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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Entries in Recipes: Breads and Baking (41)

Monday
Apr132009

Carob Chip Mint Surprise Cookies (gluten free, vegan, egg free, dairy free)


This is an adaptation of an adaptation of my mom's Mint Surprise Cookies.  A perennial favorite at holiday time, Mint Surprise Cookies are my dad's favorite cookie.  Actually, I think the original recipe came from my Great Grandma Volp, my dad's grandma.  The mint surprise cookie is a soft, chewy dough with a chocolate mint wafer tucked gracefully into the middle and a walnut pressed on top, so when you bite into it, you get a tasty "SURPRISE" of minty chocolate under a toasty walnut.  Those cookies make me think of my childhood Christmases.  In recent years, my mom has started using that same dough but mixing chunked up chocolate mint wafers and ground walnuts into the dough, resulting in a kind of nutty mint chocolate chunk cookie.  I smelled them when I helped assemble the cookie tray this last Christmas for our family dinner, and they looked amazing.  But I did not eat them - alas, the original Mint Surprise Cookie is made with wheat, sugar, egg, butter, and those darn walnuts.  Humph.  Yeah, I could swing the butter in a pinch, but the rest of it?  Not so much anymore.  

I decided to make the chocolate chunk version of the Mint Surprise Cookie that my mom has been making lately, but without the walnuts.  So really, there isn't too much of a "surprise" with the cookie after all, but I decided to keep the name, in the spirit of old time's sake.  If one were to make carob wafers instead of chips, one could definitely do a "surprise" version, something I may try soon!  The true surprise version uses a whole different cookie assembly technique, and I'd be curious to see how this dough would handle it.  Maybe I'll do that for my birthday instead of a cake.

These cookies make me reasonably satisfied. They aren't as super soft and chewy like the original, but have a great texture all their own - a little crisp on the outside, moist and crumbly and cakey on the inside, studded by chunks of home-made mint carob chips. If you tolerate store-purchased carob chips, go ahead and use those - or try making your own (EASY!) with the recipe below.  Instead of leaving the dough plain and relying solely on the carob chips for rich minty goodness, I added a little carob powder and mint extract to the dough too.   I used a mix of rice flours and little garbanzo bean flour for body and texture.  But don't worry, the flavor isn't too beany like some bean flour baked goods.  They are minty, rich, and lightly sweet.  I ate a couple - okay, I ate four - with a glass of rice milk and it reminded me of being a kid again.  Granted, my taste buds are so far removed from "normal"cookies that it doesn't take much to please me.

I'm curious to see how they hold up over a day or so, and if they dry out really quickly.  I'm going to try freezing a few to see how well they thaw.  And the rest I may take to work - gulp! I haven't brought any GF vegan baked goods to my coworkers yet.  I'll be sure to post the feedback and the updates on how these hold up overnight.

No added super nutrition here, sorry folks.  These are full of fat and calories and all that stuff that keeps meat on our bones when our diet consists mostly of vegetables. 

Carob Mint Chip Surprise Cookies

yield: 2 dozen 2 1/2-inch cookies
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 2 tablespoons roasted carob flour
  • 1 tsp corn-free baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Spectrum Organic palm oil shortening
  • 1/3 cup fruit puree (I used pureed peach)
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 tsp Simply Organic peppermint flavor (gluten and alcohol free!)
  • 1/4 cup + 2-4 tablespoon rice milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 3/4 cup carob chips (store bought or homemade, see recipe below)
  • optional: 1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375º and prepare a baking sheet (I used parchment).
In medium bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Whisk ingredients briskly to add air and make fluffy.
In large bowl, cream shortening on high with a mixer.  Gradually add fruit puree, agave, peppermint flavor, and 1/4 c of rice milk.  Mix until smooth and well incorporated.  
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet.  Gradually add additional rice milk to reach a good dough consistency.
Fold in carob chips and walnuts, if using.
Spoon by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheet, and flatten slightly with a fork. The cookies do not spread very much. 
Bake 12 minutes at 375º, one batch at a time.  Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.  

Homemade Mint Carob Chips

adapted from Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions"
yield: approx 1 - 1 1/2 c chips
  • 1/2 c coconut oil
  • 1/2 c roasted carob flour
  • 1 T agave syrup
  • 1-2 t peppermint flavor, to taste 
Melt coconut oil, and mix in flour, agave, and peppermint flavor. 
Line small pan with wax paper or saran wrap, and pour in oil mixture. 
Cool in refrigerator until solid.  Remove from pan, and cut into chips of desired size.
Store in a cool place in a jar until ready to use.


 

Update! Feedback from my coworkers. 

So, I took the cookies to work the next day and fed them to my coworkers. All the cookies got eaten by noon, which I saw as a good sign. Overall, the feedback was positive, which I felt great about - I was a little self-conscious to bring in my gluten-free vegan cookies to a photo studio full of excellent bakers, food snobs, and wheat eaters (save two people who also eat gluten-free).  But everyone is pretty supportive and understanding of my dietary requirements, so I knew I'd get good feedback.  Many improvements were suggested.  Here are some of the comments and overall feedback.

  1. A little dry - and I agree.  After the cookies sat overnight, they dried out, as gluten free items often do.  
  2. Nice minty aroma, but lacking a depth of flavor.
  3. Too minty.
  4. Not minty enough.
  5. One of my GF coworkers HATES bean flours and was surprised there was bean flour in this cookie, because she couldn't taste it!
  6. The cookie needs something else - the cookie too much of the same flavor.  To this point, I do agree - I think I went overboard adding mint to the cookie dough and the chip, and the mint flavor is a little overwhelming - the cookie might have more complexity if the cookie dough wasn't minty and just the chips were.
  7. Cookie could be chewier/moister in the middle, but overall it had a good crumb.
  8. Add more fruit puree, or try adding banana or egg whites to get a more chewy, lighter texture (I can't eat banana or egg whites, but this would be a great suggestion if I could).
  9. Try a mixture of shortening and oil instead of all shortening.
  10. Use the basic flour mixture but try a totally different cookie, maybe using dried fruit, nuts/seeds, or grated carrot/beet/zucchini/etc to add texture and depth.  I was thinking this myself - the overall rice and garbanzo mix made a good cookie flour base.
  11. Flavor would be better made like a crispy, "Thin Mint" type cookie rather than this type of cookie.
I put a few in the freezer.  They are pretty darn good eaten frozen and just thawed slightly, and woudl make a very tasty ice cream sandwich.  But unfortunately, they don't thaw out completely exceptionally well - they get a little too dry.
So, the final verdict?  This cookie is very tasty fresh from the oven or eaten the same day.  The next day it gets a little dry.  I'd cut the mint from the dough, but keep it in the chips.  If you want to freeze cookies for later, try freezing the dough and then baking fresh after removing. And stay tuned for more cookie experiments using this same basic mix!  I'd like to try a cookie that uses plumped goji berries and rice flakes, kind of like an oatmeal raisin cookie...

 

Monday
Apr132009

Golden Coconut Snack Cake/Flatbread (gluten free, vegan, sugar free)

 

Okay, I know it is lame to not have photos to accompany the recipes.  In this case, my camera died when I was baking this lovely snack cake, and I haven't had a chance to take a photo since!  anyway, moving on...

 

In my baking fit a couple weeks ago before going to Florida for my brother's wedding, I decided to whip up a tropical sort of snack cake flatbread.  I've been traveling with frozen muffins and breads lately, and it is nice to have safe food on the road.  I wanted something just a little sweet that I could eat when the rest of family is eating wedding cake, so I whipped up this little number. I put it in the freezer, and I'll grab a slice or two to take along!  But I couldn't resist eating a slice fresh, and it was very tasty.  While my family was eating wedding cupcakes around the kitchen table, I ate a slice of this, drizzled with an on-the-fly rice milk-carob powder-flax oil sort of glaze, and it was very satisfying indeed.

 

Golden, moist, and fragrant, this coconut scented snack cake is lightly sweet and would be the perfect partner for an afternoon cup of tea!  Even better is that it contains NO ADDED SUGAR!  Like most things I make it is only very very lightly sweetened, my sweetener of choice for this recipe was stevia.  If you have a sweet tooth, it could be made sweeter very easily with more stevia, or a squirt of agave, brown rice syrup, honey, or maple syrup.   

 

It is loosely based on Susan Jane Murray's fabulous Rooibos & Quinoa Flatbread recipe - I make a million bread variations based on the basic framework of that recipe, all with great success.  This was my first experiment with coconut water, which I used as the liquid. I found a box of it on sale at the grocery store a while back, and had it in my pantry, so now seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out. Apparently, coconut water is supposed to be really great for you, full of potassium and all sorts of other good things. I heard you can culture it and make a kefir-like drink too. Regardless, it added a nice, light coconutty kick and slightly sweet flavor to the bread. However, if you are really really watching your sugar intake, you may want to avoid drinking it straight - a 12 oz box has about 14 grams of sugar.  Used in recipes, though, the amount of sugar is negligible - if you get 8 slices from this recipe, as I usually do, that is only 1.75 grams of sugar per slice.  

 

Golden Coconut Snack Cake

yield: 8-16 slices, depending on how you cut it!
  • 1/2 c quinoa flour
  • 1/2 c millet flour, rice flour, or mix (rice flour has a milder flavor and will allow for more coconut flavor to shine through, but millet packs more nutrition an is lower GI)
  • 3/4 c quinoa flakes
  • 1/4 c whole millet grain (optional, for crunch)
  • 1 box (about 12 oz) unsweetened coconut water, water, or milk substitute
  • 1/2 tsp salt or 1 tsp ume vinegar
  • 1/2-2/3 c unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp corn-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 T coconut butter/solid creamed coconut
  • 1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals
  • 1/2 tsp stevia 
  • 1/2 c boiling water
  • optional, for a more intense flavor: coconut flavoring/extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8x8 or 9x9 square baking tin with coconut oil. Mix quinoa flour, millet flour, quinoa flakes, and whole grain millet with coconut water and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Add salt/ume and shredded coconut, and stir until well mixed.   Dissolve stevia, vitamin C crystals and coconut butter/cream in boiling water.  Add to flour mixture, along with baking soda, baking powder, and cream of tartar.
Stir gently until everything is just evenly mixed; do not over mix and kill all those lovely little bubbles!  Mixture will be runny.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted comes out clean.Remove from oven, and let cool in pan about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan, and let finish cooling on a rack.Once cooled, slice into as many pieces as you'd like - I like to cut it into 8 rectangular slices.  Or cut into 9 squares, or, cut into 12 or 16 slices. It all depends on how you want to serve it, and how many slices you want! Serve immediately, or freeze for later.  Slices freeze like a dream, and they thaw in a jiffy!  Leftover slices of the bread are especially good when warmed in the toaster oven.

 

Wednesday
Apr012009

Sheep Yogurt Buckwheat Quinoa Muffins (gluten free, egg free, potentially dairy free/vegan)

I love sheep's milk yogurt.  The flavor is rich, slightly bitier than cow's milk yogurt but milder than goat's milk, and it has an incredibly creamy, luscious texture, reminiscent of European style yogurts. The natural markets and co-ops in Minneapolis carry a great yogurt by Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, a lovely little sheep's milk dairy in New York State.  While their yogurt is pricy - about $5.50 for a mere 16 oz - it is well worth it for a special treat.  The dairy is organically managed, and the sheep are not treated with antibiotics or hormones, and are allowed to pasture regularly. And that kind of care is evident in the quality of the yogurt!  It is made only with milk and four happy probiotic cultures - no additives, thickeners, stabilizers, sweeteners, or preservatives.  

Sheep's milk is a nutritional powerhouse, far surpassing cow's milk in nutritive density.  The Old Chatham website has a great write up on the benefits of sheep's milk products, but here's a synopsis. An 8 oz serving packs 13 whopping grams of protein with only 10 grams of carbs, 4 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of fat.  Did mention it is a full fat yogurt, the kind with a luscious layer of cream on the top?  Truly the best kind, in my opinion.  But here's the thing: sheep's milk contains stearic acid, a neutral saturated fat that doesn’t affect cholesterol or formation of plaque in the arteries. Sheep's milk is also high in B vitamins, especially B12, and in important minerals like niacin, iron, and zinc, and one serving of their yogurt provides almost 40% of your recommended calcium intake, the highest of any milk. Plus, it is often tolerated by those that don't do well on cow dairy - like me. It is easier to digest and does not encourage the formation of phlegm in quite the same way that cow's milk does.

Take that, cow's milk!!! 

I ate half my container of sheep yogurt this morning with a perfectly ripe pear (divine!).  Since I'm leaving for Florida on Friday, and still have half a container of yogurt to use up, I decided to make yogurt muffins.  Muffins travel and freeze better than an open container of yogurt does.  Besides, I get the itch to bake every few days, and I needed to scratch.  Yeah, I'm trying to pack, and studying for my Chinese final, and also doing a lot of other things tonight, but you can always fit in time to do a little baking and writing, right?  
So, I decided to make a variation of the Wholegrain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins I made back in January, subbing sheep yogurt for goat yogurt.  I used quinoa flour instead of amaranth, added kasha instead of whole buckwheat groats, and threw in some quinoa flakes for good measure. Instead of flax gel as an egg substitute, I used pureed fruit.  I adjusted the quantities with the intention of making six, plump, beautiful muffins, but ended up with seven; if I'd made them a wee bit smaller, I could have had eight.  But I like a hefty muffin; no puny muffins come out of my kitchen.  And these suckers are, indeed, hefty, but a hefty you can feel good about!  High in protein and fiber, and low on the glycemic index, these muffins make a great breakfast, on the go snack, or accompaniment to a tasty soup or stew.  They are just a little sweet, with a great moist texture, and a definite crumb. 

Want 12 of these little beauties?  Double it, darlin'!  And probably end up with 14!

As a side note, this recipe involves soaking the flours for 12-24 hours in the yogurt before baking.  Why, you ask?  To break down the phytic acid, an anti-nutrient present in grains that interferes with absorption of nutrients and has the potential for irritating the digestive tract.  Soaking and fermenting grains is a practice that has been lost in much of modern cookery, but is an important step in properly preparing grains for optimum digestion.  So, if you've never tried it, here is an easy place to start!  Don't worry - you won't get sick from letting the yogurt sit out on the counter.  In fact, you might be better off for it!  I hope you enjoy, and happy baking.  This is my 100th post on the blog! Thanks for being with me through the first 100, and I look forward the next!


SHEEP YOGURT BUCKWHEAT QUINOA MUFFINS 

 yield: 6-8 muffins

3/4 cups buckwheat flour
1/2 c quinoa flour
a generous handful dry kasha/Bob's Creamy Buckwheat/coarsely ground buckwheat groats (about 1/3 c)
a generous handful quinoa flakes (about 1/3 c)
1 c sheep's milk yogurt (could substitute kefir, or use soy, rice, or coconut yogurt/kefir if dairyintolerant/vegan)
1/3 c pureed peach, or other fruit puree
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 T agave nectar (or more if you want a sweeter muffin)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp
corn-free baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 T coconut oil, warmed to liquid

The day before...
Mix flours, kasha, quinoa flakes, and yogurt in a large bowl to form a thick, floury yogurty paste.  Perfect.

Loosely cover, and let the dough sit for 12-24 hours on the counter.  
When you are ready to make the muffins...
Preheat oven to 325*, and prepare a muffin tin.

Beat together fruit puree, vanilla, salt, coconut oil, agave in a large bowl.  Gradually add chunks of the yogurt/flour mixture to the liquid.  Toward the end, add baking soda and baking powder, and stir until just evenly incorporated.  Do not overmix!  Spoon into muffin tin, and bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool a 5-10 minutes in muffin tin, then remove and finish cooling on rack...or dive into one warm, like I did!  Yummy...
POSSIBLE VARIATIONS:
  • add chopped nuts or seeds
  • add dried or fresh fruit (blueberries would be delicious!)
  • add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or ginger
  • add grated fresh or minced crystallized ginger
  • add  1 T fresh orange or lemon zest 
  • add a handful of carob or chocolate chips/chunks
  • instead of fruit puree, use pureed leftover cooked vegetable (parsnip, carrot, squash, rutabaga, etc), and make savory muffins (omit agave if desired).  Add dry or fresh herbs, crumbled sheep's cheese, or roasted onion or garlic...


 

Sunday
Mar012009

Sprouted Buckwheat Coconut Waffles with Kabocha Coconut Sauce (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, candida friendly)


Waffle attempt numero dos!  I couldn't help myself, I needed to try making another waffle recipe.  Today is a buckwheat day, so it was time to pull out the old buckwheat groats and see what would happen.  I always end up combining buckwheat with coconut it seems, I really like the flavors together.  And this recipe is no exception!  I think these waffles are pretty great, and each one packs a major nutritional punch.  Buckwheat, amaranth, coconut, and flax seed all have lots of healthy fiber, as well being natural sources of healthy protein and amino acids.  In fact, amaranth is one of highest sources of both in the gluten-free "grain" world, and along with buckwheat, is a great low glycemic "grain" option. And let's not forget about all the healthy omegas from the flax seed.  Or all the benefits from the coconut.  In addition to being ever so tasty, coconut provides a ton of nutritive value.  Coconut oil and meat provide lots of healthy antioxidants, fatty acids, polyphenols, and vitamins, most notably lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, all of which have naturally antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.  What does that mean?  It helps to regulate healthy bacteria in the gut, for starters.  That's important for everyone, especially those of us with pesky Candida issues.  And coconut is a good source of protein, and is also low on the GI scale.  


Like my other waffle recipe, this recipe uses the whole amaranth and buckwheat grains, not their flours.  The soaking process helps to neutralize phytic acid, and starts the sprouting process, activating important enzymes, breaking down proteins, and making it more digestible overall.  Hooray!  So, make sure to leave time to let your grains soak before  making this recipe.
After pulling the first beautiful batch out of the waffle maker - and being really pleasantly surprised at how great the waffle looked - I decided I needed a sauce.  A coconut base seemed fitting, and I remembered the can of coconut milk in my pantry.  Then I remembered the Kabocha squash I had in the fridge that didn't get used in my soup last night.  Perfect!  Squash and pumpkin, particularly Kabocha, often get combined with coconut in southeast Asian cuisine, so I figured it was the perfect choice.  
I love kabocha squash.  I fancy myself a bit of a squash aficionado, and I think kabocha is really wonderful.  The flesh is dense and very sweet, the color bright and vibrant, and the skin totally is totally edible and very nutritious - once cooked it becomes very soft, unlike many other squash skins.  Kabocha is used a lot in Japanese and macrobiotic cooking, I love to use it to make soups, fun little squash-agar agar "jiggler" treats, or just to eat it plain.  Anyway, the sauce was super yummy and really beautiful, and ready in about 8 minutes, just in time to pull out my second batch of waffles from the waffle maker.  I ended up with a ton of sauce, so I'm freezing the leftovers in small batches to use for my leftover waffles.  Or just to eat plain when I want something sweet and pudding like -the natural sweetness of kabocha and coconut are really decadent, even without added sweetener!  It is so rich and flavorful, it begs the question "Is this really vegan?".  Make sure to find organic or all natural coconut milk, since many commercially produced varieties can be filled with all sorts of strange preservatives or additives.  I chose lite coconut milk, since full fat gives me trouble sometimes, but choose whichever you prefer.
3/5/09 UPDATE: I ate two leftover frozen waffles for breakfast today, and they were awesome!  I put them in the toaster oven to thaw, and toasted them for about 5-7 minutes until they were warmed through.  The inside was still soft, and the outside was crisp!  So, the waffles passed the frozen and thawed test with flying colors.  I also thawed my leftover squash sauce to use for dunking.  It was a pretty great way to start a Thursday.
SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT  COCONUT WAFFLES 
yield: approx 5 5-inch square waffles
3/4 c whole dry buckwheat groats
1/4 c whole dry amaranth grain
2 T shredded coconut
2 T coconut flour
2 T melted coconut oil
1 T ground flax seed
water to cover soaked grains + 1/2 c
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol and gluten free)
pinch cardamom
stevia (or agave nectar) to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vitamin c crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
  1. Place buckwheat and amaranth to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. 
  2. Drain grains well in a very fine sieve - amaranth is very small and likes to escape.  If you don't have a fine sieve, just try dumping out as much of water as you can, or use something fine and meshy like cheesecloth.
  3. Transfer to a blender, or if using an immersion blender, a large cup or bowl. 
  4. Level grains, and add just enough fresh water to cover. Add the coconut, coconut flour, salt, cardamom, baking powder, vitamin c crystals (if using), melted coconut oil, flax, vanilla, agave and stevia, and 1/4 c of the additional water. Blend well.  Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy - so, if necessary, add the additional 1/4 c of water to make a thick, but still spoonable, batter.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for flax to absorb some of the liquid.  If it seems to thick, don't hesitate to add a little extra water.
  5. Heat up waffle iron, greasing lightly with coconut oil. When ready, fill waffle iron with batter. Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done. I found that about 8 minutes in my waffle iron yielded a well cooked waffle that had a beautiful golden color and seemingly impossible crispy crust.
Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up.  

 

 


yeild: approx 2 c sauce 
1 c organic lite coconut milk
1 1/2 c Kabocha squash, peeled and diced (or other dense, sweet squash like Hubbard or Buttercup)
optional, if more sweetness is desired: pinch stevia  - or if sugar isn't an issue for you use agave or a little maple syrup (the maple would be really good!)
optional: fresh or dried ginger
optional: 1 T flaxseed oil
  1. Steam Kabocha until soft, or microwave in a covered dish with a little water for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. In a blender or with an immersion blender, mix coconut milk and cooked squash until smooth, adding more coconut milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.  
  3. If desired, add a pinch or stevia or a squirt of agave to taste, some fresh or dried ginger for added kick, or a tablespoon of flax oil.
  4. Serve warm over waffles!  Freeze leftovers to use later.  Or just eat it because it is that good.  :)

 

Thursday
Feb192009

Millet-Quinoa Kefir Flat Bread (gluten free, egg free, vegetarian, yeast free)


This recipe is an adaptation of Susan Jane Murray's fabulous recipe for Rooibos Quinoa Flatbread. Made with rooibos tea and with a slightly sweet flavor, her recipe is amazing (although i've always substituted some other flour for the soy, due to my allergy). You must explore her website, it is full of inspirational, easy, and super food intolerance friendly recipes. I like to use her recipe as a framework for a super adaptable flatbread that goes together quickly, bakes in a jiffy, and freezes well. It is delicious and moist, sturdy and beautiful, and loves to be changed! So get creative, and try out something new each time.  I whip this bread out a lot; it has become a standby in my freezer and is loved by one and all who tries it.  Plus, if you use a slightly smaller pan, you can slice it in half horizontally, and use it for sandwiches, like focaccia.

My favorite flour combination for her quinoa flatbread recipe is quinoa/millet, but other flours work great too (rice, garbanzo, or buckwheat - she has a separate recipe for buckwheat flatbread that will bring you to your knees). This time, instead of throwing it together quickly with a bit of rice milk or water, I decided to use overnight soaking method from Sally Fallon's wonderous Nourishing Traditions (love!).  My flours sat for about 12 hours in my lovingly homemade goat milk kefir.  

I've done a lot of baking this week, it is a little freaky, actually.  But I made that kefir the other day, and am heading out of town to Seattle for the weekend.  The kefir needed to get used, and I wanted a variety of frozen, tasty baked goods to throw in my carry-on for easy food while there for the weekend.  Plus, I just got my copy of Nourishing Traditions in the mail the other day, and I wanted to try another kefir/yogurt soaking recipe after my success with Carrot's Whole Grain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins, an adaption of a recipe inspired by Fallon's book.  

And now, I am having a seriously hard time not devouring the entire loaf.  I wasn't going to eat any of it, just put it in the freezer right away.  But it smelled so damn good, it was so golden and crusty, so beautiful...I couldn't resist.  I should have known I'd eat a square.  It is GOOD.  Damn good.  Wow.

The result of this flatbread is TOTALLY different than when making it with water.  Soaking the flours in kefir yielded a moister, richer texture, and a wonderful, slightly sour flavor that combines oh so well with the quinoa. It is lighter and more fluffy, but still has a sturdy and substantial texture.  This bread is good, and reminds me of the tasty buttermilk cheddar cornbread I used to make from time to time. Plus, if the friendly bacteria in the kefir was doing its job, the flours should be more digestible and all those good vitamins, minerals, and protein more available and easily assimilated.  Hooray!  Fermentation is fun.

If you want to skip the whole kefir thing, and just make the recipe the normal way, just check out Susan's website, and try it out.  You won't be sorry!  And while there, you must must must try Susan's recipe for Wholemeal Buckwheat Bread, a similar flatbread loaf made with buckwheat flour. I substitute quinoa flour for the soy flour, and quinoa flakes for the millet or barley flakes (you can't find millet flakes in the U.S., and I'm off gluten). It is amazing. Totally amazing. That is probably my favorite gluten free bread on earth.  I'd like to try it with the kefir soaking method.  Also try her Carrot Cake recipe.  Holy smokes.  So good. I made it last Thanksgiving for my family (substituted flax eggs for real eggs) and even my grandparents loved it.  

 

QUINOA MILLET KEFIR FLATBREAD (gluten free, egg free, yeast free)

yield 1 flatbread loaf

1/2 c quinoa flour
1/2 c millet flour (or another flour option, like rice, amaranth, buckwheat, or garbanzo)***
3/4 c quinoa flakes (or millet flakes, if you can find them!  I can't find them in the U.S.)
1/4-1/2 c whole millet or quinoa grain (or another whole grain, try matching up your alternative flour choice!)***
1 1/2 c kefir or yogurt (I use goat kefir)
squirt of agave
a little water
1 t salt or Herbamare/Trocomare
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
1/4 t vitamin C crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
optional: handful of sunflower seeds or other seeds/chopped nuts
optional: herbs, spices, or other seasonings of your preference, like one of these combinations...
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • curry powder and cumin seeds
  • caraway seeds
  • lemon zest, cardamom, and poppy seeds
  • herbes de provence
  • basil, oregano, and rosemary
  • garlic (roasted mashed cloves, diced, or powder)
  • orange zest and clove
  • roasted onions and fresh parsley
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • saffron soaked in kefir
SOAK THE FLOURS
  1. Mix flours, quinoa flakes, whole quinoa or millet grains, optional seeds in a large bowl. 
  2. Pour in kefir and optional agave, and mix well.  Cover bowl with towel and let sit on kitchen counter for 12-24 hours.
MAKE THE BREAD
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 8"x8" square pan, or 9" round pan with oil/ghee/shortening, or line with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt/Herbamare, herbs/spices, baking soda, cream of tartar, and vitamin c crystals.
  3. Dissolve dry ingredients in a couple tablespoons of water, and pour over kefir/flour mixture, and stir until just well mixed.  Add just enough additional water to create a batter of pouring consistency, and stir until just evenly moistened and mixed.  Do not overmix!
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crisp, with some crackles, and a fluffy but firm inside.  A toothpick inserted in the middle of loaf should come out clean.
  5. Remove from oven, allow cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  6. When cool, slice into squares or wedges of desired size.  Try slicing in half horizontally, and using for sandwiches, like focaccia.
***Flour choice creates very different breads in this flatbread.  I really love quinoa/millet.  Quinoa/rice yields a lighter color, moister and lighter crumb, and a slightly lighter flavor. Quinoa/garfava yields a strong beany flavor, a stable texture, and a nice, crispy crust. The garfava blend is tasty with curry powder and cumin seeds.  I've never tried quinoa/amaranth in the flatbread recipe, but I imagine it would be very tasty, especially with whole amaranth grains thrown in.  Whole soaked millet and quinoa added are very tasty, as is buckwheat.  

 

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