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)
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.)