Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Gluten free Easter baking

This week's challenge is making gluten free hot cross buns.  In January I was diagnosed with coeliac disease and put onto a gluten free diet.  This is quite a major lifestyle change.  It hasn't been particularly difficult for me at home as we cook most things from scratch.  Everyday bread is no problem because of Genius brand which I gather is quite new, but we are keen cooks and I am having to rethink some of my recipes.  A few days ago I made Easter biscuits as usual, simply substituting gluten free flour for ordinary and adding Xanthum gum because the recipe is rather crumbly at the best of times.

This morning I tackled hot cross buns.  Gluten free breads cannot be kneaded because they come out like cake batter.  I used several  recipes - the one on the flour packet for the basics, Delia Smith and the New Zealand Edmonds Cookery Book (my bible for baking) for the added ingredients and Healthy Gluten Free Eating by Davina Allen for instructions on proving and baking.  In the end I decided it would have to be a 'hot cross bun' loaf as it seems impossible to divide and shape such a sticky mixture.

The mixture filled one tin right to the brim so I split it into two which has meant that the finished loaves are rather flat but I think it would have overflowed badly in one tin.  You only prove the bread once.  I gave it about an hour, putting it in the oven with the door open after heating it to 50 degrees C and then turning it off. Davina Allen said 20 minutes is enough but the flour book said an hour.  This is why gluten free baking takes some learning!  I think I overbaked them slightly as my husband did not realise what they were.  He is really the baker but he had problems trying to make bread before I had read about all the difference between gluten free and ordinary baking and declared it was like working with wallpaper paste.

Anyway I have eaten a piece and it tastes fine to me.  You just have to imagine that it is round and has a cross on it!

As you can do other things while bread-making I have also been printing off a few of my Venice photos of reflections with an eye on the journal quilts I have to do by the end of April.  I have cropped and enlarged bits of some photos and now need to think about what techniques would work with them.  I think a bit of work with paint and paper is called for first.

I don't seem to have saved the enlargement of the reflections in the photo on the left so you will have to wait for the next posting.  Oh, and the fourth cat was returned to its rightful owner.  The postman recognised it as belonging to someone on the next corner.  It is seventeen years old, deaf with thyroid problems and going senile.  You cannot call it because it does not hear and when it wanders off it cannot find its way home again.  It was delighted to see its owner and so were we!

No comments:

Post a Comment