Graduation Day: I’m awesome

On Saturday I officially graduated being a intermediate gluten free to a pro gluten free chef! Ladies and Gentlemen, I made Gluten Free Bread! It was soft, puffy, and tasted like normal bread! Some of you have already crossed this milestone and I am now pleased to say that I am here with you! After a year and a half of brutal and horrible dinners and snacks that could be used to stone someone, I am now well trained in the art of Gluten Free.  2014 Jan-sept 451

I used a recipe from Gluten-Free Goddess to make a beautiful Focaccia Loaf (I just didn’t put tomatoes on mine)

Tomato-Garlic Focaccia – Italian Flatbread Recipe

Ingredients:

1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch (not potato flour!) or tapioca starch
1/2 cup millet flour or certified GF oat flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons each: chopped rosemary, thyme, basil
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cup warm water (at 110º F)
A pinch of raw sugar
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon mild rice vinegar or lemon juice
1 free range egg, beaten, or Ener-G Egg Replacer, mixed
A dusting of GF cornmeal

Note: You’ll need sliced fresh garlic and tomatoes for topping.
Instructions:
Turn on the oven briefly- just to warm it; then turn it off.
Whisk together the flours, starch, xanthan gum, sea salt, garlic, and herbs in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, proof the yeast in warm water and pinch of sugar.
When the yeast is poofy, pour the mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the olive oil, honey, vinegar, and egg or egg replacer.
Stir to combine. The dough should be sticky- it doesn’t really feel like typical wheat bread dough- more like a thick muffin batter.
Scoop the dough into a 9-inch cake pan dusted with cornmeal.
Using wet hands pat and shape the dough into a rounded loaf.
Top with sliced tomatoes and fresh garlic; sprinkle with extra herbs, if you like, and a little coarse sea salt.
Place the pan into the warm oven and allow it to rest and rise for 30 minutes.
Turn on the oven to 375ºF.
Once the oven is 375º put the timer on for 20 minutes. Bake until golden and firm- from 25 to 35 minutes. When you thump it, it should sound hollow.
Remove from the pan as soon as you can handle it, and cool on a wire rack. Slice with a sharp bread knife.

Makes one loaf.

Read more: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2009/03/gluten-free-focaccia-recipe-with-garlic.html#ixzz3DPYBTVP2

The Good, the Bad and The Dear God what is that?!

7-GF-Bread-Test-400Friends, let’s talk about bread and bread like products! Ashley is Portuguese and her love for bread is deep. After a few days without bread I found her shaking in a corner murmuring something about french rolls. It wasn’t good and so the mission began to find the best GF bread out there! We haven’t tried all of it so if you’ve tried bread that we haven’t please add a comment!

Let’s start with the, Dear God What is that?

Tifco Corn Tortillas, This is just so wrong. We were heart broken when this sucked. Ashley tried wrapping eggs and bacon in it for breakfast and lost her appetite! You can do Mexican meals with these you just have to drowned it with your toppings.

Pizza Pizza Gluten free options. No. Just stop Pizza Pizza. It’s awful like racist jokes. It’s like they just spread toppings on top of cardboard and call it gluten free because there is no gluten in cardboard. 

download

O’Doughs. This one is on the fence. It’s pretty bad but not awful. If you toast it it’s a real improvement. If you don’t toast it, it’s like putting a sandwich between two sink sponges. I would say they have good burger buns but it’s not my first choice. 

The Bad

All but Gluten. Yeah their not kidding about the ‘All’ part! This bread is heavily processed and the ingredients are hard to read which makes us feel uneasy. It’s also a tiny ass loaf for $6-$7 and it’s hard as hell. I like to keep a loaf with me when I walk alone at night. One swing and that mo-fo is down! They do make an excellent raisin loaf, I just need to eat 5 slices to feel satisfied. Always toast this bread.download (1)

KindFood. We had their sandwiches and there was a chance to buy the bread. We enjoyed the sandwich so we decided to buy the bread and there was definitely a difference. The loaf we bought was very dense and maybe you’re into that but I found it dried out my mouth. In the end it felt like more of a chore to finish the damn sandwich.

The Good

download (3)Pizza Nova and Gino’s Pizza. We do prefer to make our own pizzas but when we are super lazy and have no desire to enter our kitchen we call one of these guys up. It’s best if you ask for extra sauce because the crust is thin and drys out.

Glutino. Excellent bread with a great selection. I do warn you that you must toast this bread or you’ll put this one in the Dear God What’s That column. When we eat this bread Ashley really enjoys sandwich’s and it keeps her from shaking in the corner.

IMG_3415[1]

Udi’s. This is by far the best gluten free product in my opinion. It has slice bread, bagels, pizza crust, muffin tops, hamburger and hot dog buns, tortillas, and even french loafs. The best part it actually tastes and feels like bread! It’s fluffy and delicious and it’s now a staple in our home.

sh_web_profile-image_chia-chia-gf-bread

Silver Hills is now Ashley’s new favorite their bread is a little on the small size however there are 5 grams of fiber in one piece of bread. It’s sold at Costco in a double bag for 9$

download (2)

Some products I haven’t tried yet are Dempster’s Gluten Zero Bread. What an idiot name. As if replacing Free with Zero was some how a better idea. I bet you that the next idiot company that wants to join the band wagon is going to call it Gluten Liberty Bread. You’ll hear conversations like, “Are you gluten free?” “oh, no I’m gluten zero” Ok my rant is done.

Now You may be thinking that this is a small list and it is. Canada has been late for the gluten free products and that’s a real shame because so many people have so few options. Remember that we control the markets and if we want something all we need to do is tell the big brand stores and they start providing it. Costco listens to it’s customers and over this last year we have seen a flood of gluten free and organic products take to the shelves. In no way do I cover the nutrient value or whats in it but just what it tastes like. Eating gluten free is hard enough and I wanted to provide you with bread products that you will want to buy again. Good luck out there!

May the GF be with you.

B

5 Tips On How To Survive The Gluten Free Lifestyle

20140225-072800.jpg

Living the gluten free lifestyle is no walk in the park but more like an uphill hike through a mine field. You have to be so careful of what you eat, constantly reading every ingredient on the box. Your friends an family aren’t as well versed as you are so extra caution is needed at parties and social events. And if you do find a product you can eat it’ll either tastes like cardboard or costs you an index finger and your first born. So how do you survive the gluten free lifestyle? Here’s 5 tips that I think can help you out.

1. Get someone on your side. One thing that has helped Ashley was me being willing to try the foods she was eating. Since I wasn’t eating gluten free I was able to let her know if it’s worth eating. I would help her find products that tasted more normal than cardboard. It also helped in parties where we could bring something gluten free that she could enjoy and others could too!

2. Watch for companies jumping on the band wagon. We are constantly surprised how many companies are noting that their product is gluten free. Some have it in very small letters others it’s a new thing they are doing so it’ll be in bold print. If there is a product you really miss, next time in the grocery store read through the ingredients or look closely at the label just in case you’ve been able to eat it the whole time!

3. Let your friends and family know what products or things you can and like to eat. I know this can be a little embarrassing and uncomfortable yet it can be better than torturing yourself at their events with nothing to eat. Sure it’s a little inconvenient for them but think about it, on your birthday party if you don’t tell them what you can eat than you’ll have the cake but won’t be able to eat it. You’ll be living a real idiomatic proverb.

20140225-073241.jpg

4. Follow gluten free blogs. This is a way to get new and fresh ideas for a complicated lifestyle. It also gives you free recipes to try and a place to feel that you are not alone. Gluten free cook books can be really pricey or hard to find. Blogs stay relevant and up to date on the ever changing market that is getting more interested in gluten free options.

5. Make more money! Joking, look for the deals. Your wallet already knows what it’s like to eat gluten free, it’s expensive. It’s unfortunate that a cheap loaf of gluten free bread has the same consistency of sink sponges or has the density of lead. The good stuff is expensive however you can find sales of gluten free products. It’s usually not posted in the weekly flyers so you always need to go in and check. Take an afternoon and visit all the grocery stores in the area and see first who’s selling gluten free products. Then each week take time to visit these stores for the possible sales. It’s a lot of work but it will pay off.

I hope this helps you in your journey. Remember stay strong out there, you are not alone.
Thanks for reading and may the GF be with you!