Gluten Free Homemade Pizza

I have to say that the gluten free Pizza Express pizza you can get from most supermarkets are pretty good, as are those you can get from most high street restaurants.

Being on lockdown though means that going out for pizza isn’t going to happen, also we were avoiding unnecessary trips to the supermarket as well.

So we decided to make our own pizza. This was somewhat of a challenge, as though we had yeast, we had no bread flour, so we decided to use gluten free plain flour.

      • 225g strong plain flour (we used plain flour)
      • 1 tsp fast acting yeast
      • ½ tsp salt
      • 150mls of hand hot water
      • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree
      • 85g hard cheese
      • Selection of toppings

Mix the yeast with the flour and add the water.

Mix into a dough.

These were then rolled and flattened into pizza shapes on a baking tray.

We then put them in a warm place to rise. I think we should have left them for longer to enable them to rise further, but we were short on time.

I think it might have worked better if we had bread or strong flour.

The last time we did this (we used bread flour) the toppings were cooked well before the base was done. I don’t have a pizza oven or a pizza stone. Previously when making “homemade” gluten free pizza, we have used ready to go bases. So this time I part baked the bases to ensure that they were cooked properly. 

We then used tomato puree for the tomato base. I would have preferred to use passata but the family don’t like it very much, it can also make the dough soggy, works better in a proper pizza oven.

We then added a range of toppings including pepper, mushrooms, red onion and ham.

We only had cheddar cheese in the fridge, I would have preferred grated mozzarella, but all we had was the cheddar. 

Overall, it was nothing like Bella Italia or Pizza Express, however they were delicious and were finished off in double quick time. Lots of conversations about was our food okay and did we want to see the dessert menu.

Gluten Free Puffy Pancakes

pancakes

This is a quick and simple method to make puffy pancakes. There are various names for these kinds of pancake.

I take a cup of self-raising gluten free flour, a cup of milk, one egg, a large spoon of sugar and some vanilla essence. For flat pancakes, I would normally use plain flour.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter.

I have a specialist small pancake pan which I can use for cooking these. I brush the pan with some sunflower oil and pour Not too much) of the batter into the pan.

You have to take care to ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through, but isn’t overdone (or even burnt) on the surface. I do find turning them can be quite messy, so be careful.

Serve with maple syrup.

Homemade Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

I have used Jus-Rol puff pastry in the past and have been pleased with the results, so I was intrigued to see their gluten free puff pastry and wondered what it would be like to use.

Jus Rol Gluten Free Puff Pastry

It comes as a ready rolled sheet which I sliced in half and filled with some sausage meat before rolling it up and placing on a baking tray. I made slices in the top of the pastry and brushed with beaten egg.

This was then baked in a hot oven for around twenty minutes.

Homemade Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

They worked very well, the pastry I think it needed to be a bit more flakey, but it was really easy to use and tasted very nice.

Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits

A simple quick recipe for Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits.

 Gluten Free White Choc Chip Biscuits

This is a simple recipe for gluten-free biscuits. You could of course use the same recipe with regular flour.

They are quick to make and quick to bake.

Ingredients

1 standard egg.

Take the same weight of the egg in cold butter.

Twice the same weight of the egg in plain gluten-free flour.

Same weight of the egg of sugar.

Vanilla essence.

Handful of white chocolate drops or chips

Take the flour, and add the cold butter, cut into small cubes. Combine the butter and flour by rubbing the butter into the flour, until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

Then stir in the sugar and the white chocolate chips. You could of course use milk or dark chocolate chips if you prefer.

Add the egg and vanillla essence combine until the biscuit dough is smooth.

How you could take spoonfuls onto a banking sheet, but what I do is wrap the dough in cling film and cool in the fridge for a fair few hours. This firms up the dough, so then you can roll it into a 2cm roll of dough and then slice it into 1cm rounds.

These rounds can the be placed onto a baking sheet or tray.

One tip I have is to crunch up and screw the baking parchment into a ball and then unscrew it. This means it lies flat on the baking tray. The biscuits will spread to about twice their original size, so leave plenty of space around each

Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 180 degrees for about six minutes until the edges are brown.

Place on a cooling rack.

Enjoy.

Gluten-Free Biscuits Recipe

Gluten-Free Biscuits

This is a simple recipe for gluten-free biscuits. You could of course use the same recipe with regular flour.

They are quick to make and quick to bake.

Ingredients

1 standard egg.

Take the same weight of the egg in cold butter.

Twice the same weight of the egg in plain gluten-free flour.

Same weight of the egg of sugar.

Vanilla essence.

Take the flour, and add the cold butter, cut into small cubes. Combine the butter and flour by rubbing the butter into the flour, until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 

Then stir in the sugar. 

Add the egg and vanillla essence combine until the biscuit dough is smooth.

How you could take spoonfuls onto a banking sheet, but what I do is wrap the dough in cling film and cool in the fridge for a fair few hours. This firms up the dough, so then you can roll it into a 2cm roll of dough and then slice it into 1cm rounds. 

These rounds can the be placed onto a baking sheet or tray.

One tip I have is to crunch up and screw the baking parchment into a ball and then unscrew it. This means it lies flat on the baking tray. The biscuits will spread to about twice their original size, so leave plenty of space around each

Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 180 degrees for about six minutes until the edges are brown.

Place on a cooling rack.

Enjoy.

Time for a rainbow cake

rainbow cake

Last year my daughter and I baked my wife a birthday cake. As my daughter is coeliac, it was gluten free. This was a great success.

For my daughter’s birthday I decided to bake her a cake. Last time we baked five different coloured cakes using Dr. Oetker’s Colouring Gel.

This time I decided to go with seven layers and used colouring gel from Aldi, which worked just as well as Dr. Oetker’s giving us bright strong colours.

Recipe

Take one egg and put this on your balance scale.

Weigh out an egg weight of caster sugar.

Same weight of soft butter.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Before adding the egg, weigh out an egg weight of Gluten Free self-raising flour, then add two eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and add some vanilla essence. Now add the colouring gel, we added a fair bit to have a strong colour.

We had a

Red cake using red colouring gel.

Blue cake using blue colouring gel.

Pink cake using pink colouring gel.

Orange cake using yellow colouring gel with a hint of red gel.

Violet cake using red and blue gels.

Green cake using blue and yellow gels.

Yellow cake using just the yellow colouring gel.

Mix the egg, gel, essence into the creamed sugar and butter.

Then fold in the flour, until the mixture is smooth.

You could add a little milk if you want to have a smoother batter.

The cake mixture was spread into a lined six inch cake tin and baked at 180℃ for about 15 minutes.

The cakes were left to cool and then the cake was built with a whipped cream and strawberry jam filling.

This is where things started to go wrong, as the cake was built it appeared to be stable and then it all started to slide apart. I managed to stabilise the cake with a wooden skewer, but lots of the cream had splurged out the sides. So I then tried to fix things by using a palette knife to spread the cream on the sides of the cake. This did not work and the cake looked a real mess…

I did dust the cake with icing sugar and then we presented the cake with flaming indoor fireworks. I was unable to cut the seven layers as single slice, so we took off the top four layers and put that on a separate plate and cut that into slices.

Though it looked messy, it was very light and very tasty.

Candy Stripe and Golden revisited

A few years ago Morrisons sold some prepared vegetables, “The Best” Root Vegetable Roasting Selection. This contained baby parsnips, Chantenay carrots and interestingly candy stripe and golden beetroot. This we had on a regular basis, however they’ve stopped doing it, and they still don’t sell the candy stripe and golden beetroots loose. However the farmers market at St Nicks in Bristol on do sell them loose. When I am in Bristol on market’s day I try and get one of each for Sunday lunch. Unlike supermarket veg, these are varied in shape and size and are quite muddy as well.

I usually just cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven. I usually add some chantenay carrots, onions and parsnips to the roasting tray. Maybe also thrown in some garlic and herbs, rosemary works well.

candy strip and golden beetroot, chantenay carrots, onions and parsnips

It’s a pity that this method causes the candy stripe beetroot to lose its distinctive look. After watching the chefs on The Great British Menu I have been thinking about pickling them instead, to retain their stripes. The flavour is very much like purple beetroot, but not as strong. These also avoid the staining of the purple ones.

If you can get hold of them they are worth giving them a go.

Puy Lentils

This dish of lentils has become something of a regular visitor to our dining table. It’s relatively easy and quick to make and gets eaten up. It’s a deep rich warming dish, great for a cold winter’s day. It goes well with roasted or grilled meats, but can be eaten as is on its own.

Ingredients

Splash of olive oil
One diced onion
Diced red pepper
Smoked Pancetta
Chopped mushrooms
Knob of butter
A tbsp of flour (I used gluten free flour)
Stock
Tomato puree
Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils

Dice the onion and the pepper.

Heat a large deep frying pan, once hot, add a splash of olive oil. Cook off the pancetta, then add the onion and red pepper, cook until softened. I then add some chopped mushrooms for flavour and colour. At this point you could add some other things. I have in the past used sliced baby courgettes.

If there is fat in the pan, then add the flour, otherwise add the knob of butter, in order to help create a roux and ensure that the sauce thickens.

Once the flour is incorporated into the mixture, add some stock. The choice is up to you, I actually quite like a deep beef stock, but vegetable stock works well too. Then add some tomato puree.

Depending on your taste, just add some ground black pepper (or even a little chilli for heat). The dish doesn’t need extra salt as the stock and pancetta have plenty for this dish.

Cook until the sauce has reduced.

Add the Puy Lentils. I use the Merchant Gourmet pack of puy lentils, which are already cooked and work well in this dish.

Merchant Gourmet Puy Lentils

These tasty lentils have a delicate, slightly peppery flavour, and were grown in Le Puy-en-Velay, in France. They’ve been simply cooked with water, onion, bay leaf and a dash of olive oil, and are a fantastic base for summery salads.

Warm the lentils through thoroughly and serve.

Variations I have made include adding Polish sausage to the dish, or slow cooked belly of pork.

Another variation is to use Merchant Gourmet’s Tomatoey French Puy & Green Lentils.

Merchant Gourmet’s Tomatoey French Puy & Green Lentils.

These are Puy and Green Lentils, cooked in a rich sauce of sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil with onion and garlic.

When using this pack I omit the tomato puree.

Rainbow Cake

rainbow cake

My daughter and I baked my wife a birthday cake. As my daughter is coeliac, it is gluten free.

So we baked five different coloured cakes using Dr. Oetker’s Colouring Gel.

Recipe

Take one egg and put this on your balance scale.

Weigh out an egg weight of caster sugar.

Same weight of soft butter.

Cream the sugar and butter.

Before adding the egg, weigh out an egg weight of Gluten Free self-raising flour, then add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture and add some vanilla essence. Now add the colouring gel, we added a fair bit to have a strong colour.

We had a

Red cake using red colouring gel.

Blue cake using blue colouring gel.

Pink cake using pink colouring gel.

Orange cake using strong yellow colouring gel with a hint of red gel.

Violet cake using red and blue gels.

Mix the egg, gel, essence into the creamed sugar and butter.

Then fold in the flour, until the mixture is smooth.

You could add a little milk if you want to have a smoother batter.

The cake mixture was spread into a six inch cake tin and baked at 180℃ for about 15 minutes.

The cakes were left to cool and then the cake was built with a whipped cream and strawberry jam filling, dusted with icing sugar and served with sugar flowers.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

One of my new (for me) favourite foods is roasted cauliflower.

Take the cauliflower and break into florets. I then cut the florets in half so that I get better caramelisation and a better looking dish.

Heat a pan and add butter. I usually add a little olive oil to reduce the risk of the butter burning.

I pan fry the cauliflower with lots of foaming butter, before transferring to a heated roasting pan for 10-15 minutes.

If you have an ovenproof pan then, put that straight into the oven.

I sometimes use a grill seasoning to add additional flavour.