Category Archives: Breads

Pumpkin Spice Muffins (gluten free or regular)

With cooler weather hitting recently, the official beginning of fall, and my stomach returning to normal, I couldn’t wait to get some canned pumpkin and bake these pumpkin muffins. My whole family loves them and no one ever guesses they are gluten free.  Of course, they are easy to make regular. All you do is omit the gluten free flours and xanthan gum and sub all purpose. The spice combinations are spot on.  I actually doubled the amount of cinnamon that the original recipe calls for, as well as doubled the nutmeg and cloves.

My kids gobble these up so fast! I’m always shocked when we run out so quickly. I also love that they are not overly sweet. Don’t get my wrong. They are sweet as any muffin should be, but not so sweet that they should be called a cupcake. The original recipe calls for raisins or currants, but I never include those. Occasionally, though, I will throw in a few handfulls of chopped pecans, which adds great texture and a bit of protein.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

original recipe from here:

  • 3  cups Jeanine’s GF flour blend (from the art of gluten free baking. com).  I have also used 3 cups of Pamela’s GF baking mix with equally great results. If you use Pamela’s, omit the baking powder and soda.

To make this flour blend, combine 1 1/4 cups white  rice flour, 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1 cup sweet rice flour, and a little less than 2 tsp xanthan gum.  I mix mine in a zip lock bag and then store it in that bag for future use.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
  • Cinnamon/Sugar mixture for sprinkling over the top of each muffin before baking

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture. Combine canola oil, eggs, and pumpkin in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in currants and/or pecans if desired.

Spoon into prepared muffins tins. You can either use muffin paper liners or just spray with non stick spray. Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar over the top of each muffin.

Bake for approximately 12-15 min until tops are puffed up, lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

Enjoy!

Makes about 2 dozen muffins.

Pie Crust and Quiche

Pie crust? Really? Gluten Free? Yep. I first made it back in the summer, following instructions from “The Art of Gluten free Baking”.  She has so many fabulous recipes over there so go have a look around. I am using her flour blend more and more and try to always keep it on hand.

It is:

1 1/4 cups brown rice flour

1 1/4 cups white rice flour

1 cup tapioca flour

1 cup sweet rice flour

scant 2 tsp xanthan gum

Anyway, I first made crostatas with fresh blackberries and peaches (and unfortunately didn’t get a picture because we ate them so fast!). They were fantastic. The crust was indeed, as Jeanne claims, flakey and delicate. I was very surprised.

I didn’t have anything prepared for dinner last night and dinner time was quickly approaching. A quick preview of the fridge led me to decide upon quiche with the new gluten free crust recipe. The beauty of the crust recipe is that it makes enough for 2 9inch pies/quiches so I now have an extra in the fridge just chillin’ waiting on me to figure out what I want to make next.

When I was in Peru this summer with my brother and sis in law (who is also celiac) I made several batches of this pie dough and froze it in discs for her to pull out when needed. It thaws great and you still get delicious results.

So, here is the crust recipes from Jeanne at Art of Gluten Free Baking: (my notes in italics)

2 1/3 C (350g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 TBL granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 C (8oz; 230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces (you can also use lard)
1 TBL vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
5-7 TBL cold water
extra tapioca flour for rolling out

Method:

Place flour, sugar, and salt into a large bowl. Mix together with a spoon until combined.  Add butter pieces to the dry ingredients mixture. With fingers, start rubbing together the butter and the dry ingredients. This will take some time. Do this until the resulting mixture looks like wet sand mixed with pebbles.  I like to do this by hand to get a feel for the dough.  You may also do this initial mixing with a food processor if you’d like.

Add the vinegar and rub into the mixture.  Add water a TBL at a time, rubbing into the mixture. You want to add enough to create a dough that holds together well, but isn’t wet. I pretty consistently use about 6 TBSP of the water, but just go slowly and get the feel for your dough.

Prepare your rolling surface. I like to roll mine out on a large cutting board b/c it makes for an easy transfer to the pie plate later.   Sprinkle tapioca flour over your rolling surface. Also sprinkle flour over your rolling pin.  When the disks are chilled, remove the first disk of dough from the fridge and place on your prepared rolling surface and sprinkle top of dough with tapioca flour.  The key to successfully rolling out gluten-free pie dough is to go slow. When I say slow, I mean SLOW. And with a light touch. If your dough starts cracking, slow down and don’t press so hard with your rolling pin.  With your rolling pin, carefully and patiently roll out the dough into a 12″ circle (it should be at least 3″ larger than the top of your pie pan). If the dough sticks to the rolling pin, add more tapioca flour.

NOTE: the dough should be cool but not too cold. It should roll fairly easily and should not break while you’re rolling it. If it does break a bit, don’t worry–breaks are easily fixed by smoothing the dough over the breaks.  If it seems too cold and you’re really having to work hard to roll it and it’s breaking a lot, step back and let it warm up a little bit before you continue. Alternately, if the dough is floppy and seems to be “sweating,” it is too warm and should be refrigerated for awhile longer.

If you have rolled your dough onto a surface like a cutting board like me you can now easily get it into the pie plate. Turn your pie plate upside down onto the center of your now rolled out circle. carefully invert your cutting board and pie plate.  Remove the cutting board and gently ease the dough into the plate so that it is all along the bottom and up the sides.  Trim any excess off.

If that doesn’t make sense you can very easily follow Jeanne’s instructions on her site. She offers great step by step pictures.

Fill it however you’d like. You can go savory like a quiche or sweet is always good too. I have made apple pie, individual crostatas, and now quiche. All yummy! This time I made the whole dough recipe in my food processor which was super easy and I thought just as good.

For my quiche recipe I just used what I had on hand.

Ham and Spinach Quiche:

6 large eggs

1 cup shredded sharp cheese

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1 cup chopped ham

2 TSP spicy brown mustard

1 tsp hot sauce

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake at 375 for approximately 40-50 minutes, until browned on top and a knife inserted comes out clean. If it starts to get too brown on top cover with foil until finished cooking.

Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free)

Do you feel a tiny bit sorry for yourself in the fall when you are at fall festivals and the air is full of the scent of fried dough?  You see the funnel cake line stretched long with people excited to pay $5 for a small plate of funnel cake bliss.  If you are like me, you wish you could have just a bite. Of course, you know that one bite would not be worth the price paid in stomach pain and misery later. But still… You remember the old days before you were diagnosed as gluten intolerant when you could partake in that classic fall festival yumminess.

Well, I know it is not fall but the idea to make these was very random. I was sifting through some of my favorite online blogs and landed for a bit on The Pioneer Woman. Such a fun blog to read. Her recipes are wonderful and her humor always gets me laughing. She had a post about funnel cakes. As I was reading she commented that funnel cake batter is really sweetened, thin pancake batter that is fried. Hmmmm… I can make gluten free pancake batter. Could I fry it and have a funnel cake?? You see where this is going.

I did some funnel cake research online. It seems that most recipes are basically pancake batter and a lot of people recommended adding an extra egg white.  I don’t really know why, but I decided to go with it. For simplicity and to easily see if I was onto something, I whipped up a batch of pancake batter using Pamelas Pancake and Baking Mix. I followed the directions but added the extra egg white, 2 TBSP sugar, and a 1/2 tsp of cinnamon because that sounded yummy to me. I also added an extra tsp of baking powder for a boost of leavening. *I found after a few test runs, that it worked better to add two extra TBSP of pamelas mix in order to have a little thicker batter.

I heated the oil, put all my pancake batter into a ziploc bag, snipped the corner, and did my best to drizzle the batter into the oil in a funnel cake shape.  I don’t have to tell you what happened because you already saw the picture. Yep, deliciousness. My kids gobbled up the first and second one I made before I even got to taste it. But when the third one came out and it had cooled beyond scorching my mouth, you better believe I had my taste. Seriously, good. Really good. I was immediately taken back to those long lines at the festival.

I know frying stuff is messy. But these really are easy. You should whip some up soon.  Have fun playing with shapes and toppings. I was thinking I could have tried funnel cake hearts or mickey mouse heads for my kids. They would have loved that.  Might be harder than I think though and they were more than happy with the regular round funnel cake.

I dusted ours with powdered sugar because that is how I have always had them. But in reading online, lots of people dust with cinnamon/sugar, drizzle chocolate sauce on them, or top with strawberry sauce and whipped cream. I don’t think you can go wrong.  I just love them the old fashioned way.

You could probably use any pancake recipe that you have and like. Like I said, I used a mix and it worked great and therefore that is what I’ll use for this “Recipe”.

Funnel Cakes (Gluten Free).

*Makes 5-7 funnel cakes, depending on how big you make yours

Ingredients:

1 Cup + 2 TBSP Pamelas Baking and Pancake Mix

3/4 cup water

1 TBSP oil

1 large egg + 1 egg white

2 TBSP granulated sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Make pancake batter by combining all ingredients and mixing well.

Heat about 1 1/2 inches of oil in a heavy pan until it reaches about 370 degrees. Pour your batter into a piping bag with a wide tip or you can improvise like I did and put it in a large ziploc bag and snip the corner off. Pipe the batter into oil, making a free-form lattice pattern; cook until browned, flipping once.  Mine needed about 1 1/2 minutes per side, but keep an eye on them because they can brown quickly.

If you see they are getting too brown too quickly, lower your oil temp a bit. Remove your funnel cake from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.  Wait about two or three minutes for it to drain off some of the excess oil and then top with powdered sugar.

Continue until all of the batter is used.

Enjoy!! And please let me hear your feedback if you try them. 🙂

Gluten Free Dinner Rolls!

I have a very important announcement. Thanks to the suggestion of Carrie (Gingerlemongirl), I tried a new recipe for dinner rolls. The announcement is that they are FABULOUS! I have had so many bad or barely average GF breads that honestly my hopes were not very high, despite the delicious looking photos I had seen of these rolls. The recipe comes from Jeanne, at Art of Gluten Free Baking.  (Her blog used to be the Four Chickens blog but she changed the name).

I made these about a month ago, but changed the flour combinations because I didn’t have exactly what her recipe calls for. MISTAKE! They were not that good. They turned out heavy and not light and fluffy like hers.  So disappointed. I have been gathering the flours needed and finally finished most of my Christmas baking and had time to make them this week. As I watched them rise, my heart lept. Those of you who have baked GF know this level of excitement when you realize that a recipe is going to turn out correctly! I even called my mom and told her to come over and try them with me.

Sweet goodness!!! They are (were!)  wonderful. I ate two right out of the oven and immediately called my friend, Shannon, who is also GF and told her to come pick some up. I then made up a plate with a few of them to drop off at another GF friend’s house. I was dying for someone else to appreciate the goodness of these rolls.

Here is what is fantastic about these:

1) They don’t taste gluten free!

2) They are good hot or cold and even after a couple days! So many GF breads I have tried are decent when fresh but turn into the equivalent of rocks by day 2.  I forced myself to put two aside and try them on day 3. Still delicious!

3) They are not that hard to make. Yes, you need some specific flours but they are not too difficult to come by. I have made breads that are much more involved and labor intensive. These are do-able.

4) They have a great crisp exterior and a soft interior. . . like they are supposed to!

Ok, so is that enough reasons for you to try them?? I sure hope so. I am not going to repost the recipe. Go over to Jeanne’s blog HERE and enjoy! Make sure you look around at her other recipes. She has a lot of good ones.

I should also tell you that, yesterday, I used this dough, revised (sweetened) a tiny bit, to make cinnamon rolls. And you are going to be BLOWN away by how good they are. I made these before I realized that Jeanne has a recipe for cinnamon rolls on her blog. I’m not sure I’ll get around to trying it just yet, because the ones I made were soooo good. I will post the recipe soon with some yummy looking pictures. I hope to get it up by tomorrow because you absolutely MUST have Christmas morning cinnamon rolls this year! You must.

Happy Holidays!

Gluten Free Cake Donuts

This post is LONG overdue. I mentioned these donuts back in the summer, and a sweet blog follower just asked me this week if I would post the recipe. Oops! I’m sorry it has taken so long b/c you will REALLY enjoy these. They are reminiscent of my pre-GF days when I would visit Dunkin Donuts with my sister in law and get munchkins. We made these for the first time this summer, in her honor.

Here ya go!

Gluten-Free Cake Doughnuts
adapted from Cooking Gluten-Free by Karen Robertson

Ingredients:
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 C milk
3/4  C sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBL butter, melted
3/4 C white rice flour

3/4 cup tapioca Flour

1/2 cup corn starch

1 tsp xanthan gum

Vegetable oil for frying
Confectioners sugar, granulated sugar, or cinnamon mixed w/sugar for dusting

-Mix together egg, milk, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, salt, and butter in a medium bowl
-add flours and corn starch
-cover and refrigerate for about an hour to firm up dough.

-At this point you can either roll out your dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out big donuts and donut holes or you can just scoop TBSP full and gently roll between your hands to form donut holes. We just made the little guys this time. They are so fun and cook quickly. The kids love that they are bit sized.

If you decide to roll your dough out, dust some parchment paper or plastic wrap with tapioca flour and then also dust your rolling pin. Additionally you can put a piece of parchment over the top before you roll as well.

Heat your vegetable oil to about 360-370. Test a small amount of dough by dropping it gently into the hot oil. If it starts cooking immediately  and then floats to the top and gets brown, you are ready.

Drop donuts gently into hot oil. When they rise to the top, you might need to carefully flip them with a spoon so that they cook evenly on both sides.

Remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels to drain off any excess oil.

When slightly cooled, roll in the coating of your choice. We did some with powdered sugar and some with a cinnamon sugar mixture. Mmmmmm..

Enjoy!

and stay tuned for Pumpkin Spice Donuts next… 🙂

Oat-less Granola Bars (Gluten Free)

I have a new GF friend who recently told me she cannot tolerate oats.  I know this is not uncommon.  She told me one thing she really really missed has been granola bars. Of course, she could buy GF oats, but they are so so expensive. So, i set out on a search for something that would be a good substitute. Thanks to “The Cinnamon Quill” I didn’t have to search long. She has just recently posted about granola bars without oats. I tried her recipe and it was a hit. I gave them to my friend who loved them! yay! I love when that happens. So if you miss granola bars, and can’t afford to spend $100 per bag of GF oats (OK OK! i know it’s not that much but it is a lot. 🙂  )  then give these a shot.

Oh yeah, these taste A LOT like the thick chewy granola bar recipe that i have already posted on here.  So if you have tried those, you will like these too.

And, again forgive my camera phone picture. 😦

Oat-less Granola Bars (Gluten Free)

*recipe from  The Cinnamon Quill

1 cup cereal, such as cornflakes or ‘Chex’
1 1/2 cups mixed dried fruit and nuts in any combination
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
2 Tablespoons flaxmeal (ground flaxseed)
1/2 cup honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
2 Tablespoons almond butter (or other butter)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional)

*Parchment paper

Preheat oven to 350F.

1/4 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (optional) I left these out.

Line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper.  In a food processor, combine all ingredients, until desired consistency has been reached. If you’d like larger pieces in your bars, pulse mixture a few times, then finish combining with a spatula.

Wet hands, then press mixture into prepared pan. The mixture will only cover about two-thirds of the pan. See a picture of this here.

Return pan to oven for 10-12 minutes more, or until they are starting to get more uniformly golden. This could take longer, depending what ingredients you used.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until mixture starts looking a bit golden. Remove from oven, then, using a very sharp knife, gently cut bars into desired size. This is more like just ’scoring’. I usually cut into about eight bars.

I did not score these like “Cinnamon Quill” did. I just left them in there until they were slightly browned (about 25-28 min), took them out, and then cut them once they had cooled for several hours. Worked fine.

Remove from oven, reinforcing any of the scoring, as needed.

Cool completely before removing; slice around each bar as you lift it from the pan.

Wrap each bar in plastic wrap/parchment/wax paper, then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yields about 8 bars.

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze (Gluten Free)

I know it sounds like a strange combination of flavors.  I was skeptical when I first saw it.  But I so wish you could taste it tonight so you too could become a fan.  I was looking for something new and fun to make for my cousin, Leigh, who just adopted a little boy.  And I stumbled upon this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Our Best Bites.

Please make this for your family.  They will be so glad you did.  My kids went crazy over it.  I can’t tell you how wonderful the texture is and how interesting it is to get the sweetness of the bananas and coconut with a little tang from the lime glaze.

I did make the mistake of not letting it cook long enough, which resulted in the middle sinking a little. But that didn’t stop anyone in this house from devouring it.  🙂  Next time I will let it cook longer and hopefully avoid the sinking.  Or I’m thinking about making it into mini loaves so it would cook faster.  It would also probably be great made into muffins and then glazed individually.  I don’t think you could go wrong with any of those.

I made this gluten free by using Pamelas Baking Mix.  But if you want regular, you can certainly just use all purpose flour.

Coconut Banana Bread with Lime Glaze
adapted by Our Best Bites from Cooking Light

2 C all purpose flour (or Pamelas GF baking mix or your fav GF baking mix)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 C sugar
1/4 C (4 Tbs) real butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 1/2 C mashed ripe bananas (about 4 large bananas)
1/4 C sour cream or plain yogurt
3 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C coconut

Topping: 2 Tbs additional coconut
Glaze: 1/2 C powdered sugar whisked with 1 1/2 Tbs fresh lime juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until blended.  Add eggs and beat to combine.  Add banana, sour cream or yogurt,  milk, and vanilla.  Beat until blended.
Add flour mixture and beat at a low speed until just combined.  Stir in 1/2 C coconut.

Pour batter into a 9×5″ loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. I buttered my loaf pan and then sprinkled it with rice flour.  GF baked goods tend to stick more than others and this will make sure it releases well. Sprinkle additional 2 Tbs coconut on top.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until a knife or skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Note: Check bread after about 40 minutes.  If the top has browned and the coconut pieces are looking toasty, cover top of bread lightly with a piece of foil.  Continue baking until done.

When done, remove pan from oven.  Let cool on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes and then carefully remove from pan.  Whisk powdered sugar and lime juice together for the glaze and then drizzle over top.    Cool for another 15 minutes before slicing.

Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!