Erin's self-sufficiency blog

Dedicated to sharing my efforts in radical homemaking, self-sufficiency, simplicity, and general craftiness on a very, very small budget.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Actual Recipes!

After much refining, I have produced some actual recipes that are different enough from their parent recipes that I can post them without getting sued. So without further ado:

Apple-Cinnamon-Walnut Muffins

1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup rice flour
1/4 cup potato starch
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder (make sure it's gluten-free)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (soymilk ok)
1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease six cups of a muffin tin.
In a medium bowl, combine sugar, rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix them with a wire whisk to make sure that they're really mixed well. In a small bowl, combine oil, eggs, and milk, and whisk these together as well. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, and add apple and walnuts. Mix with a spoon until just combined. Pour batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and springy. Makes six (obviously).

*Professional tip* If your muffin tin has more than six cups, pour a little water into the cups that don't have batter in them. This protects your pan and helps the muffins bake a bit better. Be careful when you take the pan out of the oven--the water will be very hot! Pour this water off before you free the muffins from the pan.

Buttermilk Biscuits

2/3 cup rice flour
2/3 cup tapioca flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tbsp baking powder (make sure it's gluten free)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup buttermilk powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter*, cold
2 eggs
1/2 cup water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flours, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, and buttermilk powder and mix with a whisk. With a pastry cutter or two table knives, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it is in pea-sized chunks. Whisk together the eggs and water, and add to butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Roll onto rice-floured board to an inch thick. Cut out and place on baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Eat with chili. Yum.

*I am a firm believer in unsalted butter. However, you can use salted butter. In that case, omit the salt from the recipe or your biscuits will taste like the Dead Sea. Do not use margarine. If you use margarine, you are wasting my time. If you're a vegan I'm afraid I can't help you; make muffins instead.

Also, if you prefer not to use buttermilk powder, you can omit it and the water. Just use 1/2 of actual buttermilk and you're set.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

All Quiet on the Gluten-Free Front

Having just completed my midterms and a paper, I have not have had much time to explore the exciting world of gluten-free cooking.

I will, however, extoll the virtues of flours sorghum and millet. Both make a nummy white bread that is more nutritions and flavourful than white bread made of a rice-flour blend. In fact, I believe that white rice breads are a waste of everyone's time. Sorghum and millet flours are also reasonably priced.

I have discovered that one can use flax meal in bread instead of almond meal or buttermilk powder. Flax is very good for you. Of course, I discovered this because I have a bag of flax seeds which has been quietly waiting for use for at least a year. My only suggestion is that you use flax meal on your darker breads, and not so much on your splendid white millet and sorghum flour breads. Reason being is that the flax will make your bread beige instead of white, and it seems to smell a bit funny. Not bad, just funny. But if you just love flax, what the hell, put it in everything! Flax meal also makes a surprisingly lovely addition to vinaigrettes.

I have discovered a new (to me) brand of cookie which I highly recommend: Natural Food Mill Bakery. I really enjoyed the maple nut, and now I am trying the Double Chocolate Delite. The cookies are huge and tender and expensive. I haven't yet successfully produced a worthy gluten-free cookie, so these are a nice treat. My current dessert craze is pudding, so it is nice to have a cookie break.

The best pudding I've created so far is the recipe for thick Bird's custard. Very mangacake, I know. Very satisfying nevertheless.