Wheat Free, Dairy Free Pancakes, Anyone?

Because starches (other than corn starch which I can’t use here) are expensive and because I’m stubborn, I’m always trying to prove that recipes can work without the typically recommended 3:1 flour: starch ratio.  And on pancakes, I’ve done it.  Thankfully so, because I make pancakes at least twice a week here!

2 eggs
Enough water to get to 2 cups after eggs are in bowl… 2 eggs + water = 2 cups.
1/3 c oil

2 c brown rice flour
1/2 c sugar (I use turbinado)
1/2 c ground flax
1 T baking powder
1 t salt

Mix wets, add dries and whisk JUST UNTIL MOISTENED!  This will be a thick batter, more like a quickbread than bisquick. (Those pancakes below are 5/8″ thick or so.) When I’m “pouring it,” I use a spatula to help it move onto the skillet in the portions I want.  Let sit for one or two minutes and pour onto skillet (350 degrees here).  Flip when bubbles are popping or bottom feels firm when tested with a spatula. 
I get 12 5″ pancakes from this batch.  If I overmix, they are rubbery and thinner (because I have to use single acting baking powder that is corn free).  But if I mix just enough and get them all on the skillet right in the first batch, they are perfect!  If you have to do two batches, just do your best to stir as little as possible in between.
Because everyone who has a food allergy kitchen likes options, here are some:
Omit flax, just cut water down by 1/2 c.
Omit eggs, just use 2 c water.
Use xanthan or guar as appropriate (I skip it and it’s fine).

Oatmeal Bars

These are a new favorite breakfast around here.  They’re easy and can be made from ingredients I can buy at Wal-Mart!

Oatmeal Bars:

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water  (original recipe calls for milk)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil         
  • 3 cups rolled oats
    • 2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 cup ground flax or other flour

1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped or grated apple
  • Use 1c honey and omit the sugar.
  • Use applesauce in place of oil for low-fat option.

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Mine do best when they get to cool for 10 minutes or so.) Cut into squares.

*These are not firm like a granola bar, though the second day they could be eaten on the go.  My kids cut them into bites or just lean over their plate!  They clear almost the entire 9×13 in one breakfast.

Yes! Great Gluten-Free Bread!

After 2 years of trying, I finally have a recipe worth sharing!  I’ve done this three or four times now and it’s worked every time.  Best of all, Mattie likes it!

3c warm water
3 eggs
1/4c oil
6T honey (or sugar)
3 1/2c brown rice flour
1/2c ground flax
1c tapioca flour
1t guar gum
2 1/2t salt
1t baking soda
1 packet yeast

Preheat oven to 150-170 and turn off.  Grease loaf pans.  (This recipe yields 3 4×8 loaves for me.)
Combine and whisk all wet ingredients.  In small bowl, combine and stir (whisk or fork) together all dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk together quickly, stopping as soon as well mixed.  Immediately pour into loaf pans.  (It will be the consistency of a quick bread batter.)  Allow to rise in warm oven until half again as large at most.  With pans still in oven, turn oven on to 350 (mine cooks at 325 on convection) for 30 minutes.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes before cooling the rest of the way on cooling racks.

*I have also baked only one loaf and have frozen the other two until the day I was ready to bake.  In that case I took the frozen batter (frozen in the loaf pan) and set it out to thaw and rise.  Bake just as above.  This batter thaws out enough that you could freeze it in any container and pour it into the loaf pan to finish rising and baking.

*I use guar gum because it is cheaper than xanthan and easier to get my hands on.  It is also corn free, so it’s safer for use in our kitchen.  You could easily use xanthan instead.  I think it would be 2T of xanthan gum.

*When I use the dark flax seeds, it adds color to the bread.  Mattie likes that it “looks like Jacob’s bread!” so I’ll keep doing it this way.

*Even if it does rise well, it will rise some as it bakes and still be just as good.  Don’t think it’s a failure!

*This bread stays fresh at room temperature for 3 or 4 days.

Baby steps in the kitchen.

All of a sudden over the past few days I’ve gotten this very strange wave of energy to tackle some baking challenges I’ve had since we moved into this house.  I’ve not really gotten a handle on our kitchen (meaning baking/cooking consistently) and have been feeling guilty about it.  But blissfully, a new energy and motivation to conquer a few things has replaced the guilt!  That’s always exciting, isn’t it??

I’ve spent a couple of days researching quite a bit as to the whys of gluten free baking.  I just can’t remember things if I don’t understand why they work the way they do.  If I understand why, it sticks and I remember to choose the right starch the next time the opportunity arises.

And I’ve been researching some ways to really bake safely for all 4 of us… just ONE batch of muffins, ONE batch of cupcakes, ONE cookie recipe, etc.  (If I make a wheat one and a rice one, we inevitably run out of one first… then Mattie has yummy muffins left and Jacob doesn’t, then Jacob gets pancakes and Mattie gets muffins… Why can’t I have pancakes?… Just eat what I fixed for you!  But I want pancakes like Jacob!  But you said you wanted muffins.  But I didn’t know we had pancakes!   Any mother out there hear me????)    You can appreciate why I’d like to make just one recipe.  Lol!  I can get myself all worked up just typing that out!  I need to take a deep breath and count to 10.

So today I took the kids to the health food store when we were out picking up a prescription of compounded ibuprofen for Jacob.  (They are both still nursing the flu, so we’re trying to stay away from people but are pretty sick of being house bound.)  Anyway, I got the ingredients I needed and came home to be productive.  Here’s what I made successfully today:

Almond Milk in my SoyaJoy soy milk maker.  The kids actually both asked for glasses of it plain and drank it!
Strawberry banana creamy smoothies with the almond milk.
Thickened up extra smoothie and froze it to have “ice cream” for dessert!
Wheat free flour mix that is safe for all four of us (meaning free of wheat, egg, dairy, and corn).
Yummy banana muffins with that mix!
Mattie’s bread, tweaked a bit with some of what I learned and it’s great!  She hugged me and jumped up and down when she knew I was making her bread! 🙂

They loved everything I made.  I know that sounds weird to say that, but there are MANY, many times I have stood on my head to adapt a recipe, it has turned out really well, and they complain about it (because they are so used to eating the same old kid-friendly things, which isn’t their fault).  So, I often lose my steam before I even find a recipe.

But tonight Mattie thanked Jesus for “our new almond milk that’s like Grampa Harvey drinks and our yummy smoothie ice cream.


And Jacob and I even engaged in a conversation in which he showed sympathy!!

Jacob, after tasting the almond milk: Um, I think it’s yummy.
Me: Okay.  (Thinking, better than many responses I get from him about new things!)  I’d like it if I can make it so it’s really yummy for you.  Maybe I can figure that out.
Jacob: I know you try hard and it’s hard for us to like things and be thankful for them.
Me:  I know you want to have new things like everyone else can eat, and I’m doing the best I can for you.  But when you ask for new things, I try and then you complain about things because they’re different than you’re used to, it makes me not want to try anymore. 
Jacob:  Yeah.  I can understand how you feel frustrated about it.  I would feel that way too.

I just thought that was a sweet way to end our day.  🙂

Baby steps in the kitchen.

One of the best things I could have lost

In the chaos of the move, I lost the index card that had Mattie’s (wheat-free) sandwich bread recipe on it. That first week I was frustrated as I needed to make her bread, but couldn’t find it anywhere! I finally got desperate and tried to replicate it as best I could. I knew the ingredients, but wasn’t sure about the ratios. So I based it on my wheat bread recipe. Well, I’m so glad I lost that old card! I’ve made bread three or four times since we moved in here and it’s getting better each time! Today’s batch was the best it’s ever been.

Here’s my recipe…

4c brown rice flour
1/2 c potato starch flour
1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c ground flax
1t salt
2T xanthan gum
3 packages yeast

2 1/2 c warm water
3 eggs
4T honey
4T oil
1T apple cider vinegar

I whisked the dry ingredients together, then added them to the liquids. I stirred it up by hand until it was well mixed, put 3 loaves in the warmed oven (turned off) with a few spritzes of water to let it rise. Waited till it almost doubled, then cooked for 25 min at 300 in my convection oven (cook at 325 if not convection).

It is so good! The texture is the most like wheat bread I’ve ever had. It’s always exciting to have success in a food allergy kitchen!!

Our Favorite Allergy Cake

I’ve been making this cake for quite awhile now and it always turns out! It’s really good!

Allergy Reduced 🙂 Chocolate Cake
(It’s not wheat free, though I’m sure Jen would be up to that challenge!)

1 3/4 c flour (I use freshly ground soft white flour)
1/2 t salt
1 c raw sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda

5 T oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla

1 c cold water
1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir well with a fork, then add oil, vinegar and vanilla. When dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, pour in cold water and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (18-20 for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

I’ve made this as cupcakes, a cake, and replaced the cocoa with a bit more flour to make white cupcakes too. It always works out without being crumbly like most egg-free cakes are. I usually double it and get 20 cupcakes or so. Today I tripled it, got 24 cupcakes and an 11×7 cake.


First time for Pepperoni

We made homemade pizza a couple of weeks ago. I’ve tried it twice before, but I used whole wheat flour that I had ground and it just wasn’t good. I’ve decided there is a place for bleached white flour, so sorry to all you that are offended by that! 😀 I posted on a message board and Michelle posted this recipe that I used:

Pizza Dough
3 Cups flour ( white, whole wheat or a mix of the two)
1 Cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
1Tbsp. sugar
1 package yeast or 1 Tbsp yeast if you buy your yeast in bulk

I used honey instead of sugar, added 1/2t of garlic powder, threw it all (doubled) in my Zo and mixed/kneaded for 20 minutes. I made a round pizza on my stone and a rectangular one on my cookie sheet. Next time I’ll use this same doubled recipe and make 4 pizzas total and freeze some… my crust was very thick! But it sure was yummy! I have to say, I actually didn’t wish I was eating Papa John’s. That is a very exciting thing for anything created in my kitchen!

The exciting thing about this pizza, in addition to the yummy, successful dough, was that Jacob got to try pepperoni for the first time! I have never found pepperoni that looks like it doesn’t have corn-derived preservatives (NOT saying it’s corn-free, but it’s good enough for an isolated try), but I found some at a SuperTarget recently. (It’s the Hormel all natural stuff.) Jacob was excited to try it!


After all that, he said the pepperoni was too spicy. 😀 Oh well, I’ll still buy the Hormel stuff for the rest of us. Mattie loved it and had bacon on hers too! And this is my new favorite pizza recipe!