Tuesday, May 20, 2008

First Bagels!

I made mine with poppy seeds and sesame seeds on top using egg wash, and also with Sorghum flour in addition to sweet rice flour. I replaced the yeast and water with 2 cups buttermilk. They came out great! The original recipe is in italics and in a different font just to keep the first one for now. My best concoction so far has bullets in front of it and is beneath it in regular font again.

The dough itself will not be as smooth as gluten based dough so these bagels will have a slightly lumpy appearance. The key really is learning how to form the bagels…which I am afraid only practice will perfect. I wish you luck and hope that your path to gluten free bagels is paved with golden lox and cream cheese.
Real Honest Gluten Free Bagels

Wendy Wark’s Gluten Free Flour Mix

According to the girl who originally posted this recipe "This wonderful flour blend is from Karen Robertson’s book “Cooking Gluten Free!”. Not only are all the recipes in the book outstanding but it also contained this miraculous flour mixture. I make this flour mixture in large batches and use it for everything. It can be used cup for cup in place of traditional flour."
Wendy Wark’s Gluten Free Flour Mix
2 ¼ cups Brown Rice Flour
¾ cup Sweet Rice Flour
2/3 cup Tapioca Flour
1/3 cup Corn Starch
¼ cup Potato Starch Flour
2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

*This recipe with yield 7 bagels
Bagel Ingredients
3 ¼ cups
WW gluten free flour mix
2 tablespoons yeast
1 ½ cups warm water
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum

My Recipe:
  • 2 c buttermilk
  • 1/2 c quinoa flour
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 1 c brown rice flour
  • 3/4 c sweet rice flour
  • 2/3 c tapioca flour
  • 1/3 c corn starch
  • 1/4 c potato starch
  • 2 t. and 2 1/2 t. xanthan gum separately
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. sea salt
Cooking Items
1 gallon water
4 tablespoons sugar
Tea Kettle of water
Vegetable oil for greasing a bowl
Kitchen towels
Cookie Sheet (I recommend aluminum)
Large stock pot
Slotted spoon
Dissolve the 3 tablespoons of sugar in the 1 ½ cups of warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the water and stir to combine. Allow this to sit for about 10 minutes to proof the yeast (the mixture should get foamy in appearance).

Lightly oil a mixing bowl with vegetable oil and set aside
Set the tea kettle on the stove to get it boiling
To the warm buttermilk add the salt, 2 1/2 t. xanathan gum and 1 ½ cups of the flour mix. Use your hand to mix the ingredients together. The mixture will be lumpy so do not fret. Continue to add the remaining flour a ½ cup at a time. When you have about a ½ cup remaining of the flour it is time to turn the dough mixture out onto a work surface. You will really need to knead the dough well to get all the flour to combine. The texture of the dough will be slightly sticky (remember this is not wheat we are dealing with). If you feel the dough is too dry keep kneading it and it should become tacky around the same time that your arms get tired. Form the dough into a nice neat ball and place into the lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel.
Place dough into the oven on the middle rack. DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON. Place a baking pan on the lowest rack in the oven and fill it with the boiling water. Close the oven door and let the dough rise for about an hour. Adding the water into the oven really helps this dough rise. (won't rise much w/o yeast, but I let it sit just in case). I have tried other methods but this seems to work best.
After 1 hour remove all items from the oven and preheat the oven to 400 F.
Turn the dough out onto your work surface and gently punch it down. Divide the dough into 7 equal sections and begin forming the bagels. I like to roll the dough into a ball using a good amount of pressure (for smoothing purposes) and then I gently flatten it and use my index finger to punch the whole in the middle. Let the bagels sit and rise again for about 15 minutes.
In the meantime set a large stock pot with the gallon of water on the stove and bring the water to a boil. When the water boils add the 4 tablespoons of sugar and bring the water down to a simmer. Sprinkle the cookie sheet with a thin layer of cornmeal.
After the bagels have sat for 15 minutes drop 3-4 bagels into the simmering water and allow them to cook for about 4 minutes. After 4 minutes turn them over in the water and let them cook for about 4 minutes more. Using a slotted spoon remove the bagels from the water and place on a kitchen towel. After all bagels have taken a dip in the water arrange them on the cookie sheet.
You can also put a topping on the bagels such as poppy or sesame seeds. To do this you will want to whisk together 3 tablespoons of water with 1 egg white. Before you put the bagels in the oven brush a thin layer of the egg wash on the top of the bagels and sprinkle them with your topping of choice.
Cook the bagels in the oven for 25 minutes and then turn them over and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Let them cool for about a half hour before you try and cut them. If you try cutting them when they are still hot you run the risk of turning them into a glob of dough. Freeze bagels once cooled. Enjoy!

My Upcoming Endeavors

I am so excited to make this pizza recipe that I found on epicurious. The picture looks amazing, and although the reviews are great on the crust's consistency, no one comments on the actual flavor in that recipe, so I will have to see for myself. Pizza is one of the dishes that I miss the most. If it comes out well tomorrow, I will post the picture and the recipe soon after.

I also want to make MORE bagels (they came out great!) This alone gave me hope that all substitutions are possible, and tasty. Maybe some cinnamon raisin for cream cheese, and some onion for egg sandwiches.

I will retry the pita recipe from the Living Without magazine. This time replacing the yeast with the buttermilk since that may be one of the culprits in my unhappy system. Can't wait to have that with a greek salad, and then also as a large sandwich wrap.

Chilequiles will be a breakfast dish that I will try soon. Already naturally gluten free! I saw the recipe somewhere today on yahoo, but cannot remember exactly, which is why I am creating this blog for my memory-challenged mind! I think the chips get baked about 20min with the toppings combined in the same dish. Not sure yet how to get the eggs right though...

And once my Breadman machine comes that my sweet, sweet supportive husband ordered for me, I am going to try using the sandwich mix by Pamela in that machine. This was recommended by Karina and many others, so I am excited to be able to make real sandwiches again! I also want to make a french bread again, but this time not fat-free, and w/o the yeast. Pamela's brownie mix wasn't bad either, but not quite as good as the 365 brand.

Graham crackers from Living Without is also on the list for summer smores on the soon-coming camping trips.

I want to try the breaded chicken from bellandevans.com for chicken tenders with ranch, chicken parmigiana, and the sweet and sour chicken recipe that I found and saved in my own bookmarks and am dying to try. Hopefully I can find this at whole foods. If not, it can be ordered.

Then, a yellow cake from either Living Without, or from Bette Hagman's recipebook. Followed by frosting.

Oh, and the buffalo chicken dip recipe (with wing sauce) that I have had at two separate occasions and could NOT stop eating. I need to get the recipe first, and then will share. This is a great recipe for any get together that people will rave about.

My beloved spinach dip with a homemade mix by Bette Hagman, maybe with some artichokes added, and then served with her salem crumpets recipe.

GF bread crumbs, and croutons, so that I can make my own ceasar salad, and mom can make me some of her awesome signature pasta sauce :)

Stovetop lasagna, so good!

Nicole's chocolate chip recipe that she swears by.

Cream cheese sugar cookie recipe in my old computer's bookmarks. Perfect for xmas cookies, when the time comes again.

I had better get to sleep so that I have time and energy to create new tasty pleasures tomorrow!

Little Tips

  • Focus on the many, many foods that you CAN have, and remember that fruits and vegetables grew naturally for a reason
  • Still have a hinkering for something glutenated? Almost everything can be transformed into a healthier, gluten free version
  • Feeling a little down at first? It is only natural on the journey of discovering a whole new way of life. Our worlds are unfortunately centered around eating, and when every aspect of that is "altered", it takes some time to adjust. Dana Korn and Bette Hagman were my first inspirations, followed by Shauna's and Karina's blogs. Their constant positive outlook and delicious-looking pictures help me get through a discouraging day in the gluten world.
  • A wise quote that appealed to me in reference to comparing baking with gluten vs. without gluten..."you cannot make an apple pie out of a different fruit, and then be surprised that it does not come out tasting like apple pie"
  • Give your tastebuds a good few weeks before trying any gf bread, bake good, etc. The transition will be so much easier than you think when you're not comparing. Karina couldn't have said it better, and I found out the hard way that she was right (especially with pizza)...and on this same note, maybe postpone sharing these new food samples with friends and families until you have mastered a recipe. Hearing negative feedback on something you created after hunting down the ingredients, spilling the ingredients and then have those ingredients come together and stick to you, only to come out s0-s0, does not help matters. Plus, if they are picky, the same taste testers may not be so eager to try something next time that is actually really good. Any hesitancy could only create some frustration on your part without them meaning to.
  • If not for the Trader Joe's Cheetos, I would be starving somewhere. These are a great junk food option to take to work, travel with, or just munch as a small snack.
  • I use buttermilk in place of the yeast and warm water combo, usually 2 cups buttermilk per 1 and 1/4 c warm water and yeast
  • add seltzer water to moisten and lighten a baked good
  • replace a teaspoon of flour with that amount of flax seeds for added fiber
  • replace another spoonful or two of flour with new quinoa, millet or teff flour for more protein and fiber
  • use honey, agave or maple syrup in place of sugar, not in exact measurements though (specifics will be added later...)
  • replace half of fat with avocado
  • garbanzo beans = bad flavor!
  • so far, yogurt butter works just fine
  • use cornmeal under the raw pizza dough to prevent sticking (plus, the bottom looks just like the bottom of delivery pizzas. hey, whatever works right?)
  • handle raw dough with wet or oiled hands to make life MUCH easier and so much less frustrating
  • use an egg wash (egg whites mixed together w/water) and then that topping added into them) to paint on toppings such as seeds onto a bagel
  • invest in quality pans!
  • Bob's Red Mill has come through in the cornbread mix! I did not like their all purpose flour, possibly because of the garbanzo beans in it
  • 365 Brand has a great pancake/waffle mix, perfect brownie mix but not-so-good white sandwich mix and just ok cornbread mix
  • Using the 365 pancake/waffle mix with a waffle maker will satisfy any craving for restaurant style belgian waffles! Add fresh fruit, maple syrup and maybe even a sprinkle of powdered sugar for complete breakfast bliss. (Be sure to apply enough oil or Pam to waffle maker beforehand)
  • Homemade smoothies cure my stomach ailments after an accidental ingestion of a gluten meal. The coolness and sweetness of this treat also satisfies both the dessert and the drink longing, especially on a warm day. Always use a scoop of protein powder to sustain fulfillment and add extra protein, fiber and nutrients.
  • So far, all restaurant bbq sauces (and fries) have gluten in them. It is much safer to purchase the store bought gf ones, or make them yourself, and inconspicuously, bring them into the restaurant if you want. This keeps my cravings at bay for those foods when everyone else (or so it seems) are happily munching away. (Another reminder: we do not see the negative after-effects that some of our unsuspecting fellow restaurant goers may feel after a glutenated meal).
  • Use Sorghum flour, and try Sweet rice flour

First Discovery

I have learned that everything tastes better when I make it myself. Now I know this can sound snotty, so I should defend that statement by saying that, naturally, anything fresh out of the oven tastes better. Plus, I can pronounce each ingredient that I am adding in, and there are no "partially hydrogenated" anythings in a recipe that I make from start to finish. And no allergens for that matter. Being able to substitute the high fat additions for the healthier versions also makes me happy. And by making something myself, from scratch with fresh ingredients that I had to go to three stores to find, I can honestly say that I have never taken so much pride in what I have cooked or baked as I do now. Cooking and baking is something that I actually like now, something that I honestly crave. Experimenting with this whole new world of ideas is so stimulating and fascinating to me, and when something finally comes out of the oven that I do not throw in the garbage after one bite, the satisfaction is so addicting that I just want to make more. Cooking used to be an obligation, but now everything else that gets in the way of my baking and steals my time away from it is the obligation. I am happy that I have discovered this new world of taking such an active role in designing the healthy (or sometimes unhealthy-but-so-yummy) concoctions of what I put into my new body. Now this is my kind of Chemistry!