix (without yeast packet)
  • 1 1/4 cups white rice flour (substitute up to 50% brown rice flour if you want)
  • 2 tsp sugar (omit for savory pies)
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup cold lard, cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water, more or less

Mix the flours and sugar, then blend the butter/lard with the flour mix, using either your fingertips or a pastry cutter until the mixture looks like coarse meal and the largest pieces of fat are pea-sized or smaller. Mix the egg, vinegar, and 1/2 cup water. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, adding extra water if necessary 1 Tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball.

Form dough into two disks and refrigerate for at least an hour. If dough is too firm to roll after chilling, let is sit on the counter for a few minutes.

Roll dough out on surface well-floured with rice flour. When the dough is about 1/2″ (1 cm) thick, be sure the surface is still well-floured! Continue to pat the edges in if they become ragged, and rotate the dough as you roll it to get a round shape.

Gently fold rolled-out circle of dough in half, and lift the half-circle shape onto your pie pan. Unfold, and ease the dough into the pan so that it rests against the bottoms and sides. Don’t worry if some edges aren’t covered – just pull some dough off where there’s an excess and stick it on.

If your recipe calls for a pre-baked pie crust, prick the bottom of the crust all over with a fork, and bake at 425 for about 15 minutes, or until light golden brown.

Using Gluten Free Flour Mix — Do I HAVE To?

16 Jul

Well, no. But in most cases, you’ll wish you had.

When I first started doing gluten free cooking, I did not want to mess with a flour mix. I didn’t understand or believe that it was necessary — after all, wheat flour works just fine by itself, shouldn’t I be able to just substitute with rice flour or something?

If only it were that simple. For most recipes, using just one type of gluten free flour doesn’t work.

There are lots of different flour mixes available, usually a combination of rice flour, other flours, and starches.  The ratios and particular flours used in a mix affect the flavor and texture of the finished product. They may use bean flours, quinoa flour, rice flour, buckwheat flour (which is not related to wheat), and various starches.

Some flour mixes are best suited to substantial baked goods, like breads. Others are better suited to tender cakes, muffins, or cookies. I use my flour mix for almost everything, but add extra rice flour or starch to give the texture I want. For me, that’s just simpler.

Next time you go shopping, pick up

  • 2 bags of brown rice flour
  • 1 bag of sorghum flour
  • 1 bag of tapioca starch
  • 1 bag of potato starch (not potato flour)
  • 1 bag of sweet white rice flour (also called glutinous white rice flour, which does not contain gluten) edit: you won’t use the whole bag for the mix, just 1 cup.
  • Xanthan gum (use this in individual recipes, not in the mix)
  • Baking powder, if you don’t already have it (this is also measured for individual recipes, and not in the mix)

After you’ve made your flour mix, having the mix and the extra brown rice flour, xanthan gum, and baking powder on hand will make your life much easier. Baking isn’t hard. Gluten free baking isn’t hard. Having the right ingredients readily available is the first step.

If you live in an area where you can’t buy some of these items in a store, order them online (Amazon sells them, as do other places).