Thursday, 7 June 2007

Gluten Free Bread machine

Forget the hype of the bread machines that boast a 'gluten free cycle'. I had pondered on replacing the Morphy Richards bread machine that I had, because I had nothing but gluten free house bricks from it. As a matter of fact I much favoured making gluten free bread by hand. Let's face it, it isn't hard work on the old muscles, so I just resigned myself to doing it this way. I didn't and still don't really mind that.

That said, I found a recipe recently for a Milk Loaf that calls for a bread machine. Any old bread machine, no fancy schmancy machine with a slick GF cycle. So, I gave it a spin and HOLY SHIT the results were good! The bread has the wonderful mouthfeel that is sorely missing in the commercial offerings. It is springly, has the real bread 'chew' it looks like fresh bread, tastes like fresh bread, it is a bloody breakthrough. Not only that (if that wasn't enough) it behaves itself. By that I mean it keeps that real bread texture so that it is a lunchbox dream come true. No refreshing in the oven. That bacon sandwich you crave with the gorgeous bread? This is the bread that you have been waiting for.

Milk Loaf

1 large egg
9 fluid oz (1 1/4 cups) of milk
15ml/ 1 tablespon of vegetable oil
4ml/3/4 teaspoon of salt
15 ml/ 1 tablespoon of caster (superfine) sugar
8 oz/ 2 cups of white rice flour or GF bread flour
10ml/ 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum
1 sachet of easy blend dried yeast

Beat together the egg and milk and pour into the bread making pan

Add all the remaining ingredients, in the order listed

Set the machine to 'Basic', 700g/1 1/2 lb/ medium colour crust, let it run through the usual cycle, but when it begins to cook, allow it to cook for only 40 minutes or so, or until the crust is golden that the loaf starts to shrink slightly back from the pan.

When it has cooked, switch off the bread machine and allow the bread to cool inside the machine for 10 minutes.

Turn out the bread onto a wire rack to cool. Remove paddle when cooled enough (that is if the paddle didn't work it's way loose when turning the bread out of the pan).

When cooled it will keep in the bread bin for four days, or you can slice it and freeze it. It freezes very well and defrosts to the same quality.

Recipe notes:

The bread will not go crazy and rise like an ordinary loaf - but it still rises well. To be honest with you, it tasted so perfect I didn't care, but if you want larger pieces of bread cut the bread slices on the bias. Gorgeous, wonderful - delicious.... did I say it was good? It is perfect. Yup.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Creamy Red Lentil Dahl and Chargrilled flatbreads

Deliciously creamy and satisfying. Surprisingly simple to make. What more could anyone ask for? Scoop up the curry with the flatbread, squeeze on some fresh lemon juice - heaven!

Creamy Lentil Dahl and Chargrilled flatbreads
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of sea salt, crumbled
1 cup of dried red lentils
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
5 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
juice of half a lemon (or lime)
a handful of chopped corriander
2 tablespoons of single cream

2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoons of corriander seeds
1 teaspoons of cumin seeds
5 whole cloves
4 cardamom pods

a pinch of dried chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoons of cinnamon

Dry fry the seeds in a pan (not the chilli flakes) for a few minutes. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Place the cooled seeds, chilli and cinnamon and grind to a fine poweder.

In a large saucepan saute the onions in the oil for 4 or 5 minutes until soft, and the ginger and garlic and saute for a few minutes more. Add the spice mix and salt and saute again for a few minutes more.

Add the stock and stir well. Add the tomato puree and lentils, bring to the boil and then turn the heat down so the contents are simmering. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, lemon/lime juice and corriander. Simmer for 10 minutes until the lentils are tender. Stir in the cream.


9 oz of Gluten Free flour
2 tablespoons of Gram (chickpea) flour
1 teaspoon of gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon of sea salt, crumbled
2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 3/4 of butter
5-6 fluid ounces of warm water
oil spray

Sift the flours and baking powder into a bolw, crumble in the sea salt. Chop the butter into small cubes, drop into the flour and rub in thoroughly until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.
Stir in the water with a fork and once the dough starts to ball together, work the dough together with your hands.

On a lightly floured board, knead the dough until a smooth, soft dough forms. Divide into six balls and wrap in clingfilm. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

The pasty is fragile, so I found it easier to roll each bread out betwen clingfilm or parchement paper. Don't worry if it looks rough around the edges, that is part of the breads charm. Spray onve side with oil and flip into a heated griddle pan. Cook until golden and chargrilled on one saide, spray the other side with oil and turn over with a fish slice. keep each warm as you cook the rest.

Serve with curry, lemon segments and corriander.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

Scrumptious Quiche

As a time saver I often use the recipe for the pizza base as a base for my quiche with great results. However, if you want to take a it a step further and grab that gorgeous short crust pastry mouth-feel, then I have it here. I have experimented with flour blends before with varying degrees of success, but I think I have cracked it with this one. Everyone has their favourite flour that they put into a blend for a pastry with more depth of flavour - for me, it has to be the most readily available, which is Gram flour (chick pea flour). You can buy this quite readily in most supermarkets, healthfood shops and Asian supermarkets. Enjoy!

Scrumptious, Gluten Free Quiche

3 oz of GF bread flour mix (I used Dove farm, which is rice flour based)
3 oz Gram flour
3oz of fine grade gluten free flour (Glutano flour mix is great)
1 1/2 teaspoons of xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, crumbled
5 oz of margerine or butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of water

For the filling

3 large eggs
a splash of milk
a pinch of crushed sea salt
a couple of grinds of black pepper
1/2 a small onion, diced
3 oz of cheese (I used cheddar) grated

Sift all of the flours and xantham gum into a mixing bowl. Crumble in sea salt and mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.

Break the butter or margerine into smaller pieces and rub into the flour with fingertips until you have a fine breadcrumb like texture. To ensure that you get an even crumb, shake the bowl to bring the larger pieces to the surface and then rub them into the flour mix until dispersed.

Slowly add the water and egg and stir with a fork until it starts to come together into a dough ball. This is the point where you ditch the fork and bring the mixture together until it all of the contents is together.

It is very importnat that the dough is not too wet. The dryer it is, the less likely it is to dry out in the oven and shrink back.

Knead together until the dough becomes smoother in texture.

Chill for 20 minutes in the fridge before using, pop the dough in a freezer bag before hand.

Grease and flour a metal quiche pan.

Flour the dough and chopping board and roll with a floured pin. This is where it becomes a little more difficult because the dough is dryer, but persevere, because the results are worth it!

Place the quiche pan over the rolled out dough and flip the board over so that the dough fals into the pan. The dough will crack slightly, but these can easily be blended together once the dough is in the pan. Build the dough up the sides of the pan. Any gapsor imperfections can be easily mended with any left over dough.

Beat together the eggs and milk and season to taste.

Lightly saute the onion, add this, along witht he cheese to the egg mixture. Pour the mixture into the pastry shell

Bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees c/ 350 deg f/ gas mark 4 until the egg sets and the crust is golden.

Recipe notes:

Vary to taste, by removing the onion or cheese, adding bacon, mushroom etc. Replace the cheese with a different variety - let your imagination run wild. Flavour the pastry with herbs and cracked black pepper.

This was divine, well worth messing with an experimental flour blend - the gram flour really made a difference. One slice left in the fridge - I think there will be a fight over it!