Tag Archives: bread

Gluten Free Ratio Rally: Chocolate Chip Mocha Quick Bread

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Gluten Free Ratio Rally

Baking with a cause: YOU!

It’s on again!  The Gluten Free Ratio Rally – baking gluten-free using ratios….  and it SO works!  The inaugural rally posts were focused on pancakes.

This time around we are tackling quick breads or muffins.  Both of which are basically the same recipe, just different baking times.  Personally, I’m a fan of the loaf method.  Saves time, ya know.  And, it’s easily transported to work and left in the main office for others to taste test, share and enjoy as well.  The muffins are great – when I have the time to make them, I do.  Lately, however, I’m noticing that I’m forgetting to set the timer or some other meaningful-yet-missed-due-to-sleep-deprivation task while the evening hours are upon us.

Working full-time means baking time comes in the evening and only if I’m lucky.  These last couple of weeks, I’ve fallen back on to some standards/fail-safes that are quick to whip up (lavash bread, brazilian cheese bread,, cookies (!),) and best of all:  QUICK BREADS!  Without time to have a loaf rising, it’s perfect to get a quick loaf of bread in.  Depending on your mood, you can make a million varieties.  Really.  I’ve been reading just the TITLES of the quick breads that the other GF Rally bloggers are creating and my head is spinning with ideas and my taste buds are completely craving a buffet-table of GF breads and muffins.  (OH MY – wouldn’t that be heaven??)

There were a dozen of us who blogged about pancakes – and baking GF with a ratio of ingredients.  Spin back a bit to Ruhlman’s book about “Ratio“, initial conversations about ratios with gluten free baking, and a rally was born.  That book is really much more of a reference point.  As for GF ratios, the only hurdles/variables are the starch – to – flour ratio to make up the flour called for within any given ratio.

The Gluten Free Flour : Starch Ratio

And let’s be honest:  we are SO lucky!  In reality, there are so many flours for us to choose from:  sorghum, millet, brown (or white) rice, teff, buckwheat, corn (flour not starch), almond, hazelnut, coconut, amaranth…. and THOSE are just the ones I like.  Surely I am missing some of the ones you enjoy?

As far as starches go, these are my favorites:  tapioca, potato starch (not flour), cornstarch, arrowroot, and sweet rice flour.

For most of my baking (anything non-yeast bread), I rely on a ratio of 65-70% flour to 30-35% starch.  Any greater percentage of starches and the breads/baked goods tend to be too pasty/chalky to me.  And that isn’t even talking about the lack of positive nutritional contributions to the baked good.  I choose the best, whole grain flours I can (typically millet, sorghum and finely ground brown rice) with the starch that will best impart the texture I’m looking for (tapioca = slightly sweet with a little chew; potato starch makes things more moist, but also more dense; cornstarch creates a lighter texture, but with a chalky aftertaste, etc).  I really like using tapioca starch (also called tapioca starch flour) because it’s cheap too – and easier to find in large quantities at local Asian markets.  (That’s a definite bonus!)

Baking by Weight/Ratio

While I’ve had my kitchen scale for several years, I really only used it for two reasons:  (1) complete curiosity about weights in regards to different flours and serving portions, etc and (2) to bake something from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, etc that was written in grams, rather than cups.

Since the get-go, I’ve been surprised at the wide-variance of weights.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I KNEW the flours were different densities, etc, but I was definitely surprised that the measurements were off by SIGNIFICANT grams.  It makes a difference when baking.  It is helpful to have the weights.

But since we are a cups-and-ounces crew/country, I’m posting my recipe both ways.  Sometimes, as in without a scale on hand or while baking the same way our mamas did, we reach of the measuring cups.  However, if you have the inclination, I would suggest that if you really are a GF household/baker, you should consider a kitchen scale.  You will have a whole world of recipes (literally..the rest of the world!) open up to you in grams.  And you can play around with your scale measuring out random foods just to befriend that scale and really see its value for you. (FYI: This is the one we have.)

But until you are ready to make the leap, keep baking.  And check out these other Ratio Rally Bloggers and their Gluten Free Quick Bread/Muffin recipe.  Once you see the tons of varieties that I have been eyeing lately, you will truly be considering a scale.  The variety and ratio works because of the scaling.

The Recipe

The Quick Bread/Muffin Ratio is as follows:

2 : 1 : 2 : 1 : 1
flour : sugar : liquid : eggs : butter (fat)

What does that mean?  It means simply this:

230 grams gluten free flour mix (170 grams sorghum + 60 grams tapioca starch flour)
115 grams of sugar
230 grams of liquid
2 eggs
115 grams of butter (1 stick)

GF Chocolate Chip Mocha Quick Bread 3

Gluten Free Chocolate-Chip Mocha Quick Bread
Recipe makes 1 loaf OR 18 – 24 muffins
You can find a printable copy of this recipe here.

Ingredients:
115 grams (1 stick – 1/2 cup) butter
115 grams (1/2 cup) sugar
170 grams sorghum (about 1 1/4 cup)
60 grams tapioca starch (about 1/2 scant cup)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons instant coffee
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
115 grams – 4 ounces (1/2 cup) milk or half and half
115 grams – 4 ounces (1/2 cup) prepared (not hot) coffee
2 eggs (large)
115 grams (5 ounces / 1 cup) dark chocolate chips (OR sliced almonds OR chopped walnuts OR chopped dried cherries)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.  Butter a bread-loaf pan.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar until light yellow and fluffy.
  3. While creaming (thank you, stand mixer!), whisk together sorghum flour and tapioca starch.
  4. Add eggs to creamed ingredients.  Mix together.
  5. Add remaining ingredients (sifted flours, baking powder, salt, instant coffee, xanthan gum, milk, coffee) to the mixing bowl.  Mix together for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in add-ins (chocolate chips, nuts, dried cherries, etc) if using.
  7. Pour into your loaf pan.  Bake for 45-55 minutes until a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean (or at least only with melted chocolate) AND/OR your bread internal temperature reaches 200F – 205F.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool in the loaf pan until cool enough to touch with your hands (30 + minutes).  Flip onto a cutting board.  Slice and serve.

We enjoyed this bread with sliced strawberries and homemade lattes this morning.  What will you eat yours with?

Happy GF Baking!
~Kate

PS.  Don’t forget to check out the other Ratio Rally Recipes!  You can find a list of all of our posts on our hostess’s site:  Silvana of Silvana’s Kitchen.  Here’s the page with her recipe and the links to the other THIRTY-SIX Gluten Free Ratio Rally Participants! THIRTY-SIX!  WAHOOO!

GF: Sorghum-Flax Bread – Make it three ways!

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I think I am a finicky bread eater. Not because it’s gluten free bread. Nope, but because I like to make it and experiment with ways to change up a recipe. I like using the ingredients I have on hand and changing them up to see what else I can do.

(And yes, I’m like this in the classroom too. My teaching rule of thumb: if I’m bored, my students are DYING.)

Enter stage left: The bags of flax seeds and flax seed meal in my refrigerator.

I bought the flax seeds as an easy way to increase the fiber content in the breads I bake. I then began adding them to practically everything. A couple tablespoons of flax seeds doesn’t mean you have to alter a recipe either. That’s part of the beauty of it all. No major recipe changes, but a major fiber boost. Hooray!

Before going gluten-free, I ate hearty, healthy whole grain breads with flax or other seeds. I loved hearty breads like rye, pumpernickel, etc. But I’m also a fan of the soft and squishy. On Sundays, when I bake bread for the week, sometimes it’s a tough call. I’m not sure what kind of bread I am in the mood for. So that’s where this recipe comes in handy. You can make it with or without a sponge (the sponge adds a bit of depth of flavor to the bread) and you can make it lighter or heartier (depending on how you use the eggs). Regardless of your choice. It’s a tasty bread. I’ve been enjoying it for sandwiches and grilled cheese dinners with my love this week.

To alter this bread recipe from the step-by-step directions below (which make the hearty version), do the following:

FOR A LIGHTER BREAD:

  • Separate the eggs.
  • Whip the egg whites until they form firm peaks and set aside.
  • Add the yolks to the other wet ingredients that are adding in after the sponge is created.
  • After mixing the flours/dry and the wet/sponge, gently fold in the egg whites before scrapping into your prepared bread pan.

FOR A QUICKER LOAF OF BREAD (No sponge):

  • Combine all dry ingredients except yeast.
  • Proof yeast in 1/2 cup warm water (not hotter than 110F) plus 1 Tablespoon agave nectar.
  • *Combine remaining wet ingredients with proofed yeast before mixing.*
  • (*You can still separate the eggs and make a lighter loaf of bread here too.)

FOR A HEARTY, HEALTHY LOAF (Made with a sponge): Follow the instructions below.

Gluten-Free Hearty, Healthy Sorghum-Flax Bread
Makes one loaf.

Mix together:

  • 3/4 cup rice flour (or millet flour)
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 3/4 cup GF rolled oats (or quinoa flakes)
  • 1/4 cup flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sweet rice flour

Heat water & milk, then add agave and yeast:

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 Tablespoons agave or honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
  1. When the yeast is warm and beginning to foam, add 1 cup of dry flour mix (from above). Reserve the rest of the flour for the bread.
  2. Let “sponge” activate for 2 hours in a warm – NOT hot – place in your kitchen. This is your “sponge”. It is done when it has risen and begun to settle again. Before proceeding to add any additional ingredients (eggs, vinegar, melted butter and club soda), whisk the sponge together (or use a fork) to make sure there are no stringy parts.

To dry ingredients, add:

  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon xanthan gum

To the sponge, add:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup club soda (+ 1/4 cup of club soda if necessary)
  1. Combine all ingredients – flour/dry ingredients and sponge/wet ingredients.
  2. Beat in your mixer for 5 minutes minimum but no more than 10 minutes on medium-high.
  3. Preheat the oven to warm and turn off the heat. Leave the oven door closed.
  4. Butter the bottom and first 2 inches of the sides of your bread pan.
  5. Scrap the dough into the prepared bread pan with a wet spatula. Dip the spatula in to water as often as necessary to keep the dough from sticking and smooth the dough into the corners of the pans and into the pan as evenly as possible.
  6. Place bread pan into the warm oven (with the door closed but the heat off) to rise for 1 hour.
  7. Without taking the bread out, turn the heat up to 350F and bake the bread for 35-45 minutes or until golden.
  8. Allow to cool completely before slicing on a cooling rack. (I usually wait a few minutes and then dump the bread out of the bread pan and on to the cooling rack.)

Slice as needed to keep moist.
Store in an airtight container on the counter for one week.
Leftovers make great bread crumbs, croutons, crab cakes, meatballs, etc too!

Happy bread making all!
-Kate

Gluten-Free: Sun-dried Tomato Sandwich Bread

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On Sunday afternoon, I made this great sandwich bread. I tend to make bread on Sundays so that I can have sandwiches for lunch the first few days of the week. It makes for an easy lunch to pack and quite honestly, I really enjoy a good sandwich. Maybe that is what I missed the most – being able to stop at Costello’s (a local grinder shop near where we lived in Chicago) for sandwiches. I would often stop there on my way home from my grad classes which kept me on campus until 9PM after a long day of teaching.

While out shopping this weekend, I found a vacuum pack of sun-dried tomatoes. After missing the sun, thanks to our Pacific Northwest winter days, I thought a little sun-kissed goodness would be in order. (If you can’t find the vacuum-packed ones, don’t worry! While I made this recipe with sun-dried tomatoes that were not packed in oil, you can easily make this recipe with the oil packed kind as well.)

Last night, my love wanted sandwiches for dinner. Normally 3-4 days after making bread, I know that I should probably make grilled sandwiches or at least toasted ones. I didn’t need to do that with this bread, though. After 4 days, I am enjoying the last of my sun-dried tomato bread and it is STILL moist and fabulous.

In fact, my husband (who eats gluten-free with me) remarked how moist his bread was last night too. He even asked for seconds. And if you ask me, when a someone who doesn’t *have* to be gluten-free asks for seconds, you pay attention.

Today I have the last two slices for my sandwich at lunch. I’ve had a sandwich everyday this week which is unheard of! Usually, by the end of the week, I am the leftover queen. And to be honest, I don’t mind the leftovers at all. My love is an amazing cook and we have fun coming up with new recipes and ideas together. I’d rather be eating my leftovers than some of the other options or previous (pre-GF) choices (like the school cafeteria!).

But oh it’s so nice to have a week of sandwiches again. ;)

Here are a few recipe thoughts and tips:

  • I made this recipe with the 1.5 pound bread pans (10″ x 5″). (You can find some here.) But this recipe is really a better fit (and would make a taller loaf) in a regular bread pan – so no worries. I just grabbed the first one in the cupboard and the larger one was there because I had just made some Millet andQuinoa Bread. (Go Natalie!).
  • Let the bread rise in the pre-warmed oven, but be sure to turn the oven off. I tend to turn the oven to warm while mixing the ingredients and then turn it off while the bread is in the final 5-minute mix. That way the top of the bread will not begin to bake or dry out.
  • When the rising time has finished, don’t bother taking the bread out. Just turn the oven up to the baking temperature and bake from there. It you are worried about it, be sure to check back at the half-way point. If the bread is browning faster than you would like, cover the top with aluminum foil to slow the browning down.
  • Bread storage: I know some people slice and freeze their gluten-free bread. Since I don’t make a lot of bread (usually only what we will consume in a week), I do not slice it until I need to. I store my bread (unsliced) in an airtight Ziploc (with the air squished out) on the kitchen counter. This method keeps the bread perfectly fine for the week. With this loaf, even after 5 days of being stored like this it is still perfectly moist and chewy.

And now the recipe:

Gluten-Free Sun-Dried Tomato Sandwich Bread
Ingredients:
1/4 cup buttermilk powder
3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flaxseed meal
3 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 Tablespoon yeast
2 Tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
1 cup warm water
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomato
1 Tablespoon olive oil (omit if using sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil)
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to warm (200F).
  2. In a deep bowl (enough for 2 cups+ of liquid), proof the yeast in the cup of warm water and 2 Tablespoons of agave nectar (or honey).
  3. Blend together dry ingredients with a whisk or in the mixing bowl of your mixer.
  4. Once the yeast has gotten foamy (about 5 minutes), add the eggs, oil and cider vinegar to the mixture and whisk together to break apart eggs and blend the liquid ingredients evenly.
  5. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and mix together a low-medium speed for 2 minutes.
  6. Turn off the oven but leave it closed.
  7. Turn the mixer to high and beat together for 5 minutes.
  8. While the bread is mixing, spray the bottom (and a little of the sides) of your bread pan with olive oil/cooking spray.
  9. Pour the bread mixture into the prepared pans and even it out.
  10. Slide the bread pan into the warm oven to rise for 45 minutes.
  11. Turn the oven to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean and/or a temperature of 190F is reached.
  12. Turn out on to a cooling rack and allow to cool mostly before slicing (if you can stand it).
  13. Allow the bread to cool completely before storing. Store unsliced bread in a Ziploc or airtight container on the counter. If you wish, you can slice and freeze the bread as well.

I’m off for now with visions of my sandwiches dancing in my head.
Who needs sugar plums when you have soft gluten-free bread? lol
-Kate