Welcome To My Gluten Free Website!

Welcome To My Website!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

5 Star Cinnamon Rolls

I'm a Mama, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Nammie (ie Gramma), Caterer, Great Baker (My family, friends, acquaintances, and clients all tell me so!) I love to snuggle, laugh and giggle, feed dark chocolate to, and play games with Nammie's Lammie named Lela who just turned 6. I also love to paint, craft, sing in The Concordia Master Chorale, garden, watch classic movies, go on picnics, and feed people!

I love dogs and cats and have rescued many, all have found a snug place in my heart forever. Our sweet Dachshund doggy Kolby passed away at the age of 13 this last February and is missed something fierce. Right now my Husband Greg and I still have his rescued and adopted brother -a Corgy-Dachshund mix name Charlie and, a Bi-Polar Red Flame male feline named Lionel, who is constantly near his 9th life. Actually Lionel belongs to my newly married Daughter Chelsea. He can't live with her however because she and Matthew have our first grand-dog Kali who is a jumping weiner-dog (she's a Dachshund and Jack Russell Terrier.)  Kali and Lionel detest each other. Lionel loves to trick us by meowing so sweetly, all the while butting his head against us. So we reach to pet him and he bites us. I'm seriously considering medication. For him, not for me!

My Gluten-Free Lifestyle is relatively new. But taking more time to find my GF niche just isn't written in the stars for me right now. Then I came across several beautiful websites that are truly a God-send. 
I feel like a real person again, being able to eat breads, bagels, cake, cookies, pie crust and other delicious products made with a great gluten free all purpose flour mix. I make killer waffles! I'll put that recipe up this weekend, so check on back, you will love them!

I made Brioche bread this past weekend that was to die for. I was just so overjoyed to be able to have a fresh turkey sandwich, an egg sandwich, toast....
I made delicious hamburger buns several weeks ago and my husband, son and I had homemade burgers. One can only tolerate "protein style" = bun-less, for so long! They loved the buns as well. I bake GF products for a neighbor's 10 year old son that is ADHD. He's loving just about everything I take over! I think she's on the right tract in taking wheat/gluten as far out of his diet as possible in order to alleviate his symptoms and reactions.

I've had stomach pain and indigestion problems including ulcers, my entire life resulting in some form of anti-gas, pain, ulcer, nausea etc medications since I was 5 years old. In the last 7 years I've been on an increased and extremely high dose of anti-ulcer medication, which would even need to be supplemented with a nausea/pain medication for stomach cancer patients, to ease the distress.
Then we had to add narcotics, and that was the last and ultimate straw! I felt desperate to find a solution, mainly to get off all the serious medications.

About 6 months ago, what started out to be "just a small flu bug" provided a profound incite to my "distress". About day two of the bug, I was feeling a bit better and decided to have a piece of toast. After I ate it I became physically ill within about 15 minutes. I thought maybe I was just rushing things and held off for another 12 hours or so. Now I was really hungry, and tried another piece of toast. Thought I was going to die. The bloating, nausea and pain was phenomenally off the chart!
Talk about the light coming on! I took it on my own to remove as much obvious gluten/wheat from my diet that I could, wanting to see if this was truly the glitch in my digestive system. I'd read and decipher the garbled ingredient lists, astonished at what is made or processed through wheat, but I didn't try to replace it with any type of GF items from the store at the time, I just removed everything that I could.

I had no idea that gluten was in so many different forms, nor the product additives it's disguised as. It's in Danan's Activia and Greek Yogurt for heaven's sake! I'm writing them a letter - why in the world does yogurt need gluten?! Many of them just use milk and active cultures, that's all that's needed.

I noticed an immediate huge bonus for myself by taking wheat/gluten out of my diet - 95% of my joint pain, fibromyalgia pain, osteoarthritis pain is gone!

I had been off of gluten/wheat as much as possible for about a month, when I had an appointment with my internist,and I shared what was going on and why, he was extremely interested. He wrote notes as fast as he could! He went ahead and ordered the Celiac test, neither of us felt that I had it, but he indicated that it would be of value to see the results. Unfortunately for me, it also required a trip to the Gastro-Enterologist's office, who was out and so I had to see a Nurse-Practicioner. Not a good choice on this account. She was absolutely no help at all, and wanted me to go back on gluten/wheat products for 6 weeks before doing the blood test! I said absolutely NOT. My internist agreed with me. I check in with him occasionally regarding how I'm feeling and both of us are very happy with the results!
And the results are:
a. 95% of all pain is gone, and I mean gone!
b. Four months ago I was able to delete the narcotics patch!!!
c. Two months ago I was able to delete the morning dose of anti-ulcer meds (which were twice what everyone else takes), for the first time in at least 32 years.

d. I very rarely have to take the anti-nausea/pain medication, maybe 1-2 doses per month, compared to 1-2 times per day at least. It usually is only required if I have something with hidden gluten that I didn't check out before I ate it.

So now I've perused many lovely websites while researching my new eating way of life. I've made many of the recipes and have been thrilled with the way most have turned out. There's always a few that one isn't going to like and that's okay. Cooking as much as I do, it was fairly easy to start with new flours and techniques. I must admit that bread was my biggest loss. I miss the mixing and kneading, the crusts of sourdough, etc, but I found a few websites with great ideas and hints, products to mix and try, and boy have I. 
Just this past weekend I took "snack" for the master chorale I sing in, and about 200 + college kids and other adults who participated in either a choir or two, the orchestra, sinfionetta, handbells, or some organizational capacity. I made a favorite family heirloom recipe for Shortbread-Struesal Bars, using Jeanne's Flour Mix. It came out absolutely divine! I will be posting it next after the waffles.
Two of the college girls are gluten intolerant, and one is Celiac. They were near tears that I even thought to bring something GF in the first place. So then we shared extremely brief stories. I've offered to bake them some of the Brioche rolls, bread, cookies, cakes whatever they need and want. They gave me big hugs! I also have steered them to other favorite sites.

One of my favorite sites is Art of Gluten-Free Baking.com

I've used Jeanne Sauvage's Gluten Free All Purpose Flour Mix for many recipes, even a couple of family heirloom ones, fed my extended family, and didn't tell them until after they had exclaimed how wonderful, delicious, and fabulous it was. When I told them it was GF they just looked at me like they'd been whacked with a shovel, exclaiming that it couldn't be GF because they'd heard "that stuff" was really nasty tasting and why would I want to eat it? I haven't expounded on the whys that I'm eating "it", just that I feel so much better. And they are happy for me, and eat what I bring anyway!

I'm at a crossroad for my health, and possibly you are, too. I hope I can provide you with encouragement and yummy alternatives for your gluten free lifestyle. We all need to experience our events and occasions with a feeling of being satisfied, and GF bakers including myself are at the ready to provide you with our knowledge and know-how.

I know there are a lot more "hats" that I wear, but I'm ignoring them for the moment, because I really want to get you cooking!

General Helpful Hints:
Flax seeds, chia seeds, applesauce, and ripe mashed bananas are all great substitutes for eggs and fats. The seeds must be plumped with hot water at the ratio of  1:3 =
1 Tablespoon seeds to 3 Tablespoons hot water, which should be whisked and let sit for at least 20 minutes. This enables the seeds to absorb the water, thus ensuring your baked goods to stay moist. Seeds and dried fruits will suck the moisture from your baked goods if you don't plump them up first, and your results will break windows!
There are also several very good dry egg substitution products available for purchase in your local stores, online, and in catalogs. One such product is: Ener-G. Just follow the directions on the package according to how many eggs you are substituting.

**A note about conversions: Wow are there a lot of different conversion charts out there! What I have given in these recipes is the best I could calculate with the given information on many different websites. So my chart very possibly is slightly different from yours. I will leave all adjustments in your capable hands. 

Let's get started with an easy recipe for tender, yummy 

Gluten Free 5 Star Cinnamon Rolls!

For best results always read through a recipe at least once so you don't 
wind up with any surprises, like missing ingredients at a crucial spot!

This adaption is inspired from the cookbook "Gluten-Free Baking for the Holidays"  by Jeanne Sauvage, and her website "Art of Gluten Free Baking". Really, you just MUST check out her books and website. She's done marvelous things with gluten free products, in fact my taste bud's new-found sense of feeling "normal" are directly inspired from the miracles she's provided! So, here we go....

First Step is to mix an all purpose flour - and I highly recommend this one, it can be used to substitute for practically any recipe calling for AP flour and I offer it here with Jeanne's permission:

Jeanne's Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (one recipe makes 4 1/2 cups/660 g)
1 1/4 cups/170 g brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups/205 g white rice flour
1 cup/165 g sweet rice flour
1 cup/120 g tapioca flour/starch
scant 2 teaspoons xanthan gum
Whisk all together in a large bowl thoroughly. Transfer any remaining flour into                                           an airtight container and store in a cool dark place about 6 weeks, or refrigerate for about 6 months. (Mine never lasts long enough to worry about keeping it. I do keep it and all of my bulk flours in canning jars, and it might last 2-3 days before I have to make more!)

Baking Equipment Essentials:
You will need a 9 inch square baking pan, softened unsalted butter to grease the pan, and 2-3 Tablespoons granulated sugar to dust the pan with. 
(I use sugar to dust with as it keeps the dough from sticking, then"melts" back into the dough as it cooks, and there's no residue left on the baked goods that tapioca starch/flour will leave, and leaves a pasty-bitter taste).
You also should invest in a really good candy/baking thermometer which you will need to test the warm milk for adding yeast.

Buttered and Sugared 9" square pan

1/2 cup/114 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup/220 g firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons Jeanne's GF AP Flour
1 heaping Tablespoon ground cinnamon 
1 heaping Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
pinch of salt

1. Mix all filling ingredients in a small saucepan. Melt together over medium low heat, keeping a close watch and stirring occasionally. Mixture can burn easy and fast! Stir well and remove from heat and let it cool down. Set it aside.

1. Melted filling.

GF Dough
2 packages Rapid Rise yeast
1 1/4 cups/300 ml warm milk (about 110˚F/43˚C)
3 cups Jeanne's GF AP Flour Mix
2 tsp xanthan gum (yes, add this even though you added it to the bulk flour mixture)
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1  1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup/100 g plus 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup/60 ml oil such as grape-seed, canola, rice bran
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
about 1 cup plus a bit extra of the GF AP flour mix for dusting the rolling surface

2. In a small bowl or cup, mix the 1 Tablespoon of sugar with the warm milk, insert your thermometer into the milk which should read about 110˚F/40˚C , and then stir until dissolved, then stir in the yeast, making sure that all of the granules are wet. Set aside in a warm place in the kitchen to proof (mixture should get foamy). If your yeast does not proof, it's old and essentially dead. You will need to get new yeast. I keep mine in the refrigerator to lengthen it's life.
3. In a large bowl, preferably for a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, oil, and vinegar on low just until combined. Add the yeast mixture and beat on medium  for about 1 minute. Add the flour mixture about 1/4 cup at a time, beating briefly just to combine. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat for 3 more minutes, the resulting dough will be much stiffer and may be sticky.                                                                                                                                                
4. Barely moisten your rolling surface with plain water. Then pull out 2 sheets of waxed paper about 12" x 18"/30.5 x 46 cm. overlapping the long sides about 2 inches. Place the waxed paper lengthwise on the rolling surface, the long side going across in front of you. Generously dust the wax paper with about 1 cup of the baking flour mix, try to get it evenly over most of the surface. Next, pull the dough from the bowl onto the dusted waxed paper, scraping the bowl clean. Sprinkle the dough and your hands with the flour mix and gently need the dough into one cohesive batch. Dust your rolling pin and a little more onto the dough and roll it into a rectangle roughly 12" x 15"/30.5 x 38 cm or so aiming for about 1/4"/6 mm thickness.
5. Leaving a 1"/2.5 cm border on the short sides and 1/2"/12 mm borders for the long sides,  scrape the cooled melted butter and spice mixture over the dough and gently spread it with a small offset spatula, or your fingers to help even out the filling. 

5. Filling being rolled into the dough.

6. Starting with the long side in front of you lift the dough with the waxed paper and start rolling it away from you, trying to keep the roll semi-tight. You may have to scrape the dough slightly away from the waxed paper here and there as you go. Keep rolling until you come to the lengthwise plain border. Here you will use your pastry brush to brush the border with a little warm water. Roll the dough over so you are looking at the long line of the dough edge, gently pinch/crimp the dough together then roll it back onto the crimped edge. Using a very sharp knife and wiping it after each cut if necessary, cut the dough roll in half, then halve those two, and repeat until you have 12.
6. Light scraping may be required as you go.

7. Place the rolls cut sides up in the buttered and sugared pan, as shown in the following picture. You should have 3 x 4. 
7 & 8. Rolls have risen to almost double in size.

8. Heat your oven to 375˚F/190˚C/Gas Mark 5. Cover the rolls lightly with plastic wrap spritzed with non-stick cooking spray, and then a clean, cry dish towel. Let stand, in a warm, draft free place for about 30-40 minutes until almost doubled in size. On the top of the stove or near by is great for the warm, gentle heat. aaaAbout half way through rotate the pan to even out the exposure so all sides have a chance to rise well. 
9. Remove towel and plastic wrap and brush melted butter over the tops of each roll. Place in the oven with the rack in the middle and bake for 30-40 minutes, just until they are thinking of turning a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool them in the pan on a wire cooling rack. Frost when you're ready: remember that if they are still piping hot the frosting will melt down into the cinnamon roll.

1/4 cup/55 g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 oz./115 g cream cheese at room temperature
3/4 cup/85 g powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt (this addition helps keep the sweetness back a tad)

10. In a small bowl, beat on medium high with a hand mixer, the butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and pinch of salt until smooth and glossy.

11. You can frost them while warm-which may cause the frosting to melt down into the roll (Oh darn! You might have to make more frosting!), or you can wait until they are cooled down.

These keep very well in an airtight container, like the new "snap-wear" kind, for about a week. I leave them on the counter, and microwave them for about 10 seconds just to pretend that they were just out of the oven!