Category Archives: Breads

Back to School Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

“Cookies” should probably be in quotation marks.  But we’ll get back to that in a second.

It’s back to school time for us already.  The summer went by so quickly I can’t even believe it’s over.  My oldest is now in 4th grade and my boys are starting preschool in a few days.  For all of 2.5 hours a week the baby will have me all to herself for the first time ever!  (The other 2.5 hours we’ll be at jazzercise like normal).

The weather is still summer like and I expect it will be for a few more weeks yet – which is great because there’s still a ton of stuff on our summer bucket list that we never got to do or only did once.  But with school back in session it has brought our household back to the old familiar daily grind.  The one punctuated by pick ups and drop offs and afternoon homework.  It’s time to get organized and efficient again after a glorious summer of “whenever”.

So this morning I made breakfast cookies.  It took me literally 3 minutes to mix them up and 9 to bake them.  I’ve never actually attempted anything like this before and they came out quite wonderfully!   Cookies normally start with a base of butter and sugar and these cookies contain neither.  They are substantial; soft, and cakey, and subtly sweet.  A perfect little protein-rich bite to get the kids off to school with good food in their tummies.

Speaking of good food – there are two kinds of “breakfast cookies” out there.  There are cookies masquerading as health food and there is healthy food masquerading as cookies.  These are definitely in the latter group.  Peanut butter, banana, honey, egg, and whole oats make up the bulk of these cookies.  They would also be fabulous with some chocolate chips sprinkled in but then, you know, we’d be backsliding into the world of dessert for breakfast.  (Which is fine for you and me but not for our children who have to learn stuff during the day :p)

Here they are straight out of the oven.  They’re kind of like what you’d get if peanut butter cookies and banana bread had a baby.  Does that make sense?

Sorry for the lack of pictures.  You know how I said these took sum total 12 minutes to make?  That didn’t include taking pictures throughout.  But they’re super easy to bring together so I’m sure you’ll be okay.  Now get going, I’m sure you have as much to do as I do right now!

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Breakfast Cookies

(makes 1 dozen cookies)

1 over-ripe banana, mashed

1 egg

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

3 Tbsp clover honey

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup gluten free oats (can’t wait for the day Quaker can say theirs are, for now they are not)

1/2 cup all purpose gluten free flour mix  (or regular flour if you’re not GF)

2 Tbsp nonfat powdered milk

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mash banana and beat together with egg, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.   Combine dry ingredients (you really just want to make sure the baking soda is evenly distributed – I didn’t even get out a second bowl for this) and mix with the peanut butter mixture.

Spoon even mounds of cookie dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Mixture will not be as stiff as a traditional cookie dough.

Bake 9 minutes.

Cool and serve.

Makes 1 dozen cookies.

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Gluten Free Pizza Dough (for thicker crust)

Ready for the most monochromatic post ever?

Me neither.  That’s a naked gluten free pizza crust I made the other day.  And it’s awesome.  My husband can’t stop singing it’s praises.  But it looks pretty dull with nothing on it.  So let’s just look and see some of the mouth watering things you can do with this crust instead of being blinded by all it’s whiteness.  There’s this…

or this…

or this…

or this (nom)…

(insert Homer Simpson food noise here)…

getting hungry yet???…

I die now.

You get the point.  This is a blank canvas perfect for carrying any toppings you like.  For the last couple years we had been using the recipe for thin crust pizza dough in Gluten Free Girl‘s cookbook.  There’s a post on here dedicated to it.  It’s a pleasure to work with and produces a good really really thin, crunchy crust.  If that’s what you’re into.  But my husband wanted something more like those beautiful crusts  you see above you.  Something with a little chew to it.  Something poofier.

I experimented for weeks before I was happy with this recipe.  There are probably other similar recipes out there.  But for me, the learning experience is valuable in and of itself so experiment I did.  And I’m glad because it brought me to this.

Here’s what you need – potato starch, sweet rice flour, sorghum flour, xanthan gum, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil, 1 egg and 1 egg white.

Go grab your scale.  You’ll need to measure out 170 grams of potato starch…

…100 grams sweet rice flour…

…and 230 grams Sorghum Flour.   That’s it for the flour mix.  Could we use the GF flour mix I use for like, everything else???  Probably.  But for “bready” things (as opposed to cakey things) Sorghum is a really great base flour.  It’s probably the closest of the GF flours when it comes to mimicking the texture of wheat breads.   The potato starch keeps it light while the sweet rice flour ties the two together nicely.

Oh, and what’s that weird bowl I have on my scale I hear you asking?  That’s actually the bowl that goes in my bread machine.  You don’t have to use a bread machine to make this dough.  I use this for purely logistical reasons I’ll explain in a minute.

Next, add in 1/2 Tbsp of salt…

…a Tbsp sugar…

… and a Tbsp of Xanthan Gum.

Now whisk up all your dry ingredients so they’re nice and homogenous.   Make a well in the center for our wet ingredients.  (From here on out my pictures are not going to accurately demonstrate how I normally do this.  I was attempting to show you how to make this the normal way, in a bowl with a mixer, not the way I do it, following the bread machine instructions.).

Add 1 1/3 cups warm water.  About the temp of a hot shower.

My “well” didn’t work so well in the bread mixer.  That’s okay.  Next, (and this is not shown because I was obviously not thinking at the time) in a small bowl lightly beat together one egg and one egg white.  Add that to the water in your well.

Lastly, sprinkle 2 1/4 tsp yeast all over the top.  Let it sit a couple minutes and get foamy and happy.

And finally, pour in 1/4 cup olive oil.

This is the point where you’d turn on your mixer and let it go until it’s smooth.  The dough won’t get to the point where it’s not sticky anymore the way a wheat dough would.  You also really can’t over mix it as there is no gluten to overwork.  So no worries!  Just mix it until it’s all together.  As for me, I’m just going to set my machine to “dough” and let it do it’s thing.

This is why I use the bread machine for my gluten free dough.  My Kitchenaid mixer (with the dough hook) is simultaneously being used to make wheat pizza dough.  We ❤ pizza night at our house.  It’s pretty much the only night of the week we don’t have to fight over who’s eating what.

This is my dough after letting it rise in a warm place for about an hour.  (If you are doing this in a regular bowl you’ll want to oil and cover the dough while it rises.)  It will still be soft and sticky.  This will make two large pizza crusts.  I usually just take half, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer to use on another day.

So to make your crust, grab a sheet of parchment paper and put a pizza stone in a 450 degree oven to preheat.  Grab half your dough a start spreading  into a large circle.

I work in a circular motion, working the dough thinner and thinner (remember it will rise in the oven!).

Gettin’ there.

There!  That looks good.  Now just slide the parchment paper onto the preheated pizza stone and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

And voila!  Pizza crust that’s ready for anything you want to put on it.  I’ve eaten it recently and it tastes like pizza.  Like the, “if you didn’t tell me it was gluten free I wouldn’t have known” kind of pizza.  YES.

Just about the best compliment a gluten free baker can get!

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Pizza Dough (for thicker crust)

230 grams Sorghum Flour

170 grams Potato Starch

100 grams Sweet Rice Flour

1/2 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp Xanthan Gum

1 1/3 cups warm water

1 egg and 1 egg white, lightly beaten

2 1/4 tsp yeast

1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions:

In bowl of stand mixer whisk together first six ingredients and make a well in the middle.

Pour water and the beaten eggs into the well and sprinkle yeast on top.  Let the yeast ripen for 5-10 minutes (until it gets foamy).

Pour in the olive oil and mix your dough on low speed until it comes together, maybe 3-4 minutes.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the dough, cover with a dish cloth or paper towel and leave to rise in a warm place.  In the winter I turn my oven on for about 20 seconds, turn it off, and then put my dough in and shut the door.  The few seconds the oven is on is enough to raise the temperature from the normal 65 of my house to around 80.  Perfect for making happy yeast.

Let it rise for at least an hour.  Put a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  Remove half the dough from the bowl and spread into a large circle on a sheet of parchment paper until very thin and uniform.  Put parchment paper on the preheated stone and bake for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.

This recipe makes two large crusts.  If not using both immediately, excess dough can be wrapped and placed in refrigerator for a day or can be frozen and used later.  I have no idea how long it will keep.  We always seem to need the freezer dough within a week :p

Makes two one-pound balls of dough

 

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Funnel Cake with Chocolate Hazelnut Cream Sauce

Soooo… I got a deep fryer for Christmas.  I can admit it.

I can admit it NOW, that is… in February.  It’s been hiding under the bench in my kitchen.  I’ve secretly wanted to get one for years but I didn’t want to be that lady.  The lady that deep fries oreos and wears a mumu.  You know who I’m talking about.

Anyway, my mom (who got me my deep fryer, btw) had one of these when I was a kid.  She only used it once in a long long while.  And to my knowledge she only ever made one thing with it – funnel cake.

Did your eyes just light up thinking about amusement park/county fair funnel cake?  With the powdered sugar and maybe a little chocolate sauce drizzled all over it???

If they didn’t I have to say I doubt your claims of American citizenship.  You know you love it.  And if you’re here because you’re gluten free then breathe a sigh of relief because you can do this too.  As good as doughnuts but so much easier.  And yes, this is a “sometimes food” to be sure…

But folks, let’s do this in honor of Fausnaught Day! (Coincidentally my mom’s favorite holiday as a child.  More on that in some other post…) It’s the German version of Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/the day before Catholics give up something for lent.  It literally means “doughnut day”.  And it’s this Tuesday so let’s make some funnel cake people!

It would just be wrong not to.

The basis for the funnel cake is a basic pate a choux dough, the same stuff used to make cream puffs, eclairs, profiteroles, gougeres, etc.  It works well gluten free because it mostly consists of eggs, water, and butter and not a whole lot of flour.

Start by pouring one cup of water into a small saucepan.  That picture is from when I made a double batch.  Unless you’re feeding like 25 people just do as I say, not as I did.

Add in a half teaspoon of salt.

…and a stick of butter.  (I know.  Grab your Rosaries now.)

Bring that to a simmer over high heat.

Once simmering, turn the heat down to medium and quickly stir in 4 oz of flour.  Gluten free or regular flour a mi no me importa.

The flour will soak up the water quickly, leaving you with a glistening weirdly elastic dough that pulls away from the sides of the pot when you stir it.  Remove the pot from the heat for a couple minutes.  We want our dough to cool down just a bit before we add our eggs.

This is what happens to your dough after whisking in 4 extra large eggs one at a time.  Actually I used large eggs ’cause that’s what I had.  You use extra large though, okay?  Thanks.

Now for this next part you do NOT need a deep fryer.  If you have one that’s great.  Set it to 350 degrees.  Otherwise, just grab a large, heavy-bottomed pot and fill it with at least 2 inches of oil.  If you have a deep fry/candy thermometer to monitor the temp so much the better.  Canola oil works well here.  Don’t use olive oil (in case you were thinking about making this “healthy”).  It has a low smoke point and cannot be used in this case.

I used a spoon to drizzle my batter in but you could always just pour it from a pyrex with a spout or you could try piping it in.  All fine for this purpose.  The great thing about funnel cake is that it’s supposed to look like a big ol’ mess!  Cook it until it’s golden on all sides (being careful, as always, around hot oil – that means kids out of the kitchen!)

Ooooh!  So excited!

Grab a…what are these called again?  A sieve?  A strainer?  (Is this what happens as you get older?) One of THESE – and dust with powdered sugar.

Now for the extra fun/naughty part.  Grab some cream and that jar of Nutella sitting in your cupboard.  PLEASE tell me you keep a jar of Nutella in the house at all times!  If you just said “no” I beg you to put it on your grocery list immediately.  I promise you won’t regret it.  (Unless you’re allergic to hazelnuts, dairy, or chocolate of course!  Then you can just skip this last section altogether.)

Mix equal parts Nutella and cream.  I think I have about a 1/2 cup of each here.  Microwave for about 15 seconds…

…and mix until it becomes a glorious, warm, chocolatey sauce.

Now you could just drizzle the whole thing in the chocolate hazelnut sauce.  That would be wonderfully messy.  Or you could keep the bowl out and just let everyone dip.  That’s what we did.

If there is a heaven, I have to believe there is a guy there selling funnel cake…for free.

Happy Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday/Fausnaught Day everyone!

And enjoy!

Funnel Cake

1 cup water

1/2 tsp salt

1 stick butter

4 oz (weight) AP GF Flour Mix (or regular flour)

4 extra large eggs

powdered sugar for dusting

canola oil for frying

Instructions:

In a small saucepan heat water, salt, and butter over high heat until simmering.

Turn down the heat to medium and quickly whisk in flour.  Remove pot from the heat and let sit a couple minutes to cool slightly.

Add eggs in one at a time, stirring after each to incorporate before adding the next.

If using a deep fryer, follow the instructions that come with the machine and set at 350 degrees.  If using a large, heavy pot, fill it at least 2 inches deep with canola or peanut oil and heat to 350 degrees.  A deep fry/candy thermometer is a lifesaver here!  Otherwise it’s a guessing game trying to keep your oil at the temp you want it.

Pour/spoon/pipe in batter in swirls and cook until golden, flipping once very carefully.

Dust with powdered sugar

For the Chocolate Hazelnut Sauce:

Mix equal parts Nutella and cream (heavy/light it doesn’t matter).  Microwave on high for 15 seconds and stir to combine.  Serve alongside funnel cake for dipping.

Makes 2-3 good size funnel cakes.

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Banana Bread

You know how they say you’re supposed to wait until the banana bread is cool before you try to cut into it?

Yeah, we can never wait either.  I very carefully cut that banana bread up there straight out of the oven.  I had hungry little people in my kitchen.

I made this banana bread last Sunday morning.  Best time of the whole week in my book.  It’s about the only time I get to be in the kitchen, by myself, baking whatever I please.  And last Sunday I had a bunch of very dark bananas that were begging to be mushed up and baked into a wonderfully fragrant, moist banana bread.

There she is!  Fresh out of the oven 🙂  Not as domed as a wheat based quick bread but otherwise almost identical in both flavor and texture.

If you are gluten free and you love banana bread count yourself lucky.  Quick breads are one of the EASIEST baked goods to replicate without gluten.  I have used a lot of different recipes for gluten free banana bread over the years.  There are lots of good ones.  This is the best one I’ve developed yet.  Is it the last one I’ll ever use?  Probably not.  But nonetheless, this is a great recipe that can be easily converted into a number of other breads or muffins.  The batter is very thick, more of a dough, really, which means it can support lots of yummy additions like blueberries for blueberry muffins or, hee hee, chocolate chips for chocolate chip banana bread!

Oh, and the other great thing – if you’re reading this and don’t do gluten free, just use regular flour in place of the gluten free flours.  That’s it.  I just made a bunch of jumbo blueberry muffins using this recipe with regular flour and they came out fabulously.  So either way – you’re good to go!

Oh…and…we all know how to make quick bread right?  Mix the wets, mix the drys, mix the two together and bake?  Good, glad we got that out of the way because I didn’t take step by step pictures this time.

Nom. So so good.  You’ll notice in the ingredient list a flour I haven’t used on here before.  Teff flour is made from the smallest grain in the world.  When it bakes it just about dissolves and gives the baked good an almost gelatinous quality.  I use it in conjunction with my all purpose flour blend for quick breads and muffins because it gives them that squooshy texture that we love.  You can find it in the gluten free aisle if you have one in your grocery store.  I buy the Bob’s Red Mill brand, I think.

Don’t let those black bananas go in the trash!  Go make some banana bread stat!

(And as always, you’re gonna need to grab that kitchen scale.  If you don’t have one go get one!  They’re not expensive and they are indispensable if you bake a lot.  Especially if you bake gluten free a lot.)

Banana Bread

1 stick butter, melted

6 oz sugar (3/4 cup)

6 oz (weight – not volume) sour cream

2 large eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 1/2 medium – it totally depends on the size of your bananas so use the measuring cup this time.  This is one thing I’ve just never measured on the scale.)

1 tsp vanilla

7 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend

1 oz Teff Flour

1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

1/4 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a large loaf pan with oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.  (If you’re doing this with regular flour, just sub in 8 oz all purpose flour).

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, sour cream, eggs, mashed bananas, and vanilla.

Combine the wet and the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined.  Little lumps are okay.

Use a rubber scraper to move all batter into prepared pan.  The batter will be very thick.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until a tester stuck into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Allow to cool before cutting (…ideally).

 

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Popovers

Persistence.

This photo is from the 5th time I made these rolls.  FIFTH.  The first time I made them they came out so well I said, “This HAS to go on the blog”.  But, of course, I didn’t have any pictures so I decided to just make them again because they were so yummy and so easy.

This is what I got the next three times.  They still tasted great but they looked like hell.  Couldn’t send you guys off with this.  Especially not right before Thanksgiving which is when I was intending to get these on here.  (I was intending to get a lot of stuff on here.  I’ve done soooo much cooking these last couple weeks – amongst many other things –  not so much blogging.)  So anyway, now they are here for Christmas/Hanukkah!  Is Hanukkah the one where you can’t use leavening or is that Passover???  Well, whichever one it is, this is your go-to bread recipe.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may have noticed I tend toward certain kinds of baked goods.  I generally don’t put up recipes that don’t adapt to gluten free easily from the wheat-based original.  I also generally don’t bother with stuff that is “a good enough substitute” but not the same.  That’s why you won’t see a bread recipe up here.  Yes, you can make gluten free bread.  It’s good in it’s own way.  But it’s not like wheat bread.  It’s it’s own thing.  Can you get used to it?  Of course.  But that’s not my goal here.

My goal is to make really, really, mind-blowingly awesome food.  Food that everyone not just can eat but wants to eat, whether they are gluten free or not.  I did Thanksgiving at my house last week for 24 – a little over half of whom could eat wheat.  So my recipe choices had to be as good as or better than the more traditional dishes.

For the last few years I have not attempted gluten free dinner rolls for the holidays.  I’ve done GF rolls a number of other times.  At best they come out like biscuits.  Which is fine if what you want is a biscuit.  But a light, soft, poofy dinner roll?  That’s the kind of thing that is very difficult to replicate without gluten.  So I just haven’t bothered.  I don’t want something that looks, tastes, and feels like a substitute.

Popovers to the rescue!  I had never made these before but when I read about them a few months ago I thought they would work really well with gluten free flour and I was right.  Now, if you can use wheat (and I realize I’ve probably already lost anyone who is not interested in doing this GF) go for it!  They’re awesome either way.

That’s kind of the point.

Popovers start out as a thin batter.  It’s actually very close in makeup to pancake batter – mostly milk and eggs.  But there is no leavening in popovers.  No baking powder, soda, or yeast.  So how do they rise up out of the pan to great poofy heights, earning them their name???  The answer is STEAM.

You pour the batter into a hot muffin tin (or popover tin if you have one, I don’t) and place it in a very hot oven.  The rapid change in temperature creates steam.  The eggs in the batter stretch to accommodate the expansion of the hot gas, giving the popovers a strong, crusty outside and an almost hollow middle.   The transformation is as dramatic as popcorn, which incidentally, pops for the very same reason.

They’re buttery and soft and they tear in your teeth like wheat rolls do.  Enough yakkin.  Let’s do this already.

First, I have to give a shout out to Michael Ruhlman’s book, Ratio.  It has totally changed the way I cook.  It’s kind of an “anti-recipe” book which lays out very plainly the ratios for all kinds of basic foods we make and eat everyday.  If you know the ratio you never have to rely on a recipe again.  It’s been very freeing for me.  I’m a better cook because of it.

You will need two large eggs, milk, butter, salt, some All Purpose GF Flour Mix (or regular flour), and Xanthan Gum (only if using GF flour).  That’s it.

First, stick an un-greased popover pan (if you have one, I don’t) or a muffin tin in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  A popover pan will give you a more impressive poof but a muffin tin works too.

In a medium bowl whisk together two eggs, 1/2 tsp salt (a full teaspoon if using unsalted butter)…

…a cup of milk (8 oz by weight AND volume, just like water), 4 Tbsp of melted butter (not shown – this was part of the puzzle I had to figure out to make this work as you’ll see in a minute)…

…4 ounces of flour (GF or regular), and a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum, if using.  If you don’t own a scale, 4 ounces of wheat flour is a scant cup.  Gluten free flour mix weights depend on their composition.  Mine is pretty close to wheat flour…but seriously…just buy the scale.  It makes life in the kitchen so much easier.

Okay, you see those pats of butter?  Don’t do that.  I repeat – DO NOT BUTTER YOUR MUFFIN TIN.  This is why my popovers refused to pop.  The globs of butter that the recipe TOLD ME to use were what was inhibiting the rise.  If these were glutenous they probably would have been just fine but GF popovers only work if the butter is added with the rest of the ingredients.  The first time I did these – the time they came out so well?  I forgot, I made “the mistake” of not doing this step.  Live and learn.

So anyway – this part happens quickly.  Using an oven mitt, get your popover pan/muffin tin out of the oven.   Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, divvy up the batter between 9 of the very hot muffin tins.  You want to work quickly and carefully.

And here they are right out of the oven!  It’s important that you wait a few minutes before getting them out of the pan.  Trust me on this one.  A few minutes makes the difference between rolls that are sticking to the pan and tearing apart and rolls that actually come out in one piece and look nice.

I’m not real good at following my own advice :p  I did tear this one in half just so you could see the light, airy texture inside.  Mmmm.  They’re light and yet rich – they don’t even need butter.  But they would be so lovely with jam or honey.

There, I waited.  Actually I didn’t.  That was just the last one we pulled out.

Enjoy!

Popovers

8 oz (1 cup) milk

4 Tbsp butter, melted

2 large eggs

4 oz All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Blend (or a scant cup regular flour)

1 tsp Xanthan Gum (if using GF flour)

1/2 tsp salt

Instructions:

Put an un-greased muffin tin in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl whisk together all ingredients.

Remove muffin tin from oven.  Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, divide batter between 9 of the 12 muffin cups and put in oven.  Work quickly and carefully.

After 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 375 degrees.  Bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Let popovers rest 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Serve with jam and/or honey.

Makes 9 popovers but can easily be doubled or tripled.


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Thin Crust Gluten Free Pizza Dough

I’m reposting this recipe because I finally have step by step pictures to go with it. The method is the same as for regular pizza dough and can be used with any toppings you like.  And while, like in making bread, there is no exact substitute for glutenous wheat flour, this still produces a very nice, thin crispy crust.

First, let’s get out our dry ingredients.  (I have to say here I kind of adore this recipe because – as far as GF flours go – these are some of the cheapest.)  We need corn flour, corn starch, sweet rice flour, potato starch, salt, and Xanthan Gum to start.  Oh, and the ever important kitchen scale.  We will be using equal parts of our flours/starches by weight.  This means no measuring cups as each has a different density.

First, place your mixing bowl on the scale and zero it out.  Or press the “tare” button.  Whatever yours says.  I’m using the bowl of my stand mixer.  If you have one, do the same.  It makes making dough a bazillion times easier.

Add all your dry ingredients to your bowl, zeroing out the scale in between each addition.  (Sooooo much easier for those of us who are computationally deficient.)  I use grams to measure most everything now because it’s more accurate than ounces.  We need 125 grams of each flour/starch plus 4 tsp Xanthan Gum and 1 1/2 tsp salt.  Whisk them all together and make a “well” in the center.

To our well we’re going to pour in 1 3/4 cups warm water.  (Think hot shower temp ~ 105 degreesish).  This is going to make our yeast so happy.  You WANT happy yeast.  Yes.

Speaking of which, there it is.  4 tsp of dry yeast will do it.  Just sprinkle it on top of the water and let it sit a few minutes.  We want our yeast to “bloom” (i.e. get foamy).  If you watch closely you can actually see the little guys go one by one.  Kitchen science is fun!

Okay, I’ll stop now.

After our yeast has bloomed, about five to ten minutes later, add in 1/4 cup olive oil.  Using the dough hook turn your mixer on low and let it run until the dough has come together completely with no loose flour sitting on the bottom of the bowl.

If you do not have a stand mixer don’t try to do this with a hand mixer – it won’t work and you’ll probably burn it out.  Mixing this by hand means just that – getting your hands into it.  Knead the dough (keep mushing and turning it) over and over until you get a soft, pliable dough.  No need to worry about overworking it, there’s no gluten to overwork.  And thankfully, this will be much easier than if you were trying to knead glutenous pizza dough.

When it’s done it will look kind of like a brain.

Now, to keep it soft while it’s rising, we’re going to drizzle a little more olive oil over the ball and turn it to coat.  Then just cover it with a clean towel and set it in a warm place.  If it’s summer that can be anywhere in the house.  If it’s winter (we only have two seasons here in northwest PA), turn on your oven for about 20 seconds.  Turn it off and put your dough in there to rise.  Those few seconds will be just enough to get it warm in there.  About 80-85 degrees is great.

An hour later here is our risen dough!  If you’re used to working with regular dough you’re likely looking at that and going, “It’s not done rising”.  Well yes, smartypants, it actually is.  It’s never going to rise as much as a wheat dough.  Just the way it is.  And that’s okay because we’re still gonna get a mighty fine crust out of it.

That’s my husband rolling out his dough between two sheets of parchment paper.  He insists on doing it himself because he loves using the rolling pin.

It’s the little things in life 🙂

Gluten Free Pizza Dough (adapted slightly from Gluten Free Girl and The Chef)

125g corn flour (Masa)

125g cornstarch

125g sweet rice flour

125g potato starch

1/2 Tbsp kosher salt

4 tsp Xanthan Gum

1 3/4 cups warm water (think hot shower warm)

4 tsp instant dry yeast

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for coating

Instructions:

In bowl of stand mixer whisk together first six ingredients and make a well in the middle.

Pour water into the well and sprinkle yeast on top.  Let the yeast ripen for 5-10 minutes (until it gets foamy).

Pour in the olive oil and, using your dough hook, mix your dough on low speed until it comes together, maybe 3-4 minutes.  If you do not have a stand mixer, knead the dough with your hands until it loses it’s stickiness and becomes smooth and pliable.  This will take closer to 8 minutes depending how vigorously you work the dough.

Form dough into a ball (it will kind of look like a brain at this point) and rub all over with olive oil.  This keeps the outside from getting too dry while it rises.  Cover with a dish cloth or paper towel and leave to rise in a warm place.  In the winter I turn my oven on for about 20 seconds, turn it off, and then put my dough in and shut the door.  The few seconds the oven is on is enough to raise the temperature from the normal 65 of my house to around 80.  Perfect for making happy yeast.

Let it rise for at least an hour.  It will not rise as high as a glutenous dough and will not be as elastic but it will still roll out real nicely.  Rolling it out between two sheets of parchment paper is the easiest way – though some say that destroys all the nice air bubbles and that stretching it is the way to go.  To each his own.

This recipe makes two large crusts.  If not using both immediately, excess dough can be wrapped and placed in refrigerator for a day or can be frozen and used later.  I have no idea how long it will keep.  We always seem to need the freezer dough within a week :p

Makes two one-pound balls of dough

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