Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Muffins

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Sunday mornings are perfect for muffins. Throw in an afternoon walk and eat 2. Or three. Or watch a run of pseudo chick flicks on cable. It’s that kind of day.

~ Gluten-Free Coffee Cake Muffins ~

Adapted from The Cook Book

Makes 12 small or 8 large muffins

Streusel Topping:

  • 3 tbsp gluten-free flour (1/2 sorghum, 1/2 tapioca flour)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans

Muffin Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (1/2 sorghum, 1/2 tapioca flour )
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (thinned out slightly) or soy milk

 

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For topping: In a small bowl, sir together 3 tbsp flour, sugar, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Cut in 2 tbsp butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans, set aside.

For batter: in a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Cut in butter.

In a small bowl combine egg and thinned-out plain yogurt – I used a plain lactose-free variety from Green Valley Organics. (Original recipe calls for buttermilk and plain yogurt adds an extra tang and improves texture.) Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stir until just moistened – battery should be lumpy and slightly thicker than pancake batter. If too thick, thin out with soymilk. Take care not to over-mix.

Spoon half of batter into greased or paper-lined muffin tins. Top with half of streusel topping, add remaining half of batter, and top with rest of streusel topping. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes; cool on rack and serve warm.

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Product Review: Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bread

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Guess what, my gluten-free friends; there’s a new bread in town!  image

If you’ve read my previous posts about GF bread, you may remember that I was super-excited to find Udi’s – not to be confused with Rudi’s – but there is another option on the scene!

So, let’s review… (and read on for a coupon!)

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Product Review: Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix (it teases me)

On a note along the lines of the current weather (rainy), I am getting a cold. I blame Michael: while people who choose social work are generally kind-hearted individuals, they may also come in contact with many germy-children on a daily basis. And then come in contact with you.

But I digress – on to bread!

I heard through the grapevine that Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix is the best out there, so I gave it a whirl. Interestingly enough if you use a breadmaker you don’t use the GF setting (basic instead) and thus last week learned the value of patience – regular bread takes 3 1/2 hours to make versus the 1 1/2 hour for GF.

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Alright, so here’s the deal: this stuff is legit. Real, heavy and dense bread. Thick and chewy. And oddly enough, a 2lb loaf looks a lot like a 1 lb loaf. But there is one caveat: The Calories.

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Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I tend to consider bread as a side-dish, a complement if you will, not a meal. But at roughly 170 cals per slice plus a spread of some kind, well, that’s more like a breakfast. Not that two slices of this delicious bread couldn’t forma whole breakfast – it can fill you up. There’s a nice amount of fiber too. But man, do I feel a bit guilty. So guilty, I had to put half of the loaf in the freezer so it would stop teasing me.

Does it make me sad that the best bread mix I’ve tried so far that is both gluten and dairy free is not a prime candidate for becoming a diet staple? A little. Dang.

However, I will say; you must try this bread at least once. Cut it in small slices, save it for a special treat. Treat it like a pasty or a muffin. Don’t combine it with a box of Valentine’s Day truffles. image

And toast it. That will cheer you up.

Now, I need to stop thinking about the fact that this mix can be used to make bagels…

Breadman Success!

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This post might have to be categorized as food porn, because I am very into the bread I just made.

The first try with my Breadman Pro was not so great, but I am happy to report success! Since the 1.5lb mix was a complete disaster (totally uncooked inside) I decided to halve the 2lb mix I had left and give it a go.

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I used Gluten Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread mix, bought at Whole Foods. The only issue with this mix is that it contains dairy (which I somehow missed while shopping) but since I occasionally eat dairy with the help of pills, it’s still ok. Halving some bread recipes will not always work, but this one gave specific directions that allowed for it (though there was definitely careful measuring!).

And folks, I might be in love.

The mix gives the option of using either water or milk (soy, cow, etc) but I chose water: less calories, easier to control temperature-wise, and I think it gives the bread a lighter, fluffier texture. With half the recipe I still got about 12 decent slices, and with only water and 1 egg needed, it actually makes gluten-free bread rather cheap! (The mix was around $4, if I remember correctly.)

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The resulting loaf was about half the size of the first try, and I put in on the same gluten-free medium-color setting, with the same amount of baking time minus about 5 minutes. And this time, I TESTED IT. The knife came out clean! (You can also text by removing the loaf and feeling in the space left by the kneading paddle.)

I knew it was going to work this time around when the house started to smell like real bread.

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The bread honestly could have fooled me as French Bread: it was soft but not to dense, fluffy, and golden brown on top. The bottom and sides have a chewy crust (which you could probably eliminate by removing a couple minutes earlier.)Ahhh, just look at it!

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It definitely deserves it’s own pedestal! (Especially the part that the paddle didn’t stick in.)

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I cut the loaf when it had cooled for about an hour on a rack, and stored it in a Ziploc bag.

This bread would be perfect for sandwiches, toast, or wonder of wonders, French toast.

Bring it on 2011, I’ve got bread!

Bread Maker Trial 1: Better luck next time.

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There is often much to be desired from store-bought gluten-free bread, though I have come across a few good varieties. My favorite is Udi’s: it is actually soft enough to eat without toasting, and truly reminds me most of real bread.

There is no store-bought bread out there that can really match the taste of delicious, chewy, thick wheat-bread. Or sourdough. Mmmm.

But there is hope: For Christmas I received a Breadman Pro Breadmaker, with a gluten-free setting!

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It’s quite pretty – stainless steel and easy to read menu – and light to carry. Be advised that you have to run a baking cycle before using to bake off the “manufacturing oil” – whatever those are – which will delay your first trail an hour or two.

I promptly went out to buy bread-making ingredients, and I decided to try out Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix. It included all dry ingredients including yeast, and I added soy milk, eggs, and egg whites.

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So here we go with a little product review: How did it turn out?

We-ll….not so good. I followed the instructions to a tea, but unfortunately I didn’t realize that the bread could be undercooked when the baking cycle is done. I didn’t test it because it was all golden and toasty on the top, but when I cut into the second slice it just kept getting stickier until the center was straight-doughy and underbaked. And since I let it cool before cutting, I couldn’t put it back in the oven. Sadly, I had to toss it.

Bad sign: if the bread starts to sag from the top, or the side bend in when you put it on a cooling rack, that likely means the inside is undercooked and can’t support the weight on the top.

imageEk, gooey-ness

But I will say that the Breadman Pro is pretty awesome with all the mixing,. kneading and rising. I have a few theories on why the bread failed:

  1. Too much dough: the mix says that it’s made for a 1.5lb loaf – which is the only size you can use with the GF setting – but it looked more like a 2lb loaf when it was done.
  2. Not enough baking: next time, I’ll check through the loaf and keep it on the bake setting till it’s done.
  3. Too much liquid in the dough: the mix required a lot of wet ingredients, more than other recipes I saw.
  4. Just the wrong mix for this machine!

Next steps:

  • Trying the GF recipe provided in the Breadman instructions – it’s a little complicated, but I’m going to give it a shot. They should know how the machine works best. The only issue is that they ask for dry-milk, which I will have to substitute. (I’m thinking about using powdered coffee-creamer, which has milk but no lactose.)
  • I bought a 2lb loaf mix also without realizing that the GF setting only makes 1.5lbs, so I’ll see what happens when I make it on a regular bread setting.

 

image Still on my quest for this!

Gluten-Free Dreaming Copyright 2011.