Breads

Sometimes you just gotta have bread -- be it a slice of something thick and crusty, a biscuit, muffin or cornbread. One thing about every 'bread' recipe on this site: Gluten Free!

Pumpkin Bread

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It’s almost spring and here in Florida the weather is already starting to heat up.  When going through my freezer this past weekend I realized I still had two bags of pumpkin leftover from Thanksgiving!  Well, time to use it, I’m not overly fund of pumpkin dishes in June.  What to make?

The first thing that came to my mind was a nice, moist pumpkin bread.  For breakfast with a side of flesh or how  I prefer–as a dessert.  This was a spinoff or healthier remake from this Easy Pumpkin Bread recipe from King Arthur.  I’m gluten intolerant so everything I made is gluten free whether for my family or others.  We’re all better off without it and you honestly cannot tell the difference.  This recipe is sure to please and easy to make. . .

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In a large bowl, beat together the melted lard and coconut oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and water.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and vanilla stirring to combine.  Stir in the nuts and coconut if using.

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If desired, sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of maple sugar per loaf

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Bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 80 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

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I made one with pecans only for the Jag and one with pecans and coconut (my fav).  Enjoy!

Recipe & Ingredients

1/2 cup rendered lard, melted
1/2 cup coconut oil (unrefined)
2 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups mashed pumpkin (can sub canned)
2/3 cup water
3 1/3 cups King Arthur Gluten Free multi purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
1 cup coconut flakes, optional
Maple sugar for sprinkling on top, optional

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour two, 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans or two, 9″ x 5″ pans (use the smaller pans if you are making the plain version and the larger pans if you adding the coconut and nuts*).  Use the smaller pans if omitting pecans and coconut.

In a large bowl, beat together the melted lard and coconut oil, sugar, eggs, pumpkin and water.  Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and vanilla stirring to combine.  Stir in the nuts and coconut if using.  To make one loaf with nuts/coconut, one loaf without, divide the batter in half.  Leave one plain and add 1/2 nuts and 1/2 cup coconut to the other.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pans.  Sprinkle the tops of the loaves with maple sugar, if desired.  Bake the bread for 60 to 80 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean; and that same tester inserted about 1/2″ into the top of the loaf doesn’t encounter any totally unbaked batter.

Remove the bread from the oven and cool it completely on a wire rack.  To store, wrap it well in plastic wrap

*I only had two of the smaller pans and it worked okay with the add ins, just a fuller loaf.

Best Ever Pie Crust (and gluten free)

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The secret to the best pies and tarts is in the crust.  In all my 54 years I have never used a store bought pie crust.  Why?  For starters they don’t taste nearly as good as homemade; commercial varieties are made with unhealthy fats and preservatives and while there are some newer and healthier versions out there it’s just not that hard to make your own.

I started making my own pie crust from a recipe I found in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette back in 1972.  I still have the yellowed newspaper clipping.  It was easy to handle and never failed to deliver a delicious and flaky crust.  It was a little unusual in that it used egg and vinegar.  I used that for about 3 decades and then switched to a recipe I found Kate’s Amazing pie crust.  And it truly was amazing.  It was just a little bit better than the recipe I had been using for 30 years.

After making a health decision to go gluten free I tried my new favorite pie crust recipe with gluten free flour.  Aaaah, not so much; while it was tolerable it had lost the flakiness and the ‘wow’ factor I had become accustomed to.  Back to the old drawing board. . .

Many trials and tribulations later I found this King Arthur Gluten-Free pie crust recipe.  Wow, it was pretty close.  I made a few minor adjustments between it, Kate’s and my original 1972 recipe.  Part of the secret is in the lard; it is well worth the trouble to procure or render your own.  The other part of the secret in gluten free crusts is the addition of the egg — it helps to hold the crust together and along with the reaction with the vinegar or lemon juice adds back in that flakiness.  To date this is the best I found!

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Mix together dry ingredients.  Add in your butter and lard.

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Mix together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

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Add the egg and vinegar or lemon juice mixture stirring just until combined and adding 1-3 tbs ice water if needed.

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Shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerated for at least one hour and up to overnight.

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Roll out to desired thickness on a sheet of wax paper sprinkled with the gluten free flour

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Invert onto your pie or tart pan, flute edges for a pie, fill and bake as recipe directs.

Recipe and Ingredients

1 1/4 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free multi purpose flour
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp sea salt
3 tbs cold grass fed raw butter
3 tbs cold lard
1 egg
2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar

 

Preparation

Lightly grease a 9″ pie pan.  Whisk together the flour, sugar,  xanthan gum, and salt.

Cut the cold butter into small pieces and the lard into pea – walnut size pieces.  Using a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your hands (my favorite) work them into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse meal with some visible pea-sized chunks of butter and lard remaining.

Whisk the egg and vinegar or lemon juice together till very foamy. Mix into the dry ingredients with a fork. Stir until the mixture holds together, adding 1 to 3 additional tablespoons cold water if necessary.

Shape into a ball and chill for an hour, or up to overnight.  Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before rolling.

Roll out on a piece of wax paper that’s been sprinkled with gluten-free flour.  Invert the crust into the prepared pie pan.  Fill and bake as your pie recipe directs.

Yield: crust for one 9″ single-crust pie.

For a double crust pie:  double the recipe!

 

 

Biscuits (gluten free)

The 12 Days of Thanksgiving:  Day 6

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Biscuits?  A light, fluffy butter laden biscuits is one of my favorite treats.  Over the years I had perfected my recipe and prided myself on how light and fluffy they were.  The perfect sidekick to stews, roasts and many other dishes.  I thought they were gone from my life forever when I made a health decision to avoid gluten.  I can’t tell you how many versions of “biscuits” went into the trash.

I tried almond flour, coconut flour, plantains and a few other combinations.  They were not ‘biscuits’.  I had just about given up until my go to flour choice for decades — King Arthur — made not only a gluten free flour but a gluten free baking mix.  Wow, this is the closest I have come.  It may not be perfectly organic and au natural but life is too short to live without biscuits especially at Turkey time. . .

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Cut up the cold butter and lard and add to the baking mix

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You can use a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your hands to mix the butter and lard with the baking mix until it resembles coarse meal.  I prefer my hands.  Take care not to overmix; you want a few chunks of fat visible.  This will lend to flakier biscuits.

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Add the buttermilk and stir just until combined.

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Gently flatten or roll the dough to about 3/4″ thick (Notice the chunks of butter:)

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I typically bake these on an ungreased baking sheet; today however I used my cast iron skillet.  Either will work.  Brush with a little melted butter to help them turn golden brown

They are best served warmed with grass fed butter or they’re pretty tasty the next day with a hunk of turkey in between!

Enjoy!

This recipe was taken from King Arthur Gluten-Free Biscuits; I made a few minor changes.

Recipe & Ingredients

1/4 cup cold butter
1/4 cup cold lard*
2 cups King Arthur Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup cold raw buttermilk**
*all butter may be used
**to ‘make’ buttermilk; add 1 tsp lemon juice or white vinegar to 1/3 cup raw milk, allow to sit for 10 minutes and use as directed

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400°F, with a rack in the center.  Place the baking mix into your bowl; cut the cold butter and lard into small pieces and add to the baking mix.  Using a pastry cutter, 2 knives or your hands work in until the mixture resembles coarse meal leaving some butter and lard in small, visible pieces.

Whisk the eggs and buttermilk together.  Add to the dry ingredients, stirring only until combined.  Lightly dust your work surface with baking mix and turn the dough out onto it.  Gently fold the dough over on itself four times, then gently flatten or roll to about 3/4″ thick.  Cut witha 2 1/2″ round cutter dipped in baking mix.

Stack the scraps together, gently pat down to 3/4″ thick and cut additional biscuits.  Set the biscuits 2″ apart on an ungreased baking sheet or side by side in a cast iron skilet.  Brush with milk or melted butter if desired to help the biscuits brown.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, until they’re golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and let them rest 10 minutes or so before serving.
Yield:  8 medium (2 1/2″) biscuits.  I doubled the recipe:)

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