The days are really getting shorter and darker. It’s about a month before the shortest day of the year and the sun isn’t rising to the centre of the sky any more. The rain has also been persistent and there is a general feeling of greyness, but it seams like I’m not the only one feeling this way. Apparently, and not surprisingly, it’s the time of year that mice and rats also try and get away from the cold and come scavenging in dry warm places. So the resident rat from our compost heap has decided to come feast on some chocolate I left out the other night and kept J up all night, running up in the loft.
Not eating glutinous foods means that sandwiches are a bit of a challenge. I also find myself missing bread, rolls and doughy foods in general. It’s a time for comforting food, bright Autumn colours and warm fuzzy feelings, so I set out to experiment with making bread.
In Britain there might be large ‘Free Form’ section in the supermarkets but the bread is inedible. In our latest visit to Israel we were overwhelmed by the selection and quality of gluten free baked goods. It seams that when Israeli’s catch onto a fad, they utilise it to the fullest and don’t give up until they reach excellence. Be it chocolate, wine, beer or cheese, Israeli’s manage to reach world class quality. So the latest fad is gluten free food and a few bakeries have developed gluten free breads and a range of flours and products to the highest standard. There are also some cookbooks out, offering yummy and gluten free recipes.
Continuing my experimentation with the less explored teff flour, I decided to try and make gluten free ciabatta rolls. I also made some ‘escaped the compost heap’ Autumn Roasted Veg which can be used in a warm salad or to fill the ciabatta.
This experiment was not a fully successful one and there are amendments I will make the next time I bake these, but the main conclusions are that the recipe is easy enough to make and the end result is a nice bread substitute which actually tastes of bread.
The buns turned out quite flaky and didn’t rise to an impressive size, but a lovely smell of freshly baked bread spreads in the house and the rolls had a good flavour. For a gluten free house it’s an unusual treat.
Here are the recipes:
Teff Flour Ciabattas
Based on ciabatta recipe from the Abrahamson cook book, with my adjustments.
250gr Potato flour
250gr teff flour (can be substituted by soya, quinoa or rice flour)
1/4cup olive oil
14gr dry yeast
1cup ‘blood-warm’ water (not hot)
1. In a small bowl combine the dry yeast and sugar, and mix in the water and set aside
2. In a large bowl, combine (but don’t mix yet) both flours, the salt, egg, oil and agave nectar
3. Pour the yeast mixture into the large bowl and use an electric mixer to combine all the ingredients into a consistent thick and sticky paste
4. Set the dough to rest in a warm place for one hour or until it doubles in size.
5. When the dough has risen, turn it onto a surface, dusted with some gluten free flour (I used quinoa flour for a contrast) and tap it down with a spatula or your hands to a thickness of about 1cm
6. Use a knife to split the dough to 10 squares and transfer them to lined baking tray, shaping them to rounded rectangles (The dough will still be sticky and tricky to handle so be gentle and don’t panic)
7. Heat the oven to 150˚c and set the shaped rolls to rise in a warm place for a further 30min
8. Bake the rolls for 15-17 minutes
Enjoy warm or freeze and then warm up again in the oven.
‘Escaped the compost heap’ Autumn Roasted Veg
This recipe has no roles. Use any ‘roast-able’ vegetables you have in the house. This is what I had.
1 Sweet potato
1 large Red Onion
2 large or 5 small Carrots
5 Garlic cloves – Two peeled and roughly chopped and three smashed with the peel on
1 tsp each of: Flaked Chillies, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Turmeric Powder – crushed in a pestle & mortar or a spice grinder
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
3 large gluggs of Red Wine Vinegar
3 large gluggs of Olive Oil
1. Heat the oven to 190˚c
2. Peel the sweet potato, parsnip, carrots and onion and then chop all the veg to similar size pieces, then place in a roasting pan (line it with foil to make your life easier later)
3. Toss in the garlic and spices and pour in the red wine vinegar and olive oil and give it all a good mix, so the veg is well coated
4. Roast for 1hr or until the vegetables are soft but not burned.
5. Serve as a wam toping to a salad with greens, nuts and blue cheese and dress with a light vinaigrette or mix into cooked quinoa or add goats cheese, drizzle with honey and thyme and put under the grill for a few minute.