Gluten Free Bread recipe

11:54 AM Edit This 0 Comments »
This past summer, we were able to travel in Spain with our 6 year old grandson, who is gluten intolerant. While in one of the local groceries, we found a ready made gluten free bread, that he loved. It was made with cornstarch as it's main ingredient. I have not found the brand any where here in the states. Even on the web, it's only available from England or Spain, and then the shipping costs make it unrealistic.
I searched the web for a recipe that used cornstarch as its primary ingredient. I found the following recipe at http://www.glutenfreecookingschool.com. This flour and bread has been quite a hit with my favorite little guy! I encourage you to give it a try.

Gluten Free Flour Mix
3 parts brown rice flour
3 parts corn starch
2 parts soy flour (see notes at bottom)
1 part masa harina

Notes:
1. The masa harina in the flour mix is usually available in the Hispanic sections of most Groceries, and Walmart. It is a very fine corn flour. The type I bought was a white corn flour, that says Harina de Masa on the bag (flour of corn)
2. If you are allergic to soy, or just don't like the taste, you can substitute one of the following: sorghum flour, garfava flour, or quinoa flour. I prefer the sorghum flour, as it has the least invasive taste to it. This is what I use in my recipe.
3. If you are allergic to corn, then make the following substitutions: tapioca starch instead of corn starch and almond flour instead of masa harina

I have used this flour for bread and also for cakes.

Really Good Sandwich Bread

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

1 Tbsp bread machine yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cup water (105 degrees Fahrenheit) the temperature is important--use a candy thermometer to measure it.
2 1/2 cups flour mix from above recipe
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cider vinegar

1. Start by combining the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Add the water while gently stirring the yeast and sugar. Set this mixture by your oven where it is warm and let it bubble and foam.
2. Combine the flour mix, xanthan gum, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
3. In a third bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, and vinegar until the eggs are a bit frothy.
4. Check the yeast mixture. It should be foamy. If so pour the two liquid mixtures into the flour mixture. Blend the dough with a mixer for 4 minutes. This dough will climb the beaters, so have a spatula handy to help control it!
5. Scoop the dough into a large (4" x 11") greased loaf pan. Set back beside your warm oven and let it rise until it has at least doubled in size. The original recipe said that it should be 1 inch above the top of the pan, but mine never got that high.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. If it starts to get too brown on top, put a piece of aluminum foil over the top and allow it to bake for the full time. The bread should be firm to the touch, and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
7. When done, remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack. When completely cool, slice with a serrated bread knife. Store sliced bread in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator or freezer.

New links for Gluten Free information

11:56 AM Edit This 1 Comment »
I just received a request for information on Gluten free sites. I have started a linked list on the left side of the page for web sources. Please feel free to send me information on any that you would like to be added to the listing.

Whole Foods and Glueten Free products

1:37 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I just recently had the opportunity to vist the new Whole Foods market that opened in our area. What a treasure trove of goodies, if you need Gluten Free products! Did you know that they even have gluten free baked goods in their fresh made bakery? I found bread, that actually tastes like bread, several kinds of cookies that are just yummy, pretezls that you can't tell from the regular kind, and all of the various flour substitutes for mixing my own Gluten free flours. I was amazed to find that they even carried Xanthum Gum, which I haven't found outside of the internet!

Now....I need to make my shopping list and go shopping. I want to experiment with making my own breads that don't need a forklift to carry them! I'll keep you posted and I go.

Handmade gifts...can it get any better??

2:39 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I just love Artfire.com! You haven't heard of it?....it's the newest thing in the handmade market! It started back in November, 2008, and has been growing by leaps and bounds. It has a great support staff that is extremely responsive, and is constantly striving to provide more benefits to its artists. The best part is there is no sales commission on items you sell. It also has active, friendly forums and Guilds/teams that afford helpful advice. The guilds are a good place to find artisians with like interests. Many are actively promoting their members and skill sets. If you are looking for a place to sell your handmade items, you should check out Artfire.com.


I was recently browsing member artisians in the Artfire Artisian Jeweler Guild that I belong to. I'd like to share a few of the artisians that I was most drawn to.


AAE-artglass has beautiful dichroic glass pendants, complete with supporting necklaces. They also have earrings available. She says of herself "I am always educating myself and attending classes and seminars about the art to keep up with cutting edge techniques and new and exciting products from the glass world. Currently, we are in the process of developing a line of glass fusing images that will be copywrited by us for re-sale to other glass artisans."

I'm going to have to invest in a couple of pendants to incorporate into my beadwork. They are so lovely that I just can't resist. Here's one that I especially liked:




Another outstanding artist is Gravelroadjewelry This artist has gorgeous wire worked jewelry that in many cases incorporates stones and/or glass. The designs are original and beautiful.
Here is an excerpt from the site: "Currently I am focused on wire wrapped jewelry in sterling silver and go to great lengths to provide beautiful and interesting items that are sturdy and durable to my customers. I use only quality materials in the jewelry I create and I hope you can find a piece in my shop that you will enjoy wearing as much as I enjoyed creating."



--These are the types of items you just can't find in traditional stores. If you are like me, and don't like to see everyone else wearing the same thing you are, check out the artists at Artfire.com. There are many other types of artists on the site besides jewelry artist. These are just the ones I viewed today.

Basic Beaded Crochet rope

8:35 PM Posted In , , , , , , , Edit This 1 Comment »



video

After seeing many questions on Facebook about bead crochet, I created this video for beginning a bead crochet rope. I hope it is helpful for some of you.

Bead Crochet Ropes

1:14 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
I've seen several posts about bead crochet ropes on Facebook groups that I belong to. I wanted to post info on two books that I have found useful in learning to do bead crochet ropes. This is a tough technique to learn from books, and is best learned from taking an actual class. I have taught this class before, and it seems that people who have previous crochet experience do NOT really have an advantage. The only advantage they may have is being more comfortable with holding and maneuvering the thread.

The first book is a hard bound book by Ann Benson. It's titled "Beaded Crochet Designs". This book explains the types of cords, hooks, beads, reading a graph, invisible joins, and has good diagrams. It also has a beautiful variety of designs and instructions. This is a book that I refer to frequently for ideas. The list price when I purchased it was $24.95.

The second book is a soft bound book, about twenty pages worth, and lists for $22.95. Even though it is lean on pages, it packs a lot of information and photos between its covers! The photos are very clear, and it too covers a wealth of information. This book is "Bead Crochet Ropes" by Judith Bertoglio-Giffin

I also came across a link http://www.beadline.com/crochet/crochet.html that provides very basic instructions by this same author.

I would suggest using slightly larger beads, 6o seeds rather than 8o seeds, and a heavier cord than jeans stitch cord. I personally like to work with upholstery weight thread, but suggest CLon cord when you are first learning. If you work with a stiffer, heavier cord to begin, you will experience less dropped stitches and it will be easier to see the loops of the stitches. You can think of bead crochet ropes as an inside-out crochet. The crochet sits on the inside of the tube, and the beads cover the stitches on the outside of the tube.

After you master the basics of the technique, the types of bead combinations is unlimited. You can see several types of crocheted ropes in my store at Artfire: http://simplyuniquejewelry.artfire.com/ If you type "crochet" into the studio search box, you can view only the crochet rope items.

Grandma Day Continues....

4:29 PM Posted In , , , , , , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
Once again it is Grandma Day. My four year old grandson showed up at my door at 9:30 AM, with his mother in tow. His words of greeting were "You should have come to get me sooner Grandma!" I told him that I was up late last night working, and had just gotten up a few minutes before his arrival. He thought about this for a while, and then asked me what I was working on. I showed him the bracelet that I had finished the night before. He examined it for a few minutes, considered, then informed me "It's pretty Grandma, but you should have come to pick me up sooner!"

Well now that things were in 4 year old perspective, we settled into having fun. We built silly friend critters out of Knex blocks, with me explaining to him how to read the pattern sheet. Then we decided to make Chocolate Chip cookies. As we gathered ingredients from the cupboard, we discovered we were missing one key ingredient,.....chocolate chips! It was off to the store to remedy the situation.

My grandson is wheat/gluten intolerant. In his case, the wheat triggers an asthma like condition. His mom, a doctor who has gotten heavily interested in natural supplements and remedies, decided to try eliminating wheat from his diet. Magically, the symptoms disappeared. With wheat he has dark circles under his eyes, runny nose, raspy cough, and trouble breathing. Without wheat these symptoms disappear. He is now about 90-95% wheat free.

Consequently, Grandma has started experimenting with recipes for cookies and breakfast/dessert breads so he can have some treats too. One of the most successful has been the Chocolate Chip cookies. I found two commercially available wheat substitute flours at our local grocery, Publix. One is Pamela's Products: Baking & Pancake Mix , and the other is Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour . The first contains Xanthan Gum in the mix, which most Gluten Free sites will tell you is necessary to hold your baked goods together. This flour is primarily made from Rice products and also contains baking powder and baking soda. The second contains no Xanthan Gum and is made from Garbanzo Beans, potato starch, tapioca flour, and various other components.

I decided to try the Toll House recipe by simply substituting a mix of these two flours. This produced a very FLAT cookie that tasted great, but looked like someone had stepped on it! I went back to the Internet for research. There I found that baking soda and baking powder cause the cookies to spread. By substituting my gluten free flours, I was already adding the baking soda in the recipe. The other tidbit I came across was that items made with these flour substitutes are more fragile than regular flour items. It was suggested to use parchment paper on the cookie sheets.

Here is the recipe that I have developed. It is basically the Nestle Toll House recipe, substituting a mix of the flours, with a slight increase in quantity, and eliminating the baking soda. I also increase the vanilla flavoring to increase the flavor. I cover my cookie sheets with parchment paper, and let the sheets set for about two minutes when I take them out of the oven before I transfer the cookies to the counter to cool.

Toll House cookies--Gluten Free:
1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Flour
1 1/2 cup Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
1 tsp salt
2 sticks softened Butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 12oz package Nestles Semi-Sweet Morsels
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Measure flours and salt into a small bowl and set aside. Combine butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowel with mixer on low to medium speed until mix is a consistent color. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add half of flour mix and blend on low. Add remainder of mix and blend again. Stir in bag of chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir to mix all together.

Drop by rounded teaspoon fulls onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes until golden brown. I normally bake mine for 10 minutes.

Remove tray from oven and set aside for about 2 minutes. Remove cookies to a counter covered with paper towels and allow to finish cooling.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
____________________________

If your cookies seem too flat, increase the flour mix slightly next time you make them. I increase the Pamela's flour as it is the one with the Xanthan Gum.
You really can't tell the difference between these cookies and the original ones once they are baked. The raw batter tastes a little different, but it still is good. Once baked, I can't tell a difference, and have several family members rave about how good the cookies are.

I hope those of you with wheat allergies will find this recipe enjoyable. Now I just have to experiment with a loaf of bread so Emmi can have sandwiches. So far our loaves of bread have been less than enjoyable!