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Notes from bread class

Thanks to everyone who attended the bread class at Kitchen Conservatory on Sunday. Like I said, I’m always surprised that the bread class sells out. Especially when the weather is nice and there are so many other things you could be doing. Here are some books, products, and random things I mentioned to the class or individuals.

Flours:

  • Here’s how to make your own gluten free flour blends.
  • The mesquite flour that the class tasted was from Casa de Fruta. Read more about mesquite flour here.
  • White and black sorghum flours are available online from Nu Life Market.
  • Honeyville Grain is a great source for almond meal/flour. Bulk almond flour comes directly from a grower/processor in California who deals only with almonds. And there’s a 15% discount starting this Monday, September 16th through Friday, September 20th. Keep in mind, they also sell on Amazon where shipping is free. But this discount is significant if you buy the 25 lb. blanched almond flour using the coupon code RECIPE at Honeyville.

Recipes or baking tips:

  • Here’s the tapioca gel (or tapioca egg) as xanthan and/or egg substitute idea.
  • There were questions about using the basic recipe from the Sunday class to make sandwich bread. The recipe using 1.5 lbs of flour would be too much dough for a single loaf (unless you have one of those big, fancy bread machines). Use about 2/3 of that recipe for a loaf and make buns or pita with the rest of the dough. I’d estimate a bake time of 65-70 minutes for a sandwich loaf. I prefer focaccia sliced horizontally for sandwiches because it’s a much more versatile bread
  • Find more bread recipes here.
  • Some of my favorite tools for baking.

If I didn’t say it in class, there is no single right way to approach gluten free baking. And there are SO many ways to make gluten free bread. My goal for the bread class was to simplify the often daunting task of gluten free bread baking. It’s always a good idea to look at a variety of books or sites to find the recipes and style of baking that suits your needs.

Gluten Free Cookbooks Worth Checking Out:

CookWise by Shirley Corriher is my favorite cookbook. It is not a gluten free cookbook, though most recipes could easily be converted to gluten free. But it’s worth looking through. Check it out at a library if you don’t want to purchase it. Each recipe has an explanation of why certain ingredients were used, along with many troubleshooting tips that apply to gluten free baking. I’ve borrowed many techniques directly from this book.

Gluten free resources/news/books:

This new federal definition standardizes the meaning of “gluten-free” claims across the food industry. It requires that, in order to use the term “gluten-free” on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “without gluten” to meet the definition for “gluten-free.”

  • Adam’s Gluten Free Surprise – a fun, but educational book to help children of all ages understand what gluten free is all about. Great for schools, relatives, medical professionals, and anyone else who needs a simple explanation of the gluten free diet required for people with celiac disease.

Bakeries in St. Louis area:

I know that many regular (wheat filled) bakeries have opened recently that advertise gluten free items. But wheat flour can remain in the air for quite some time. Because of that, along with the risk of cross contamination on shared equipment, I’d encourage anyone with celiac disease to either bake at home or visit a gluten free bakery for safe treats. If you must indulge at a mixed-used bakery, I’d encourage moderation.

5 things that make a trip to Whole Foods worthwhile:

Both Dierbergs and Whole Foods carry a good selection of gluten free specialty products. I used to purchase Starfish gluten free battered fish at Whole Foods until I saw the same product at Dierbergs for about half the price. Go Dierbergs! By the way, my local Schnucks store sold the fantastic battered fish for a while. Then one day, they were on clearance for 2 or 3 dollars a box. Uh oh. Good for me temporarily because I bought every box in sight. But bad, because obviously that product didn’t move enough to survive. Did people not know about it? If you love a product, buy it often if you can.

The next gluten free class at Kitchen Conservatory is on Sunday, November 17.  Learn how to make a flaky gluten free crust for pumpkin pie, vanilla layer cake, gingerbread cookies, and the ultimate chocolate chip cookies. Classes tend to sell out, so don’t delay in signing up early if you’re interested.

 

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  1. […] There are many different approaches to gluten free baking, so really, look around. I mentioned some books in a previous post that may prove […]

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