June 2019

Gluten free blueberry muffins

Posted on June 25, 2019 at 1:00 pm in

When you have a load of nice local blueberries, one feels obligated to bake with them.

DRY INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups gluten free flour (recommended: buckwheat, but use whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your GF flour blend contains it already)
  • 1 cup fresh, frozen or canned blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • WET INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fruit/vegetable oil(e.g. avocado oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • STREUSEL TOPPING

  • 1/4 cup GF flour
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • If using canned blueberries, drain them in a strainer. Rinse fresh or canned blueberries with cool water, and discard any crushed ones. Do not thaw frozen blueberries. Pull off any stems from blueberries.

    Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, adding the blueberries last. Stir thoroughly to mix all ingredients.

    Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl.

    Pour wet ingredients over dry and mix thoroughly until all the dry is mixed and wet.

    Heat the oven to 400°F. Spray just the bottoms of 12 regular-size muffin cups with the cooking spray, or line each cup with a paper baking cup.

    Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, dividing batter evenly. Sprinkle evenly with the streusel topping. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. If baked in a sprayed pan, let stand about 5 minutes in the pan, then remove muffins from pan to a cooling rack. If baked in paper baking cups, immediately remove muffins from the pan to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.

    WHAT IF I AM NOT GLUTEN FREE?
    Start preheating your oven before you mix any ingredients. Instead of the first 2 ingredients just use plain / all-purpose flour, likewise for the streusel topping.

    THIS COMES OUT TOO SWEET, WHAT CAN I DO?
    In the streusel topping substitute a good quality cooking oil such as avocado oil or regular (not extra virgin) olive oil. If you use a finishing sugar or other large grain sugar you get a nice crunch on the top as well as an almost savoury edge from the fruit oil.

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    Gluten free flour blends

    Posted on June 25, 2019 at 12:36 pm in

    One of the frustrations with gluten free baking is that you suddenly have to deal with multiple different flour blends depending on what you are making. They usually involve ingredients that can be hard to come by or that are expensive.

    And let’s not get into how much more expensive the GF flour blends are than regular flour. It’s not good for my blood pressure.

    I have, however, pretty much decided that my GF pudding flour blend is fantastic, if you bear in mind the rules of GF baking.

    I recently bought Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. The recipes are fantastic and this book deserves a place in the gluten free baker’s library.

    She also provides the recipes for her 2 main flour blends. One of these is responsible for me crying, because it made a sandwich bread that tasted and felt like bread, not weirdly plain pound cake! That same bread flour blend is responsible for the amazing blueberry muffin recipe I’ll be posting shortly.

    Go have a poke around Annalise’s website. It’ll be time well spent.

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    Gluten free blueberry coffee cake

    Posted on June 16, 2019 at 8:38 pm in

    Thanks to my friends at Bear Mountain Blueberry Farm I have 1.5 gallons of lovely blueberries to play with. What better way to start using them than by making a blueberry coffee cake?

    INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • scant 1 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your GF flour blend already has some)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • TOPPING

  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans or similar (optional)
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Gently fold in blueberries. Get a separate bowl, put the egg, milk and butter in then whisk together. Mix into the dry ingredients, careful not to mush the blueberries. Pour into a buttered/oiled 8-in. x 8-in. baking pan.

    Make topping to sprinkle over batter (put on last).

    Once you have everything apart from the topping mixed, start preheating the oven. This will allow the xanthan gum to set before baking. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until top is light golden brown. Can be served warm or room temperature.

    WHAT GLUTEN FREE FLOUR CAN I USE?
    Pretty much any of them. There are 1-to-1 substitute blends in the stores, you can use my pudding flour, or you could use a flour made from a psuedocereal. I used millet flour and it turned out nicely – next time I will try buckwheat flour to see if the nuttiness in the buckwheat comes through.

    WHAT IS A “PSEUDOCEREAL”?
    A pseudocereal is a seed grain that isn’t a grass, but that is used like it’s a cereal. Millet, buckwheat, and quinoa are 3 examples of seeds that are used like a cereal. They do not contain gluten.
    A cereal is a grass derived grain such as wheat, rye, barley. They usually contain gluten.

    WHAT DOES “SCANT” MEAN?
    You want to have a concave surface instead of a flat or convex surface. If you force me to guess, I’d say about 0.8 tsp? But I will not judge you if it’s 0.7 or 0.9 tsp… only your tastebuds will!

    WHAT IF I AM NOT GLUTEN FREE?
    Use plain/all-purpose flour instead of the first 2 ingredients. Start preheating the oven before you start mixing.

    TOPPING VARIATION
    I made the topping with raw sugar, which comes in larger, crunchy sugar crystals. It made for a nicely crunchy topping.

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