Friday, 24 July 2015

A matter of loaf and death

 Gluten free bread can be a bit of hit and miss. Sometimes the shop bought breads are dry and horrible. The breads are expensive (understandable) and some times when I get to Gluten free section, the breads are almost out of date, or none left on the shelves. 
So I thought to myself, how hard can it be!?!? I am going to buy a bread maker and make my own - problem over!
Ha ha ha! I should have known better. My Dad was a baker and he always said :"Baking is chemistry!"
This even more when baking gluten free. You don't have the gluten to make the stretchy structure and the lovely crumbly texture. If my Dad was alive, I would love to have a conversation with him about this matters. 
And it would have been great to challenge him with , making a nice Gluten free bread.

Buying a bread machine. I choose the smallest version on the market, this for easy storage and also that the breads are only for me. Lakeland had a affordable small machine, job done.

First attempt and recipe was from "Gluten free " magazine, recipe for Oat Bread. OMG this turned into a rubbery brick. Seriously something wrong! I guess the proof reading  slipped that day at the office.
Next attempt GF baking mix Finax, recipe on back of package. Not for human consumption, unless you were dying and there was nothing else to eat.
3rd attempt, I went to Waterstones book store and bought a book "Cooking gluten, wheat and dairy free" Michelle Berriedale-Johnson.
Quick white loaf! Yes pleasant and enjoyable to eat. But still not totally happy.
So last night 4th attempt I cracked it. From same book "brown loaf with almonds" - Eureka!
But I did pimp her recipe, as always and made this mine.
This makes one small loaf:

Put in your bread maker :
350 ml lukewarm water 
3 Tbsp olive oil 
1 tsp honey 
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast 

The dry ingredients on top of the wet:
200 gram Dove Brown GF flour
50 gram Gram flour (Indian chickpea flour)
50 gram ground almonds 
2 tsp psyllium husk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

Set machine to setting closest to a raising time 30 - 45 min. And baking time 45- 60 minutes.

I will use this recipe from now on. But there are always room for improvement! So watch this space, more to come.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The heat is on - Pimp your water!

The summer has finally arrived in London and with a vengeance. I went to the Wholefood market in Picadelly and there was rows of beautiful bottles of infused waters. It was boiling outside and looked so beautiful in the bottles.

I bought a bottle and the boys and I agreed this was a great drink, but a bit expensive for what it really was.
I can do that myself I thought.
I found on Amazon Kindle a free book about Flavoured water to down load, even better.

No need for juicers and blenders, only your patience. If you are real fancy, you could buy an "infuser", but really a glass or plastic bottle is all you need.
I got lots of mint in my garden and 3 pebble strawberry plants., so the first batch we made was strawberries, mint and lime. Left it for 3 hours and ready to drink.

Other great combinations are:

- cucumber w/lemon infuse for 2 hours 
- Kiwi on its own, or with strawberries. Infused for 3 hours 
- Pineapple with mint, or ginger. Infused for 3 hours 
- Watermelon w/rosemary infused 2 hours 

There are hundreds of other combinations, but no excuse to get dehydrated. Enjoy the summer.