Gluten Free Dough Balls

Gluten Free Dough Balls

I have had a few attempts in the past at making gluten free dough balls. I have made a bread dough using gluten free bread flour, however these were rather heavy and heavy. Not quite the Italian dough ball experience I was looking for.

I then tried an experiment using a Davina Steel Gluten Free Focaccia Bread Mix.

I had used this mix in the past to bake focaccia bread with some success. However I have found that it works well for dough balls as well.

I follow the instructions on the back of the pack, however I don’t use the dried garlic or rosemary. I added 7g of fast acting yeast to the dry mix and then add 300ml of warm water and 30ml of olive oil. Mix until smooth. Leave for two minutes and then mix again vigorously for a further minute.

The end result is a smooth batter.

Then onto baking trays lined with baking parchment add separate desert sized spoonfuls of batter onto the trays.

If possible leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise, but I’ve not always needed to do this (sometimes didn’t have the time).

I baked the dough balls in a hot oven, 220°C (200°C fan assisted) for about 15-20 minutes. They should be light, crisp on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside.

Remove from the baking tray and serve hot with garlic butter or olive oil or other dips.

Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I made a variation of the gluten free cookies I have been making recently.

My son found a recipe online for cookies which we tried, though we replaced the standard flours with gluten free variants. These were nice, but they were a little too crisp and a little too sweet. He then adjusted the recipe and the result was tasty chewy gluten free choc chip cookies. What I and my son liked about them was that they were very similar in taste and texture to the fresh (non-gluten) cookies you can buy at supermarkets that he use to enjoy before he went gluten free.

When I was buying cookies from places like Sainsburys I did quite enjoy the raspberry and white chocolate versions. So I was intrigued in Aldi in their store had a pack of raspberry and white chocolate for baking. It was in their specials area, which is a pity as we quite liked the cookies and it might be challenging to find a pack again, hopefully I can find an alternative from another supermarket.

The process is pretty much the same as the process I used on the other cookies.

Ingredients

225g of unsalted butter
125g gluten free bread flour
125g gluten free plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
1 pack of raspberry and white chocolate
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

Melt the butter in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. The aim is to boil off some of the water off the butter. The recipe said to go ensure the milk solids got a nutty brown. I was a little wary in case of burning the butter, so didn’t probably go far enough. Once the butter melted and had turned slightly brown this was removed from the heat and cooled to room temperature.

Cream the liquid butter with the sugar, vanilla essence. The idea is to mix it until it is light and fluffy. The recipe calls for an electric mixer, ours was broken, so we did it by hand, which was hard work. Beat in the eggs until they are incorporated into the mixture.

Combine the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

Stir in the dry ingredients a third of it at a time until it is incorporated.

Using a wooden spoon fold in the raspberry and white chocolate.

Chill.

Place six small balls, about 2-3cm across, of dough on a baking tray and bake for 6-9 minutes.

This quantity of ingredients will make about eighteen cookies.

After cooking leave on the tray and then after three minutes move to a rack to cool further.

Eat!

Loaf Cake Disaster

I have a simple recipe for a gluten free loaf cake, but despite usually having no problems, I did recently have a bit of a disaster.

The recipe is quite simple and is based on the weight of two eggs

Ingredients

      • 3 standard eggs
      • Take the same weight of two of the eggs of soft butter
      • Take the same weight of two of the eggs in caster sugar
      • Take the same weight of two of the eggs in self-raising gluten-free flour
      • Vanilla essence

Cream the sugar and butter until you have a smooth consistency.

Beat the eggs, add some vanilla essence.

Stir the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar with some of the flour, until the mixture is smooth and consistent.

Then fold in the remaining flour until it is combined with the rest of the mixture.

Spoon into a loaf tin and bake in a 180º normal oven or 160º fan oven for 35 minutes or until a metal skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

The main issue I had was I thought it was cooked. I used a metal skewer to see if it was cooked and after inserting into the cake it came out clean. I think that was because it was only about 25 minutes into the cooking time.

However, alas the entire middle of the cake was uncooked, so though it looked okay after coming out of the oven, as it cooled it completely collapsed in on itself.

There was no way to salvage the cake, so I started over and this time cooked it for the right amount of time, so this time it worked.

 

Weston Food Festival

Went shopping at the weekend in Weston-super-Mare, which to be honest, is now quite a depressing experience with all the shops that have closed down, and many of these closed down even before the covid-19 lockdown.

We went into the Sovereign Centre to go to Waterstones, this is a shopping centre that has a food hall with no food places from which you can buy food! They converted the Druckers Café into this food hall, no one took up the other kiosks or stands, Druckers closed and so we were left with a food hall where you can’t buy food! Well not entirely accurate, there is a Parsons’ pasty shop in the centre, but you’re not allowed to eat in the food hall as it has been roped off!

So as we walked outside the Sovereign Centre it was a nice surprise to bump into the Weston-super-Mare food fair.

We looked around the stalls, in the end we bought some gluten free scotch eggs, which were very nice. As with the recent Portishead food fair I was slightly disappointed with the stalls, but even so it was nice to see such a busy market in Weston.

Gluten Free Breakfast Waffles

One of my regular breakfast dishes is gluten free breakfast waffles. I use a quick and simple method to make these puffy waffles.

Gluten Free Breakfast Waffles

I bought a special waffle frying pan from Aldi a few months back and it works really well for cooking these breakfast waffles.

Waffle Pancake Pan

These ingredients should make three batches, so twenty one waffles in one cooking session.

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.

Whisk the ingredients together until you have a smooth batter. You may want to add extra milk if the batter is too thick.

Heat the pan on a moderate to low heat, you need these to cook through and not be overdone on the outside and sticky in the middle, You’re aiming for a puffy waffle with crisp outside.

I brushed the pan with some sunflower oil and pour Not too much) of the batter into the pan. I always put less in than it looks to fill the waffle area, as the batter will expand as it cooks.

You have to take care to ensure that the pancakes cook all the way through, but isn’t overdone on the surface. I find turning them can be quite messy, so I use two spoons to turn them. One to scoop underneath and the the other to keep it from slipping and messing up the pan.

I served these with sugar or golden syrup. I think I might need to get some maple syrup if I am going to make these again.

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins

chocolate chip muffins

I’ve been meaning to try and make these for a while now, but kept making other things instead.

      • 125g gluten free plain flour
      • 25g cocoa powder
      • 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
      • 1 large egg
      • 60g caster sugar
      • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
      • 100ml whole milk
      • 50g chocolate chunks
      • Dark chocolate chips for decoration.

Heat the oven to 180ºC or 160ºC for a fan oven.

In your muffin tin or tray add six muffin cases. 

Sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a medium bowl. 

In a jug add the egg, sugar, oil and milk, then mix well together

Gradually pour part of the mix into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Then add some more, repeat until all the ingredients in the jug are combined with the flour, cocoa and baking powder.

Stir in the chocolate chunks.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

Scatter a few dark chocolate chips on top of the muffins.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the muffin tray for 15 minutes and then remove from the tray.

Not 100% sure about the blue muffin cases, but you’re not going to eat them are you?

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Choc Chip Cookies

My son found a recipe online for choc chip cookies which we tried, though we replaced the standard flours with gluten free variants. These were nice, but they were a little too crisp and a little too sweet.

He then adjusted the recipe and the result was tasty chewy gluten free choc chip cookies. What I and my son liked about them was that they were very similar in taste and texture to the fresh (non-gluten) cookies you can buy at supermarkets that he use to enjoy before he went gluten free.

Ingredients

225g of unsalted butter
125g gluten free bread flour
125g gluten free plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g caster sugar
120g light brown sugar
85g plain chocolate chips
130g plain chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate bar
One teaspoon salt
One teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Two teaspoons of vanilla essence

The adjustments we made to the original recipe was to increase the amount of flour, reduce the amount of sugar and swap the dark brown sugar for light brown sugar.

Melt the butter in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. The aim is to boil off some of the water off the butter. The recipe said to go ensure the milk solids got a nutty brown. I was a little wary in case of burning the butter, so didn’t probably go far enough. Once the butter melted and had turned slightly brown this was removed from the heat and cooled to room temperature.

Cream the liquid butter with the sugar, vanilla essence. The idea is to mix it until it is light and fluffy. The recipe calls for an electric mixer, ours was broken, so we did it by hand, which was hard work. Beat in the eggs until they are incorporated into the mixture.

Combine the flours, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

Stir in the dry ingredients a third of it at a time until it is incorporated.

Using a wooden spoon fold in the chocolate chips and chunks.

Chill.

Place six small balls, about 2-3cm across, of dough on a baking tray and bake for 6-9 minutes.

This quantity of ingredients will make about eighteen cookies.

After cooking leave on the tray and then after three minutes move to a rack to cool further.

Eat!

Simple Pasta Salad

pasta salad

Over the summer months we have been eating a lot of salad. To accompany the other salads we have, I sometimes make a simple pasta salad. I cook the pasta and when it is cooked, I drain the pasta, place it back in the pan and fill with cold water, drain and then repeat. The aim is to both cool the pasta down, but also stop it from cooking and getting too soft and sticky.

To the cooked pasta I add various ingredients, what I add depends very much what we have in the fridge. Some I cook, some I add raw.

Our usual favourites include, onions, pepper, courgettes and mushrooms. These are usually cooked in a pan, cooled and then added to the salad. Raw ingredients I have used include cucumber, tomatoes and spring onions.

The mix of pasta and other stuff, I season the salad with olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and serve.

I have been using gluten free pasta, which when fresh is fine, however unlike wheat based pasta doesn’t stay soft if you keep it until the next day, so it’s very much a matter of eat it today.

Spicy Crunchy Chicken Bites

These were an attempt to make my own version of the Santa Maria Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites that we usually have. I had to make my own, as I was unable to get hold of a pack of the Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating.

The end result wasn’t quite the same, however they were very tasty and enjoyed by all.

The method I used was to take some chicken thighs and slice them into equally sized strips.

These were then coated in gluten free flour, before then been coated in an egg mix and finally coated in a mix of gluten free breadcrumbs, cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper.

You could fry these, however I baked mine in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

They go well with sour cream and wrapped in mini tortillas.

Colombian Crunchy Chicken Bites Seasoned Corn Coating

I like this packet for making crunchy chicken bites.

A mild blend for light, oven-baked, crunchy, gluten free bites. Use our simple blend to make delicious Colombian-inspired crunchy chicken bites in your oven. We use corn, instead of wheat, to get that extra crispiness which is loved by adults and kids alike, making it perfect for a family night in. Buen provecho!

What I also like about this pack is that it is gluten-free.

The process is nice and simple, I take some chicken thighs and cut them into strips which are placed in a bowl, to which I add some sunflower oil and the contents of the pack. This is mixed together and then the chicken is placed on a baking tray. I usually line the tray with baking parchment.

The chicken strips are then cooked in the oven.

What you get a crunchy spicy chicken. I like to eat them in a wrap with some sour cream and pea shoots. 

However I am now having real trouble finding it in my local supermarkets, Morrisons no longer sell it, my local Waitrose had it on special for a while, but now it’s no longer on the shelves. In theory it’s available at Asda, but I have never seen it at my nearest branch. So as a result I have been looking at making my own version using spices and gluten free breadcrumbs.