Monthly Archives: December 2014

Buckwheat Month

Good Morning,

I just saw that the Whole Grains Council has chosen Buckwheat as its grain of the month.  Since I use buckwheat flour in most of my gluten free recipes, I thought I would share their post.  The council shares information about the origins and history of the buckwheat plant as well as nutritional information and, of course, recipes!

Have you cooked with buckwheat groats?  I haven’t yet, but I would like to try their Kasha and Beet Salad recipe.

To celebrate buckwheat, I am including a recipe for Gluten Free Buckwheat Almond Biscotti, adapted from “Biscotti di Prato” in “The Complete Book of Florentine Cooking” by Paolo Petroni.

Gluten Free Buckwheat Biscotti
Gluten Free Buckwheat Biscotti

Gluten Free Buckwheat Almond Biscotti

Ingredients
4 cups buckwheat flour (Arrowhead Mills)*
2 cups sugar
3 whole large eggs and 3 large egg yolks
¼ cup Passito di Pantelleria**
1 slightly rounded teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons melted butter or 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pinch of salt
1 ½ cups whole roasted almonds with skins

*I use Arrowhead Mills buckwheat flour because it is produced in a gluten free facility.

**Passito di Pantelleria is an Italian sweet dessert wine produced on the small island of Pantelleria off the southwestern coast of Sicily.  Passito di Pantelleria can be found in specialty food stores such as Trader Joe’s and in some local wine stores.  If Passito di Pantelleria is not available to you, other sweet dessert wines such as Vin Santo or Muscats can be used.)

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center of oven.

In a large bowl, place the flour and make a well, add sugar, 3 whole eggs, 2 yolks, Passito, baking powder, melted butter and pinch of salt.

Mix ingredients quickly with hands until well combined.

Add almonds and mix until they are covered by dough.  Flour hands if dough becomes too sticky.

Form loaves 1.5″ wide and .5″ high on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Leave 1.5″ between loaves.  Brush with yolk.

Bake loaves for approx. 25 min. or until golden brown.

Remove loaves from oven and cut diagonally to make .5″ wide biscotti.  Place biscotti on their sides on baking sheet and return to oven for approx. 5 min. or until toasted on sides.

Place biscotti on racks to cool.

Serve biscotti with small glasses of Passito di Pantelleria.  Store biscotti in aluminum tins for up to 1 month.

Buon Appetito!


Recipe adopted from “Biscotti di Prato” – from “The Complete Book of Florentine Cooking” by Paolo Petroni

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Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread

vegan gluten free gingerbread men
vegan gluten free gingerbread men

The holidays are here and don’t you want the smell of gingerbread in your house?  I do and last week I went searching  for a gluten free (and vegan) gingerbread recipe for a friend and her daughter who cannot have gluten AND dairy.  So I started by looking at a traditional wheat-based gingerbread recipe to get an idea of the ratio between flour, sugar, spices and fat.  Then, I moved onto one of my favorite gluten free sites, Gluten Free Girl and the Chef, where I found a gluten free gingerbread recipe, but it had both eggs and butter.  To check out a vegan recipe, I turned to a new site for me, Oh She Glows, and the closest I could find was a recipe for molasses cookies.  This recipe used flax seed instead of egg and vegan butter instead of butter.

After this bit of research, I decided to follow more or less the Gluten Free Girl and the Chef recipe, but with flax seed and vegan butter.  Since I like to tweak recipes depending on what allergens I have to avoid and what ingredients I have, I am going to write this one out for you.  The result is a traditional tasting gingerbread cookie.  Buon Appetito!

Ingredients:

600 gr gf cookie flour mix which is 40% whole grain flours and 60% starches
I used 240 gr Bob’s brown rice flour and 360 gr Bob’s white rice flour.
2 tbsp flax seed + 6 tbsp hot water
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
230 gr Earth Balance soy-free buttery spread (about half the tub), room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup blackstrap molasses
2 tsp vanilla
orange zest from 1 organic orange

Put flaxseed in measuring cup and add hot water. Whisk to combine and set aside to gel and cool.

Place dry ingredients: flours, baking soda, salt, spices, in bowl and whisk thoroughly.

Put sugar and butter in stand mixer and mix on low with paddle until combined. Add vanilla, orange zest, flax seed slurry and molasses. Mix on low until combined.

With mixer on low, add dry ingredients, in 1/4 batches, scraping down sides until flour has disappeared into dough. Dough will be sticky.

Divide dough into 4 pieces and place each piece in saran wrap and store disks in fridge for at least one hour and up to 3 days.

Roll out dough on parchment with brown rice flour until 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters.

Bake at 350F on parchment lined cookie sheets for 15 min. or until center is firm to touch.

Enjoy!