Monday, October 20, 2008

Soda-Bread Sandwich Loaf

This recipe is a better adaptation of my Gluten-Free Bannock from this site, proportions perfected for a 7-8" cast iron pan. I cut the loaf into 4 pieces and freeze it. Each warmed wedge is perfect for a sandwich with a semi-soft filling of veggies and cheese or tuna salad or hummus and tomatoes or veggie burgers and sprouts.

1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup amaranth flour
1/4 cup soy flour
1 tsp GF baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp whole flaxseeds
1 or 2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

3/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp oil

Whisk flours, seeds, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium bowl. Make a well in the centre. In a separate bowl, beat egg and buttermilk. Stir into dry ingredients.

Heat oil in a 7 or 8"cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat (4/10 on my stove). Pour batter into pan. Cook, covered with a lightly greased pot lid, over low heat at least 12 minutes, until golden on the bottom and edges are reasonably well-set. Turn and cook until browned underneath, at least another 10 minutes.

A turning tip: This bread is quite tender and can be tricky to flip with just a spatula. Try sliding it, cooked side down, onto a smooth flat saucepan lid with a handle you can grip. Then bring the frying pan to meet the uncooked side of the bread on the pot lid.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Georgian Cheese-Stuffed Bread

We followed the recipes from Nigella Lawson's Georgian Feast in her book Feast for our Thanksgiving Day, and the cheese-stuffed bread was a huge hit. I thought I'd better write down the recipe adaptation before I forget what I did - but I haven't yet had a chance to convert the weights to cups. Sorry -- will do next time.

Serve with a simple salad of bitter greens, cucumbers, and green onions. I added lots of nasturtium blossoms, which are lovely and delicious. This recipe makes half the amount Nigella recommends for eight, but it is rich and will serve at least five or six people as a first course or brunch course. Four for a vegetarian main course.

2/3 cup milet flour
1/3 cup sorghum flour (next time, I'm planning to use amaranth instead)
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup soy flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 rounded tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain yogurt
1 egg
2 tbsp soft butter

100 g ricotta cheese
250 g feta cheese, crumbled
150 g mozzarella cheese, grated
1 small egg

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, xanthan gum, soda, and salt. Work in softened 2 tbsp butter. In a small bowl, beat the egg and yogurt. Beat egg mixture into flour mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate this until you are ready to assemble the bread.

Combine cheeses and small egg in a small bowl. Set aside until you are really, really ready to assemble the bread.

Sprinkle a 9" round cake pan with GF flour. Sprinkle a breadboard with a little bit more GF flour. Remove your dough from the fridge and cut the dough in half. Lightly knead half of the dough into a circle. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the cake pan. Spread with the cheese mixture. Lightly knead the second half of the dough into a circle approximately 9" round. Set this on top of the cheese mixture with its edges overlapping the dough up the sides of the pan, and seal the edges of the dough all the way around the pan.

Preheat the oven to 425F. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown but still very slightly doughy on the inside. Serve hot, in cheese-oozing wedges.

Crunchy Granola Bars

Conceivably, these granola bars are so seedy that you could replace the cup-and-a-half of oats if you had to, but I love oats and am happy I have some that I can eat. Remember that you must locate gluten-free, uncontaminated oats such as those from Cream Hill Estates. The recipe is pretty adaptable to your tastes and the contents of your cupboard. All sunflower seeds or all pepitas are both great. Any dried fruit is great. It would also be very feasible to make these nut-free. Omit the almond extract and replace the almonds with more pepitas!

1/3 cup corn syrup
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup veg. oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups pure, uncontaminated rolled oats
1 cup GF rice crispies
1 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) (also unsalted)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
a pinch of sea salt

Line a metal lasagna pan or other pan about 12x15" with parchment paper on the bottom and up the sides.

Combine corn syrup, vegetable oil, and honey in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in almond extract and vanilla after the few minutes of cooling.

In the meantime, combine the oats, sunflower seeds, rice crispies, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, coconut, almonds, sesame seeds, and salt in a large bowl.

Pour the syrup over the dry ingredients and stir to mix very well. Pour into paarchment-paper lined pan and press in firmly and evenly.

Bake at 350F until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into bars, preferably with a rotary pizza cutter. I cut them into six 2" pieces lengthwise and then into three 5" pieces crosswise to make 18 bar-shaped bars. Save any bits that crumble off the edges to sprinkle on yogurt. These freeze very well.