Kitchen Experiments – Gluten-free Gingerbread

Is there any picky eaters in your family? Are there certain foods that your family swears that they do not like? My husband swears that he does not like buckwheat.  I posted the other day that I had made buckwheat pancakes for breakfast and my husband ate them without a complaint.  As soon as the weather turns cold and the pumpkins and squash start to become abundant at the farmers markets, something inside me screams for gingerbread.  With this in mind, I decided it was time for another buckwheat experiment.

I have been making a buckwheat applesauce cake for several months now and it is moist and delicious and my husband has no problem eating it. I thought that I could probably follow the same recipe but add molasses and spices and make a decent buckwheat gingerbread.  Here is what I did:

1 ½ c. Buckwheat Flour (ground white buckwheat)

½ c. Almond Meal

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. xanthan gum

2 Tbs. arrowroot powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp.cloves

1 c. applesauce

¼ c. applebutter

½ c. molasses

1 Tbs. oil

¼ c. water

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Place wet and dry ingredients in a food processor and process until mixed.  Pour into an oiled 8”x8” square pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Now, for a first try, I must say that this was pretty tasty.  It was a little more dense than the buckwheat applesauce cake, but still not overly dense and not overly sweet.  For me, it was just the right amount of sweetness and spice.  I would have added some crystallized ginger if I would have had some, but I thought I might try that the next time.  Here is how much my husband does not like buckwheat!

gingerbread

I guess it was OK!

gb

Actually, it was a good first attempt.  I think that the next time I make it, I will try to add a little more baking powder to give it more lift. I also think that I might try making it will eggs instead of the arrowroot powder and try to get a little more fluffiness out of it.  On the whole, I would say it was a successful experiment…especially for my husband!

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Kitchen Experiments – Buckwheat Applesauce Cake

I had no idea when I started to experiment with recipes for this ALCAT diet how to bake things without eggs. I always imagined that the baked items would not be as light and fluffy as their egg counterparts, but I will admit that I was wrong!  This is the third, fourth or fifth time that I have made this recipe over the past six months and I am thrilled every time I bake it and see it rise to the top of the pan.

The other thing that I am thrilled with is the flavor of buckwheat flour that is freshly ground from raw buckwheat groats.  (I think that I have mentioned in a previous post that I bought a Vitamix machine specifically so that I could grind my grains into flour and I am not sorry that I spent the money.  I love it! When I eat my freshly baked item and I think that I made it all with the freshest ingredients that I could find, it really makes me quite happy!  It’s the small things that do it for me!)

raw groats (Raw Buckwheat Groats)

Buckwheat flour that you buy at the store must be ground from toasted buckwheat because it is very dark in color and has a very distinct flavor.  I tried making 100% buckwheat pancakes with flour from the bag and they had a very strong buckwheat flavor that really did not appeal to me.  It was only when I saw the raw buckwheat groats at Earthlight Natural Foods that I realized there were the raw and the roasted.

Buckwheat is not wheat, nor is it related to wheat nor is it even a grain or a cereal. It is gluten-free and derived from the seeds of a flowering plant so technically I think that you would consider Buckwheat a fruit. This is a great recipe to make in a pan like cornbread or in muffin tins.  It is a very tasty breakfast bread delicious when spread with almond butter.  Enjoy!

buckwheat cake

Buckwheat Applesauce Cake

1 ½ c. Buckwheat Flour (ground white buckwheat)
½ c. Almond Meal
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. xanthan gum
2 Tbs. arrowroot powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
 
1 c. applesauce
¼ c. applebutter
½ c. sweetener (Agave Syrup, Maple Syrup)
1 Tbs. oil
¼ c. water

 Preheat oven to 350oF.

Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, combine wet ingredients.  Place wet and dry ingredients in a food processor and process until mixed.  Pour into an oiled 8”x8” square pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Gluten-Free, Yeast-Free Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza! Well, I do think that there are those odd few that really don’t care for it, but in our house homemade pizza has always been a real treat.  I can remember growing up and having friends over so that we could teach them how to make pizza – the right way!  We always looked forward to those pizza parties!  Since doing the Alcat diet, we have not been able to have pizza because it is not quite “pizza” without good mozzarella cheese, or at least that is what my husband Tom said.  I make my pizza with dairy-free cheese, but he wanted to wait until he could have “real” cheese.

So, the three months were up on our dairy restriction so it was time to make pizza! The only problem was that not only could my husband not have cheese but he also has a severe intolerance to yeast.  I wasn’t sure how it would be to have yeast-free pizza but I was up for the challenge.  In the past when I have made homemade pizza I always have made my crust with spelt or kamut flour but this time I needed to make it gluten-free.  Well, just another obstacle to work around!

Luckily the internet is a wealth of information and I found about a thousand recipes for gluten-free, yeast-free pizza so I was good to go! Did I already mention that I am not good at following recipes? Well, I am not.  It’s hard for me to make anything exactly the way it says – I always seem to need to tweak something.  First problem – most recipes want you to use eggs, but it is not egg day, so I needed to either find a different recipe or change it.  I changed it, of course! I used arrowroot in place of the eggs.

My other bad habit is not reading all the way ahead in a recipe. I made the dough and rolled it out and proceeded just like I would have if I was making gluten pizza.  Oops, big mistake. You need to cook the dough first before adding the toppings.  Oh, well.  It was still delicious!

pizzaIt was a little gummy in the middle but it was rolled out pretty thin so it really wasn’t terrible!  But I wasn’t done, I needed to try it again. I searched the internet again and found this recipe:

2 cups water, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup rice flour, 1/2 c. almond flour, 1/2 cup ground flaxseeds, 2 tsp. baking powder.

I decided to give it a whirl, with a few embellishments.  It is not buckwheat day so I used Fearn Brown Rice Baking Mix which has brown rice and soy flours in it + 1/2 cup Teff flour and the rest of the ingredients.  I wanted to add gum just because I thought it would help with the texture.

I read the directions all the way through this time and remembered to cook the crust first.  This is not a crust that you roll out – more just spread in the shape you want.  I think I made it a little too thick, but overall I really liked the flavor and texture of this crust.

pizza2This is definitely a recipe that I will be trying again.  I think I could use it to make foccacia or spread some pesto on the crust and cook it.  I will keep you posted!  I think I could even turn it into a sweet bread.  Oh, too bad it’s late – I may have gone back into the kitchen to invent some dessert!