Thursday, November 29, 2012

Made from Scratch: Waffles

It would seem that more and more folks are hopping aboard the gluten-free train these days, and this is particularly the case among my circle of friends. Just in the last month, I have heard of five or six new friends who have decided to remove gluten from their (or someone in their family's) diet. I've posted a link to my blog a number of times, but I've had to tell them that I've been very lax about posting here these days. So I am here to announce that I hope to start improving on that.

It just so happens that this recent influx of people converting to the Dark Side (mwahaha!) has coincided with a renewed effort on my part to start baking more gluten-free products from scratch. This is largely because (as I mention in my last post) I have decided to completely re-remove dairy from my own and my children's diets, and my very favorite baking mix (Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix) happens to contain a small amount of powdered milk. Boo.

I have tried Bob's Red Mill all-purpose mix, but it is a little heavy for my tastes and doesn't end up with the texture that I like. I also purchased some Better Batter mix when I was able to get a good deal on it, and though I haven't used it much yet, I have witnessed and tasted some of the results made by my sister, and it really is awesome! Not very kind on the budget, however. So, I've been trying to formulate my own gluten-free flour mixtures instead. I have yet to determine whether it is actually cost-effective in the long run, but for now, it's holding us over while we re-adjust to our lives without dairy, as well as giving me a new experiment to try!

My first great success in this venture was the cranberry bread which I posted a couple weeks ago. I made some blueberry muffins shortly thereafter using a similar flour mix, and they were good, but needed a little tweaking. But my next success was a new recipe for waffles that I tried out this weekend. I haven't had enough time to play with this flour mix in other recipes yet, but I may have hit on my new favorite all-purpose mix. Time will tell. In the meantime, these waffles pretty much rock (if I do say so myself).

JESSICA'S WAFFLES (from scratch)


1 c. milk (or milk substitute... I used rice milk, but almond or coconut would be great)
1/2 tbs. lemon juice (or vinegar)
3/4 c. brown rice flour
3/4 c. tapioca starch (aka tapioca flour)
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. corn starch
2 tbs. flaxseed meal (optional*)
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbs. sugar (optional)
4 eggs
1/4 c. oil
1 c. water (approx.)


Place milk in a cup or small bowl and mix with lemon juice. Allow to sit for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, add all dry ingredients (including sugar, if using) to a large bowl and mix well (a whisk works best). In another small bowl, briefly whisk eggs. Add milk, eggs, and oil and mix briefly. Add 1 cup of water and mix well. Add up to 1/2 c. more water as necessary until desired batter consistency is reached. Grease waffle iron (if needed), bake, and enjoy!

Yield: About 6-7 medium-large waffles, enough to feed myself, my husband, and my three small children. If you are baking for fewer people, you can halve the recipe, or bake a full batch and freeze some for later.

*I picked up a bag of flaxseed meal from Trader Joe's... I can't remember exactly how much it was, but I'm thinking it was only $3-4. It adds a nice little boost of flavor and texture as well as nutrition, but I think it could be left out easily enough. You could also try almond meal in its place. (I often buy big bags of almonds from Costco, so I sometimes just stick a few handfuls into my food processor to make my own almond meal.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cranberry Bread

Well, after over a year since I last posted, I figure it's high time for some new recipes... especially since I've been referring several people to this blog in the past couple months. Maybe over the winter I'll be able to catch up on my recipe sharing a little bit!

Today's recipe is brought to you by the classic children's book Cranberry Thanksgiving. My girls and I have been reading this book for school (using the homeschool Five in a Row curriculum), and today's project was to bake "Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread." Of course, with our dietary restrictions (including our recent re-elimination of dairy from our diets), we couldn't just follow the recipe exactly as it reads in the book. So here is my adaptation.


Sifted all-purpose flour, gluten-free mixture as follows:
-- 1/2 c. brown rice flour
-- 1/2 c. sorghum flour
-- 1/2 c. tapioca starch
-- 1/4 c. millet flour
-- 1/4 c. corn starch
-- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
(2 cups total flour mixture)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. butter or margarine (I used Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. grated orange peel
3/4 c. orange juice
1 1/2 c. golden raisins
1 1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped

Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Add egg, orange peel, and orange juice all at once; stir just until mixture is evenly moist. Fold in raisins and cranberries.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. [Note: Mine was finished cooking 5-10 minutes sooner than the recipe suggested, so I would check it at close to an hour.] Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.

If you choose, you may substitute cranberries for the raisins to have an all cranberry bread.

I did not change anything about this recipe except substituting the gluten-free and dairy-free ingredients, and slightly shortening the cooking time. Oh, and I also had to substitute white grape juice for about half the orange juice, since I didn't have enough. It turned out great! My only critique is that it was a little sweet for my taste... but then, golden raisins have never really been my thing, and there are quite a lot of them in this bread. I might try regular raisins or the all-cranberry version as suggested next time I make this... though perhaps not having to substitute for the orange juice would also help. :-)