GF Flatbread and Cracker Recipe and a GIVE-AWAY!

UntitledGluten free Feta & Dill crackers (with homemade hummus)Photo by Kate Chan

My girls have been asking for “pies” in their lunch boxes lately.  I couldn’t figure out what they wanted.  (Yes, I am the only one who packs their lunches…so yes, I’m … slow.  LOL!)  They assured me that they had eaten peanut butter and jelly pies with lunch.  I was convinced they got snacks at day care.

Turns out they were right.

I have been buying some of the thin, round sandwich thingies at the grocer every once in a blue moon (and especially when I didn’t have time to make bread for everyone).  They are not big bread eaters actually, so it’s been easy to maintain a gluten free house for the most part.  (Save for the ubiquitous box of Goldfish crackers.  I just can’t make enough gluten free mock goldfish crackers to keep up with their demand.  But as an FYI, the gluten free ones are preferred.)

Schools doesn’t break for summer vacation here until June 23.

And THAT seems very far away at the moment.  And thankfully so, I have a ton left to do at work.  But I can’t wait for some time with my girlies too.  I hope we have a warm (not hot) summer and they sun comes to visit.  (It goes missing for several MONTHS of the year here in the PNW.  If you ever hear me moaning about the lack of sunshine, really… I have reason.  I’m totally solar-powered.  This no-sun thing KILLS me.)

Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions

Recently, I also applied for a freebie sample of coconut oil from Tropical Traditions.  I did not receive payment for any review, but was provided with a sample.  They also offered a “give away” of one of their jars of coconut oil.  I think I actually like this stuff!  It is more expensive than buying traditional oils  Since so many people have been talking about using coconut oil in lieu of butters, etc, I thought I would give it a try.  We’ve made some fabulously light waffles with it (and the added benefit of coconut smell while oiling the waffle pan was great!  It was alike an invasion of summer.)  If you would like to try it too, please follow these guidelines:

Congratulations to Stephanie C – Winner!

 

Win A Quart of Gold Label Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions!


Gold Label Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

 

INFORMATION FROM TROPICAL TRADITIONS:

“Tropical Traditions is America’s source for coconut oil.  Our Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is hand crafted in small batches by family producers, and it is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils on our website:  What is Virgin Coconut Oil? Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit our website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the  advantages of buying coconut oil online.  Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.”

ABOUT TROPICAL TRADITIONS COCONUT OIL:

HOW TO ENTER:  For each ENTRY, post ONE comment below.  You may receive an “ENTRY” by doing any/all of the following.

Just remember to post a new comment for each – sorry, but it’s the easiest way to track entries!

  • COMMENT BELOW and tell me your fave idea or current use for coconut oil.
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  • UPDATED INFO:  Tropical Tradition is requiring that people register for their newsletter.  Read this “In addition, as a requirement for people to enter your giveaway, please ask them to subscribe to our email Sales Newsletter here: http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/subscribe_for_special_sales.cfm.”  SORRY FOR MISSING THIS EARLIER, people!  (egad!)
GIVE AWAY ENDS Friday, June 23, 2012 at midnight.  What a way to kick off summer for me!
A winner will be chosen using RANDOM.ORG.  The winner will be contacted via email to obtain a mailing address for Tropical Traditions.  Tropical Traditions will be mailing/supplying the quart of coconut oil.  Good luck!
So……
Now that you are jazzed to try coconut oil…. here’s a recipe you can start with.  (If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use olive oil or butter.)
I’ve been making quick breads (like the lavash recipe) and others trying to get a speedy answer to lunch for me.  This one, Feta and Dill, is our current favorite.  I began making naan and other flatbread recipes several years ago.  Just as I perfected my recipe, our pizza stone broke.  Why does that matter?  Because all of the recipes that were the most successful had beautiful bread  that would puff up nicely on a pizza stone in the oven.  Without a stone, I rather went back to the drawing board.

GF feta and dill dough

Oh, the recipe still works beautifully, but I had to adapt it a little bit to adjust for the different baking/cooking techniques.  This dough can be flattened thinly used to make crackers (picture above) or formed into pita/naan/flatbread (into which I slide a thin sharp knife for sandwiches), etc.  Adjusting the baking times can be adjusted to add more flexibility (more moisture) or a light crisp airy crust (like the pita below).    I’ve even pan-fried them in a little olive oil with a generous sprinkling of sea-salt to make a nice crisp crust.
I love the fact that recipes are so versatile.  Makes for easier on-the-spot adjustment!
As I finish writing this post (which has taken forever this morning to get started!), I realize that we’ve now eaten the 8th or 9th batch with this recipe.  And today, I used my piece (thicker/pita-like) to have a turkey, avocado and sprout sandwich.  My Love used his for a pizza base and the girls ate the chips (above) with hummus.  Sweet deal.
You can also adjust the cheese (use parmesan or asadero or a gluten free bleu).  I suggest sticking to the dry/crumbly cheeses for this so you don’t have to mess with the liquid/dry ratio.

GF Feta & Dill dough - made into pitas

Gluten Free Feta and Dill Flatbread

Recipe makes 8-9 pita shapes or more if flattened thinly for flatbread/chips)
Ingredients:
PROOF:
1/3 cup warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
2 teaspoons yeast
DRY:
2 cups GF blend (rice, millet or sorghum based – or use GF Mama’s Almond Blend)
         (OR:  1 1/2 cup millet or sorghum or rice + 1/2 tapioca or potato starch)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 cup feta
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried dill
WET:
1/2 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon coconut oil (or butter or olive oil)
1 egg
DIRECTIONS:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
  2. Mix together your proofing ingredients:  warm milk, sugar and yeast.  Set aside.
  3. Into the bowl of your mixer, add your dry ingredients.  Mix.
  4. Add the wet ingredients.  Mix again.
  5. Add the proofing mixture (which should have puffed up by now).
  6. Mix together on medium for 2-3 minutes.  The mixture will still be wet and sticky but you should be able to scrap it into a large mass within the bowl.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.  Grease your hands (I coated mine with the coconut oil).  Take the dough in small balls/chunks a tiny bit larger than a golf ball and press them flat onto the parchment paper.  Try to do this evenly.  (You will have uneven browning spots if you are not careful… or if you are me.  😀 )
  8. Bake – under a watchful eye as all ovens vary! – for 8 – 13 minutes.  (8 minutes for the thin cracker-bread and 10-13 minutes for the pita).
  9. Remove an allow to cool (if you can) before storing (if you have any left over).

I have successfully doubled this recipe – but I did NOT add another egg.  Rather I adjust the moisture by adding more sour cream or Greek yogurt.  (Just an FYI if you find that it disappears quickly in your house as well.)

Happy GF Eats, Everyone!
And good luck with your Give-Away Entries!
~Kate

Gluten Free Sunflower & Millet Bread

It’s picnic season around here. For some reason, the month of July means picnics as of late for us. Personally, I think it’s the heat multiplied by the lack of air conditioning at home, quadrupled by the fact that the hottest time of the day is at the dinner hour. Oh yea. Neither of us wants to be standing over the stove or the grill for dinner when it’s HOT-HOT-HOT. (Well, HOT for us, anyway. We *are* from snow-country, ya know. LOL)

The Chicklet and I set about to make some bread the other day when I realized I was missing some key ingredients (namely enough raw pepita seeds for the Pepita-Powered Bread recipe we love so.). So, we through together this tasty sunflower seed version instead. My Love came home and immediately declared its seeded quality to be delectable. After filling my sandwich bread with cucumbers, tomatoes and sprouts with a little lemon-tahini dressing, I had to agree. And I’m NOT a seed-raisiny-bread kind of gal.

Even the Chicklet declared this bread munchable as she chewed up a teeny piece – and really, she’s not a bread eater. (Probably just lucked out living in a non-bread eating household then, huh?)

I find myself not eating as much bread as the years going on. Maybe now that I have a great wrap recipe – quick, easy and versatile – I don’t *need* traditional bread. I think it must because after years one just acclimated and the rest of the eating rainbow becomes so much more satisfying. I’ve even grown accustomed to watching my Love eat the fresh bread rolls or sticks that are served at restaurants too. That is – I *WAS* accustomed to this UNTIL a restaurant in our area *finally* got a clue!

On Sunday, we brought the kidlet to brunch at a local chain that serves mostly fish, etc. I knew I could certainly eat the planked salmon and a few fresh salads with local strawberries or huckleberries. It was an easy decision for me, I really was craving a huge fresh salad with salmon. What I didn’t expect was having the waiter listen to my gluten-related questions (ask them even when you THINK you know the answer, people – things change!) so carefully and then smile. He completely KNEW what I was talking about! YES!

Not only did he reassure me that the hollandaise was gluten-free (Yes, he still checked with the Chef… he told me he checks EVERY time someone asks just in case the kitchen has made a substitute or something), but he also suggested that I get some fresh tomato slices under my salmon Benedict. Oh yea! YUM!

AND… THE ICING ON THE CAKE: Instead of bringing over a huge plate of coffee cake and sweet rolls (as this is what each table gets on brunch days), he brought over a HUGE plate of fresh fruit (three kinds of melons, grapes, strawberries and some apple slices) with some fresh whipped cream for us to share.

ROCK ON! Now someone PLEASE tell me: WHY can’t other restaurants clue in and offer someone something besides the ubiquitous bread basket? What about a simple cheese/apple platter instead? Is the cost involved in cheese really that much more than bread? Well… wait.. suppose that depends on the cheese, right? So wouldn’t that be doable? Or hey – just give me a plate of fresh fruit. I’ll be happy every time!

Whoa…. this post ran away from me. And here I was writing about our wonderful Sunflower-Millet Bread that we used for picnics and for French toast… OH! And it makes the most killer peanut butter toast too! The best part: it didn’t fall apart for any of the above either. Just slice it as you eat it and store it in an airtight container on the counter. It was last 5-7 days.

Ay Ay. Sorry for the loopy ride with the posts as of late. My mind is wandering and I am soaking in the baby giggles and chatter. I just know I don’t get to hear them for very long. I’m going to soak them in for as long as I can…. and *every* picnic this summer is served at our local kids-playground or kid-friendly climbing/walking spots. Oh, we love her so!

Gluten Free Sunflower & Millet Bread
Printable recipe can be found here.
Makes 1 – large loaf (I used a 1.5 pound loaf pan)
Ingredients

1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons agave nectar
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 1/3 cup millet flour (or sorghum if you don’t have millet)
3/4 cup GF oat flour or quinoa flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT potato flour)
1/3 cup flax seeds (not ground/meal)
2 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 eggs
1 cup warm water (in addition to the 1/2 cup listed above)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar or 2 Tablespoons honey + 1 Tablespoon molasses
4 Tablespoons melted butter

Directions

  1. Heat 1/2 cup water for proofing yeast (not too hot!) then add 2 Tablespoons agave or honey and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of yeast. Set aside to proof for 8 – 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, whirl the sunflower seeds until mostly ground/pulverized. There will still be a few chunky seeds pieces. (NOTE: If you don’t like seedy bread – like me – feel free to whirl longer until completely pulverized.)
  3. Pour sunflower mixture into the bowl of your mixer. Add millet flour, GF oat flour (or quinoa flour), potato starch, flax seeds and xanthan gum. Mix together.
  4. Mix together remaining water (1 cup), brown sugar (or honey/molasses), melted butter and two eggs. Add this to the bread mixture.
  5. Pour proofed yeast mixture over the top of all.
  6. Mix for 4 – 5 minutes on medium high. (Start slowly and once the mixture is well incorporated, then turn your mixer up to medium-high and start timing.)
  7. Spray a bread loaf pan with olive oil or line with parchment paper. Pour bread dough in to pan and even it out and smooth the top with a wet spatula.
  8. Set aside to rise for 35-45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350F.
  10. Bake for 40 -50 minutes UNTIL an internal temperature of 205F is reached.
  11. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Loosen from the sides, if necessary, and cool for an addition 30 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing.
  12. Store in an airtight container on the counter for 5 – 7 days. Slice as you need to avoid drying out the bread.

Happy GF Picnic Sandwiches!
~Kate and her co-baker, The Chicklet

Picnic Time!

Gluten Free Pepita-powered Bread… oh yeah!

Gluten Free Pepita Bread

Light, fluffy, easy to make and not loaded with a million calories.
Oh yea. This is my new sandwich bread when we’re not eating wraps.

I ran out of pepitas (pumpkin seeds) Friday. It just added one more thing to the “to-do/to-get” list that was percolating in my head. I was in no rush, but I knew that I would miss them on my salads. When I spied a bag of the raw, dried pumpkin seeds while we were out yesterday, I was quick to toss them in to the mix of to-be-purchased items. And the second I had the pepitas in hand, my brain started trying to figure out what more I could do with them.

When I was a kid, my mom would have us save our pumpkin seeds from carving jack-o-lanterns and we would rinse them, toss them with a little salt and oil and she would roast them. Oh, were those good! I loved munching on the warm, roasted seeds in the cool October evenings. I enjoy them so much that I even saved the seeds from my mini-pumpkins (pie-in-a-pumpkin) to roast. However, I knew that wouldn’t hold me over. I had to pick up more.

Pepitas are actually quite versatile – and healthy. Snacking on the dried/raw pepitas or on the roasted ones is great. Tossing them by the handfuls in to salads, on to soups, or with yogurt for breakfast are also popular ways to munch on the seeds around here. We also like to add ground pepitas to salad dressings, sauces, etc. We’ve even ground them and added spices to use as a seasoned thin coating of “breading” on roasted pork loin or chops. (Ground pepitas, garlic, fennel, salt and pepper are my favorite combination.)

I wondered what these these tasty treats would do to a bread recipe. I had been plotting one that used much less starch than typical GF breads. I wanted to see if the texture would be better without as much starch. To be honest, I wasn’t sure the bread would even hold together. So this weekend I caved to my plot and had to give it a try. And I’m NOT sorry I did at all!

This bread is quite delicious – AND it’s light (!), airy (!!) and flexible (!!!). All of these descriptive terms are the ones I look for in a gluten free bread, ya know. After all, if I am forced to toast it or crumble it in order to “use it”, it’s not really for me. And even my gluten-eating Love thinks this bread is worth it too.

Each slice of bread (53g) has 120 calories, 5g of fat (2g saturated, 0g trans fats), 27mg of salt, 15g of total Carbs, 3g of fiber, 3g of sugar and 4g of protein. Each also has a decent amount of some daily values of vitamins/minerals. Each slice has 2% of your daily Vitamin A and Calcium as well as 7% of the daily recommend intake of iron.

The fiber content is good – as is the low sodium. Now… I just have to work on the calorie count. 🙂 Each of these slices have about the same number of calories that regular gluten-filled white bread has, but these are obviously gluten free and made from gluten-free whole grains.

Whatever the balance, we are enjoying this bread for paninis with our soup and sandwiches for work. I hope you get a chance to try it out as well.

Gluten Free Pepita-powered Bread
Makes one standard 9 x 5 loaf of bread
Nutritional analysis based on 18 slices per loaf (which is what we average)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (otherwise called Pepitas)
1/2 cup flax seed meal
3/4 cup millet flour
1/2 cup certified GF oats OR quinoa flakes
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 1/2 cups water (1/2 cup for proofing the yeast, the last 1 cup is added at the end)
1 1/2 Tablespoons pure GF maple syrup OR agave nectar OR honey
1 1/2 Tablespoons yeast
2 eggs
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted

Directions:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup of the water (reserve the other 1 cup) to proof your yeast. Do NOT boil nor heat to steaming. Add maple syrup (or agave or honey) and yeast. Stir. Set aside to proof for at least 10 minutes. (Mine proofed for about 15 minutes and almost overflowed the 2 cup glass measuring container!)
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, dump the pumpkin seeds. Process until evenly ground. Add the flaxseed meal, millet flour, tapioca flour and oats (or quinoa flakes). Process again until evenly combined and oats (or quinoa flakes) have been mostly ground down.
  3. Pour ground flour mixture into the bowl of your mixer. Dump the proofed yeast mixture over the top. Add the eggs, xanthan gum, brown sugar, and melted butter. Pour in 1/2 cup of the reserved water.
  4. Mix together on low or medium until the batter is even. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water. Mix again on low until the batter becomes an even consistency.
  5. Beat the batter on high for 5 minutes (no longer than 7 minutes).
  6. Prepare a standard loaf pan by spritzing the bottom and sides/corners with olive oil.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and push out evenly with a wet spatula.
  8. Set aside in a warm place and allow to rise until the dough rises just over the top of the pan (10-30 minutes, depending on your yeast).
  9. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake bread for 30 – 45 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 205F. (NOTE: Check the bread after 10-15 minutes to see if the top is getting too brown. You may need to cover the top of the bread with a piece of foil draped loosely over while it finishes baking.)
  10. Remove from the oven and allow to cool undisturbed for 5 minutes. Then remove from the loaf pan and place on a wire rack. (I lay it on it’s side so as not to lose the height.) Allow to cool for 30 minutes before cutting.

Enjoy!
-Kate
PS. This bread would also *look* great with a few pumpkin seeds and oats gently crushed an laid across the top prior to rising/baking.

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